Patients or Consumers?

With the increase of hospitals and healthcare providers in urban India, patients demand safe, latest and high quality treatments. The percentages of such patients are increasing at a rapid pace on monthly basis especially in tertiary care. In past few months, several cases are highlighted by media where patients have voiced their concern about the quality and the inflated cost of treatments in big hospitals. The issues faced by patients during discharge from hospitals and issues related to billings are common sights in various hospitals. All such scenarios are not due to the negligence on the part of doctors and can be easily avoided.

In order to increase patient loyalty and satisfaction, they should be provided transparency in healthcare processes and treatments performed on them. By addressing the anxiety and queries of patients at first instance, the patients can be calmed at a critical moment. Most importantly, this approach can build the patient loyalty and trust towards the hospital administration, processes, treatments and the quality of services.

Healthcare is an industry where Trust, Treatment & Technology matters and the recommendations/referrals play a big role in directing the patients to any hospital. The parameters to achieve high patient engagement and loyalty, are a)to focus on patient priorities; b) connect patients with the right doctors on the basis of their conditions, treatments required, past history. Patients are keen to get the transparent care and get treated by the best doctors. There are ample amounts of online and offline information where patients can get the details about doctors, treatments, procedures and make informed decisions for safe and effective treatments. With today’s digital world, it is important to engage the patient digitally and try to win the trust of the patient on their first experience. The need of the hour is to understand the mindset of the patients and work towards the better handling of patients’ anxieties.

The future processes of healthcare industry shall have significant impact due to the rise of the empowered healthcare consumers. Having said this, the inaccurate and obsolete information on digital world might do more harm than any help. The problem shall pose cascading effect when your digital presence/information available on the internet is not accurate and is controlled by some third party organisation (as directory service).

Will it make a difference if a patient gets the information from doctor owned/controlled portals rather than these third party directory services? Indeed, there are patients who would trust these doctors’ portals instead of 20 different third party organisations displaying doctors’ information on the internet.

This change in patient(consumer) behavior may have an effect on how medical marketing strategies should be designed. Look forward for more articles in the chain.

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Originally published at on October 12, 2016.