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Patient Satisfaction: It Is Not Just About Marketing

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer
howard j luks md

Howard Luks MD

Patient satisfaction in medicine and healthcare can be a significant marketing driver for physicians’ offices and hospitals.  But is that where it ends?  As a marketing technique?  Nope!

The implications of a satisfied patient are far more wide reaching in medicine and healthcare.  

Fantastic business marketers understand all too well that customer satisfaction or the customer “experience” is the key to driving sales.  They focus on every aspect of the consumer experience from the moment they walk into a store, arena, or concession area.  Everything, and I mean everything, is geared to excite you and motivate you to buy more.  The colors, the lighting, the ambiance, the smell, the way everything is placed to catch your eye…it’s a multi-billion dollar industry.

What if physicians utilized patient satisfaction and the same principles these marketing leaders use to:

  • Improve trust and confidence in their provider
  • Humanize their presence
  • Clear the windshield of doubt—hat tip to @seattlemamadoc for the phrase.  
  • Improve the effectiveness of care delivery
  • Improve the quality of care offered
  • Improve patient compliance
  • Reinforce healthy behavioral modifications
  • Improve medical decision-making
  • Make the patient part of the care team… and feel that their values, goals, desires and expectations are being addressed or taken into account.

Patient satisfaction can be broken down simply into two main issues… expectations and perceptions. Patients enter your office with a perception of the care or interaction they desire. They then decide if you met those expectations.  It’s hard to address their expectations…it’s not hard to address their perception—and a little effort can go can have a profound impact!

Social media and healthcare can go a long way to improving your understanding of what patients expect…and what other physicians are offering.  The End of the Diva Paradox is upon us.  It’s no longer acceptable to treat patients poorly because you feel you are the king of your catchment area.

Not only will social media enable patients to share their poor experiences with their networks… and your future patients, but you have lost the opportunity to truly have an impact on a patient’s life!  You have lost the chance to set that patient on the proper path—to empower them to help themselves make proper (healthy) decisions that take into account their personal values, ambitions and goals.

What a shame.

# # #

This guest post is published with permission of author Howard J. Luks, MD, Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon with offices in Westchester and Dutchess Counties, New York, Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at New York Medical College, and Chief of Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy at University Orthopedics and Westchester Medical Center. Dr. Luks is on Twitter @hjluks, and Facebook.


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