By Jay Juffre

A colleague and I were recently traveling to the Midwest on business.  We booked a nice downtown hotel we had both separately stayed at before.  As we traveled from the airport, he made the comment he had not stayed there since prior to COVID but recalled how great the service was.  I remarked how, the last time I had visited them, service had understandably slipped due to COVID restrictions.  We both felt assured that the experience this time would be back to normal.  We were mistaken.  The stay was not horrible, but it also came nowhere close to meeting our expectations.  Like a lot of hotels, restaurants, businesses, and maybe even your organization, this establishment is stuck somewhere between.  As an industry, we need to be taking the same approach.  Right now, whatever your reputation was in terms of patient experience prior to COVID–19 is exactly what you are being compared to by patients, visitor, and the community today.  This is a time of both tremendous opportunity and tremendous risk.  No matter if you were excellent or just ok, the opportunity to impress and win back patients and their families, should be front of mind.  The brand loyalty you had prior to the pandemic is not guaranteed as we come out of it.  Patient loyalty in many places is wearing thin.  Some people who dealt with the same doctor, hospital, or health systems for years are talking with their feet and moving to alternatives.  More and more the phrase, ‘well, I’m never going to that ______ again’ is heard predicated totally on the expectations consumers have on the experience they have today.  Take time to objectively look at your organization.  Is the care, attention, feel of a patient visit better or worse than it was a few years ago?  If not, you may be putting your reputation and revenues in serious risk.

 Jay Juffre is Executive Vice President, ImageFIRST. For more information on ImageFIRST, call 1-800-932-7472 or visit