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N = Natalie: a visionary voice

A single voice can change healthcare—for herself, her family, and her community. In a blog last week, Ryan Donohue discussed how one patient’s loyalty—Nancy’s—impacted the perceptions of many to drive growth of a healthcare organization. This week, I tell Natalie’s story, how her voice changed the vision of an organization.


Know them first; know them best.
Natalie is 31 years old. She traveled with the Peace Corps after college and is now settling into her home and career in the city. She doesn’t have a primary care provider. City Health—a healthcare provider in Natalie’s market—knows the value of a new patient, if she remains loyal over the course of her lifetime, is over $1.4 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In order to build a relationship with Natalie, City Health has to meet her first—but how?

Through syndicated healthcare consumer research, City Health can tell that Natalie is more likely to:

  • Prefer email communication.
  • Prefer a female provider.
  • Prefer healthcare providers that engage with her on social media.
  • Fill out a health risk assessment (HRA).

To find patients like Natalie, City Health launches a targeted Facebook campaign with a call to action of a free HRA. Curious, Natalie completes the assessment and is told with her family history of breast cancer that she should consider making an appointment for a preventative exam.

In a follow-up email with Natalie’s full HRA results, City Health offers online scheduling for her preventative exam. Natalie takes them up on the offer and schedules her appointment.

Get a clear picture of the moment, in the moment.

Based on known demographic preferences and information Natalie entered into her patient portal, City Health is primed to set Natalie up for an exceptional experience. They book Natalie’s appointment with a highly rated female physician and they capture experience feedback in real-time, giving their staff the ability to receive and take action on patient feedback within hours of her visit.

During Natalie’s appointment, an irregularity is found in her results and needs to be taken to the lab for further testing. Natalie is terrified. While her provider does the best she can to be reassuring, Natalie still leaves the clinic feeling uneasy and she expresses that feedback in a survey emailed to her a few hours after her visit. She is flagged for physician follow-up with her test results.

Respond to feedback and improve.

Natalie’s physician calls her two days later when her test results are complete. She explains to Natalie that everything is fine. She takes the time to listen as Natalie shares the story of her mother’s breast cancer journey—how her mother was often scared and unsure. The physician shows empathy and ensures Natalie that she will be with her every step of the way. She works with Natalie to determine a path forward to help keep her healthy: regular check-ups and a free learning session on breast cancer prevention.

After the call, Natalie receives a short SMS survey asking if all her questions were answered. She says “yes,” and additionally provides “My physician made me feel so cared about. I feel like she is truly with me, beside me on my health journey.”

Share experiences for change.

Natalie’s feedback is published to City Health’s online doctor star ratings and reviews, which are not only monitored by the patient experience team, but by the marketing team as well. They are inspired by Natalie’s words and decide to test a new tagline: “With You, Beside You.” Natalie’s voice is overwhelmingly well received in testing and goes on to fuel City Health’s next marketing campaign for its cancer centers.

But consumers aren’t the only ones to connect with Natalie’s words—this is bigger. “With You, Beside You” becomes the heartbeat of City Health’s staff, driving true cultural change. This change propels a shift in the organization’s overall positioning strategy, providing a true north to guide all strategic decisions—all because one voice was heard.

Need to learn more about the importance of loyalty in healthcare? Find insight here

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