Why is it important to understand your patient journey?

Why is it important to understand your patient journey?

In today’s world, patients are more informed than ever before. They have a range of tools to help them with decision-making when it comes to choosing a private practice, which is why it’s important to understand how your practice is perceived and the reasons why. 

Clinic perception is driven by a range of different things for patients, they will have different experiences depending on where they are in their research journey. 

For example; 

  • How easy is it to find you on the internet or social media? 
  • Do you look credible and trustworthy? 
  • Can they find your contact details? 
  • Do you answer the phone or emails? 
  • How do you correspond with patients? 
  • What do others think about you? 
  • If you’ve used them before have they remembered you? 

Patient experience is key to practices success, because if you give the patient a positive experience then they will remember you and become an advocate for your practice. A loyal patient is a more profitable one because they will promote your practice free of charge and return to you in the future! If they have a poor experience, then they will tell everyone and anyone who will listen which can be very damaging, especially when it’s broadcast across social media. 

That is why understanding the patient journey is so important. Knowing that all the patient touchpoints for your practice are on brand and up to date and that your internal processes are set up to truly deliver a positive patient experience. 

A typical patient will research and evaluate your clinic and your competitors before deciding whether to engage with your services. By understanding this journey, and the influencing factors that help with their decision-making, you can better position your clinic to meet their needs as well as deliver a positive experience throughout the process. 

  

Typically, patients go through 3 different stages before making a decision. 

PATIENT JOURNEY
  1. Awareness stage– a patient is looking to solve a problem
    During this stage, a patient will be researching and looking for educational information about the problem they want to solve or the need that they have. 
    At this stage, patients will be looking at these channels; Google searches so SEO is important at this stage, website, social media and any advertising. 
  2. Considerationstage– a patient is considering options to solve the problem 
    During this stage, patients will be reading what you offer on your website and competitor websites to see who offers what. They may also be reading articles and case studies. Most importantly patients will be looking to understand what other people think of you so they will be influenced by testimonials either on your website or on trusted patient satisfaction websites e.g. Doctify etc 
  3. Decision stage – the patient evaluates and decides on the clinicthat will help them solve the problem
    At this stage, they will make contact with the practice, either by email, telephone or through the contact form on your website. This is the stage where internal processes are key to ensure the patient experiences are good and finds out any specific information they require. They are kept up to date and informed about the service they are interested in and feel valued. 

Just as important as the 3 stages above, is the aftercare experience, which is when you can really make a patient feel valued and turn them into a loyal patient. This is the time to ensure you have all the relevant contact details and GDPR compliance to make sure you can keep in touch with the patient in the future either through newsletters or emails. 

Capturing patient satisfaction through surveys or testimonials is also important for your practice. If they’ve had a positive experience then they will become an advocate and give you a good patient satisfaction rating or testimonial which money can’t buy! 

What to do now? 
Now is the time to review all the patient touchpoints for your practice, and make sure that all your patient-facing marketing channels are up to date and relevant. Review your internal processes so that you understand what happens when someone gets in contact with you and how is it managed internally to ensure they receive a positive patient experience. 

This is the patient journey and by understanding all of the elements that contribute to this, you will be able to successfully grow your practice and ensure it is better than your competitors and deliver a positively memorable patient experience. 

If you would like to find out more about how Designated can help with understanding your patient journey, please do get in touch: 

Michelle Wheeler, Marketing Director, michelle@designatedgroup.com 020 7952 1008 

How can you stay engaged with your clients, and your own teams, without being in the same room as them?

How can you stay engaged with your clients, and your own teams, without being in the same room as them?

Maintaining close engagement from a distance

Virtual events have been around in various guises for a number of years now but, to a lot of people, this will still feel very new and possibly overwhelming. So how, and why, should you embrace the world of virtual events?

Connect with your teams

Working from home has huge benefits but can leave teams feeling disconnected. Sometimes you can’t beat a face to face conversation, whether it’s a one-to-one chat, or joining in with a larger group. Invite everyone for an online coffee (or a glass of wine!) or offer something more structured such as a quiz night or a town hall. The options are endless. Remind your teams that you are there to support them in these strange and challenging times.

Maintain contact with your clients

If your clients cannot come to you, reach out – virtually – to them. Webinars, online product launch events, even client social events. Everything from a technical product demo to a murder mystery can all be created online. Videoconferencing packages such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts etc can be used to create simple communication events. If you’re looking to go bigger then there are plenty of agencies ready and waiting with the latest technology to take your events online for you.

Continue with planned marketing activities

If you haven’t already embraced social media fully, now is the time to do it. Take advantage of the online universe and reach your audience via the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. The beauty of virtual events is that they can be hosted from anywhere – and are far cheaper than hiring a venue!

Whether you’re already a pro at all of this, or a complete beginner, Designated are here to help. Contact us on 020 7952 1460 or at info@designatedgroup.com to see how we can help you create fantastic virtual events and stay connected.

August Edition of Stay Connected

August Edition of Stay Connected

The August Edition of Stay Connected is now available. In this issue we share information to help to help add value to you. Articles include “How to Master the Art of Keeping Patients Happy”, the role of our Medical PA’s, plus Partner Spotlight and much more….

 

Navigating the GDPR labyrinth

Navigating the GDPR labyrinth

In the April issue of the Independent Practitioner Today Jane Braithwaite and Karen Heaton discuss GDPR and reveal medical practices did not properly understand whether they were required to ask patients for their consent for certain processing activities or how to do so.

Consent and GDPR

In the medical sense, ‘consent’ is very clear. But in the latest EU General Data Protections Regul­ations (GDPR), the question of consent has been one of the most confusing and frustrating issues to come to terms with.

How many emails did you receive in the run­ up to the GDPR deadline about ‘opt­ ins’ for mar­keting or just ‘opt­ ins’ in general?

Our experience is that medical practices and businesses in general really did not properly understand whether or not they were required to ask patients or clients for their consent for certain processing activities or how to do so.

On a personal level, it was a very useful opportunity to clear out unwanted junk email and compel organisations to take unsubscribe requests seriously. This had clearly not been the case in the past.

But were all these emails about consent necessary?

Well, that depends on a number of factors:

  • The lawful basis you have for processing an individual’s data;
  • How you received an individu­al’s data;
  • What you have told individuals – patients, clients or employees – about how your practice handles their personal data.

For medical practices who act as data controllers, there is the potential for non­trivial reputational damage and large fines from Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) investigations regard­ ing poor consent practises.

So, to answer this question, let’s look at:

a) Your lawful basis for using that data;
b) The data you process and how it is processed.

 

Download full article

Designated Medical are GDPR Ready!

Designated Medical are GDPR Ready!

Our commitment to GDPR

Introduction

The European Union has taken a monumental step in protecting the fundamental right to privacy for every EU resident with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will be effective from May 25, 2018. Simply put, EU residents will now have greater say over what, how, why, where, and when their personal data is used, processed, or disposed. This rule clarifies how the EU personal data laws apply even beyond the borders of the EU. Any organisation that works with EU residents’ personal data in any manner, irrespective of location, has obligations to protect the data. Designated Group, including Designated Medical is well aware of its role in providing the right tools and processes to support its users and customers meet their GDPR mandates.

Designated Medical’s Commitment

At Designated Medical, we have always given our clients and contacts’ the right to data privacy and protection. We have never relied on advertising as a means to generate business and we have never sent direct advertising to our contact database, and never will.  This means that we have no necessity to collect and process our contact database’s personal information beyond what is required for the delivery of our services and to ensure we optimise how we can help and support them.

Over the years, we have demonstrated our commitment to data privacy and protection by meeting the industry standards for data protection. All client sensitive data is saved in an encrypted storage facility which is tightly regulated.  We have also made significant investment into our IT infrastructure and we recognise that the GDPR will help us move towards the highest standards of operations in protecting customer data.

How is Designated Medical preparing for GDPR?

We have reviewed all our data and touch points where we collect data and have ensured that we are fully compliant by the time the regulation comes into effect.  Designated Medical also understands its obligation to help clients and contacts get ready for the big day and has published useful information to assist them in the process.

We have thoroughly reviewed GDPR requirements and have put in place a dedicated internal team to drive our company to meet them. Some of our ongoing initiatives are:

  • Identifying personal data – All our data is categorised and integrated with our marketing systems to ensure consent and accessibility.  We  have invested in systems to ensuring accuracy and control of data across all systems.
  • Providing visibility and transparency – The most important aspect of GDPR is how the collected data is used. Designated Medical’s key role is to provide our clients and contacts (the data subjects) with the access to effectively manage and protect their user data. Designated PA has contacted each and every contact allowing them access to opt in and out and update their personal information.
  • Enhancing data integrity and security – Data privacy and data security are two sides of the same coin. As our clients tighten their data security measures, Designated Medical would like to extend a helping hand and have a team of marketing experts who can assist with GDPR compliance.  We have invested heavily in our IT infrastructure to ensure we maintain a high level of security and integrity.
  • Portability and transferability of data – GDPR gives data subjects the right to either receive all the data provided and processed by the data controller or transfer it to another controller depending on technical feasibility. With this new right in mind, Designated PA is able to export data at an individual level as required.

What does this mean for our clients?

We understand that meeting the GDPR requirements will take a lot of time and effort. And as your partner, we want to help you make your process as seamless as possible, so that you don’t have to worry about compliance and can focus more on running your business.  If you need assistance with implementing processes that are GDPR compliant, get in touch and our team of marketing experts can assist.  The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have a self assessment tool for businesses which is definitely worth a read.

What should you do to be GDPR-ready?

If you are just getting started with GDPR compliance in your business, here’s a quick to-do list to keep in mind.  The ICO have also produced a 12 step process to preparing for the regulation here.

  • Create a data privacy team to oversee GDPR activities and raise awareness
  • Review current security and privacy processes in place & where applicable, revise your contracts with third parties & customers to meet the requirements of the GDPR
  • Identify the Personally Identifiable Information (PII)/Personal data that is being collected
  • Analyse how this information is being processed, stored, retained and deleted
  • Assess the third parties with whom you disclose data if
  • Establish procedures to respond to data subjects when they exercise their rights
  • Establish & conduct Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)
  • Create processes for data breach notification activities
  • Continuous employee awareness is vital to ensure continual compliance to the GDPR

Are you GDPR ready?

Useful Information:

12 Steps to take now

Guide to General Data Protection Regulation

Data Protection Self Assessment Toolkit

January Stay Connected

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