Sunday, October 7, 2012

How do you market to the networked patient?

Now that more healthcare information general and personal is available today than at any previous time, and healthcare reform is only going to accelerate the information exchange including outcomes transparency, how can you market and leverage in a comprehensive fashion, all that information and change?

What do you think the networked patient is saying about you in social media circles, after CMS announced the penalties for 2013 because of your high readmission rates and you greeted that with silence?

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 actively use the internet, social media , blogs, web site, apps 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 outcomes information. They want an answer to their own needs. The patient is asking what is their ROI by using you?

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 that information 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, email, 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.

I would to say thank you to my followers and readers of Healthcare Marketing Matters (HMM). HMM is now consistently over 5,000 page views a month and read in 52 countries. The heat map is from blogger stats and shows the countries where the majority of readers reside. I guess in the end, healthcare. healthcare marketing and the issues we all face are pretty much the same.

Michael Krivich is an internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger with over 5,000 monthly pages views in over 52 countries worldwide. He is founder of the michael J group, a healthcare marketing consultancy dedicated to creating value through strategic marketing for hospitals and health system regardless of payment mechanism, either fee-for-service or value-based to increase market-share, revenue , brand and demonstrate actual return on marketing investment. Michael is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives and a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association. Follow us on facebook at the michael J group.

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