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Are you bringing the Voice of the Consumer into your decision-making?

Heather Lannin, Manager, Customer Research, NRC Health


Community Insights brings healthcare closer to the customer

Every day, more healthcare organizations are prioritizing the goal of bringing the Voice of the Consumer to the forefront of their decision-making process. Understanding what patients need from their healthcare experiences can allow organizations to create meaningful relationships with patients that translate into patient loyalty. However, efficiently and effectively reaching patients can be a challenge. NRC Health Community Insights offers a solution, building virtual communities of patients who are eager to provide feedback and suggestions to healthcare organizations.

Community Insights asks patients with recent experiences at a given hospital to opt-in to a feedback community. This online community then receives short email surveys that help influence decision-making and change at the healthcare organization. Not only does this help patients feel that their opinions are heard, but it also offers another touchpoint for healthcare organizations, without requiring the expenditure of further time and resources on their part.

The Community Insights solution is recommended for use by all parts of a healthcare organization, and not simply those that pertain directly to the patient experience. Invaluable information is, of course, learned about patient experience through these point-in-time surveys, but other areas can benefit just as much from honest patient insight. Marketing objectives and priorities can be addressed; service-line selection and pain points can be studied; feedback can be collected about planned products or service lines; even human-resources objectives can be addressed. If a research objective requires niche market feedback, the community can be segmented to ensure that patients only receive those surveys that are most relevant to their lives (maternity-focused surveys for female patients in the younger demographic, for example, or pediatric-focused surveys for those with children in the household).

With Community Insights, healthcare organizations can learn all this and more from their patients, all within reasonable timelines not typically associated with consumer research. NRC Health can turn around meaningful data in as little as three weeks, managing the community entirely via a team of survey-design experts (and thus alleviating the need for extra work within the healthcare organization). These experts invite patients to participate, provide survey development and management, compile survey results and data, and present that data back to the organization in a digestible and actionable format.

Best of all, utilizing Community Insights alongside other NRC Health products is a seamless process. In fact, Elizabeth Clegg, MetroHealth System’s Senior Market Research Associate in Market Intelligence and Planning, feels that NRC Health as a whole has functioned as an extension to the organization’s research team. “Having experts in the field to bounce ideas off of, and having a better product, you have an extension of your team—you have a trusted resource,” she says. “Even though NRC Health is not within our four walls, it is extremely valuable to have them on the MetroHealth team.”

One unique aspect of NRC Health Community Insights is its ability to provide patients with regular communication about how a healthcare organization has understood their feedback, and enacted change on its basis. In addition to conducting regular patient surveys, the NRC Health team recommends sending periodic newsletters to online communities, informing patients of the processes their voices have impacted. This gives patients a way to see that their voices are truly heard, and to be even more directly and positively impacted by the healthcare organization’s brand and efforts.

NRC Health Community Insights can uniquely position a healthcare organization to receive relevant, point-in-time feedback from patients who are ready and willing to share their opinions. This research tool allows an organization to ensure that its care is tailored to market needs, to truly hear and understand its consumers’ voices, and to involve its patients directly in organizational decision-making.

To learn more about Community Insights, please visit us here or check out the MetroHealth case study to see how that organization’s leaders are successfully utilizing Community Insights within their operations.