We recently checked out the reviews posted on Google of a typical community hospital. It wasn’t pretty. The hospital had a rating of 1.9 out of 5 stars. Yelp, another influential source of online reviews, was even worse: 1.8 out of 5 stars
Just think about the consequences. Suppose you’re someone deciding which hospital to use for an elective surgery. In just two or three seconds you type the name of this hospital into a search bar and—immediately, right there in public view, is the information you need to make a more informed decision. In this case, there are probably just too many red flags to consider going there.
And it’s not just patient reviews that are available to anyone with Internet access. Low HCAHPS scores are also online.
So what does all this mean?
The patient experience is now king. The care your hospital provides today is creating the reputation it will have to live with, good or bad, for many tomorrows. And when that community perception is negative, it drives outmigration.
So what can hospitals do? Well, just saying you’re going to do a better job with patient care isn’t enough. Creating some program of accountability, having someone who serves in the capacity of what some hospitals call a Chief Experience Officer, is critical. But for too many hospitals, improving the patient experience remains nobody’s responsibility. And, as a result, nothing changes.
In addition to working on the problem internally, hospitals also need to repair the negative community perception that may have been created by social media. That’s where Brentwood Communications can help. To learn more about how your hospital can create a new positive image in your community, call us at 615-425-0821 and ask to see some of our case studies.
Next blog: The 3 keys to improving patient care in your hospital.