How to Build a Grateful Patient Program to Drive Lifetime Donors

June 21, 2017 Page Bullington

Today’s healthcare market is consumer driven. Forward thinking facilities must find ways to attract, keep, and nurture patients. Engaging grateful patients in philanthropy is an ideal way to do just that.

While data analytics and successful implementation strategies prove necessary for attracting potential patients, it is the ultimate responsibility of hospital and foundation staff members to collectively keep and nurture those relationships. Doing this provides the hospital foundation with a base of support that comes from its most loyal constituents, its grateful patients.

These types of constituent programs are formed at the intersection of clinical and philanthropic experiences and should involve hospital executives and foundation leadership. A well thought-out grateful patient program provides the guidelines to cultivate relationships with patients and turn those patients into lifetime supporters and donors.

10 key factors of a successful grateful patient program:

  1. Dedicated resources and staff time outlined from kickoff through implementation and evaluation
  2. A methodical, measureable plan with leadership buy-in and participation
  3. Data—HIPAA compliant patient demographics
  4. Amount, type and frequency of data needed and coordination with hospital IT
  5. Prescreening and database management tools
  6. Physician involvement
  7. Administrative patient rounding and continuous feedback
  8. Access to patient satisfaction data
  9. Refinement as program evolves
  10. A true partnership between hospital and its foundation

An effective grateful patient program involves the entire staff from clinicians, dining services, housekeeping, development, case management, executives and foundation staff. Statistics show that the majority of consumers grade their overall hospital stays as opposed to just the medical attention they received. Because quality care impressions are established from the complete experience, it is vital to have active involvement from each and every department.

Once established, regularly evaluating your grateful patient program is crucial. Tracking the process and staffing will reveal necessary adjustments. Following the amount of patient donations, measuring the duration between first solicitation and gift, and comparing resources spent versus donations acquired will be valuable as you continuously improve your campaign. Consideration and implementation of a grateful patient program is an initial investment, but increasing your facility’s bottom line from those whom have already been welcomed through your doors can provide a lifetime of loyal supporters.

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