In 2018, a study asked nearly 2,000 hospital patients to offer information about their experiences. One of the things that was measured was the Net Promoter Score (NPS), while another was the current emotional state of the patient. It might seem strange to think that a patient’s emotional state has an effect on their hospital’s NPS, but it turns out they’re definitely correlated.
Author: Gert Volmer
When looking at the information provided by these hospital patients, 46% were promoters and 30% were detractors, which leads to an average NPS score of 16. When presented with an NPS question (“On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend Hospital X to friends and family?”) promoters are those patients who respond with a 9 or a 10. Detractors are those who choose a score between 0 and 6 and who are least likely to bring in additional patients. (Those who choose 7 or 8 are known as Passives.)
How Emotions and Gender Effect Net Promoter Score
In this survey, a number of interesting things came out. First, promoters were most likely to mark themselves as “relieved” when speaking about their most recent visit to the hospital. On top of that, the highest NPS scores came from patients who felt confident after leaving the hospital. Those who felt disappointed were the most likely to offer a lower NPS score.
When looking at the information by age group, there were other interesting things that could be gleaned from the data. It turns out that those who are 18 to 24 years of age are least likely to feel confident, while 55 to 64-year-old patients were the most likely to feel confident. Those over 64 were the least likely to be disappointed after a hospital visit while those between 55 and 64 were most likely to be disappointed when all was said and done.
Ways to Create a More Confident Patient Base
When patients are confident in you and your services, that can affect their recovery, mindset — and your NPS scores. The good news is that there are numerous ways to gain the confidence of these patients and then keep it that way. While data like quality rankings matter, so do other things that aren’t as easily analyzed. Below are a few ways to offer confidence to your patients.
Use a Single Branded Voice
People are more likely to trust a person than they are to trust a brand, even if that brand has an amazing marketing message. However, your brand is more than just what you put in ads and brochures. It also relates to how you feel, look, sound, and act. Everything done by anyone in your hospital is a part of your brand, including interaction with patients.
That means that anyone who is in your office or hospital should be trained to offer assistance and build relationships in a way that is consistent for your brand. That doesn’t mean each person has to read from a script, it just means having the same attitude and using the same language is important.
Provide Information Patients Need
In the modern world, many patients will take to a search engine before they ever make a doctor’s appointment. It’s easy to find information about medications, treatments, costs, and illnesses by searching Google. However, patients also trust medical professionals so it might be well worth it to provide this type of information on your own website.
Be upfront and offer all the information a patient could need. You can use an online presence to offer reliable and timely communication to patients and potential patients. When you offer up-to-date and accurate information, you can gain a patient’s trust before they ever come through your doors.
Address Concerns That Patients May Have
Heading to the doctor’s office for an appointment or going to a hospital can be scary and stressful for many people. Patients often stress about the possibility of bad news, of being treated poorly, or of other adverse things occurring. Once these concerns take root, it can be hard to get rid of them. Even a routine procedure can become a source of stress.
When marketing yourself, you can offer information to help reduce anxiety and fear. Your patients will begin to see your healthcare facility as a place that is caring, safe, and dependable when needed. Alleviating common fears can have a huge effect on the confidence of your patients and their trust in you.
Build a Seamless Care Experience
Your organization shouldn’t be a place where it takes forever for patients to understand how things work or where to access the information they need. Patients want to find care, and they want you to make it easy for them to do so. There are lots of steps in the process but communicating well is the best place to start. Being proactive and providing direction is a necessity.
When you have easy-to-use resources and tools available to show the patient where to go next, it is more likely they will stick around and seek care from you again and again. Being informative and transparent is a big part of that. Patients who know they are coming to the right office to see the right people for the right care are going to be confident from the very beginning.
Use a Compelling Story to Build Your Reputation
When it comes to healthcare organizations, patients are going to consider the ratings and reviews they see online, the reputation you have in a community, and what friends and family members are saying about you. Word-of-mouth is a crucial aspect for gaining patients in a healthcare setting. If you have a consistent story and an authentic message, your organization and reputation will both benefit.
One of the best ways to gain a positive reputation is through the image of your brand and personal recommendations. Confident patients who trust you are more likely to give you a higher NPS score. Putting all these things together can offer a great deal of success for your healthcare organization no matter your location, care setting, or history.