The idea of consumer-driven anything, let alone healthcare, is not a new idea. Let’s just say, it’s been around…though probably not in YOUR hospital. So what? In rural hospitals where traditional medicine, and the traditional thinking that goes along with it, reign supreme, why should you do anything differently? I’m glad you asked. Wake up and smell the Pop Tarts. This ain’t 1950. The business of healthcare is changing faster right now than it ever has, and not for the better. You better be changing with, but I see so many hospitals continuing to maintain status quo…”because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” – And that is a great way to shut down your hospital.
Healthcare improves every day, but the healthcare industry under the current model, I believe, has long since peaked in this country. The game has changed. Have you? We must begin by thinking differently. For example…patients are NOT patients. Thinking of them as patients, as you were taught, is a mistake. CONSUMERS, or CUSTOMERS, is more accurate. You better start communicating this to your clinical staff if you haven’t already. And guess what? “PatientSatisfaction” is no longer good enough either. You should be shooting for one of the “E” words: “Patient Excitement,” “Patient Exuberance,” or “Patient Elation.”
Take your healthcare hat off and put on your business hat if you want to have a successful business. You must meet and exceed the demands of consumers if you want to survive in the future of healthcare.
Consumers have two demands:
Consuming services in your hospital is inconvenient because you are too slow, too inaccessible, and too expensive. So, are you doing anything about it? Probably not. You are probably sitting back like every other hospital waiting to see what our government is going to do next to destroy the industry (country). You will inevitably become part of the “system” that will be the next healthcare industry in this country, the government system. DON’T! Here are some tips:
Can your customers Google you? Do you have a website? Are you engaging your patients via social media? Are you giving your customers value above and beyond your competitors? Are you exploring alternative delivery models? Are you exploring alternative payment methods? Are you targeting the consumers that you want consuming services in your hospital and practices? Do you understand how your customers qualify the care being provided at your hospital? (Because our customers use a very different quality rating system than we do.)
Your answers to these questions and others better be yes, because when the game changes, opportunities arise. Opportunities breed new ideas. New ideas become new reality. New reality beats your 1950 model every time. Chances are, you are behind. Catch up! Healthcare is changing with or without you. Change. Stay ahead of the game, the government, and consumer demands…and win.