Kindness has become a bit of a buzzword right now, whether it’s being a little kinder to each other, or remembering to be kind to ourselves.
For the marketing world at large, it’d be easy to assume that kindness is just the latest in a string of wellbeing-focused gimmicks – we’ve moved on from mindfulness, and hugged ‘hygge’ goodbye – but for healthcare marketing, kindness can never be a passing trend.
Why? Because in many ways, empathy and compassion are as vital as medical qualifications and credentials – and the impact of communicating with patients in a way that expresses care and kindness should never be underestimated.
A YouGov survey last year found ‘poor manner and attitude’ accounted for more patient complaints (32%) about GPs than misdiagnosis (20%) and poor outcomes following treatment (13%). Furthermore, 82% of the 2021 British adults surveyed said they would be unlikely to complain about their GP if they felt they’d communicated with them openly and with empathy.
‘Care’ and ‘compassion’ feature prominently in the Care Quality Commission’s modus operandi and inspection criteria, and for good reason. Far from a ‘nice’ ideal, these values can play a significant role in patient outcomes – in fact there’s growing evidence that care delivered with kindness can even lead to faster healing times and reduced pain and anxiety.
It’s not a hard concept to get behind, is it? After all, we’ve probably all experienced how much a simple act of kindness can lift the spirits. And our minds and bodies are linked – navigating the patient experience is about far more than attending tests and undergoing interventions; it’s about processing what’s happening and adjusting and engaging psychologically and emotionally too.
For private healthcare organisations, kindness, compassion and empathy aren’t something that start from the initial patient consultation. They need to start long before that – so that they’re clear from the very first impression you present to the world.
If these values are at the heart of your brand and services, then in today’s competitive and cluttered digital marketplace, ensuring they’re woven through every item of communication you present – from your website homepage and video marketing campaigns, to your social media feeds – is paramount.