Healthcare can be a harsh mistress, especially on the revenue side for hospitals and health systems exacerbated by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. With revenues falling and many on the brink of closure, new ways must be found to boost revenues.
The task will not get any easier as the pandemic rages, and in January, the new consumer price transparency regulations begin. The consumer will have the ability to search for prices on several hundred standard procedures among multiple providers.
Price competition comes to hospitals.
As difficult as this all is, patients still, for the most part, listen to and act on the recommendation of their physician when seeking hospital care.
|Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay|
After all the years on both sides of the healthcare marketing ledger and having worked closely with physicians, I fail to understand is why time and effort are not spent by hospitals improving the physician practice experience? I am not talking here about the token efforts, but a full scale all out a facility-wide step in eliminating or reducing the internal hospital barriers that physicians encounter when they have patients in your facility.
Is it award marketing and meaningless branding efforts?
When we all pat ourselves on the back for the excellent marketing campaigns and look at our branding if one looks and the data, you will find that changes in hospital market share and revenue are more determined by physician admitting practices. The one or two-point swings in share between the hospital, and competitors are the result of doctors moving their patients to hospitals where it's easier to practice medicine.
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If you want to grow and grow is profitable, physician experience improvement is at the top of the too do list. It's also one way to stop the out-of-network referrals, retain patients, and generate additional ancillary income.
Even today, nothing happens unless you have a physician's order. It makes no difference what the payment model or insurance plan is that the patient possesses. No doctor's order means no revenue and no growth.
What will bring the greatest Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) or sales effort, running ads that tell consumers are how great you are because you just got an award, or effectively and efficiently managing the physician experience?
Time to focus seriously on the physician experience.
It's about the physician's experience in admitting, treating, and referring patients, regardless of the point of service, be it the emergency room, hospital, surgical center, or home care agency.
Ask yourself how easy is it for them to practice medicine in your facility? How many complaints do they get from their patients about the hospital? How do you lessen the hassle factor for physicians to allow them to be effective, efficient practitioners of the medical arts?
Map out the physician experience touchpoints across the dimensions of their experience. Where are the gaps? Is the experience delivered with consistency day in and day out? Where does the experience consistently fail?
Be ready to make changes in how you do things. When your medical staff liaison, account rep, or insert title here person comes back stating the physicians encounter difficulties in practicing medicine in the hospital, be ready to make meaningful changes.
To restate a common theme, it is not about the hospital or health system any longer. It is all about value for physicians and patients. The physician experience is a significant part of that value.
|Image by Lisa Caroselli from Pixabay|
With the hospital and health system need to reestablish the trust of the patient because of the fallout and changes in care due to pandemic, the physician can play an important role. A role that is greatly determined by their hospital experience.
Manage the physicians experience successfully, revenue and growth will follow.