Where should I go for care?

Understanding How Consumers Make Healthcare Decisions   

Where should I go for care?

It’s day two of my eight-year-old niece’s fever and it won’t break. Before her parents went on vacation, I promised to take care of her. Sure, she wasn’t feeling well, but it was just a fever and we were doing all the right things: Tylenol, rest and fluids. But as day two progressed, she grew more despondent and refused to drink anything. Now what?

We’ve all had to make choices about where to seek care for an unplanned health event, but today we have more choices about where to go.

Whether it’s extended hours, virtual visits or money-back guarantees, choices are transforming care delivery. Understanding how these choices shape decisions will make or break marketing strategies seeking to increase usage. That is why Market Strategies focused its latest self-funded research study on how people choose where to go when someone is sick. What we learned will help answer a question salient in the minds of every health system professional: “How do we maximize the likelihood that consumers will choose us, when deciding where to go for care?”

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The New Way to Market Hospitals

Hospital MarketingHospital Brandscape Reveals Marketing Opportunities in an Era of Consumer Choice

Chris Bevolo’s 2011 book, Joe Q. Public Does Not Care about Your Hospital, struck a chord with hospital marketers across the country as he exposed how misguided mass media campaigns can be. His recent book, Embracing the New Paradigm, offers guidance on how marketers can deliver hospital messages in a much more tailored, strategic and cost-effective manner by targeting people who are seeking a specific type of care as opposed to casting a wide net to all consumers.

Against this backdrop of wise advice, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is accelerating a change in how consumers think about their healthcare and their hospitals. Faced with substantial out-of-pocket costs, including higher co-pays and deductibles, and more restrictive provider networks, consumers are waking up to when and how they seek medical services. In other words, Joe Q. Public is starting to care about hospitals. Continue reading