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Five-Star Differentiation: Nonclinical Experience Twice as Important as Clinical Reputation in Patient Choice of Hospital

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

red carpetHospital marketing is increasingly using hospitality to differentiate their brand.

News reports say hospitals are looking more like luxury hotels. And we’ve posted articles about facilities throughout the nation that have linked their hospital marketing, advertising and public relations messages to exceptional “patient experience.”

These nonclinical patient benefits include spa-like women’s centers, family-friendly patient rooms, massage therapy, hotel-like room service, free Wi-Fi, concierge assistance, valet parking and more. “In crowded hospital markets, especially in areas populated by well-insured patients, such [patient] amenities play an increasing role in the competition for market share,” the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reported last week.

It’s a growing marketing approach of increasing importance. Significantly, the NEJM study found that: “Patients themselves said that the nonclinical experience is twice as important as the clinical reputation in making hospital choices.”

The Emerging Importance of Patient Amenities in Hospital Care speculates about why amenities matter so much. “Perhaps patients simply don’t understand clinical quality. Data on clinical quality are complex, multidimensional, and noisy, and they have only recently become systematically available to consumers. Consumers may be making choices on the basis of amenities because they are easier to understand.”

Differentiation is a fundamental marketing concept and experience-based differentiation is an effective means to achieve a competitive advantage in hospital marketing and advertising. Read more about successful branding strategies in healthcare, medical and hospital marketing on our website.

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