A R two C: the key to attract more patients

Alberto Benitez
8 min readJul 16, 2018

To attract more patients to your hospital there are 4 fundamental aspects that you must cultivate. Know and develop the methodology so that your hospital be the most recognized and the one that can attract more patients.

Choose a hospital

Fear. Or worse than fear: worry. Entering a hospital means for all people detonate different levels and forms of stress. Hospitals are still stressful places.

However, at this moment there are already many different scientific and technological advances that could change this experience forever. Technology is putting us on the threshold of taming fear. The patients will receive a totally different treatment. They will be surprised at the changes in the times, in the personnel, in the architecture of the hospital.

For example, by having new diagnostic mechanisms, less intrusive, small and discrete that connect to the Internet and send information to the e-mail of the doctor; the consultations can be more agile and assertive. The auscultations may be less aggressive.

The immediate challenge for hospital administrators and sales managers is to anticipate and use these changes. Use them as the key element to attract the greatest number of patients. Use these changes to overcome the fear in the day to day of the hospital. The new technologies will change the accessibility, the diagnosis times, and the comfort of the patients.

But all these changes will not improve their opinion of your hospital unless you work on changing the opinions and beliefs of patients.

If these changes do not give patients the value they seek, all the investment in infrastructure will be a costly loss. If patients don’t know what you can do, they do not consider you.

If sales managers fail to make their hospital different from everyone else, even technological innovations will not increase the number of patients. All the hospitals take X-rays. All, more or less at the same time, will be implementing the new technologies. Why should new patients prefer your hospital?

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Listen to patients

What do patients value at a hospital? What do patients want at a hospital?

What do you value the most? In the study The expectations of patients, what aspects do they value in a health center? A quantitative study, in which 6 Spanish hospitals participated, the conclusion is that the relationship with professionals is the most important variable for customers. The second most valued aspect is the services available.

In the study, 235 people in all age ranges were interviewed. They were asked to list what they value, from most to least, in the infrastructure, professionals and the organization of a hospital. The interviewees had to say what was specifically what they appreciated most about each of the three themes.

In the end, a list of 60 aspects was created that describe what patients most value the service in a hospital, and in what order from most to least.

Within the first ten values, five, the half, have to do with dealing with medical personnel. Two, with the catalog of services offered. Two are relative to the organization of the hospital, and one is relative to the infrastructure.

Below we list the ten values that patients value the most and they hope to have in the hospital of his election.

Aspects that patients value in professionals:

· They are concerned about facilitating access to other services when it is urgent

· They have a polite and respectful treatment

· They listen

· They have a kind, human treatment

· They are discreet, they respect the privacy of the patient

Now, the aspects of infrastructure that patient value the most:

· They take care of their maintenance and to avoid physical and contagious risks

· It has easy accessibility

Now, the services:

· All materials for healing are available

· There are pediatric consultations

And finally, the organization:

· The hospital has and works with the patient’s medical history.

So, for the patients a quality relation is what makes the difference. Although they give value to aspects of organization and infrastructure, it is a quality relation what for the patients is the most valuable thing that they receive from the professionals (doctors, nurses, administrative staff, orderlies and all the rest of the staff). Cultivating and communicating this value is what can attract the most patients.

Creating the value of listening to patients is critical for the operation of the hospital. But to attract more patients it will be strategic that you be able to communicate it.

If the hospital has adequate communication resources then the sales department can use this, the quality relation to distinguish the hospital and create a flow of new patients attracted by this value.

Really. Listen to your patients

In his TED talk, New York paramedic Matthew O’Reilly recounts his experience attending emergencies, from car crashes to hurricanes.

There is a little-known medical term, called “imminent death.” He is trained to respond to this symptom as much as any other. So, when a patient with a heart attack looks and says “I’m going to die”, the paramedic O’Reilly is ready to evaluate his status.

But what O’Reilly do when the patient was really going to die? What he was did was, lie. Tell the person that everything would be fine, that there was nothing to fear. The one who was afraid was the young paramedic

Once, he attended an accident on a motorcycle. During the diagnosis he realized that he could not do anything. As on other occasions, the victim looked him in the eye and asked the question: “Am I going to die?” At that moment the paramedic decided to act differently. He decided to tell the truth. Then he told him he was going to die, that there was nothing he could do for him. The victim’s reaction, in O’Reilly’s testimony, was that he simply relaxed and that a look of acceptance appeared on his face. Not terror, not fear. Acceptance. From that moment O’Reilly decided to tell the truth.

And he observed that in the face of the imminence of death, there are three reactions. His willingness to listen to the patient, to attend to what he was told, led him to observe three patterns. And so, listening, he can contribute to the welfare of patients even in this situation. The first Pattern who discovered that he listened to his patients is that there is a need for forgiveness. A person who is going to die may experience remorse. Guilt. The second is the need to know that they will be remembered. That they will continue to live in the memories and in the minds of their loved ones. And the last one that the paramedic has detected, is to know that his life, that the life that is going extinct at that moment, made some sense. They need to feel that their life was not wasted.

Can you imagine how many decisions can be made to increase the well-being of patients based on this information? Information obtained thanks to the willingness to listen.

Your hospital can distinguish itself by creating a robust infrastructure to listen to your patients. This will be the way that more people will look for your services.

A R two C

A R two C is a communication methodology. It is concentrated in 4 axes that name it: attend, relieve, take care, comfort.

Attend me :

When the patient arrives at the hospital he needs to receive attention. Admission and diagnosis processes are critical in this phase.

There are two new tools that can help your hospital gain the trust of new patients in and from this stage. First, technology. Your regular patients can be followed and monitored from new devices and from the hospital’s apps. The best thing that technology can do is rush and quickly give the information the professionals need to diagnose and quickly channel patients.

The other tool is communication. The investment you will make in it is less than what you should do in technology. Through social networks you can gain new patients in two ways: by receiving patient information and learning about your processes.

The social networks of your hospital can serve as channels of attention to receive the regular patient and the new ones. Facebook Twitter, WhatsApp among others can be designed by communication professionals as channels of attention, not advertising. Your hospital could have its own unique emergency number, its own 911.

The information and public dissemination of your care processes will be given on social networks, not in a general way, by posting what your hospital can do as in an advertisement, but by using the testimony of regular patients and your different professionals. Even in real time. You could create a record in the speed of attention by contrasting what happens in real life in your hospital.

Social networks are real when they are personal. They are a new way to expand and deepen personalized attention.

Relieve me:

The patients must be treated. The service in your hospital is what counts in this phase.

But how can you attract new patients at this stage?

In a website you save and promote the information you want, very general or very detailed. It is important to have the advice of experts to decide what information to share and with what objectives.

An agile and professionally designed website is useful so that everyone knows your different services and your different professionals.

Take care of me :

Attention and service to health are endless process.

They are permanent. It is as normal for people and patients not to know this. For them being in the hospital is momentary, and the less time much better. On the other hand, the different professionals, doctors, social workers and of course those responsible for the administration would appreciate knowing more about their patients.

Social networks and a robust website are the new infrastructure that hospitals must count on as a resource to strengthen your position and presence. From this infrastructure your hospital can attend of not only to your patients, the ones you already have but the ones you can earn.

The communication tool in this phase is the Content Marketing.

As we have all done in confronting or anticipating any contingency, we use the internet. We search for sites or blogs that guide us on terms, questions, worries, etc.

Your new patients want to take care of themselves and use the internet as a tool to do it. They look for blogs, news, opinions. Your hospital has a lot to tell them. How do you do it ?

They don’t reach your website because they do not know your hospital offer the service they need, but if you have news, reports, data, testimonials about your services then they will be able to find you.

The patient looks for “a doctor”, “a hospital”. But you could look for your hospital and your professionals if both exhibited what they do. A locksmith can do a tutorial and gain confidence and thus new customers. Your hospital and your professionals can offer more.

Console me:

The work of your professionals is of excellence. The patients are satisfied and happy. They will recommend you if they can. With all the resources of Content Marketing you give them the opportunity to do so from the moment they seek guidance for their problem, until they say goodbye to your hospital and during all the stages of its process. It is a joy for them when they share their well-being in their social networks. You can also do it from your hospital if you have the appropriate infrastructure and organization. So you can use your day to day as the best resource to reach new patients.

One resource that you can continue using to maintain communication with your patients and expedite their recommendations is email.

With an email you continue to attend personally. Comfort, you give them comfort by giving them the assurance that they count on you.

The A R two C is a robust communication model that you can take advantage of to gain new patients by doing what you do every day: giving a new excellent medical service.

Learn more about the A R two C model by clicking here.