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3 Tips How to Prevent the Decay of Your Hospital’s Reputation

Posted by Matej GRABROVEC on Nov 20, 2017 12:56:28 PM
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Reputation is one of the most important components in healthcare organization's success. This blog post includes three very useful tips for improving and maintaining great reputation of your medical or healthcare organization.

Your Healthcare Organization’s Reputation Matters

Famous business magnate, investor and philanthropist Richard Branson said: “Your brand name is only as good as your reputation”.
Reputation has a positive influence on medical organization’s performance

This is so true. Medical or healthcare organizations’ reputation is seen as an important factor influencing their performance. There are many reasons why hospital managers should care about their institution’s reputation.

  • Hospital reputation is important for development and sustainment of patient loyalty.
  • Positive reputation influences patients to recognize higher level of quality which enables healthcare organizations to choose higher pricing strategies.
  • Great reputation helps medical organizations sustain greater sales volume and maintain its market share.

Improving healthcare organization’s reputation

Hospital reputation is not built in a day but can be lost in a minute

The biggest problem is that many healthcare organizations become aware of immense importance of their reputation only when it gets in trouble. Of course, when that happens it is more difficult to improve it.

Reputation is not a one-time project or episodic, crisis-inspired kind of thing.

It is extremely difficult to rebuild a broken reputation. Hospital reputation can’t be bought, sold or transferred. It takes time to build and sustain it.

Luckily, our digital age gives us adequate tools and channels which help us be prepared for the storm that might come.

On the other side, Internet gives others the power to ruin a positive online reputation when it’s neglected. So, healthcare organization’s reputation management requires ongoing time and attention.

PR in healthcare organization’s crises

3 major best practices for maintaining a first-class hospital reputation

1. Prepare for critical moments and use them for your advantage

Hospital managers need to consider in advance what might happen and prepare for those critical moments.

Management has to identify all the moments, positive or negative, that might influence hospital’s reputation and have the contingency plans or a public relations hotspot on standby.

It’s fair to say that sooner or later there will be a crisis – a major or minor storm that will test your hospital’s reputation in the minds of the public. In addition of being prepared for that reputation-altering event, healthcare organization should also have a consistent and regular ongoing communication with their publics, so in case of a critical moment it can use the spotlight and amplify well-established reputation.

With the right PR, we can benefit even from a storm.

2. Use monitoring system and keep your finger on your hospital's reputation pulse

Firstly, get to know your audience and be aware of where they get their information, so you can use exactly those channels to distribute what you want to share in order to have a truly great online image.

Having a nice social media management and monitoring other digital platforms will work miracles.

You will need smart digital marketing and community management strategies. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other channels are definitely the places where you should establish and monitor your digital presence.

3. Ask questions and respond to your patients' comments

Don’t ever miss a chance to make a dialog with your patients and respond to their comments.

You should provide a quick reply to your patients’ questions, especially when there is a negative or incorrect comment. Even in that case be positive and supportive. Treat all their comments as beneficiary as they unlock engagement.

Furthermore, ask questions and encourage patients to contribute reviews. When asked to comment, people usually contribute positive feedback, and if not, resolving negative issues will go long way in building strong and flattery reputation. The Internet provides quick and easy way to do it. You can use your own website or other digital channels.

As mentioned before, digital media helps but also challenges hospitals’ and health systems’ reputation management. So, this is the time to invest more time and energy into your digital presence.

To sum up, there is never a moment when reputation does not play a vital role in your hospital’s or healthcare organization’s success. You should prioritize it when planning your business strategy.

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Tags: social media, public relations, healthcare