Successful Grateful Patient Programs – Steps to Get a 20x ROI in 3 Years

Successful Grateful Patient Programs – Steps to Get a 20x ROI in 3 Years

December 3, 2018

Successful grateful patient programs can generate 20x their cost within 3 years. That’s a stellar investment.

Follow these 4 steps to set up a group from your healthcare organization. Also, listen to our podcast with Chad Gobel, CEO of the Gobel Group. Chad is an industry expert on successful grateful patient programs and shares a complete step-by-step process. 

What is a Grateful Patient Program?

A grateful patient program is a fundraising strategy that allows hospitals and other healthcare systems to recognize and recruit major gift prospects among their former patients.  

What Do You Need to Create Successful Grateful Patient Programs?

To create successful grateful patient programs, it is important to understand gratitude and gratitude’s relationship with wealth. Gratitude (one’s desire to express thanks) can be shown in different ways. In successful grateful patient programs, gratitude can be expressed through philanthropic giving by former patients.

In the past, many healthcare institutions would contact wealthy individuals or people who knew wealthy individuals. These were considered to be the top prospects who could potentially give to their hospital. Some would respond to the requests, but many institutions and hospitals wouldn’t receive nearly as much as they’d planned for. Why? Because these potential donors had little to no connection in giving to their hospital. But, by reaching out to former patients, hospitals have been able to expand their pipeline.

Former patients, in that sense, have greater incentive to give to healthcare institutions or hospitals. If they had a positive experience receiving their treatment and were able to forge relationships with the clinicians who treated them, they may want to stay connected and support other patients in the future. Therefore, gratitude drives your decision to give, while wealth drives how much you’ll give. For example, you could be incredibly wealthy, but not grateful, so you give very little. By contrast, you could be incredibly grateful, but not wealthy, so you give as much as you possibly can.

You may be thinking: how can I find and communicate with former patients who want to say ‘thank you’ for the care and compassion they’ve received? Let’s explore the steps it takes to set up a grateful patient program.

Steps to Setting Up Successful Grateful Patient Programs

There are 4 key steps to set up successful grateful patient programs:

1. Engage Your C-Suite

When establishing your grateful patient program, it’s important to have a transparent channel of communication with your CEO, CNO, and CMO. They will champion your efforts, and they’ll help identify which doctors and nurses should be included in your program. Additionally, they’ll help initiate conversations between you and the clinicians you’ll be working with.

Not only is it crucial to involve clinicians in your efforts, but it’s important that you forge relationships with clinicians you work with. Clinicians are able to identify which of their patients are grateful. So, they have a keen understanding of who may have a greater propensity and capacity to give. However, since clinicians have formed relationships with their patients, they may feel apprehensive sharing won’t feel inclined to share information with you if you are extrinsically motivated in your efforts.

It’s important that your C-Suite share the benefits of a grateful patient program with your healthcare practitioners. While fundraising may be a means, it is not the goal. Grateful patient programs can help fund new labs, buy equipment that isn’t in your hospital’s budget, or pay for a canine program that provides pet therapy to patients. Sharing the benefits clearly will enable healthcare providers to understand and trust your motivations and be more open to working with your team.

2. Identify Which Doctors and Nurses Should be Part of Your Program

Once you engage and have the support of your C-Suite, you can begin identifying which doctors and nurses should be involved in your grateful patient program. If you’ve got two gift officers, identify 20-30 clinicians. Then, you and your CEO can host an event to speak with n the doctors and nurses you’ll be working with.

This gives you an opportunity to talk to them about how important their contributions are to your grateful patient program, and how important they are to the future. By consistently communicating with and empowering your clinicians, you’re showing them why their work matters, not only to you but to existing and future patients.

After the group session, it’s important to meet with each doctor and nurse individually. Openly involve them in the process during these meetings. Ask each clinician: what’s the most comfortable way for you to identify a grateful patient? What’s the most comfortable way you introduce the rehabilitation? How do you want to be involved in a way that in this philanthropic process lives as comfortable with you? This will help you create a foundation of trust between you and your clinicians.

3. Train Your Doctors and Nurses

By training your doctors and nurses in philanthropic giving, you can change the culture of your healthcare institution. Since clinicians work within the medical field, engaging in philanthropy will be uncharted territory for them. So, it’s important that they feel comfortable with how your grateful patient program works, and their role within it.  

Training may change the way clinicians think about your intent. However, the exposure may not change their behaviors. Clinicians may not suddenly feel inclined to share information about their patients.  So, it’s important to operationalize engagement so doctors and nurses can be more involved in the grateful patient process. If they are given information, but kept at a distance during the process, clinicians may not feel inclined to help because they’re still wary of how and what is needed from their patients. 

4. Use Data to Know Identify Patients and Families Who Could be Benefactors

WealthEngine can help craft a successful grateful patient program for your healthcare organization. Using automated data analytics, you can quickly identify patients and relatives of patients who can be benefactors.

We’ll show you their capacity to donate through wealth screening. More importantly, we’ll provide insights into their interests and prior giving history. This enables you to focus on the most promising individuals for your grateful patient program.

Learn more about leveraging WealthEngine’s powerful platform to create a successful grateful patient program for your institution. Take a minute to fill the form to the on the right and a WealthEngine representative will contact you soon. 

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