Loyalty programs are common in most of the business world, but they are relatively new within the field of healthcare. However, as the need to boost patient loyalty increases, more hospitals are exploring the idea of implementing hospital patient loyalty programs in their institutions.
Benefits of Patient Loyalty Programs
Patient loyalty programs offer several benefits that make them a good investment for hospitals. Some of these benefits include:
- Improved patient engagement: Patient loyalty programs increase patients’ level of interaction with the hospital, helping them to feel more engaged and connected. Higher levels of engagement improve the patient experience overall.
- Repeat business: Because loyalty programs reward patients for their ongoing connection with the institution, patients are more likely to return when they need additional services.
- More referrals: When patients receive additional benefits from your hospital, they are more likely to recommend the institution to their friends and family. This can increase your business and profitability considerably.
- Good ROI: When implemented properly, patient loyalty programs can provide a good return on investment for your institution.
Best Program Structures
Here are five examples of loyalty programs for patients we’ve found:
1. VIP Patient Loyalty Programs
VIP patient loyalty programs reward patients for their ongoing relationship with your institution by providing them with specific “VIP” benefits. These benefits may include free parking, discounts in the gift shop and/or discounts in the on-site pharmacy. Some hospitals offer a basic VIP membership to patients, while others develop tiered programs.
2. Free Educational Resources and Health Screenings
Another option for hospitals setting up patient loyalty programs involves providing patients with exclusive access to valuable resources that improve their health. For example, the hospital may offer free health seminars for patients who want to learn about certain topics and complimentary health screenings.
3. Social Events
For hospitals that want to create a more unique loyalty program, a program involving free social events may be beneficial. These types of programs allow patients to attend exciting social events, such as parties or mixers hosted at the hospital, or even a trip to a casino, to nurture loyalty and a sense of community.
Not only do these programs give patients a chance to enjoy themselves, but they also give patients a chance to feel valuable and important. When patients feel like they’re part of an exclusive group, they are more likely to feel a sense of loyalty to the institution.
4. Local Perks
Some hospitals have increased patient loyalty by offering an array of local perks. For instance, hospitals can partner with local restaurants, hotels or other businesses to provide loyal patients with discounts or other benefits. Hospitals may also provide vouchers for free parking, free meals and more based on a patient’s level of loyalty to the institution.
5. Continuous Engagement
Without the right tools, implementing patient loyalty programs can be resource-intensive. However, with the help of a digital patient engagement platform like Upfront, hospitals can automate most of these processes and simplify the operation of these programs on an ongoing basis.
Upfront uses psychographic segment-specific keywords and messaging and other aspects of behavioral science in its communications to resonate with each patient’s core beliefs and personality. To extend and support the patient journey, Upfront will employ the channel mix (emails, text messages, Interactive Voice Response, personalized microsite, etc.) and frequency of communication that resonates most strongly with each psychographic segment. This strengthens patient engagement efforts that foster loyalty through the use of advanced personalization.
Whether you want to motivate your patients to take advantage of a free health screening or a discount in your gift shop, the loyalty-driving options are virtually endless. Learn more about harnessing patient motivations through psychographics in our whitepaper.