Healthcare News & Insights

Build your brand: Keep patients loyal to your hospital

You may not always think of your hospital or health system as a brand, but to make sure your facility continues to attract new patients, it’s important to consider the messages you’re sending and what people think when they hear your hospital’s name. 

NRC Health recently released its list of winners of the Consumer Loyalty Award. The list shows a growing commitment toward branding and loyalty among healthcare organizations – but there’s still room for improvement.

Making a good impression on patients when they first visit your hospital is key. However, it’s also important to plan out your strategy before a patient even steps foot into your hospital.

Maintaining a positive reputation in your community is a good start, but you want to go beyond the basics.

Current brand, future goals

Figuring out what your brand is right now and what you want it to be in the future is the first step to building it up and keeping patients coming back.

Look at what your hospital does well, and focus your branding strategy around your strengths. For example, if your organization always has the newest technology, emphasize the cutting-edge care patients will receive.

Remember: As healthcare costs continue to increase, patients are often looking for the cheapest way to get the services they need. If you want them to stay with your hospital through thick and thin, you need to cater to their needs and cultivate a satisfying brand.

Take hints from non-healthcare companies with strong brands, like Apple and Google. People know exactly what they’re getting with those companies, which has allowed them to be successful and keep consumers engaged.

Patient engagement

You want patients to be engaged with your hospital, and making them feel valued is an essential part of building your brand. If a patient complains or asks for something, address it right away. Timely treatment and taking all complaints seriously can go a long way toward helping patients feel like their voices are being heard.

Encourage a culture of understanding and empathy among all staff members, not just providers. Patients should feel welcomed into your facility, or they’ll get their needs met somewhere else. Emphasize honesty and transparency among providers and employees.

Ask patients what they want from your organization, and take their suggestions into account. If you’re located in a larger city, there’s plenty of other hospitals for patients to choose from. Show them why they should pick you, and keep picking you.

Patient loyalty isn’t a given – it has to be earned. And earning it once doesn’t mean you’ll keep it forever. Devote significant time and energy to your brand, and be willing to adapt to ensure patients want to come back.

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