Customer/ Patient Changes Provides Opportunities!
We discussed in our last note that the reason that strategic thinking, planning and leadership is now so critical is that all of the key stakeholders, the micro and macro-environment is changing both rapidly and significantly. Stakeholders are any group that has a vested interest in the success and profitability of any organization. They include customers, suppliers, employees, communities, educational organizations, governments and others.
We will start with the most important stakeholder, the customer/ patient, to demonstrate why it is important to track, monitor and address their changes and provide some examples of how the changes can provide revenue and cash flow growth opportunities.
Let’s outline some of the most significant patient changes in the healthcare industry and the strategic opportunities:
- Aging: The population is aging and there will continue to be more need to care for the elderly. Opportunity: This may mean more “home centered and mobile” care and less use of clinics and ‘homes for the elderly”. Great opportunities for those with “digital solutions”.
- More multinational, racial and religious diversity that will require more language skills, more understanding of the cultural and religious beliefs and more competition from “non-traditional” healthcare approaches and practices. Opportunity: Partner with some of the non-traditional services that complement and enhance your offerings.
- More knowledge: Patients have more and more information available to them about all phases of healthcare and are able to enhance their own healthcare and challenge diagnoses. Opportunity: provide more information to patients and make them part of the decision process and in improving their own health.
- Paying more of their own healthcare costs: Patients are being required to pay more for their care since their insurance companies are increasing rates, increasing deductibles and reducing coverage. Opportunity: provide more information to patients that enable them to know how much they must pay for their services or procedures PRIOR to their being provided. (Enablemyhealth® provides programs to do this).
- Willing to shop for healthcare services: Since patients must pay more out of their pocket for services they are willing to shop around and have become less loyal. Opportunity: become more “patient focused” and have programs that encourage them to maintain loyal to your organization and continue your services. This may include special packages, more continuing information and contact with the patients, as well as helping them to finance your services.