Sunday, March 4, 2012

Are you using social media and online brand presence to make the patient experience exceptional?

With healthcare moving to a place where price and quality are drivers impacting a consumer who is sharing a much greater burden of the cost, those same consumers will eventually demand online social media experiences commonly found with other companies and services.

Online represents a great opportunity for patient-centric healthcare organizations to break from the pack and create an online healthcare experience that is memorable, exceeding an individual or families experience and expectations.

Are you ready for the challenge?

Most healthcare sites today are static and contain the usual about us, our services location, etc,., etc., etc. Little use of video or other creative ways to engage the customer. Notice that I said customer and not patient. Not everyone that comes to your site is a patient or will be a patient. They are consumers looking for information. Could be a competitor too.

In any case, when you evaluate your social media and online presence, does it:

Delight your customer?
Create sustainable differentiation?
Is adaptable to new opportunities?
Leverages your investment?
Deliver in every situation?

This is the lens that you need to look through to objectively evaluate your social or online presence. If it's not doing these things, then chances are you are not delivering an exceptional experience. But for that matter, neither are your competitors. In the world of healthcare which is too much "me too", the online healthcare experience is pretty boring.

Don't take me wrong, healthcare sites are usually pretty good if people internally have been paying attention to them. They can be described as warm, comfortable, informative, friendly. They can be described as "good enough". Not exceptional. Not delivering anywhere to the capability inherent in an online presence.

I would suggest to hospitals, IDNs, nursing home, specialty pharmacies, home healthcare operations and many others, that you look outside of the your segment of healthcare to consumer facing retail organizations, as well as pharma and medical device, viewing the type of online presence they have.

Make your online presence not just "good enough" but exceptional.

The time is now. The opportunity to change is here.

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