Transparency. It’s something health systems know they need to embrace. But many are either unclear how or concerned that it could ‘expose’ aspects of their operation they’d prefer to keep out of the public domain.
Empowering consumers to go ‘behind the scenes’
One health system that’s taking the lead is 10-year Remedy client, Sparrow Health System, a major independent health system in central Michigan. Earlier this year, Sparrow approached Remedy to develop several ads to communicate quality measures and ratings.
Early into the conceptual development, Remedy proposed an expanded strategy. Inspired by best-practice research into categories outside healthcare — including consumer packaged goods and foodservice — we saw an opportunity for Sparrow to take a national leadership role with its approach to transparency. Our recommendation: create a long-term platform that invites consumers to see ‘behind the scenes’ of the care they receive at Sparrow.
The centerpiece of the program is a dedicated website featuring original stories and video content that empowers patients to understand the ‘how and why’ behind Sparrow’s care processes, meet Sparrow people, and ask questions.
Initial concept testing with local consumers was met with overwhelmingly enthusiastic response. All participants said they would watch or read material like this, and several noted the positive effect this kind of information would have on building their trust and reducing anxiety about upcoming procedures.
The value we see
There is much credibility and leadership to be gained for health systems ready to bring some ingenuity and candor to how they approach transparency. It’s sharing ratings and quality, yes, but the real value to consumers is so much more.
People are eager to learn more about their care; the people who deliver it, and the details and decisions that go into designing it. In addition, being open with consumers can foster a sense of trust and understanding with your audience and help inspire patients to choose your organization over others.