Let’s discuss how to leverage digital content to set realistic patient expectations before they first visit your hospital.
In an increasingly consumer-controlled health care environment, your hospital’s revenue stream is largely dependent upon your ability to provide a positive patient experience. Improving that experience ultimately helps improve patient retention, peer referrals, and your brand, all of which directly impact your ability to attract new patients and increase revenue.
Unfortunately, balancing expectations with the actual patient experience can be a serious challenge. Regardless of whether or not a given patient’s experience at your facility is, in fact, negative, if they come in expecting one kind of experience only to receive another, they may react negatively.
For this reason, hospitals should be proactive about managing the expectations of their prospective patient base. Luckily, in the age of online healthcare research and comparison shopping, this is a relatively easy problem to overcome. Through effective digital marketing, hospitals can deliver authentic, informative, and personalized information to highly targeted audiences in order to set realistic expectations and influence decision-making. Here’s how.
Build an Informative Website
Think of your hospital’s website as the ultimate online informational resource for your prospective and existing patients. By answering frequently asked questions, explaining procedures and treatments, and providing some background on your practicing physicians and surgeons, you’ll provide visitors with the information they need to see you as a trustworthy provider, and to form realistic expectations for their visit — just make sure you keep the language and descriptions as patient-friendly as possible.
Use Video Content to Your Advantage
Video is the perfect medium for managing patient expectations. Whether it’s a tour of your facility, interviews with staff members, or patient testimonials, video will keep your audience engaged, it’s highly shareable, and it provides patients with deeper insights into your hospital’s culture and operations.
For more ideas on how to leverage video content to improve your digital marketing outcomes, I recommend checking out another one of my articles, “Creative Ways Hospitals Can Use Video to Build a Sense of Community.”
It’s All About Social Media
By now, it’s probably safe to assume that nearly every hospital is active on social media; however, considering its ubiquitous presence in consumers’ day-to-day lives, it’s also probably safe to assume that they could be doing more to capitalize upon it — especially when it comes to setting realistic patient expectations.
Your hospital’s social media pages can serve as an invaluable resource for those patients looking for first-hand information about your hospital’s facilities, policies, and practitioners. Even more importantly, platforms like Facebook and Twitter serve as a forum where existing and prospective patients can exchange information and advice, as well as talk about their experiences at your hospital.
At the end of the day, ensuring your hospital’s patients arrive with realistic expectations will dramatically improve the likelihood that they’ll come away having had a positive experience. In turn, you’ll see a corresponding spike in patient retention, peer referrals, and ultimately, your revenue stream.