3 Things you Need to do for Promoting your Hospital
Strategic planning is that set of decisions and actions which lead to the development of an effective strategy to achieve the basic objectives of the hospitals, viz. quality patient care at a reasonable cost and achieving excess revenue over costs.
Strategic planning is gaining importance in advanced countries, because the health care needs and technology is changing so fast that it is the only way to anticipate future threats and opportunities. Strategic planning is the need of the “market place”—which the health care industry resembles in some respects.
(ii) Marketing of Medical Services:
India now does not lack the infrastructure to attract overseas patients in substantial numbers. We do not have a lobby to sell medical services to the West.
Yet, among the services that India can sell to the West, health care could be one of the easiest. And the pickings promise to be plentiful in foreign currency.
When the UK’s National Health Service found hospital beds going empty at home, it began to sell health care services to the US. India needs to market its medical services abroad aggressively if it is to win a share of the global health care market.
India can now offer world-class facilities and services, with its growing number of well-equipped corporate hospitals at costs far below the international rates. The cost of a major surgical procedure, e.g. open heart surgery is still about one-third to half of that which would cost in UK or US.
Hospitals will have to be more receptive to marketing management philosophy which involves many conceptually new approaches within the framework of strategic planning.
With increasing health insurance coverage, price competition becomes an appealing marketing tool. We can anticipate competitive pricing schemes, use of incentive premiums, new attitude towards admissions, discharge, food service, “package pricing” obstetrical family participation programmes, and similar other changes designed to attract and service patients and his or her family members.
A competitive health care industry, with carefully devised marketing strategies for market product combinations is an emerging alternative to a heavily regulated and socialised system.
Strategic planning and marketing are associated with the challenge to do better in the health care market place, and to provide new dimensions to hospital management. The subject is dealt with in more detail in a later chapter.
(iii) Specialty Hospitals:
Medical science has expanded laterally to include the conditions surrounding sick people. Specialised hospitals are coming up in many places in recent years, e.g. those for cancer and cardiovascular diseases, geriatric hospitals, paediatric hospitals and perinatal hospitals.
Health maintenance organisations are institutions that are concentrating on preventive aspects of medicine, emphasising on diet, exercise, antismoking and anti-alcohol programmes, meditations and the like, with provision of only primary medical care.
The scope of conventional preventive medicine is being expanded by the health check-up centres. And the time may not be far when health promotion centres be in vogue as extensions of hospitals.