Just as few things are more important to daily life than a functioning heart, few things are more important to a thriving hospital than well-functioning heart program. Best of all is a hospital with both a heart and a first-class heart unit.
A combination of compassion and top-notch cardiovascular care go a long way to building loyalty. Hospitals often lose their way in a labyrinth of regulations and mandates, but they shouldn’t lose their heart — or patient loyalty — along the way.
Here are four steps you can take to ensure that your hospital’s heart unit is building loyalty.
1. The Heart is the Heart
If a patient comes to your hospital and has a great bypass experience, a seamless stent insertion or valve replacement that has them back outside kicking the ball in the yard with their grandchildren quickly, that won’t just breed loyalty. It will also send them (and their family) back to your hospital for all of their other needs.
CardioSolution puts it this way: “Once your patients know that they can get life-saving care close to home, they will be more likely to come to your hospital for all of their healthcare needs.”
In that sense, the heart unit can be the beating heart of your hospital that pumps patients throughout the entire ecosystem in much the same way a heart pumps blood throughout the body. Your heart unit needs to be focused not only on acute care to help patients through unexpected emergencies, but also on long-term wellness aimed at prevention.
2. A Tech Heart
Appeal to patients through the use of innovative engagement platforms that are available today. Using a digital patient engagement platform like PatientBond to deliver segmented, tailored communications to your patients (education, appointment reminders, medication adherence reminders, etc.) to supplement cardiovascular care is a great step in that direction.
Personalized, robust appointment reminders, follow-ups and other messages — delivered according to patients’ unique motivations and preferences as defined by their unique psychographic profiles — will also help cut down on readmissions after a procedure, and that’s a win for everyone.
Also consider utilizing the American Heart Association Health Motivation Platform. This suite of customizable products, developed to improve cardiovascular health, combines AHA science-based care plans and educational content with PatientBond psychographics and digital engagement to drive desired patient behavior change.
There are few brands more trusted in heart health than the AHA. Collaborating with that gold-plated name provides instantly credibility and loyalty.
3. Loyalty Perks and Programs
Just like libraries have summer reading programs, your hospital could hold a “summer heart program.” Kids collect stickers for the number of books they’ve read and then cash them in for rewards. Your hospital can design something for adults that includes “reward levels” for calories cut, steps walked, and pounds lost.
Hospitals — led by their cardiovascular units — should use their platform to promote wellness. It’s good for business and great for loyalty. Consider the perks offer by St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City:
“Plans include the addition of a dedicated cardio-wellness registered dietitian focused on promoting heart health through preventive nutrition counseling. The registered dietitian will specialize in assessing weight, diet, and activity levels and work with clients to develop individualized goals to address weight management needs and effectively maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Starting soon, heart-healthy cooking demonstrations will be offered to the community.”
This is a great example of a win-for-all convergence. The patient becomes invested in the hospital for all the wellness information, and then that investment compounds over time in new visits, new patients and new generations.