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

red carpet Hospital 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.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.

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