COVID-19 and the innovation that continues to rapidly evolve in patients' access and comfort in using digital healthcare can be transformational for the hospital. For example, the pandemic has placed the patient in charge of when, where, and how hospital services are utilized. Suppose for a moment that the pandemic has taught patients how to change utilization behavior. In that case, telemedicine and digital healthcare teach that one only needs a hospital for a few medically necessary services that cannot be provided in a freestanding ambulatory center.
|Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay|
The fourth wave of the digital healthcare transformation is an opportunity for the hospital.
The patient is increasingly in control. Patients control their health and health data through wearables, mobile health platforms, telemedicine, and self-tracking devices. Patients have experience expectations based on previous non-healthcare digital experiences by selecting the most appropriate digital healthcare type.
What does it all mean for marketing the hospital?
In the fourth digital healthcare wave, hospitals need to be transforming from a group of static services to the view that hospital services are living and liquid with precise engagement and service expectations. In the fourth digital wave, the leverage for new market positioning is there to take for hospitals who understand that services are liquid with different patient expectations.
|Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay|
1. Spend the money for market research to understand how the market segments, primarily how the Silver Surfers use digital health, the internet of everything, and their expectations around those channels.
2. Understand the experience, expectations, messaging, and perceptions of the hospital or health system digital brand. Does it meet the expectations uncovered in the market research?
3. View the hospital's digital brand as liquid. Hosptial leadership, physicians, and clinicians should view most hospital services not as static provided in-person in a single location, but as liquid which can be provided in any number of digital channels.
4. Learn from other industries, such as Amazon, Apple, Uber, and competitive innovations, that the patient has and is transferring to the hospital. Learn and emulate.
5. The patient moves quickly between mobile, online, wearable, and smartphone devices with expectations for a seamless digital experience. Can the hospital or health system deliver on the expectation?
6. Development the internal marketing educational programs for all staff levels about the fourth digital wave. Include what it means when the patient is searching for providers and how they use the hospital's digital experience. It's not just an excellent wireless experience.
7. The more difficult but now essential transformation is from the hospital-centric business model to a patient-centric model.
8. Marketing needs to lead the active use of digital in establishing the patient experience and engagement. Digital is where patients live and expect to be engaged seamlessly across all digital platforms.
9. Focus marketing efforts on the hospital brand and value proposition along with value-focused communications on outcomes, experience, and expectation.
10. Listen to the patient digitally. What a patient or their family says in person, is often, a very different picture of what they say in the digital world.
Hospitals have courageously innovated and changed to meet the patient needs during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There is no letting up now. The next great transformational leap awaits.
Michael is a healthcare business, marketing, communications strategist, and thought leader. As an internationally followed healthcare strategy blogger, his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters, is read in 52 countries and is listed on the 100 Top Healthcare Marketing Blogs & Websites ranked at No. 3 on the list by Feedspot.com. Michael is a Life Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives. An expert in healthcare marketing strategy, digital marketing, and social media, Michael is in the top 10 percent of social media experts nationwide and is considered an established influencer. For inquiries regarding strategic consulting engagements, you can email me at email@example.com.
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The opinions expressed are my own.