Patient & Customer Centricity is Culture Driven, Not Program Driven

I have worked for enough hospitals, health systems, and vendors in leadership positions to live
through the declarations of customer and patient centricity. It’s more than
hiring new talent. It’s more than just catching up and using technology more
efficiently.  It is a whole lot more than
declaring it’s all about the customer.
Customer centricity doesn’t happen overnight, especially in
healthcare enterprises that have had an internal instead of external focus. It
isn’t driven by technology, though that is a tactic and solution. It’s not just
a one and done training program. It’s not a line in the business or strategic
plan.
It starts and ends with the culture and focus of the organization.
An organization can not treat patients or the healthcare
consumer as a customer, nor be successful in the endeavor, if the very soul of
the healthcare enterprise leadership, focus and culture are not devoted to the customer.
It’s all about the healthcare consumer or patient. The only
thing that matters is meeting the needs of the patient or healthcare
consumer.  It’s not about the hospital or
health system in many ways.  Focusing on
and meeting the needs of the customer is the single most important trait and a hallmark of successful companies. One patient
to the hospital. One hospital to the patient. You’re all smart and can go
figure out what I mean.
The singular focus on meeting the health care needs of the
healthcare consumer or patient, or shopper for that matter, brings growth and
revenue. Period.
Are you ready to make that transformation? And I ask that
question because in health care nothing
is ever new. I can remember from the 1990s when hospitals and health systems
were throwing the words “patient as customers” around like they were M&Ms.
So here we are, and it’s 2018, still talking about customer
centricity around the healthcare consumer or patient. These times the words are engagement and experience. Hospital marketing
neither reflects the experience nor engages
in any meaningful way.
The healthcare enterprise can talk all it wants about
treating patients as consumers. But unless it starts with the cultural
transformation and a singular focus on meeting the needs of the healthcare
consumer or patient, otherwise all the technology, new hires, new clinical
programs and delivery of care, is just another expensive undertaking that is
nothing more than me too compared to the other healthcare providers in the
market.
The more things change, the more they stay the same I guess.
A note to my readers.
You may have noticed that haven’t been posting as frequently as before. After
11 years of writing Healthcare Marketing Matters, the weekly research and topic
selection becomes a bit of a chore. While there has been much progress in hospitals
and marketing, it remains mired in a features approach looking at us and little content that fosters true engagement with
the patient and healthcare consumer. I guess I am just tired of beating a dead
horse. The other reason is semi-retirement. Having a deep background in healthcare,
I will be the hospitals worst nightmare patient.  Not from unreasonable demands, but from understanding
healthcare delivery and my expectations of experience and engagement for an
informed healthcare consumer standpoint. Get ready folks because I hate using a
hospital for things that be done in a higher quality, more cost-effective and
convenient setting than the hospital or hospital-based outpatient services. I
only need the hospital for three things, emergency care, care for acute complex medical conditions
and intensive care.

Michael is a
healthcare business, marketing, communications strategist and
thought-leader.  As an internationally followed healthcare strategy
blogger, his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters is read in  52 countries
and listed on the 
100 Top Healthcare
Marketing Blogs, and Websites
 ranked
at No. 3 on the list by Feedspot.com. Michael is a Life Fellow, American
College of Healthcare Executives, and a Professional Certified Marketer,
American Marketing Association. An expert
in healthcare marketing strategy, digital marketing & social media, Michael
is in the top 10 percent of social media experts nationwide and is considered
an established influencer. For inquiries regarding strategic consulting
engagements, call Michael at 815-351-0671. Opinions expressed are my
own.

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