Sunday, August 12, 2012

How can you quickly improve healthcare market position and generate revenue?

Have you ever taken a step back and from a strategic standpoint looking at what you can do to nearly immediately improves your market position and revenue generation? This isn't about massive advertising campaigns, gimmicks, wellness programs, etc. Its more about getting the basics right. The blocking and tackling that you need to do now, to prepare for risk and value-based payment models. If you can't get it right in fee-for-service model, then how do you expect to get it right in a risk model?

So very quickly here are six ways to improve your market position and generate revenue.

1. Brand and competitive position.

Consumers and patients are ready for convenient technology-enabled access to care. Healthcare providers that are capable of identifying their needs and how they want their healthcare needs meet though technology focused on them, will gain new patients and the next-generation of physicians. It's not a crime to use text messaging to send people information or confirmations about appointments, health reminders, or use QR codes to link to specific education or health offers.

2. Engage existing customers and patients.

An individual is only a patient 1/3rd of the time they come in contact with you. That is during the diagnosis, treatment and recovery phase. Pre and post this, they are a consumer not a patient. So why then is it the only time you meaningfully engage them is during the period when they are a patient? Doesn't make a lot of sense really. Consumer and patient engagement is about all of the time, not just some of the time. Engaging the individual on a continuous basis builds loyalty and return use or repurchase behavior.

3. Engage the physicians.

No matter the payment model you will still need a physicians or physician extenders order to get anything done in a healthcare setting. That means engaging physicians in meaningful ways, using the methods, technology and systems that will make their life easier, improve their productivity and protect or increase their income. An effective and efficient physician has more to do with the impact of cost and quality in your organization then you may have considered in the past.

4. Focus on the physician experience.

How hard is it for a physician or physician extender to practice medicine in your organization. Have you looked at the hassle factor that physicians encounter when they try to get things done in your care setting? Understand how the physician experiences your organization at every touch-point they encounter you. Understand their experiences overall from beginning to end, not just in an isolated segment. Fix what is broken, keep what is working. The more satisfying the experience, the better you will do financially.

5. Focus on the consumer/patient experience.

A healthcare provider's ability to deliver an experience that sets it apart in the eyes of its patients and potential patients from its competitors - traditional and non-traditional - serves to increase their spending and loyalty to the brand. You need to actively manage the customer experience in total by understanding the customer's point of view. That is, all touch points internally and externally that a customer/patient comes in contact with which in turn creates the experience. Exceptional experience means gains in market share, brand awareness, and revenue.

6. Embrace retail healthcare.

It's not going away as some may still think. There is a reason why Walgreens just purchased a health plan with millions of potential customers coming online for insurance and medical care in 2014. Traditional ways of delivering healthcare will go by the wayside in many cases. Price convenience, access are the drivers in retail healthcare. Find the need, understand the consumers behavior drivers, design offering around the consumer not you in a convenient location and price it appropriately. End of story. If you can't compete in this way, your market position, share and revenue will erode.

Six steps. Not so easy, or not so hard. Just takes courage and leadership.

Michael Krivich is an internationally followed healthcare marketing blogger with over 4,000 monthly pages views in over 52 countries worldwide. He is founder of the michael J group, a healthcare marketing consultancy dedicated to creating value through strategic marketing for hospitals and health system regardless of payment mechanism, either fee-for-service or value-based to increase market-share, revenue , brand and demonstrate actual return on marketing investment. Michael is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives and a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association.

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