Trust based marketing for healthcare providers By Baljit Singh | 21 Jul, 2014

I was reading an interesting article on trust based marketing by Prof. Glen Urban at

Found it very interesting and get me thinking that how far it would be relevant for healthcare providers. Healthcare providers can not get into direct push-based marketing much (atleast have not seen much). But trust based marketing can be an innovative approach to reach out to customers.

Experts, any thoughts / opinions? Appreciate your inputs.

Best regards,



Mighty Casey Replied at 2:53 PM, 22 Jul 2014

The nugget: "Give them as much information and advice as they need to make an informed decision."

This is at the heart of informed choice and shared decision making in healthcare. Patients are ready. Clinicians need to see patients as partners and collaborators, not meat puppets. That's where trust will rise.

Baljit Singh Replied at 10:49 PM, 22 Jul 2014

I agree, patients need to be informed and empowered to build trust. Giving choices in the healthcare decision is the biggest factor in empowering the patients.

John Sung Kim Replied at 12:39 AM, 23 Jul 2014

The answer to me seems so simple but its implementation is clouded by incumbent politics.

Patients want a voice - give them a mobile survey after each visit/discharge they can take on their mobile phones. There is software that can do this and can integrate into legacy EHRs (I know, I built one - it wasn't rocket science). Send them preferably while the experience is fresh in their minds and before the angry patients go on yelp and trash the reputation of the hospital.

We had a large medical group (200k covered lives) have as the #2 result in Google for searches for their name be a yelp review that said -

"Don't ever come to _______. Your life depends on it."

And this was during open enrollment.

Sampling surveys by mail and telephone are dead and disconnected from the public. The only reason it's still around is HCAHPS and legacy relationships with executives. Doctors hate it and in an era of "big data" - it's another meaningless survey stored in a glorified excel spreadsheet program that is very expensive to run.

Mobile. Meet healthcare. We've been waiting.

Lawrence Wasserman PhD Replied at 1:03 AM, 23 Jul 2014

John good points I am using social media tools as part of software license that I have and would like to test out your suggestion for testing purposes to see if one can validate that hypothesis

John Sung Kim Replied at 1:18 AM, 23 Jul 2014

Dr. Wasserman, you can email me directly at and I'd be happy to help -
we have about 15k providers and 6 million patients as a data set.

We've found that transparency is good for trust based marketing (which is quickly becoming the most important - even for retail) - but:

1) You have to have an automated system that can collect a wide data set - otherwise a few angry patients can publicly skew social media ratings and drive your CEO nuts.

2) There has to be a feedback loop where disgruntled patients are reached out with someone who has had training on the "touch + tap + turn" method of dealing with pissed off healthcare consumers.

3) There must be an ethical base of how content is managed and shared - to get both doctor (ok, I'll go along) and patient (I trust you) buy in.

Mighty Casey Replied at 9:20 AM, 23 Jul 2014

John, as a hosp-med journo (part of my multi-card deck) I hear you on Press-Ganey/HCACHPS.

I haven't heard *any* hospital doc speak well of either, even those who are experts on 'em. With those surveys going out as much as 60 days post-discharge, how valid is the data collected, really? Why not a short app-driven survey as part of the discharge process?

Also, building health literacy is critical to shifting to a trust model that's based on outcome, not provider ad budget.

First link below is a piece by WaPo's Sarah Kliff on Vox about perception vs. reality on healthcare price tags.

Second is a post I wrote after attending the Summer Institute for Informed Patient Choice at Dartmouth.

Attached resources:

Thomas Tsai Replied at 10:18 AM, 24 Jul 2014

Hey folks, on the issue of trust (and patient-centered care), we have a discussion going on over in the Quality&Safety community on the use of patient satisfaction as a metric for quality. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Attached resource:

RWAMBIBI Herman Replied at 3:35 AM, 31 Jul 2014

In our area where patient's are not yet treated as customers ,health
service delivery remains a big challenge.