Marketing Healthcare to Women: What Does Patient Satisfaction Mean?

April 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hospitals are beginning to realize they are in the “hospitality” business.  And the things consumers value in hospitality are going to have to invade the hospital.  Things like “Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen” will help hospitals begin to score higher in patient satisfaction.  Increasingly, warm friendly service, appetizing food, entertainment amenities like WiFi and cable, and a pleasing atmosphere are becoming more important to patients.

Patient satisfaction has always been important to patients and hospitals, but it’s getting ready to hit the most important nerve in the body for hospitals – the one attached to their pocketbook.

Based on new health care reform legislation, beginning October 1, patient satisfaction surveys will factor into how much money a hospital gets paid by Medicare.  Patient ratings will compose 30% of  the consideration, and clinical quality will determine 70% of the payments.  Hospitals could lose 1% of their Medicare payments.  The only way to earn it back will be improvement of scores.  There will even be a bonus pool to reward those that do well or show improvement.

Why is this important?  Medicare is the leading payer for most hospitals, accounting for 35 to 55 percent of overall revenue.  And rate adjustments have been raining down lately.

Many healthcare providers will argue that the quality of healthcare is more important than patient satisfaction.  The types of issues covered in patient satisfaction surveys include courtesy, respect, listening, attentiveness, cleanliness, quietness, pain management, medication counseling, and how likely you are to recommend the hospital.

Hospitals have long measured patient satisfaction.  The national average of patients rating hospitals overall as 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale is around 68%.  If we were talking about the restaurant industry, that would not be such a great score.

What’s important to patients

Patients can only measure the things that they see and experience.  Most of us have very little way, other than personal recommendations or health ratings, to determine the skill of any physician or clinician.  In focus groups with patients, I often ask them to create mind maps of those things that were important to them during their hospital stay.  The responses always include communication with them and their family, creature comforts, time and speed, respect, cleanliness and safety.

Here are some of the things that are important to them and yes, food is one of them:

Amenities – Food, Private Rooms, Entertainment options like cable and music, Wi-Fi, Easy Access and Convenient Parking

Atmosphere – Cleanliness, Hospitality, Friendliness, Comfort, Relaxing Environment

Treatment – Pain Management, Services Offered, Technology

Safety – Patient Safety, Personal Safety, Privacy

Nursing – Attitude, Attentiveness, Responsiveness, Courtesy, Caring, Respect, Treatment of Family

Physicians – Access to them, Listening ability, Knowledge, Manner, Compassion, Reputation

Admission and Discharge – Quick, Timely, Follow-up, Discharge, Support, Affordability, Information

Where Consumers Get Their Information

It looks like hospitals and healthcare providers are going to need their own form of Trip Advisor.  Consumers get their information on healthcare providers mainly from online searches, recommendations from friends and family, physician referrals, past experiences, and advertising/media exposure.  These sources are why testimonials are so important whether they are served up by advertising, social media or one-on-one.

It’s the soft side of healthcare that is going to shape patient satisfaction.


Marketing to Women: Top 12 Posts from 2012

December 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

pinterest2012 marketing saw unanticipated events like the rise of Pinterest and Instagram – and disputed practices of Facebook and Instagram.  Facebook reached 1 billion users.  Changes to healthcare funding made marketing healthcare hugely important, and patient satisfaction rules. So here’s a quick read of what Lipstick Economy readers were interested in.

12. Marketing to Women:  Should You Focus on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter?  Overall, almost two out of five (38%) online consumers follow retailers through one or more social networking sites.  You need to understand the demographics and how it the social networks are used by your specific channels.

11.  Marketing to Women:  Blogs Drive Purchase Intent.  Recent research from BlogHer shows that 61% of active blog users say they have made a purchase based on a recommendation from a blog.  One of the leading indicators of purchase intent is trust.  And 81% of women trust the information and advice they receive from blogs

10.  Marketing to Women:  Facebook $1 Fee to Message Non-Friends.  Facebook calls the little charge an economic signal to determine relevance. I call it “selling my inbox”.  On a blog post, they say ”This test will give a small number of people the option to pay to have a message routed to the Inbox rather than the Other folder of a recipient that they are not connected with.”

9.  Marketing to Women:  Women Rule Social Media.  LinkedIn is the only exception to the more than 50% rule by women; the male-female split is 50-50.  Back in March, Google+ was the third largest social network, yet to be usurped by Pinterest.  An interesting infographic gave us real demographics for the networks such as 54% Tweeters are on Mobile, 36% Tweet at least once a day, and average time on site is 11 minutes.  Google+ users are more likely to be single geeks looking for friends.  The average number of Facebook friends is 130.  Two million companies are on LinkedIn.

8.  Marketing to Women:  A Picture on Pinterest Is Worth A Thousand Words.  Pinterest is the third most popular social network behind Facebook and Twitter.  The beauty of Pinterest is we don’t have to read someone else’s opinion  We can make our own.  It’s a beautiful thing.

7.  Marketing to Women: Instagram or Instagrim?  New Policies Announced.  Since Facebook went public and purchased Instagram, the pressure is mounting for added advertising income.  Some new policies were announced and within a week were revoked due to customer pressure.

6.  Marketing Healthcare to Women:  What Does Patient Satisfaction Mean?  Based on new health care reform legislation, patient satisfaction surveys will factor into how much money a hospital gets paid by Medicare.  Patient ratings will compose 30% of  the consideration, and clinical quality will determine 70% of the payments.  Hospitals could lose 1% of their Medicare payments.  The only way to earn it back will be improvement of scores, and a real understanding and delivery of patient satisfaction.  Warm friendly service, appetizing food, entertainment amenities like WiFi and cable, and a pleasing atmosphere are becoming more important to patients.

5.  Marketing to Women:  The Ultimate Travel Agents.  80% of all travel decisions are made by women.  Surprised?  75% of those taking cultural, adventure  or nature trips are women.  And boomer women are major players having the money, time and interests.

4.  Marketing to Women:  Pinterest Rules!  Pinterest has been a winner in driving traffic for many retailers.  Some even more than Facebook.  Pinterest is inspiration for purchase decisions.

3.  Marketing to Moms:  Childhood Obesity Number One Health Concern. With one-third children overweight, the epidemic is of concern because 50% of overweight children become overweight adults.  It’s an important topic for all marketers.

2.  Marketing to Women:  10 Cool Ways to Use Pinterest. Since 70% of women are on Pinterest, marketers should be there to.  But 2012 was a year when marketers were trying out Pinterest, trying to ascertain how best to use Pinterest.   It’s about research, common interests, promotions and linking.

1.  Marketing Healthcare to Women: Ten Things You Need to Know.  Since 80% of all healthcare decisions are influenced by women, it is appalling that two-thirds of women feel they are misunderstood by marketers.


Marketing to Moms: Can Consumer Reports help Moms with healthcare?

August 6, 2009 § Leave a comment

Currently, most Moms spend more time researchingConsumer Reports a new dishwasher than choosing a physician or a hospital.  But that might be getting ready to change.

According to FierceHealthcare, Consumer Reports is getting into the hospital rating business. 

 “The venerable consumer publication has set plans to provide patient satisfaction ratings for more than 3,400 U.S. hospitals, using data from the government’s Hospital Consumer Assessments of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey. The Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center will display its hospital ratings online using the familiar Consumer Reports color-coded interface.

The data, which will be available to subscribers to, integrates intensity of care rankings, linking patient satisfaction and intensity of care. Researchers with the Health Ratings Center have found that hospitals that have above-average patient satisfaction ratings typically provide more conservative, less costly care.

Users will be able to look up their local hospital’s Overall Patient Experience Rating, plus ratings for eight performance measures, including doctor communication, nurse communication, discharge information, staff attentiveness, pain control and quietness.”

The significance of a trusted rating service like Consumer Reports furnishing information will be in the ability to make it consumer friendly, a task that other health insurers and the government are still struggling to accomplish.

 Read more by clicking here.


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