In the 1950s, a renewed interest in memory sparked the development of advanced models to explore how information is stored and remembered. This exploration revealed intriguing connections between our emotions and memories. This article explores how to redesign your medical service experience and host events that elicit joy and loyalty, ultimately leading to a positive impression of your hospital.

Events and Emotions are Stored Together

Psychologist Gordon H. Bower conducted groundbreaking studies in the 1970s, uncovering the profound impact of emotions on memory. He found that our emotional state during an experience affects how well we remember it.

He uncovered what he called “mood-dependent retrieval” whatever a person has learned when unhappy is easier to recall when they are again unhappy. Bower concluded that we form an association between our emotional state and what is going on around us, and the emotion and the information are stored in memory together. It is then easier to recall facts that we learned when we were in the same mood as we are when recollecting them.

When we are happy, he observed that we tend to notice — and therefore remember – positive things; when we are sad, negative things attract our attention and are committed to memory more easily. For example, Bower found that unhappy people recalled details of a sad story better than those who were happy when they read it. The events and emotions are stored together, and we remember best the events that match our mood, both when they occurred, and when recalling them.

From Theory to Practice: Connect Events, Emotions and Data to Drive Loyalty and a Lovely Memory

Imagine 💡 a newly married couple, hand in hand, nervously awaiting their first ultrasound in the hushed anticipation of the department. Butterflies 🦋 flutter in their stomachs as their hearts thump in unison, both filled with the hope of seeing their tiny miracle 👶 come to life on the screen.

Let’s apply the above-mentioned psychological findings to impress and provide a positive experience for the couple visiting the hospital.

  1. Create a Positive Environment: As the couple arrives, ensure the waiting area is welcoming and cheerful. Play soft music, display colorful artwork or photos of happy families, and offer comfortable seating. Research suggests that a pleasant atmosphere can positively influence mood and memory, making them more likely to remember their experience favorably.
  2. Engage in Positive Interaction: When greeting the couple, smile warmly, maintain eye contact, and use friendly language. Engaging in positive interactions can help establish a connection and put them at ease. Studies show that people tend to remember encounters with friendly and helpful individuals more positively.
  3. Personalized Care: During the ultrasound appointment, take the time to explain the procedure in a reassuring manner, addressing any concerns they may have. Use empathy and understanding to create a supportive environment. Research indicates that personalized care and empathy can enhance memory retention and overall satisfaction with healthcare experiences.
  4. Celebrate the Moment: After the ultrasound, celebrate the exciting news of their pregnancy. Offer congratulations, provide them with a keepsake such as a printed ultrasound image or a small gift like a baby onesie. Celebrating positive moments can create lasting memories and leave a favorable impression of the hospital’s services.
  5. Follow-Up Support: Following the appointment, follow up with the couple to check on their well-being and address any further questions or needs they may have. Providing ongoing support demonstrates commitment to their care and fosters a positive relationship. Studies suggest that follow-up care and communication significantly impact patient satisfaction and loyalty to healthcare providers.

Congratulations !

Your personalised approach, driven by psychology-based strategies, eases their anxieties and creates a welcoming environment. This positive first impression fosters trust and increases the likelihood they’ll choose your hospital for their entire maternity journey.

Now, think about it: over the next two years, this couple will require various medical services, from prenatal care to the baby’s first year checkups. That’s a valuable opportunity to build a lasting relationship.

But the question is, will you nurture them or lose them?

Simply keeping electronic medical records is not enough. To truly nurture this crucial relationship, you need a specialized tool. My Associates is the answer.

It is a specialized tool for keeping track of every meaningful detail in every interaction. Our platform fosters personalized engagement, keeps you connected at every step, and strengthens patient loyalty. Don’t let this valuable opportunity slip away. Choose My Associates and cultivate long-lasting relationships with your patients.

Calculate the Opportunity Cost

Opportunity lost is the opportunity cost. Here is a list of services the couple might need during their entire maternity journey. If you fail to nurture them, you loose the business and someone else will take care of them. Now, write the prices of the following services and calculate the opportunity cost.

Pre-conception:

  • Pre-pregnancy counseling: Discussing risk factors, preconception vitamins, and overall health optimization.
  • Genetic testing: Screening for potential inherited conditions based on family history.
  • Vaccinations: Updating immunizations, like rubella and measles, for both partners.

First Trimester:

  • Pregnancy confirmation test: Home test or blood test.
  • Prenatal vitamins: Providing essential nutrients for mother and baby.
  • Prenatal appointments: Regular checkups monitoring health, weight, and fetal development.
  • Early ultrasound: Checking for viability and location of the pregnancy.
  • Nuchal translucency scan: Screening for potential chromosomal abnormalities.
  • First-trimester screening: Blood tests and/or ultrasound to assess risk of Down syndrome and other conditions.

Second Trimester:

  • Prenatal appointments: Continued monitoring and discussions about childbirth options.
  • Anatomy scan: Detailed ultrasound examining fetal anatomy and potential abnormalities.
  • Maternal alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test: Screening for neural tube defects.
  • Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT): Optional blood test for genetic information about the fetus.
  • Glucose tolerance test: Screening for gestational diabetes.

Third Trimester:

  • Prenatal appointments: Regular checkups monitoring fetal growth and preparing for birth.
  • Group B strep test: Screening for bacteria that could affect the newborn.
  • Non-stress test and/or biophysical profile: Monitoring fetal well-being.
  • Amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS): Optional invasive tests for detailed genetic information (if medically necessary).

Labor and Delivery:

  • Delivery services: Vaginal birth, cesarean delivery, or other interventions as needed.
  • Newborn care: Apgar score, newborn screening, and initial assessments.
  • Postpartum care: Mother’s recovery, breastfeeding support, and newborn monitoring.

Additional Services:

  • Genetic counseling: For couples with family history of genetic conditions.
  • Mental health support: Addressing anxieties, depression, or other concerns during pregnancy and postpartum.
  • Parenting classes: Preparing for newborn care and family life.

Have you calculated the opportunity cost?
Do you want to lose your business or nurture it?
You decide!


Gordon H. Bower

Gordon Howard Bower was a cognitive psychologist studying human memory, language comprehension, emotion, and behavior modification. He received his Ph.D. in learning theory from Yale University in 1959.

Reference

Benson, N., Ginsburg, J., Grand, V., Lazyan, M., & Weeks, M. (2012). The psychology book: Big ideas simply explained. Gabal.


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