I'm a little surprised more hospitals that excelled in last Friday's initial release of the government's surveys of hospital patient satisfaction, which I described Friday afternoon here and here, haven't fired up their marketing bandwagons. "Customer relationship management," the buzz term for building consumer loyalty, has become just as important to hospitals as it is to other corporations of any kind or size. But the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development, an arm of the American Hospital Association, doesn't even headline the survey on its home page, and my quick Google search using combinations of "hospital," "patient," "satisfaction," and "survey" didn't produce a gush of announcements.
My confessed bias is to limit the weight these survey results are given when selecting a hospital, so maybe the absence of puffery about happy patients is a good thing.
Incidentally, I owe thanks to Suze, who questioned my claim that there was 100 percent participation from all of the hospitals in Baltimore and San Francisco and within 25 miles of our Washington, D.C., offices. She found some in all three places that did not submit patient satisfaction data, and she is correct on all counts—having taken another look, I can report that there are six opt-outers in the D.C. area alone. That's what can happen when my fingers move faster than my thoughts. Embarrassing.