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NRC Health names Consumer Loyalty award winners at 27th annual Symposium

NRC Health, the leading provider of in-depth customer insights in healthcare, today announced the winners of its fourth-annual NRC Health Consumer Loyalty Awards during the first day of the 27th Annual NRC Health Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee. In tandem with the event, the company also released its 2021 NRC Health Mid-Year Consumer Trends Report, which highlights the continued shifts in consumer sentiment around pandemic-induced healthcare trends, like increased care deferment, rapid telehealth adoption and COVID-19 vaccinations.

“Even during the difficult times over the last year, the 2021 Consumer Loyalty Award winners have all shown remarkable resiliency while continuing to prioritize the consumer experience,” said Helen Hrdy, Chief Growth Officer at NRC Health. “It’s humbling to see how the NRC Health mission of Human Understanding is reflected in the good work of each of these organizations, and we applaud their efforts and ongoing commitment to delivering the very best in human-centric care.”

More than 60 percent of the hospitals recognized in this year’s top 100 made the 2020 ranking, including three returning “best-in-class” honorees: University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa; Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina; and Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Of the top 100 list, nearly 40 percent are from the east coast, which had several areas hit hard during the peak of the pandemic.

The NRC Health Consumer Loyalty Awards are the only loyalty-based hospital rankings recognizing the top U.S. healthcare facilities driving loyalty among their patient populations. This year’s list of winning organizations was identified by a nationally syndicated survey* of more than 300,000 American consumers. The top 100 beat out more than 500 other healthcare organizations, ranking in the top 75th percentile across the seven components of NRC Health’s Loyalty Index: access, brand score, engagement, need, motivation, experience and Net Promoter Score (NPS). Armed with these metrics, healthcare organizations can analyze performance against similar organizations, identify trends and revise plans as needed to further prioritize and increase consumer loyalty moving forward.

Loyalty Remains a Driving Force in Healthcare

As the country rounds the corner on the pandemic, and vaccination rates continue to increase, the need to rebuild consumer loyalty has never been more important for hospitals and health systems. Based on millions of data points from the same nationally syndicated survey of consumer households, the NRC Health Mid-Year Consumer Trends Report checks in on some of the key concerns for healthcare leaders in an evolving consumerist healthcare market.

Key findings include:

  • Healthcare consumers are slowly resuming previously delayed services – 28% of consumers delayed care within the first half of 2021, down from a peak care deferment rate of 33% in Q3 2020.
  • Consumers still like telehealth and will keep using it – The COVID-19 pandemic set a new precedent for care delivery in the United States, with the demand for virtual care now starting to outpace in-person care in specialty areas like cardiology, surgery and pediatrics. Even as the pandemic wanes, more consumers plan to keep using telehealth. Last year, 7% of consumers said they were excited to keep using virtual care technologies, but after the first half of 2021, that number is already up to 66.8%.
  • Uncertainty around the COVID-19 vaccine is declining – Concerns are down across the board. The amount of vaccinated people along with the people who are starting to see that many of their concerns are no longer valid, has driven the overall percentage of consumers who still have concerns down. Even just from March to April 2021, the number of people who said they will never get the COVID-19 vaccine decreased 3.1% to 13.6%.
  • Vaccination clinics are an opportunity to impress patients – An increasingly impactful way for hospitals and health systems to build loyalty with healthcare consumers in the current landscape is to wow them with the vaccination experience. Over 90% of patients surveyed reported a positive encounter after feeling like their questions were answered by staff, including understanding what to do after leaving the clinic as well as possible side effects from getting the vaccine.

Download the NRC Health Mid-Year Consumer Trends Report here, and for the full list of 2021 Consumer Loyalty Award winners, visit the NRC Health website here.

*NRC Health’s Market Insights survey is weighted to account for age, income, population, presence of children in the household, marital status and ethnicity to ensure an accurate demographic distribution.