Value Proposition

Patient value propositions are those things that patients and communities hold to be true about a healthcare provider based on past experiences, experiences of others they trust, stories they consistently hear and information that is easily accessible from trusted sources. Patient value propositions play an important role in creating a provider's reputation. Most value propositions are born out of the jury of public opinion.

When prospective patients are trying to decide whether to give a provider a try, the provider is one of the least trusted sources of information. Effective patient satisfaction systems help providers to make sure that their own perceptions of the services they deliver line up with those value propositions that their patients and communities hold to be true. When providers choose to look at their services through rose-colored glasses or to explain dissatisfactions away with excuses, they become their own greatest victim as they deny themselves the opportunity to create the kind of greatness that could promote stronger value propositions and patient loyalty.

Providers need to structure their patient satisfaction measure systems to solicit an understanding of those value propositions that patients hold to be true and recognize the potential impact of those perceptions on their ability to dominate their market. A market consists of a number of customers and providers strongly or loosely held together by a need for a service or product where buyers and sellers create exchanges in order for the buyers to secure the needed service or product. Within a market there are generally a number of sellers that constitutes a group of competitors. A successful seller, or a successful provider in healthcare, focuses on holding on to its current customers while attracting others away from the competition. This is generally achieved by having stronger value propositions than the other guy.

Today's patients want to know why they should use a particular provider's services. For them, it's a simple question. It needs a simple answer and that answer often lives in the value propositions that create reputations. An effective patient satisfaction system helps a provider know where it stands and where its opportunities lie to create strong propositions.

When designing a patient satisfaction system and striving for strong, healthy value propositions, it is important to recognize that people are bombarded with information all day long. Most people spend their day in a state of information overload. In today's fast paced world, people tend to create perceptions very quickly based on little information. People then rely on those perceptions for future decision making.

An effective patient satisfaction system identifies and narrows those perceptions that have the greatest importance to the patients and community. This is an important step in an effective system as these are the areas where it is critical to always get the patient/provider interaction right the first time. A well designed questionnaire with only five key, strategic questions can actually be more powerful than a twenty-five question tool where the superficiality of the questions only adds to a person's state of information overload.