Think about the headline question a little. If the real aim is medical care delivered at the right time, in the right place, at the right cost, it follows that the centralization of healthcare around a hospital is not the right model for marketing.
Think about this like a distributive computer network model sharing the work across many computers instead of a single large computer.
If one examines the pace of change and innovation, it’s easy to envision marketing’s role more on the experience and demand management side of the equation, by building a hospital or health system brand that is distributive with the service and treatment location that best suits the healthcare consumers or patient’s needs.
It’s all about meeting the medical needs of the consumer or patient in the “distributive network” and building the brand among connected network touchpoints. Touchpoints that are not separate but a connected whole.
A distributive approach to your branding significantly changes the message and brand story. No longer focusing on the hospital as the center of the healthcare universe, the distributive care network marketing approach is the value of the network and brand to the individual.
Scanning the horizon, technology for health information exchange connectivity, EHRs, Google Glass devices, advances in remote monitoring, telemedicine, wearable devices, surgical procedures in an ambulatory setting, and pharmaceuticals, etc., the concept of distributive healthcare is a reality.
Instead of the centralization of work and workflow which currently is the most expensive and average quality setting, the patient or healthcare consumer for that matter, now moves in a system of care that is potentially more cost-efficient and effective with a greater opportunity for higher quality care that meets the Triple Aim.
Instead of the patient moving to the beat of the system needs, the system is more responsive and moves to the patient needs. It is also potentially more user-friendly resulting in greater engagement, experience, and adherence.
Now, what does this model taken from the computer world do to all those hospital mergers to create “scale” when affordable and accessible patient care, for the most part, is prevalent without ever setting foot in a hospital?
Michael is a healthcare business, marketing, communications strategist and thought-leader. As an internationally followed healthcare strategy blogger, his blog, Healthcare Marketing Matters is read in 52 countries and listed on the 100 Top Healthcare Marketing Blogs, and Websites ranked at No. 3 on the list by Feedspot.com. Michael is a Life Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives, and a Professional Certified Marketer, American Marketing Association. An expert in healthcare marketing strategy, digital marketing & social media, Michael is in the top 10 percent of social media experts nationwide and is considered an established influencer. For inquiries regarding strategic consulting engagements, call Michael at 815-351-0671. Opinions expressed are my own.