Market Research and Health Care – AMA

Quite interesting event highlighting the obvious fact that health care is moving closer to consumer service where marketing playing more important role.

The most interesting was the case study how Fairview  increased satisfaction rate from 31% to 72% and eventually 99% (positive answer to the question: would you recommend the clinic to a family member?)

The research showed that consumers could evaluate and felt improvement not in health care service, but in health care experience (what coincides with HealthWest approach).

Research determined what “minimum expectations” consumers had and what can be built into differentiators.

Some of the learning:

  • consumers did not like to see dead plants in the waiting room: “if you cannot take care of your plants, how can you take care of me?”
  • consumers did not like to see more than three months old magazines in the waiting room: “you don’t care about me if you expect me to read old magazines.”
  • consumers wanted the receptionist to raise her eyes from the computer and greet them

How the results of this research was “sold” to the clinicians? Clinicians felt it was their idea 😉

Clinic manager champion and physician champion were responsible for the implementation of the changes. Curious: two groups that are the most susceptible to peer pressure: adolescents and physicians.

Another interesting example from the perspective of the usability research:

Often web sites are created based on the assumptions, but user research is needed to determine what is really valuable for the users.

A web site for patients at late stages of specific medical constitution and caregivers.

  • Patients: patients knew the terminology, understood their situation, and wanted direct information. Patients often used “physician’s” portion of web sites.
  • Caregivers: caregivers were interested in support, communication with other caregivers, and wanted completely different information.

In some cases companies create different sites for patients and caregivers.

Important: “the whole experience” – not only the web site.


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