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The Concord Clinic and the Gang of Four

The modern healthcare landscape is witnessing rapid digital transformation, significantly impacting the patient journey. With the proliferation of the internet and smart devices, patients today increasingly rely on digital channels right from the initial research phase to find suitable providers, understand treatment options and even connect with other patients. Recent trends show that patients search for a new healthcare organization online. This underlines the need for organizations to optimize their digital assets and online patient experience, as it can influence crucial first impressions and even decision-making. However, some need to be more sceptical about focusing too much on promoting the digital journey. This paper emphasizes the strategic importance of addressing the holistic patient journey in today’s digital age. It analyzes critical aspects like why online expectations matter, conveying value beyond just marketing and the role of engaging patients digitally.

Today, the patient journey begins online before physically interacting with the healthcare organization. “The group felt that there was an increasing need to recognize that people in the community were on blogs”, as mentioned in the case (Berkowitz, n.d.). This highlights the importance of managing their first impressions and expectations formed during digital interactions. Any scepticism around focusing only on promotion is shortsighted as it fails to recognize this changed reality of how patients research and make decisions. The healthcare organization risks losing traction with patients today if their online journey and experience could be smoother and meet expectations.

Addressing evolving expectations holistically across the journey aids in building long-term trust and credibility in brands, a core need in healthcare today. This fosters solid patient-provider relationships, engaging individuals as collaborative partners in their wellness. By smoothing journeys and delighting at each transition digitally and physically, adherence to care regimens can significantly boost. Beyond prescriptions, digitization allows scaled engagement through communities and gamification, further empowering patients. Producing and sharing data has fundamentally shaped humankind’s journey across eras (Farsi, 2021). Data unlocked from touchpoints gives deeper consumer understanding, improving customized services and outcomes over time. Ultimately, all this cumulatively enhances loyalty metrics like NPS and brand equity, the proper measures of success much beyond short-term sales. Persuading sceptics from this strategic value perspective can gain more robust investment support.

There is undoubtedly a role for engagement with patients to gain insights into their expectations and pain points during the digital journey. A systematic review of telehealth concluded that over three-quarters of studies reported the economic benefits of digital healthcare tools for various ailments (Irving et al., 2017). Leveraging tools like surveys and feedback forms on the website and social platforms can provide valuable input. These can enhance the online experience and align it with how patients search and make decisions today (Thapa et al., 2021). Engagements also help organizations via social media updates on platforms like Twitter, which aid in tracking the progression of illnesses like cholera and influenza during disease outbreaks through online posts and discussions on the platforms (Denecke et al., 2018). Active engagement also ensures that the journey is more patient-centric and customized to their needs, building more excellent rapport and advocacy over time. It strengthens the relationship on both digital and physical fronts.


In conclusion, the case highlights the need to prioritize the evolving patient journey holistically and judiciously. Pilot studies effectively demonstrated enhanced outcomes when seamlessly addressing digital and physical touchpoints. Competitive pressures and long-term strategic benefits further emphasize timely optimization. Most importantly, insights-led patient collaboration through consultative engagement and multi-channel experiences assures continued differentiation. Pilot testing maintains innovative momentum to meet rising care expectations effectively. With collective efforts and optimism, opportunities exist to sustainably differentiate and stay ahead of the curve in serving communities seamlessly.


Berkowitz, Eric N. “The Concord Clinic and the Gang of Four.” Essentials of Health Care Marketing, Fifth Edition.

Denecke K, Krieck M, Otrusina L, Smrz P, Dolog P, Nejdl W, et al. How do you exploit Twitter for public health monitoring? Methods Inf Med 2018 Jan 20;52(04):326-339

Farsi, D. (2021). Social media and health care, part I: A literature review of social media use by health care providers. Journal of medical Internet research23(4), e23205.

Irving M, Stewart R, Spallek H, Blinkhorn A. Using teledentistry in clinical practice as an enabler to improve access to clinical care: A qualitative systematic review. J Telemed Telecare 2017 Jan 16;24(3):129-146.

Thapa, D. K., Visentin, D. C., Kornhaber, R., West, S., & Cleary, M. (2021). The influence of online health information on health decisions: A systematic review. Patient Education and Counseling104(4), 770–784.


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