The Peculiarities Of Healthcare Administration

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Abstract

Marketing plays an essential role in the healthcare industry. As an integral component of sustainable growth, it helps healthcare organizations to create, communicate and offer value to their target market. Marketing healthcare services present unique challenges in comparison to other consumer services. This is because, unlike other consumer services that deal with purchasing behavior, healthcare services deal with healthcare behaviors. This paper focuses on the marketing strategies used in healthcare. It begins by defining health care consumers and the various factors that affect their behavior. Health care consumers as used in this paper refer to people who use the services of healthcare providers, along with their family and carers. The key factors affecting consumer behavior addressed in the paper include financial, geographical, age, and social factors. The paper then addresses some of the elements that are necessary to achieve success in health care marketing and the key strategies and techniques that healthcare organizations currently use in marketing including developing a content marketing plan, asking for online reviews, cultivating a social media following, and using paid search ads.

Healthcare Administration

Marketing plays an essential role in the healthcare industry. Healthcare organizations need it to promote brand image while the public needs it to promote their health and well-being courtesy of the free health information they get. Healthcare organizations also need marketing to show patients that their practice is different from the competition and that they offer a much better option with regards to service delivery. Marketing healthcare services present unique challenges in comparison to other consumer services in that, unlike other consumer services that deals with purchasing behavior, healthcare services deal with healthcare behaviors. This paper focuses on the marketing strategies used in healthcare. It begins by defining health care consumers and the various factors that affect their behavior. It then addresses some of the elements that are necessary to achieve success in health care marketing and the key strategies and techniques that healthcare organizations currently use in marketing.

Health care consumers refer to people who use the services of healthcare providers, along with their family and carers. Healthcare consumer behavior can be defined as the study of healthcare consumers and the criteria that they use to select, consumer, and dispose of healthcare services. There exist many factors that influence healthcare consumer behavior. Some of these include financial, geographical, age, and social factors. Financial situations define a consumer’s purchasing power. Like any other consumers, healthcare consumers generally analyze their purchasing capacity before deciding to purchase healthcare services. A consumer can only purchase those services that meet their purchasing ability. With regards to age, the consumption of healthcare services tends to change with time. This is because the medical needs of individuals tend to vary with age (Cheah, 2014). For instance, as individuals grow older, their expenses on health care services may rise. Geographical factors such as the extent of urbanization also influence consumer behavior. For instance, the number of health care providers per capita tend to be higher urban location than in rural areas, providing consumers in urban locations with more options (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018).

Social factors that affect consumer behavior include roles and status, family, and reference groups. Family influences the behavior of healthcare consumers by influencing how they make decisions regarding the purchase of health care services (Rani, 2014). For instance, in some families, the head of the family may alone decide on which health care service providers should be visited. Reference groups, on the other hand, can influence the behavior of a consumer by affecting how they perceive a healthcare service. Eventually, roles and status can affect the behavior of a consumer by influencing the type of services that they purchase (Rani, 2014). For instance, a person that holds a higher status in the society is expected to purchase healthcare services that befit his/her status.

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To achieve success in health care marketing, several requirements need to be fulfilled by healthcare leaders. These can be categorized into 5P’s namely portable, patient-centered, personalized, prompt, and pathways. (Healthgrades Operating Company, 2016). Being patient-centered entails placing the consumer at the center of everything. It encompasses using the data available to identify target audiences and communicating with them in a way that is most meaningful, relevant and personalized. This way, healthcare consumers can be moved through their decision journey in a manner that is cost-effective and efficient. Marketing of health care services can also be made successful by providing patient-centered care. Providing patient-centered care entails aligning health care services to consumer’s preferences, needs, and values (Wilson, 2008). It details dimensions such as emotional support, respect, being responsive, involving family members, physical comfort, and information and communication. Research indicates that patient-centered care help enhance patient’s experience with the care provided and create public value for services (Wilson, 2008). Employing patient-centered approach in marketing is necessary to create an immediate connection with patients, build authority with the marketing content, focus on what patients care about that is outcomes and benefits, and establish trust in the marketing message.

Being prompt as one of the 5P’s of healthcare marketing encompasses ensuring that information that is sought by consumers is easily accessible (Healthgrades Operating Company, 2016). It entails offering an appropriate response to consumer needs and streamlining encounter experiences as much as possible. Personalized, on the other hand, entails ensuring that messages are targeted, valuable, aligned with consumer needs and delivered in a manner that is desired by consumers. With regards to pathways, marketers must understand the pathway by which healthcare consumers identify, choose, engage with, and return to the healthcare system (Healthgrades Operating Company, 2016). One of these pathways is the consumer buying journey. Building a relationship with consumers start with awareness and move through consideration and engagement. This is then followed by successful service delivery and creation of experience which then cultivate trust and brand loyalty. Finally, being portable is another element that is necessary to ensure success in health care marketing. It encompasses expanding access, aligning services with lifestyles, and incorporating modern technologies that are increasingly becoming important to consumers.

Implementing marketing strategies in healthcare is essential because it helps improve the competitive advantage, increases visibility, and enable health care providers to understand their customers’ needs and expectation as well as create a solid reputation among patients (Purcarea, 2019). There exist various strategies and techniques that healthcare organizations currently use in marketing. Some of these strategies include developing a content marketing plan, asking for online reviews, cultivating a social media following, and using paid search ads (Husson University Online, 2019). Healthcare organization that wants to attract customers to offer quality information that is designed to educate their audience. Such information can be delivered in the form of videos, high-quality articles, and other pieces of content. By offering useful information the target audience, health care organizations can capture healthcare consumers who are looking for solutions to their problems. With regards to online reviews, healthcare organizations can ask for reviews using an automated system (Husson University Online, 2019). Reviews enable people to see positive experience while health care organizations can respond to and engage with dissatisfied patients to attempt to resolve their problems.

Cultivating a social media following is another strategy that healthcare organizations currently use in marketing. With the increased usage of social media sites like YouTube and Facebook, various hospitals have adopted the use of social media as a powerful strategy to build brands as well as attract and retain patients. Eventually, some health care organizations use paid search ads as a strategy to get their practice noticed. Such ads are usually location-specific, and they tend to target customers that are nearby.

In conclusion, marketing is necessary for healthcare organizations to create, communicate and offer health care value to their target market. Some of the techniques and strategies explained in this paper, that healthcare organizations currently use in marketing include developing a content marketing plan, asking for online reviews, cultivating a social media following, and using paid search ads.

References

  1. Cheah, Y. K. (2014). Factors influencing consumer purchase decisions for health-promoting goods and services in Malaysia. The Malaysian journal of medical sciences: MJMS, 21(6), 36.
  2. Healthgrades Operating Company. (2016). The Five Ps of Consumerized Healthcare: Converting Challenges into Opportunities. Retrieved from https://d26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net/db/bf/9e6175a6425dadd2a7511ea6f33f/hospitals-pdf-the-five-ps-of-consumerized-healthcare.pdf
  3. Husson University Online. (2019, August 6). The Elements of a Healthcare Marketing Strategy. Retrieved from https://online.husson.edu/healthcare-marketing/
  4. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2018). Health-care utilization as a proxy in disability determination. National Academies Press.
  5. Purcarea, P. V. (2019). The impact of marketing strategies in healthcare systems.
  6. Rani, P. (2014). Factors influencing consumer behaviour. International journal of current research and academic review, 2(9), 52-61.
  7. Wilson, E. V. (Ed.). (2008). Patient-centered e-health. IGI Global.

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The Peculiarities Of Healthcare Administration. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 6, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-peculiarities-of-healthcare-administration/
“The Peculiarities Of Healthcare Administration.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-peculiarities-of-healthcare-administration/
The Peculiarities Of Healthcare Administration. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-peculiarities-of-healthcare-administration/> [Accessed 6 Jul. 2022].
The Peculiarities Of Healthcare Administration [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2022 Jul 6]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-peculiarities-of-healthcare-administration/
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