The world as you know it is changing forever, so better for you to face the brave new world of healthcare marketing in 2010 and beyond, than to be on the tracks of an oncoming train like a deer in headlights and be hit unprepared.
Assuming healthcare legislation will pass in early 2010, its time for healthcare systems to start thinking and learning about demand management.
Not the generating type of demand for services, but managing the demand that will naturally come from 31 million plus people suddenly having access to health insurance and healthcare services. Granted, the reforms will phase in over the next few year until 2014, when the healthcare reform actions will be fully in place. The coming demand for services will be unprecedented. And the current configuration of the healthcare system across the country for care delivery is not ready. Not ready at all.
Hospital beds taken out-of-service over the years. ERs strained from over utilization; lack of nurses and primary care physicians; this is a marketers dream. Maybe not to the CEOs and COOs out there, but you have an underutilized asset. That's assuming of course that you do have marketers in your organization and not just people doing stuff and making pretty brochures. If you don't you're in trouble.
Marketers can play an important part in this generational transformation process. It's time to step up and step forward and lead a transformation in healthcare marketing that is long overdue.
Running an advertisement attempting to generate demand for a services is not the same as understanding local market forces at play and how much potential demand exists for services in your community. The healthcare consumer is becoming more mobile than at any other time in the history of healthcare. Choice, convenience and access. Can you meet those needs?
The Walgreens, CVS and Walmarts of the world already understand this and with retail clinics, home care and ambulatory infusion centers they are already well positioned to take advantage of all that new demand that will be coming on-line. That's your business and they will do it faster, cheaper and with better customer service.
It all about managing demand, customer service, and the right mix of docs and services. Otherwise, long wait times for care and procedures, poor customer services and patients choosing to go where they can obtain needed care.
A mobile healthcare consumer. A hospital and doctors worst nightmare. Unless of course you can manage demand and deliver exceptional customer service.
With change come opportunity. Hopefully you won't lose that opportunity.
Happy New Year everyone, 2010 is going to be something.
I can be reached at 815-293-1471 for strategic healthcare marketing consulting services.