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Trust – A Distinguished Healthcare Trait (Part 2)

Healthcare in Iowa In my previous blog, I mentioned the importance of having Trust with healthcare providers. The implication of trust is far reaching – for employers, employees and their dependents, and also to the health care providers themselves.

In healthcare, like most other industries, quality of care should be no more than a ticket to entry to the marketplace.  In other words, having competence is the minimum threshold for ALL healthcare providers when serving patients. With this core competence, each provider can add to their “brand” (or reputation) by offering intangibles that will make a difference to their patients in a meaningful way.

As mentioned by Dr. Shore of Harvard, “A good organization produces excellent programs, products, and services. A great one – with a power brand – is TRUSTED to consistently deliver excellent programs, products and services that are PERCEIVED by consumers (patients) to be both RELEVANT and DISTINCTIVE.”

Consumers are willing to pay more for, travel farther for, wait longer for…a power brand.

Mayo Clinic is a prime example of having a power brand in healthcare. Mayo provides excellent service that is distinctive from other organizations. They transcend mere products and services that others cannot duplicate.

Few organizations in healthcare fully understand how to create an on-going power brand. They may advertise their quality – perhaps a national publication has included them in one of their quality rankings. But merely telling the public they have quality is very different from consistently demonstrating this quality over the long term by developing an emotional connection with the customer (patient). The power brand represents the DNA of the organization.

The healthcare industry must be careful to not be perceived as a commodity…though it is very easy to get caught up playing this game (look at the retail industry). When perceived as a commodity, providers are not easily distinguishable from one another by patients. Patients will make their choices on the basis of convenience or recommendation from a friend. Developing a power brand, however, will take providers out of playing the commodity game. Instead, they will be more likely to predict the future by creating it!

There is good news, however. Come back here next week to find out!