How VCU Health is Winning Patient Loyalty with Personalized Marketing

Today’s healthcare landscape is rapidly changing – more so than anything I’ve seen in the last 15 years that I’ve been working in the industry. New competitors are constantly entering the market. The news is dominated by headlines of retail giants dipping their toes in healthcare. All this can lead to innovation and drive quality care, but it also leaves healthcare leaders asking: How do we compete? 

But the real question should be: How do we meet patients (as consumers) where they are?  Health is building a unified “front door.”

Retailers have a distinct advantage when it comes to opportunities to connect with patients: They see consumers an estimated 25 times each year (if not more) compared to a provider seeing patients anywhere from 1-6 times in that same time frame. And 40% of consumers say they’d trust large retailers like Walmart or Target to manage their health. When it comes to the accessible, responsive, efficient, effective and delightful experiences that consumers are expecting, healthcare doesn’t come close. 

Don’t lose hope, health systems already have the complement of services to deliver care. What they don’t have is the “service wrapper” around how they present those assets to a healthcare consumer, and get patients connected to the right point of care in an efficient, high-touch way. 

Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (VCU Health) recognized this as an opportunity to drive customer loyalty and get patients to return to their providers time and time again. Their solution: personalizing the experience.  

In a recent webinar, Alexa Warner from VCU Health, David Roth from Evariant and I discussed why in today’s healthcare environment, creating a personalized experience for patients requires more than just effective and engaging marketing – but the key is to start somewhere. 

Working to better align the people, processes and technologies necessary to create a unified experience – VCU Health has begun breaking down the typical back-end operational silos common in health systems across the country. By closing the loop across multiple technologies, channels and platforms – from digital marketing campaigns to centralized communication, and provider visits to follow-ups and reminders, VCU Health is building a unified “front door.”

In our collective experience, we have identified a few key ways in which you too, can create a unified and personalized experience: 

  •  Understand current ways across all touch points to connect and engage potential patients. Ask yourself, “does this make sense to integrate across a full acquisition strategy from digital engagement to operational service execution (appointments)”
  • Work closely with operational teams to ensure departments are capable of handling an increased patient flow 
  • Engage consumers with interesting and relevant content through personalized campaigns that included targeted social and digital ads, emails, landing pages and more 
  • Make it easy for consumers to access the resources and care they need with clear calls to action and a service wrapper to ensure the loop is closed and completed
  • Provide all parties involved in the consumer journey (from delivery operations to call management) with important information and tools on the back-end to help them provide a seamless experience to patients 
  • Centralize and standardize communication 
  • Send follow-up communications that help close the loop on potential future healthcare needs and improve loyalty to health system 

Learn more about how VCU Health is driving patient loyalty. Watch the webinar today! 

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