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Competition and consumerism in healthcare: What makes consumers change healthcare

Why do consumers change their healthcare providers? NRC explored more than 30 features and benefits with consumers to see what would make them switch hospitals or health systems OR what they would pay more for. This rise of healthcare consumerism is only set to grow in 2017 and beyond, making it more important than ever to provide an excellent patient experience.

The #1 reason patients switch health providers? Not being well informed. 

The traditional, in-person patient experience is still the largest source of revenue for most healthcare organizations. As such, it’s important that patients have a positive experience that will drive consumer loyalty, encouraging them to choose an organization again for future healthcare needs.

To provide a positive patient experience, you need to know what matters most to them.

1. Information economy

Communication is critical and goes a long way in building and maintaining patient trust and engagement. The number one reason consumers would switch brands or pay more is to be kept informed before, during, and after a visit.

It seems basic, but it’s something you need to keep your finger on—ensuring patients are receiving the information they want and need is the best way to encourage them to choose your organization for their future needs.

2. The basic package

After being kept informed, consumers said they would switch for two key experience-related reasons: being on time for scheduled visits and positive interactions with the information desk or reception staff. Patients expect these things—if you’re not providing them, they may start to look elsewhere. Be sure to keep these things top-of-mind with staff so everyone does their part to deliver.

3. That special touch

Finally, consumers cited amenities such as modern room and waiting area accommodations, on-campus prescription pickups, online access to medical records, the ability to see price ranges before their visit, and restaurant-like food service as other reasons to consider switching providers.

If you’re already delivering a solid experience in other areas, it may be time to look into improving the amenities your organization can provide. The “extras” go a long way with consumers.

How do you keep consumers loyal?
Watch our webinar, Value Sustained: Why Loyalty is Our Most Important Metric of Consumer Success. See firsthand how we’re channeling our data-fueled insights to help organizations across the continuum navigate the rapidly shifting landscape of healthcare consumerism.

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