Friday, October 22, 2010

Marketing to the Networked Patient

Healthcare is changing at a far more rapid pace that at any time in its history. I am not referring to the pharmaceutical or technological advances which have no doubt improved the quality of care and in most cases, the quality of life as well.

Since 1983 with the introduction of DRGs, we as an industry have been touting the benefits of wellness, individual responsibility in health and the patient taking an active role in their healthcare. Much has changed since that time and much has remained the same. But now, the game has really changed.

Welcome to the age of the networked patient.

The networked patient is someone who has an intense curiosity about their health condition, expects to have an active role in making healthcare decisions and this is most important, they want control of their health information. They use in internet, social media and seek out others. They read and study about their health condition. They ask questions and will seek out alternatives. The look at providers from a quality standpoint and make judgments based on that information. They want an answer to their own needs.

The patient is asking what is their ROI by using you?

The days are quickly passing by where we can assume that we are still in control of the overall care and treatment process and information without much questioning or interaction by a patient. And you know what, that is not a bad thing.

Marketing to the networked patient

There are some key to keep in mind when starting to market to the networked patient:.

Your brand, your brand promise and messaging is all important;

Quality data transparency, reporting and patient access to same is everything;

 Access to their own health information 24/7 is a deal breaker if not provided;

Talk about the patient experience and outcomes;

Don't insult this patient with messaging that is all fluff, about us or is just plain condescending;

All communication needs to be personalized talking to the patient not at them;

Use all available communication channels- Iphone apps, email, social media, web site blue button, direct mail, etc.

Be creative, this is uncharted territory so limits are nonexistent and don't place any on yourself. Stop saying, why we can't do something, start saying how we can. This is a major change in the way healthcare is administered and delivered in the U.S. Providers need to recognizing that the age of the healthcare consumer is upon us. Failure to do so will be at your own peril.

You can continue the conversation with me on:


Michael Krivich is Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives and a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association and can be reached at or 815-293-1471 for consulting services in strategic marketing, integration of sales and marketing, media relations and interim marketing executive leadership assignments. Huthwaite SPIN selling trained and a Miller Heiman Strategic Selling alumni, both highly respected and successful international sales training organizations , I can lead your organization though the challenge of integrating sales and marketing.

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