Posted by Teri Sun


The healthcare industry is up in arms over the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) new hospital quality rating measure – 22% of which will be dictated by patient experience. According to Bloomberg BNA, when the new rating system goes into place, “many prominent hospitals that are in the top echelon of other quality rating reports…may receive one or two stars out of a possible five, indicating that they have the poorest quality in comparison with all other hospitals.”

While hospital executives are putting pressure on the CMS to ensure the ratings methodology is accurate and fair, smart marketers aren’t even breaking a sweat. Instead, they’re creating a brand experience that results in happier patients – and quality ratings.

Because, while the actual quality of care delivery is extremely important, it’s just a table stake. As we move to a more consumerized health marketplace, the leaders will be those that deliver a brand experience that patients will want to keep coming back to.

I have a family vacation coming up and what’s the first thing I do? Visit Not because they have the lowest rates (I usually pay more for a ticket than with other airlines). And not even because they have the best quality rating (Virgin America beat them this year and last year JetBlue was #4 in quality). I am loyal because of their brand experience.

The JetBlue brand essence “Above all else, you” comes through not just in their advertising, but in every aspect of their customer experience. “We strive to make every part of your experience as simple and as pleasant as possible.” And they do: No first class. Extra legroom in every seat. A great selection of free snacks. Personal monitors with free TV.

By operationalizing its brand essence into the day to day customer experience, JetBlue builds loyal customers. And according to Gartner, companies that prioritize customer experience generate 60% higher profits than their competitors. That's because an investment in customer experience provides 25% greater customer retention and revenue than from other marketing initiatives.

“But we’re not the airline industry.” You’re right! In healthcare, personal experience is actually 2x as important to purchase decision than other industries, according to PWC.

To see how savvy healthcare marketers are creating exceptional brand experiences, read Mark’s Story and download White Rhino’s eBook Addictive Health: The Patient Journey Reimagined including 4 examples of how hospital marketers are engaging with patients in new ways.



Additional Sources:

Gartner Group, “Leading on the Edge of Chaors”, Emmett C. Murphy and Mark A. Murphy

Price Waterhouse Coopers, “Experience Radar 2012: US Healthcare Provider Industry”


Topics: Strategy, Branding, Healthcare