In a quiet, reflective and personal moment—something doctors rarely seem to find—it can appear that everything about healthcare is changing. Maybe "total turmoil" would be the view of many professionals.
The feeling of not having a solid footing is unsettling. Much of the provider world is shifting from private practice to hospital employment. Expenses are up, reimbursements are down, or prospective patients don't seek treatment or slip over to the competition. The once predictable competition is rolling-up into a larger group, or the once reliable professional referral sources are...no longer reliable.
We see these and similar shifting sands in private practice and medical group situations. But the earthquake is also beneath the feet of hospitals, specialty clinics, fee-for-service providers and others as well. In fact, we don't know many medical providers who are unaffected.
Healthcare providers, administrators and marketing professionals confide in us that the business of being a doctor today is quite different than just a few years ago. And from our perspective, we see three ways that individual doctors and surgeons are dealing with change in the healthcare delivery system.
For the purposes of this article, we're generalizing a bit with the list above. (Please let us know if there's an additional category that we should add.) But before you decide which course of action is best for you, use your elusive quiet moment to reflect on your business and development goals.
If there are absolutely no dynamics at work in your professional world—and everything is just perfect—there's no need to review the following checklist. On the other hand, if you are not ready to "roll over" or if you want to break free from the "high beams," consider which of the following goal statements most accurately reflect your goal. (Hint: There are no right or wrong answers, and you should check all that apply.)
I would like to...
We are fond of the thought that "a goal without a plan is just a wish." If your goal isn't included in the list above, we'll add it if you send us a note. But to set a course in the choppy seas of healthcare, you'll need to devise a plan to get you where you want to go.
We've found that the first steps on the road to success are grounded in only six fundamental building blocks. We talk about that in this related article. And if you'd like to dig deeper with this marketing assessment, the questions continue on this page on our website.