By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
[Series Installment: How to Win More Patients for Your Most Profitable Service Lines; Step Four – Creating an Effective Plan. A free White Paper from the Healthcare Success Educational Library.]
A constant undercurrent in the turbulent transformation of the nation’s healthcare delivery system is competition. A better term is “hyper competition.” In many market areas, larger hospitals, community hospitals, independent hospitals and multi-faceted health systems are looking for ways to attract patients for their most profitable service lines.
It’s a considerable challenge, and for some, winning more patients in the face of tough competition is vital to success, and in some instances, absolutely necessary to remain viable. The Healthcare Success White Paper—How to Win More Patients for Your Most Profitable Service Lines—discusses some of the dynamics that are driving these changes. It also presents nine fundamental steps for an effective plan of action that is supported by proven, measurable strategies and tactics.
Creating a Winning Battle Plan
The White Paper—immediately available and free on request—first sets the stage for a winning approach. Step Four of the nine components focuses on tactics and creating a sound action plan for success. There are three primary justifications behind having a detailed service line marketing plan. These are:
- Informing and involving everyone about what is going to happen, when it will happen, who is responsible for making it happen and how much it costs;
- It defines accountability. In well-considered detail the plan sets expectations and helps everyone understand the goals; and
- A tight plan frames, and maintains, timelines and budget.
A winning battle plan will express certain key elements throughout. Devise your plan to include:
Clarity of Purpose: Implementation of the plan by those responsible will be for clear and specific purposes. It defines tasks, timing and methods to be used to achieve the defined goals.
Measurability: All plan tactics must have a quantifiable measure of success. Without tracking—success or failure—a marketing or advertising approach may not belong in the plan.
Realism: The goals of your campaign should be achievable. This isn’t easy to define without drawing on experience (and a realistic budget), but a four-to-one Return-on-Investment is usually a practical benchmark.
Approval: Review your plan with all higher-ups who may have some stake in the outcome and/or who may make decisions on the plan’s future (and yours).
In the face of increasing competition and change, it’s vital to consistently attract patients to the departments within your hospital for sustained profitability. And for more about the critical marketing strategies for building service line success, request a free download of the White Paper: How to Win More Patients for Your Most Profitable Service Lines.
And for related reading, see our previous post about Hospital Service Line Priorities and Why Hospital Marketing Decisions by Committee Rarely Work.
Written by: Lonnie Hirsch