Aligning CMOs and Patient Access to Attract and Retain Patients – and Grow Revenue

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By Jamie Gier, Chief Marketing Officer, SCI Solutions

jgA recent article on health system marketing spend in the U.S. cited a 2009 survey by the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and stated that “the average marketing budget for an American hospital ranged from $1.3 million for an independent hospital to about $5.8 million for a big health system.” What is remarkable about this is that after activating clever marketing strategies to attract new patients, many hospitals lose them due to bad customer service. What’s worse is that some patients don’t even make it to this point – they experience barriers to entering the health system during the patient access process, making the money that was spent up to that point a complete waste.

As I thought about my own 2015 marketing budget, I contemplated the ways that I could best allocate my dollars – but maybe more importantly, give our customers a good experience that perpetuates their loyalty to our company. This area is something I believe many health systems must better navigate, particularly in this new era wherein they are losing revenue to declining inpatient volumes and need to not only better attract patients and partners, but also retain these people, too – in order to bolster the economic health of their business.

I recently wrote an article touching on this topic in Becker’s Hospital Review, outlining the ways in which Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and the patient access departments of health systems must align efforts more closely, making marketing dollars work harder and last longer, to actually bring patients into the system. The article also explores how these considerable investments are thrown away when health systems don’t make it easy for patients and other stakeholders to do business with them – or get premium value for what they purchase. The article explores the ways health systems can extend collaboration to drive ROI – and also apply new technologies, tools and strategies to close the patient access gap, improving overall satisfaction for patients and bolstering revenue for health systems. For a fraction of what CMOs spend monthly to attract patients, hospitals can implement these new practices in order to help them admit new patients, and keep them loyal to their network.

6 Comments

  1. Kevin Cable
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    Great article. It makes me think that the smart Hospital will hire a Nordstrom veteran and infuse those customer service genetics into the team. Time to start running Hospitals for what they are: services businesses.

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  2. scisolutions
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    Thanks Kevin for taking the time to comment. And I agree that hospitals really need to take a look at how they operate in order to drive higher service levels. You just gave me a new blog idea!

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  3. Why SCI Solutions Acquired Clarity Health | Parley
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    […] technology integration agreement the companies executed in 2014. We are confident that our long, successful track record in patient access with market-leading solutions for patient scheduling and orders management, coupled with […]

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  4. Celebrating Health Care’s Unsung Heroes: Patient Access Professionals | Parley
    Permalink

    […] At SCI, we believe that patient access professionals play a valuable role in the care ecosystem, and we are deeply committed to celebrating the community. Patient access professionals are the first point of contact that most patients have with the health system – and this critical interaction sets the tone for the relationship. Regarded by many as the unsung heroes of health care, these professionals help patients feel welcomed and cared for by making it easy for them to do business with your organization. Their importance to both patients’ health as well as the health of the system can’t be overstate…. […]

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