Achieving a New Standard in Primary Care for Low-Income Populations: Case Study 4: Marketing and Customer Service

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This related report summarizes four case studies of hospital quality, ACHIEVING A NEW STANDARD IN PRIMARY CARE FOR LOW-INCOME POPULATIONS: CASE STUDIES OF REDESIGN AND CHANGE THROUGH A LEARNING COLLABORATIVE

Executive Summary

Case Study 4: Marketing and Customer Service at the Urban Health Plan
This case study provides insight into how a South Bronx health center adapted highlytargeted marketing practices and by doing so was able to increase and sustain patient volume in a very competitive environment.

Urban Health Plan (UHP) had conducted an extensive and expensive media campaign for its new facility, which had generated much interest. But UHP soon realized it needed help in understanding the process of marketing without relying on expensive consultants. UHP enrolled in PCDC's Marketing and Customer Service Learning Collaborative.

PCDC helped UHP understand the importance of a two-pronged approach to community outreach. The first step was to create an in-house marketing division that was able to customize outreach efforts to narrowly defined populations. The second step was to create and maintain employee and customer satisfaction.

The case study examines how UHP created an in-house marketing division. Its goal was to increase and sustain patient volume through outreach to a specific population base. By achieving this goal, it significantly improved both employee and customer satisfaction.

Patient satisfaction survey results:
Centerwide patient survey—
UHP surveyed about 60 patients who gave their opinion of the center on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the highest.
Opinion of center6
Customer service6
Rating of different programs6–7
Overall satisfaction6
Focus group surveys of UHP services—
Excellent25%
Very good50%
Fair25%


Over the six-month course of the collaborative, the team clearly identified the unique needs of targeted market segments. It established a method of tracking new patients who came to UHP from those market segments. It also secured support from providers, board members, and other staff members, which is crucial to sustaining gains.

Urban Health Plan followed a Marketing Road Map, which is an outline for following new customer service principles that places strong emphasis on the patient. The health center used the five basic marketing principles as well as an additional eight customer service principles.

Five Marketing principles:
  • Situational analysis
  • Marketing objectives
  • Marketing strategies
  • Marketing tactics
  • Evaluation
Eight Customer Service principles:
  • Leadership commitment
  • Service defined from a patient perspective
  • Service standards
  • Continuous improvement
  • Internal communication
  • Ongoing communication
  • Reward and recognition
  • Patient satisfaction measures

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Publication Details

Publication Date: August 1, 2004
Authors: Pamela Gordon, Matthew Chin
Citation:

Achieving a New Standard in Primary Care for Low-Income Populations: Case Study 4: Marketing and Customer Service, Pamela Gordon, M.A., and Matthew Chin, M.P.A., The Commonwealth Fund, August 2004

Related Topics
Health Care Delivery

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