Choosing a hospital 2.0
How do you choose a hospital? Research shows that patients use various channels to choose a hospital and that these channels have changed a lot over the past ten years. This post will give a brief explanation of how hospitals are chosen by patients and it concludes with a small recommendation towards hospitals.
First, patients normally listen to the doctor who refers patients to a hospital in the Netherlands. Patients tend to like it when a doctor makes that choice for them (Berendsen, 2008). Over 75% of the patients value the opinion of the doctor the most when choosing for a hospital (Lenderink, 2012).
Next to that, the influence of friends and family is really high. 64% of the patients ask their friends and family about their choice of a hospital (Lenderink, 2012).
Traditional media also plays a big role in the choice for a hospital. Research of the NVZ showed that 70% of the patients were more critical and 13% of the patients actually went to another hospital because of bad news. Hospitals should thus really be involved with traditional media and respond as soon as possible to bad news.
Lastly, the most recent and important influence on hospitals is the influence of internet (Wolters, 2012). 81% of the patients searches on the internet before going to the hospital (Lenderink, 2012). Next to the fact that internet plays a role in self-diagnosing (33% of the patients do that) and comparing the qualities of a hospital (44% of the patients do that), patients use internet mostly for checking online rating systems (Klauw and Flim, 2011). Almost 75% of patients use online rating systems to check out a hospital. Online rating systems, like zorgkaartnederland.nl, give patients a platform to present their opinion about a hospital and are very useful for other patients.
Next to these platforms, social media also plays an important role. Patients use social media to get an overall view of a hospital. They ask each other questions on Twitter and Facebook and spread their feedback of a hospital (Klauw and Flim, 2011).
I would like to recommend hospitals to keep an eye on the online rating systems and social media, because bad reactions can really influence patients in their choice of a hospital. Traditional media is still relevant, but the relevance of social media grows enormously and the speed of these messages is something to be careful with.
Berendsen, A.J. (2008), Samenwerking tussen huisarts en specialist, Houten: Bohn Stafleu van Loghum, pp. 159-160
Lenderink, K.M.H. (2012), Marketingcommunicatie van ziekenhuizen, Universiteit Twente & Team Nijhhuis. Seen on 12-10-2015 through: http://essay.utwente.nl/61783/1/MSc_KMH_Lenderink.pdf
Klauw, D. van der & Flim, C. (2011), De rol van eHealth en gezondheid 2.0 in het veranderend ziekenhuislandschap, Den Haag: Raad voor de Volksgezondheid en Zorg
Wolters, P.J. & Lako, C.J. (2012), Hoe kiezen patiënten een ziekenhuis?, TSG, 90(1), pp. 45-50