Patients expect more from medical brands

Patients expect more from medical brands

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When choosing a private medical facility, patients expect something more than doctors’ professionalism and quality of services. What they are looking for is a doctor they can trust, comfortable rooms, the sense of safety and a strong brand. Therefore, to build a consistent brand in the medical market is as essential as in other sectors. The dynamic growth of competition requires medical companies to invest in building a strong brand at all levels, from a consistent interior design to the high quality of equipment in a medical centre.

One element of earning patients’ loyalty is creating a brand that is trustworthy, strong, consistent and that lives up to its promises. This means that the same quality of services needs to be always maintained  – notwithstanding the time or facility of the appointment. Trust and brand loyalty are built through even the smallest details such as appropriate markings of the rooms, hot coffee, short distance from a car park or a professional business card.

A strong medical brand is built with various factors, although they may not seem so obvious. These are all and any experiences of the patient. Brand communication and its identity have to be consistent at every point of contact: a call centre, website, business cards, doctors’ aprons, doctor’s room and the entire infrastructure that leads the patient into the room – a garage, car park and registration desk.

Dorota Haller, the Marketing and Communication Director at Medicover Polska

In general, patients are looking for doctors whom they can trust and with whom they feel safe. Today however, this is not enough. What patients want is to feel comfortable at a place where the services are provided. They pay attention to the way the doctor communicates with them and to the surrounding they are in

Wioletta Januszczyk, the Managing Director of Medicover Stomatologia

To win patient’s loyalty, a medical facility, apart from doctor’s professionalism and quality of services, needs to offer something more. Such factors as trust for the doctor, comfort and the sense of safety are becoming increasingly important as many people associate, for example, a visit to a dentist with pain and stress.

The medical industry is not directly associated with pleasure, as for example a café or cinema is. This is a challenge for the marketer – to create an environment where the patient will feel comfortable and will not experience the discomfort in connection to a visit to, for example, a dentist.

Dorota Haller, the Marketing and Communication Director at Medicover Polska

Dental care is a good example of how important it is to create a strong brand to succeed in the medical business. It is the only area of medicine in which Poles are relying largely on private services. Last year’s CBOS survey (“The use of health services and insurances”) shows that the rate of patients who use private dental services is significantly higher than those who undergo treatment financed by the National Health Fund (NFZ) (69% vs. 47%).

The dental services market is highly competitive. Patients may choose from over 6 thousand dental practices that offer various standards of treatment and patient service. Some of them provide NFZ-financed services, however most of the patients pay for the services on their own. The statistics show that a half of all expenditures on private treatment goes to the dental services market.

Wioletta Januszczyk, the Managing Director of Medicover Stomatologia

Poles use dental services more and more often, although in terms of the visit frequency they are still behind other European countries. Statistically, a Pole has one dental visit in 15 months, while the EU average is 3-4 months. Nevertheless, the health awareness is gradually improving. This is because of a growing number of periodontitis’ cases (as much as 90% of Poles) caused by poor diet and improper oral hygiene as well as bruxism, i.e. teeth grinding due to stress. 

We can divide dental patients into two basic groups. In the first group, there are informed patients who use dental services on a regular basis and are willing to participate in a treatment plan. The second group are patients who lack awareness and do not visit a dentist regularly or avoid visits because of the expected pain which is, in fact, only in their minds. Consequently, they use dental services when they have a tooth pain.

Wioletta Januszczyk, the Managing Director of Medicover Stomatologia 

Based on a number of surveys and questionnaires among patients, Medicover has recently changed the interior design of its centres. The alternations were introduced to fulfil patients’ expectations and the brand’s strategy. 

We asked our patients to share their expectations with us. Then, we studied the answers very carefully. The idea was to enable the clients and patients to see the strength of Medicover and our holistic approach to healthcare. Interior design is a particularly important element for brands that operate physical healthcare centres – as we do.

Dorota Haller, the Marketing and Communication Director at Medicover Polska.

The brand’s new approach includes, among others, providing the information on the scope of services on websites, clear marking of the entrances to individual business lines (Medicover Pharmacies, Medicover Dental, Medicover Optician, Medicover Centre) as well as the introduction of a new brand’s icon – a tree concept.  These trends will be followed when modernizing the existing centres and when opening new ones, including the two centres in the Praga district in Warsaw that are planned to open in October 2017 and the first quarter of 2018. 

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