The Patient/Treatment Cycle

Anne Moss Rogers
Marketing Health Services
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Key Takeaways
  • Educating the patient is the No. 1 most valuable resource you have to change outcomes.

  • Delivering information and setting expectations is an enormous opportunity in how patients view their outcomes and proceed through the process.

  • Not engaging on social media makes you look outdated—a reputation most health care organizations would like to avoid.
​​​​​​How four marketing touch points can help improve patient outcomes 

Educating the patient is the No. 1 most valuable resource you have to change outcomes. Nothing is more stressful for patients than flying blind with no roadmap or any hint of expectations regarding their own health. Anxiety neither improves coping skills nor strengthens the immune system. It does just the opposite. When patients are kept in the dark, stress rises and they can’t be partners in their own success stories.

Delivering information and setting expectations is an enormous opportunity in how patients view their outcomes and proceed through the process. Engaged patients simply have better outcomes. Patients who know what to expect tend to be less disgruntled and dissatisfied, and rant less online and in the office. Your marketing department can help make your happy patients ambassadors of your health care brand.

Unfortunately, in most cases, information is delivered on an “as needed” basis, which causes enormous stress to patients. And worse, the information is often generic, which makes patients feel that you are out of touch with what’s going on with them as an individual and also undermines your credibility. How can marketers empower the patient in this equation? Follow the patient/treatment cycle, which involves four stages of opportunity to improve patient outcomes:

1. Pre-appointment: Prospective patients might be searching the Web and researching online, which a majority do when it comes to health care. Are you providing information that patients want, including conditions, procedures and protocol? Are there clear directions on simple things, such as parking instructions and where to go for a procedure?

By putting educational information out there and sharing it on social media, your information is most likely to be found, particularly by the local searchers in your market. The more valuable information that you share with patients, the more comfortable patients are with your practice, clinic or hospital. Patients do not want to go to the doctor or be in the hospital. It’s up to you to dispel their fears and exceed their expectations.

The following article is available exclusively to Members and Marketing Health Services Subscribers.

     

Author Bio:

Anne Moss Rogers
Anne Moss Rogers is co-founder and creative director of Richmond, Va.-based Impression Marketing. Connect with her on Twitter: @ImpressionM.

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