The Anatomy of Patient’s Decision Model That Helps to Build Marketing Strategy for Clinics

Have you ever imagined how do the patient and the relatives make a decision to visit your clinic. The patient and the relatives go through five stages like any other consumer would go through to buy a particular product or service. The process of finalising which doctor to visit starts long before the actual visit to a clinic. Few years ago, the decision was made by taking suggestions from family and friends but due to advancement in technology and easily available internet. The five stages are:

Patient decision model

1. Problem Recognition

The problem can be realised in two ways : internal and external. The person may feel unhealthy and find it necessary to consult a doctor(internal) or may get encouraged by a family member or friend to visit a clinic to screen for “All Ok” (external).

2. Seeking Knowledge (Golden opportunity for implementing marketing strategy)

When a person is looking for a product or service, they may fall either into a category in which they are ready to accept the information they receive or a category in which they proactively search for information i.e, try to find out

what disease I am suffering from;

is the disease treatable;

who can treat his ailments the best;

what treatment would be beneficial?

Now the later category does the process in a couple of ways: by reading, looking for information online already knows someone posted about the disease on social media.

What are the sources of information for the patient?

  1. Personal Sources are family and friends
  2. Websites and advertisements are commercial sources
  3. Social Media is public source
  4. Family and friends, social media and websites are the most reliable ways for patients to seek information.

3. How Do Patients and Relatives Evaluate A Doctor's Visit?

Once the patient and relatives have done the research and come to a conclusion the first priority is to get treated for present ailments. Then the patient desires additional benefits like dietary advice or lifestyle advice. The patient sees a doctor’s consultation as a pack of multiple characteristics which can deliver various benefits. 

When you evaluate your service by expectancy-model you can get some insight into how a patient thinks about your clinic. If you are not having the highest point then you may lose new patients. If you have to make way to the top to be seen as the most desirable service patient looks at then probably make few changes like:

  1. change the operation or re-engineer the process followed at present
  2. attach more significance to the values you excel in (add more value)
  3. you can promote the neglected but important attributes.

The Decision , one set considers only good things about your clinic over few flaws. The other set considers all the attributes and then decides which one to go with. There are three subsets in which a patient may fall:

  1. the patient may set a minimum cut off for each attribute and may select the one which just surpasses the cut-off point.
  2. the patient may choose the best i.e, select a set of attributes that has the highest points
  3. Elimination by aspect this group selects attributes and gives ranking to each set of attribute and then eliminate the clinic which has an attribute score lower than the cut-off. 

4. The Decision

The Decision , one set considers only good things about your clinic over few flaws. The other set considers all the attributes and then decides which one to go with. There are three subsets in which a patient may fall:

  1. the patient may set a minimum cut off for each attribute and may select the one which just surpasses the cut-off point.
  2. the patient may choose the best i.e, select a set of attributes that has the highest points
  3. Elimination by aspect this group selects attributes and gives ranking to each set of attribute and then eliminate the clinic which has an attribute score lower than the cut-off. 

5. Study of Post Visit Patient Behaviour can Help Change You Your Marketing Strategy

Patient's post visit behaviour

When the patient visits your clinic and takes the medicine that is prescribed then the patient either feels better or does not. It is highly recommended to monitor the post-visit patient satisfaction and forecast what action is taken.

Patients may not follow the model exactly, they may skip any of the step in the process. For instance, a patient may skip the knowledge seeking process and directly land up into your clinic because of past experience. This process is ideally followed by a new patient who is experiencing something which he or she has never before.

New Patients who are observing new ailments will feel the need to go online and search for information or will recollect a post seen on some social media platform. Through the post, the patient can land up on your website where they will be able to read more about the disease, how it can be cured and what are the options available for curing the disease from the root. What are the takeaways from this post that you can apply straight-away?

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