Sunday, June 2, 2013

Are you engaging the patient’s family and influencing their experience?

We all read and hear about patent engagement and experience, and what healthcare organizations think that means. But little discussion if any centers around how do you engage the patient’s family along the same lines? Regardless of what payment model-risk, value-based or bundled, full or partial capitation, in an ACO or Medical Home, the patient’s family will be involved.

So from a healthcare marketing standpoint as you develop your patient and healthcare consumer experience/engagement strategy, you need to address how you will engage the family too.

And for your understanding, when I write or speak about patient engagement, it’s a view along a continuum from first contact as a healthcare consumer through diagnosis, treatment, and post care. It is a far more encompassing view of engagement which heavily influences the experience that loops back to either reinforce positively or negative the level of engagement. And guess who is there at all times making comments, coloring observations and influencing the experience and engagement? You got it, the family.

And now that people will be paying more out of pocket, and are becoming price sensitive with all the new price data that’s available, family will be more important than ever. Especially if they may have a financial stake in the individuals care. Think a 25 year old receiving care under their parent’s insurance. Or the wife taking care of her ailing husband. Or the same sex couple.

They all need to be part of your engagement/experience strategy.

And it will be different for each and every patient and their family. Engagement/experience is not a one size fits all. Its mass customization applied on an individual level.

It really only gets more complicated trying to manage the engagement and experience of an individual who at some point depending on the dynamic could be in all three groups- consumer, patient and family. So now you need even more consistency and predictably in the engagement and experience process.

There is no doubt a long way to go on this road, and there are no easy answers. But this I do know, if you are not engaging and influencing the experience of the family, you will lose the healthcare consumer aka the patient. And in captained risk model, that’s a disaster waiting to happen.

On another note, my daughter is a left-handed pitcher on a 16U A level fastpitch softball travel team, and the travel season is now fully underway. So I will still be posting weekly, but maybe not with the same predictability and regularity of an every Sunday post, but it will happen weekly. Oh, and Alex won her first game of the travel season on 06/01/13, 9-3, with 5 Ks & 0 Walks. 

Now where is the suntan lotion?

Michael J. Krivich, MHA, FACHE, PCM, is an internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger with over 5,000 monthly pages views read in over 52 countries worldwide on Healthcare Marketing Matters. These views are my own. He is founder of the michael J group, a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives and a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association. Like us on facebook at the michael J group, and connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pheed.

1 comment:

Practice Builders said...

I love your blog and posts as healthcare marketing specialist.