What Do Patients Want? 5 Things You’re Not Marketing (But Should Be)


Your hospital website already markets the Big Stuff to potential patients: your skilled surgeons, your latest technology, your impressive new operating suite.


But what else are your potential patients looking for in a hospital? Are you letting them know that in addition to finding high quality medical care, they can also find parking?


Here are 5 hidden services you should be placing front and center:

  • Parking: When I have to visit a hospital, I always think, “Will I be able to find parking?” Is it free? If not, how much does it cost? Do I need to get my ticket validated? Do whatever you can to alleviate the stress of hospital visits. It will go a long way to show that you are looking out for all aspects of their care, from the moment they arrive. Check out the detailed parking page of UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco (accessed easily under the “For Visitors” tab on their home page).
 
  • Electronic medical record (EMR): Fans of “Grey’s Anatomy” may have noticed this past season that the doctors were all walking around with tablets, allowing them to bring up a patient’s EMR, or electronic medical record. Let your patients know how they will benefit as well. Tell them how it will:

    • Make their medical care standardized, streamlined and efficient
    • Ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding their care
    • Reduce the risk of miscommunication and medical error 

But don’t forget to address patients’ potential privacy concerns. While touting the efficient, quality care the EMR helps you provide, make sure to:

    • Reassure your patients that their privacy is of utmost importance
    • Promote your hospital’s HIPAA compliance and assure potential patients that your hospital meets or exceeds strict privacy requirements
  • Health Classes: People often equate hospitals with sick people. But you know they are so much more than that—a hospital is also a place to help people maintain good health. Your hospital can support people in achieving their health goals, whether it’s quitting smoking, learning CPR or losing weight. Advertise your health classes, which may include:

    • CPR and first aid
    • Smoking cessation
    • Creating a balanced diet
    • Car seat safety
    • Preparing for a baby

At Emerson Hospital in Massachusetts, “Community Health Resources” takes you to a “Health and Wellness” section, with a link to all types of health classes. St. Thomas Health, in Tennessee, has a link directly off their homepage to this easy-to-read events/classes calendar, with an option to register online.

 

  • Patient Safety: Patients want to know that a hospital visit isn’t going to make them sick. Market your patient safety protocol. What steps do you take (and can your patients take) to prevent infection and maintain health? Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston lays out their Safe Care protocol in a calm, reassuring and competent manner, including the Five Rights of Safe Medication (right patient, right drug, right dose, right time and right route). UCLA Health in Los Angeles compiles detailed information and FAQs about patient safety and infection prevention.

  • Community Involvement: Today, a hospital is more than just a hospital. It serves the role of a community center. Let your local residents know that your hospital is a place they can turn to for all their health care needs. Maybe it’s your wellness clinic or a health screening. Perhaps you want to advertise your heart screenings or your health fairs. Promote your commitment not only to your patients, but to the community at large.

What sets your hospital apart? What services can patients find at your hospital? Marketing your robust health services lets patients know that you will not only treat their condition, but you will take care of all of their health care needs.

Want to read more about healthcare marketing? Check out:
Hospital Marketers: When to Use your Health Library