How Orlando Health responds to patients' social media posts 24/7

Orlando (Fla.) Health responds to patient complaints — and compliments — on social media in real time, its marketing chief told Becker's.

The health system monitors social media platforms 24/7. If, say, a patient posts on Facebook that an emergency room wait time is too long, the marketing department jumps into action, said Andrew Snyder, senior vice president of marketing and communications.

"On all shifts, there's always somebody who the social team can reach out to and say, 'Could you go visit Mrs. X, who's downstairs in the ER?' And then we private message that person and tell them that somebody will come down and visit," Mr. Snyder said. "We thank people for saying nice things about us and we interface privately with people who have issues or comments or concerns that they want to talk about."

That instantaneous interaction with patients is just one way hospital marketing has changed in the more than two decades Mr. Snyder has been in the business. He started his healthcare marketing career in 1997 with Valparaiso, Ind.-based Porter Health before moving to Mishawaka, Ind.-based Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, eventually becoming chief marketing officer of the former Amita Health, based in Chicago. He now oversees a team of 55 staffers at Orlando Health, which has 23 hospitals and $5.2 billion in annual revenue.

Online reviews are also a big deal nowadays. Mr. Snyder said the health system is transparent about them, posting satisfaction scores from Press Ganey on physicians' websites if they have 30 or more reviews.

"U.S. News, J.D. Power and some of those types of third-party reviews are important. I don't think they're as important as the review that Mrs. Smith leaves her physician following a visit," he said. "It's that retail philosophy that we approach our marketing efforts with."

Hospital marketing budgets have also become much larger, Mr. Snyder said, making it imperative for him to track returns on investment.

"We have very clear conversations with our financial leadership of, 'You're very generous with the amount of money that you give me, here's what I'm doing with it, and here's the business that I'm driving,'" he said. "I know what my marketing ROI is. I know what the cost of acquisition for each of my patients is. That's something else that's really changed over time: this intimate knowledge of your marketing dollars and how they are spent and how best to spend them."

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