Healthcare patient loyalty

Abstract

If the “old economy” preached standardization of products/services in order to reduce costs, the “new economy” is based on the recognition of the needs and the management of information. It is aimed at providing better and more usable services. One scenario is a national health service with regional management but based on competition between hospitals/companies.This led to a different handling of the user/patient, which has become the center of the health system: marketing seeks to retain the patient, trying to push a client-patient to not change their healthcare service provider. In costs terms, it is more economical to retain a customer rather than acquire a new one: a satisfied customer is also the best “sounding board” for each company. Customer equity is the management of relations with patients which can result in a greater customer value: it is possible to recognize an equity of the value, of the brand and of the report. Loyalty uses various marketing activities (basic, responsive, responsible, proactive and collaborative): each hospital/company chooses different actions depending on how many resources it plans to invest in loyalty.

Key words: equity, healthcare marketing, loyalty, national health service

Full text of the article is available in Italian.