Study shows trust in health increasing despite ranking 14th out of 15 industries

By Stuart Hodge
The global health chair for Edelman says that work has to be done to ensure that trust in the health industry continues to increase. It’s after the 2...

The global health chair for Edelman says that work has to be done to ensure that trust in the health industry continues to increase.

It’s after the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer surprisingly showed that trust in the healthcare industry - including the subsectors: pharma, biotech, consumer health, insurance, and hospitals and clinics - is rising.

And according to Kym White, writing in Medical Marketing & Media, it’s vital that we follow five key steps to safeguard and advance this positive momentum. She does point out however, that work still remains to be done with health still ranking second-to-last in trust among the 15 industries measured on the Edelman Trust Barometer in the United States.

She said: “While growth in trust is good news for the healthcare industry, considerable room for improvement remains. The healthcare industry and the professionals serving it must continue to be cognizant of consumer expectations, and adapt their behavior to meet them and earn continued advances in trust.

“We can do that by focusing on activities that bridge the divide between the informed public and mass population by demonstrating inclusiveness and showing how companies are representing the interests of all stakeholders (not just shareholders).

“Then we need to build engagement and two-way rapport by talking with people, not at them. Creating dialogue, not monologue, will show audiences that healthcare companies are listening and that their feedback is part of a company's decisions.

"Companies are increasingly measured not only on what they say, but by their actions — so do more showing and less telling. Take actions that validate more general claims, and demonstrate transparency in how products and services are developed, priced and provided.

"Trust in traditional media is declining, yet is increasing for online search. Healthcare companies need to own their own stories by leveraging corporate media channels. Interactive, creative content that engages and informs can make an impact. Employees may also serve as trust-building spokespersons. This group is even more trusted than CEOs when sharing company information.

"And finally, humanizing the industry will increase trust. We believe one reason hospitals and clinics continue to have more trust is due to the people associated with them. Personalize outreach by telling the stories of the real people behind healthcare breakthroughs and the patients who benefit."

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