Healthcare providers certainly offer a noble service: helping people stay healthy. They are also businesses that must grow profitably in order to recruit staff in a competitive marketplace and invest in their clinical and service capabilities.
While the path to profitable growth may vary from large integrated hospital-based companies to independent physician organizations, several fundamentals are always required.
A strong digital presence is a key success factor. Most consumers start their search for care online. A strong brand known for a quality value proposition is a great starting point (this is the product). For many consumers, this means positive patient reviews and convenient access to care. Providers who have strong websites and modern digital marketing capabilities such as search engine optimization (SEO) have a strong foundation for growth.
Having great relationships with your patients. Losing a patient requires you to acquire a new patient just to stay even. Great relationships require frictionless consumer-friendly processes, such as getting an appointment, and a culture of patient-focused service. Providers who survey their patients about their experiences and give constructive feedback to their staff have the best opportunity to improve the patient experience. Going a step further and incorporating patient satisfaction into the compensation plan is a great way to keep customer service top of mind for your team. Great relationships will help you achieve strong patient ratings online and positive word of mouth, creating an army of brand ambassadors.
Personalization of everything you do. Personalization makes your communications more relevant to consumers, which leads to improved consumer engagement outcomes. Executing a personalization strategy requires not only a deep understanding of your patients needs and your provider’s capabilities, but the ability to instill that insight into your processes. For example, a specific message from a physician on your team who specializes in diabetic care and has appointment capacity to a diabetic who is not engaged with your practice will be much more effective than a generic message. Using personalization that is scalable and automated requires sophisticated capabilities such as data management, analytics and marketing technology.
Healthcare providers that satisfy these three critical success factors will be well positioned for profitable growth in an increasingly consumer-driven marketplace. They will grow their business by acquiring and retaining patients and perform well in value-based care by engaging their patients in their healthcare.