Happy National Doctors’ Day! Over 80 years ago, this holiday was founded to recognize contributions of physicians and mark the first use of general anesthesia in surgery. It’s unbelievable how far medical research has come in the past few years—stem cell research, targeted cancer therapies, face transplants, and bionic limbs, to name a few.
And more change is coming, not just in medical advancements, but evolving patient needs and expectations. We’re entering a new era as we embrace the “consumerization” of healthcare. More innovative approaches to healthcare marketing are becoming essential to meet patient demand for a more high touch, personalized experience.
From researching physicians online to tracking fitness with mobile devices, patients are growing more comfortable in a digital world and more savvy about their health care options. Almost three-quarters of consumers turn to the Web for answers to health questions first, according to research from GSW Worldwide.
And while trust in the medical profession continues to decline, review sites such as Yelp.com and HealthGrades.com have become even more critically important as a channel for patient communication and reputation management. For better or worse, you need to know what people are saying and be ready to respond.
In this age of information overload, earning the trust and loyalty of patients isn’t an easy task. A one-size-fits-all approach is a thing of the past. Healthcare marketers must dive deeper into psychographics, employ segmentation to understand differences between patient groups and speak to individual needs and desires.
What will the results of this transformation hold for the future? In the short term, there may be a few bumps in the road as organizations race to adapt to this brave new world. In the long term, we believe it will lead to greater ROI, engagement, and ultimately more positive health and wellness behaviors.
These are just a few of the issues we’ll be exploring with leading marketers and experts as we launch the new Innovations in Patient Experience group on LinkedIn. We’ll be encouraging communication and collaboration from people in the space on all things patient experience and healthcare marketing trends. We welcome your insights as we enter this exciting time. If you are in the healthcare industry, please join us.