Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Grades Are In & Providers Receive an F in Consumer/Patient Engagement

And this from a well-respected healthcare executive in a comment to one of my blog posts, which I have permission to use.

“Michael - I think a lot of folks that are responsible for securing their health insurance would benefit from more emphasis on #7 on your list. My family has been with Cigna as our insurer and big Baylor in Dallas as our main provider for years. Now we are getting letters from Cigna telling us they will no longer be offering us the same plan in the coming year. We feel abandoned at this point. Both of these companies know us well. I would feel better if they would access some of their data and reach out to us proactively with options for us going forward that would allow us to maintain an ongoing relationship with both of them. Right now I feel like neither of them really want us as customers anymore.”

What doesn’t hospital and health system leadership get about engagement with healthcare consumers and patients?

I would like to think that this is an anomaly, but deep down inside this kind of story happens every day in the very corner of the nation.  All the while hospitals and health systems tell the consumer and patients how much they care about them. What significant awards for medical care from third parties bestowed upon them?  How great they are and you should come there for no valid reason other than we say so. 

You know the song sung every day in the meaningless provider marketing that takes place.

Healthcare leadership has failed to understand the changing healthcare marketplace, their role in that market, consumer needs and how to engage.  They believe their press clippings and advertisements. All the while cognitive dissonance is occurring with consumers and patient who know that the reality does meet the experience.

And you all know that I have been writing about our engagement and experience for years now. As a sample, the following posts on Healthcare Marketing Matters have received thousands of page views. You can always use the search function to find much, much more. But it’s clear; providers aren’t paying attention.

Is healthcare consumer/ patient engagement all of the time the new reality?

Is healthcare consumer or patient engagement the new sales?

Can healthcare providers become customer focused enterprises?

What is the healthcare consumer to do?

The healthcare consumer has a buyer’s market now, how will providers respond?

What does a customer focused hospital or healthcare enterprise look like?

The healthcare consumer lives in a multichannel environment; the response is?

Patient engagement or patient relationship, can you have one without the other?

Is social media the next level of patient engagement?

I am not going to dwell on the what and how to do of engagement, as that topic has been covered time and again.

I do chuckle as a primary health system that I have been going to for over 20 years has been boasting of a great CRM system for several years now.  The system hospital has ever engaged neither I nor any family members in any meaningful way. I know you, but you have no clue about me.  And I can choose to go elsewhere because you know why- providers are all the same.

Providers are failing the engagement test of healthcare consumers and patients. At what point does this finally sink in? 

When this happens, the last person out of the hospital, please turn the lights off.

That's why you engage all of the time. 

Michael is a healthcare marketing business, marketing, and communications strategist and thought leader.  As an internationally followed healthcare marketing strategy blogger, his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters receives over 20,000 page views a month and read in 52 countries.  He is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association and HubSpot Academy- Email Marketing, Inbound Marketing & Inbound Sales Certified. Post opinions are my own.

For more topics and thought leading discussions like this, join his group, Healthcare Marketing Leaders For Change, a LinkedIn Professional Group.

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