I read a blog post today that really resonated with me, both as a patient and as a social media marketer.
The post was titled “Your 10 Minute Office Visit Needs 8 People and 45 Minutes of Work.” The author, Mary Pat Whaley, described an instance where she helped a woman check out after her doctor’s appointment. The woman expressed surprise when Whaley told her the cost of her visit would be $100.
Whaley went on to describe to readers what a medical staff does “behind the scenes” to schedule and process a patient’s visit. And while I won’t go into specifics, a lot of work goes into a patient’s appointment, even if it lasts only 10 minutes.
But the post got me thinking about the services we are provided and how we view their value. We don’t (usually) think twice when an entrée at a fancy restaurant costs $30, or when a cashmere sweater has a $150 price tag. But when we go to the doctor and get our bill for the services we received, we often gasp and wonder how it could cost so much.
It’s all about how we perceive the value of things. If patients knew how much time and money was going into providing their care, even an office visit, it might change how they (we) react to the cost. It’s the same way with the entrée at the fancy restaurant and the cashmere sweater. If we saw that the products being used were of the utmost quality, we’d understand why.
So how do we accomplish this in healthcare, using social media? Is it as simple as publishing articles by Whaley on your hospital’s website, blog or Facebook or Twitter account? Or is there more to it?
Patients need to be educated in order to understand the real value of their care. And this could be accomplished by creating a simple video with your practice’s procedures, or even a blog post by office staff that references the same information Whaley presents in her blog. And while I don’t necessarily believe it will cause all patients to see the value in their care, at least it’s a step in the right direction.