MARKETING’S ROLE IN HOSPITAL REPUTATION MANAGEMENT

Think about the power of your hospital’s reputation. It is a critical reason why people come to work for you and want to partner with you. It’s also the reason people choose to come to you for care and not your competitors. In a Google survey,  94 percent of prospective patients ranked hospital reputation as more important than acceptance of their healthcare plan or a doctor recommendation.

A hospital’s reputation impacts brand loyalty and has a big impact on the bottom line. A 10 percent increase in customer loyalty could generate more than $22 million in revenue for the average hospital, according to the 2016 Advisory Board Company report.

Because your hospital’s good reputation is hard-earned, it should be expertly managed. Your marketing department’s proactive management, protection and enhancement of your organization’s reputation is vital to your hospital’s success.

Understand Your Hospital’s Reputation.

Do you know – really know – how your stakeholders perceive your hospital? We’re not talking about brand. Brand is what your organization stands for and what differentiates you from others. Reputation is your track record and what gives you legitimacy in the marketplace. Surveying your community as well as your physicians, employees and vendors will give you a good, honest look at how you are perceived.

To further understand your reputation, spend time doing some social listening. Check out how your physicians are rated by consumers on ZocDoc and Healthgrades. Look into how your patients rate your hospital on sites like Hospital Compare and Yelp. Read the comments and ratings by employees on sites like Glass Door. You’ll begin to get a clear picture of how your hospital is perceived by the various constituencies you serve.

Once you understand what people think about your hospital, you will better understand your strengths, how the marketplace differentiates you from your competitors and what areas you need to improve. That valuable data will help you formulate an effective reputation management plan.

Content Marketing Tips To Protect Your Reputation.

A strong reputation creates a bond of trust with all those who are important to you: your patients, employees, communities, partners and vendors. Your marketing efforts should include activities that protect and enhance your reputation. Here’s how:

Tell your story. Be sure your marketing efforts include a consistent plan to tell your story to internal and external stakeholders. That means having others tell about your successes. Did you receive a great comment from a patient? Share their testimonial. Did you win an award? Produce a short video with employees talking about why that makes them proud. Has a new specialist joined your staff? Publish a Q&A that gives insight from the physician about how more people will receive advanced care. These are all great ways to create emotional connection and protect your reputation.

Participate in conversations: Schedule regular visits to online communities that are relevant to healthcare. Don’t join to promote your hospital. Instead, listen and then comment only when you can provide insight. This will help establish your hospital as an authority and thought leader and strengthen your hospital’s reputation.

Stay socially vigilant: Controversial posts and negative online reviews will happen. Dealing with them quickly and appropriately is the best way to protect your hospital’s reputation. Have one person or a small group of people responsible for monitoring the internet and social media outlets to look for mentions about your hospital. Make it a point to respond to all comments. Show your appreciation for those who share positive experiences. For negative comments, respond affirmatively and let the reviewer or commenter know you understand their feelings. Then, if there is an issue to fix, take the conversation offline to do so.

Consistent Effort Required.

Hospital reputation management is not a once-and-done exercise nor is it something to be managed intermittently. It requires tight governance and connectivity across your entire organization. By leveraging meaningful engagement across channels, well thought-out messaging and coordinated response to potential threats, you can effectively manage and enhance your hospital’s reputation.

Need help with content that can support and protect your hospital’s reputation? Call or email CrucialContent.

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