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Hospital Consumer Awareness: Room for Improvement

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Know Hospitalby Janet Bowden, Healthcare Success Senior Account Executive

How well do consumers “know” their local hospitals? According to a national survey, you could label the awareness score as “generally good.” But over the last 10 years—in spite of the influence of the Internet and aggressive marketing efforts—the data continues to hover on a plateau.

Each year, Professional Research Consultants (better known as PRC) conducts a national survey of 1,000 household decision-makers to better understand their behaviors, utilization, and perceptions of healthcare. One of the things we like about PRC is that they can provide a long-view perspective on things.

A case in point is from the PRC National Consumer Study—Comparative Look at US Consumers: Perceptions and Utilization of Healthcare.

Source: PRC

Source: PRC

In the decade between 2002 and 2012, awareness of the local hospital with the best quality care is almost unchanged. In 2002, survey responses put the number at 67.4 percent, compared with 67.1 percent in 2012.

Additional marketing gems and insights are available in the full report. For example…

  • Preferred hospitals get recommendations: Positive hospital perceptions get passed along to others. The percentage of consumer who recommended their preferred hospital to others is about three out of four (74.5 percent). What’s more, a popular source of information on local doctors and hospitals is, not surprisingly, “Friends/Relatives.”
  • Location, Location, Location: Most Important Factors in Choosing a Recently Used Hospital:

     Most convenient location: 24.2%

     Doctor recommended: 19%

     Quality of care: 10%

     Excellent Past Experience: 7.5%

     Health Insurance Benefits: 7.1%

  • Consumers and Internet Healthcare Information and Services

Have used the Internet to obtain healthcare info: 51.4

Have used the Internet to find doctors: 24.4%

Impacted by comments on blogs/social media: 15.6%

Have used the Internet to register for healthcare services: 10.6%

PRC makes their report findings available online: Comparative Look at US Consumers: Perceptions and Utilization of Healthcare. And for more, see our previous posts: Unlocking the Fort Knox of Marketing Data, and 23: Number of Useful Internet Marketing Stats in This Healthcare Post.

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Senior Account Executive Janet Bowden has over 25 years experience in healthcare marketing, advertising and business development. She has managed the marketing for acute care hospitals, a psychiatric facility, and a large gastroenterology practice, along with other specialty and primary care physician practices.

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