By providing patients with the tools and balanced information to make educated healthcare decisions you will drive patient volume into your hospital.
This seems like an obvious statement, but in today’s world many organizations are more focused on promoting themselves as “the best” or “the first” instead of helping patients find the right care.
The New York Times article “Cancer Center Ads Use Emotion More Than Fact” highlights this trend including the ethical and regulatory dilemma associated with it. The article states:
“If a drug maker ran an ad for a cancer medicine, Food and Drug Administration regulations would require the company to be able to support any superiority claims with substantial evidence from rigorous clinical studies.
But federal agencies cannot limit the ad claims made by nonprofit medical centers about their ability to cure people of diseases like cancer, according to the government’s main ad regulator, the Federal Trade Commission.”
There are three main problems with the “We are the best” strategy:
- Patients don’t have the information or knowledge to evaluate your claim
- All hospitals are claiming they are the best, so you are not creating a point of differentiation
- This strategy provides no access point into your system. Is telling people you are the best filling beds?
If you stay true to your hospitals’ mission, you can follow the Rotarian Creed: “He who serves best profits most”. Create a Blue Ocean (uncontested space in the market) and make your competition irrelevant by:
- Focus on your benefit to the patient not your capabilities
- Provide clear access point into the system
- Utilize a full media mix
By following this simple strategy, you can define your strengths in the marketplace and increase your patient volumes.