How Living Core Values Delivers Better Patient Experiences

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Living Core Values  Deliver Better Patient Experiences

We live in an experience economy. People pay more for a great experience. Bad brand experiences are like a kiss of death. Not only do people enjoy talking about bad experiences, the Internet allows people to share them quickly and freely through their social networks.

Consistently delivering a positive experience in your practice begins with your employees. Face to face delivery of the brand experience is very powerful. You have the opportunity to make a strong first impression and demonstrate genuine interest in the patient’s well being.

For your staff to consistently deliver the experience you want your patient to have, it is important that practice values, training and performance evaluation system must be aligned with the brand proposition.

A good place to begin this alignment is by communicating your practice’s core values and ways those values should be expressed by your staff throughout the patient experience. Brand core values are the foundation principles that guide practice behavior. For example, one of your practice’s core values might be to always deliver care with empathy in order to create patient trust and piece of mind. How many opportunities might there be during a patient visit to deliver this value?

In a recent medical practice brand audit our firm identified 15 opportunities for the staff and physician to deliver core values during a patient visit. In the first five minutes, core values were delivered at the greeting, in the updating of patient records, and during the nurse’s interview to explore patient symptoms. All of these experience opportunities occurred before the doctor entered the room.

To ensure your practice delivers core values for a better customer experience map out the desired meaning that every point of contact communicates to patients as shown in the example below. Then make sure you train your employees on the subtle things that deliver the practice core values and the ideal customer experience. Your practice will fill the positive lift from this attention to detail.

First impressions are critical to delivering values of caring and trust.

Behavior and Appearance

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Intended Brand Meaning

Upbeat tone of voice, friendly with concern about patient condition Interested in me. Someone who cares about me feeling better
Dental assistant and hygienist appear in smock or approved clothing A real professional I can count on to care for me
Polite & caring request for patient information Wants to know everything possible about me so the care provided will be successful.
Sincere tone when asking about symptoms and problems Doctor wants to make sure she gets the diagnosis right
Thoughtful delivery of diagnosis with use of brochures and posters to educate Cares about me feeling better immediately and avoiding same condition in the future

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb is the President and CEO of Howard/Merrell, a full-service brand development company. He has over 30 years of experience developing business and brand strategies for both consumer and B-2-B companies. His clients have included Johnson’s Baby Products, Kimberly-Clark, Stihl, Scott Paper, ReSound Hearing Aids, BB&T Bank, Bausch & Lomb, BASF and Georgia-Pacific. Prior to joining Howard/Merrell, Jim worked for Exxon, USA managing dealer marketing. Jim received his BS degree in Business Administration from Barton College and his MBA from the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University. 

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Jim Cobb is the President and CEO of Howard/Merrell, a full-service brand development company. He has over 30 years of experience developing business and brand strategies for both consumer and B-2-B companies. His clients have included Johnson’s Baby Products, Kimberly-Clark, Stihl, Scott Paper, ReSound Hearing Aids, BB&T Bank, Bausch & Lomb, BASF and Georgia-Pacific. Prior to joining Howard/Merrell, Jim worked for Exxon, USA managing dealer marketing. Jim received his BS degree in Business Administration from Barton College and his MBA from the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University. 

Last modified: February 24, 2016

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