The role our doctors play as decision-makers in how we make health care choices is undergoing a dramatic transformation, thanks in large part to empowered online consumerism. Seventy two percent of Internet users say they look online for health information. That’s become a game changer when it comes to evolving how hospitals and health services market themselves.
Hospitals with progressive leadership are reevaluating their marketing focus, establishing a stronger and more strategic digital presence. Sure, the Affordable Care Act has seismically shifted health care’s landscape but equally if not more influential is the preponderance of health information available online. The entire health care industry is shifting into “retail” mode thanks to informed, empowered consumers. The industry is rapidly headed down a new road with new rules.
Today, providing health care is a collaboration between patients and doctors now that consumers are routinely going online to understand medical conditions or research medical providers. We’re seeing that trend in everything from urgent care to surgical services to primary care practices. Digital content and effective online presence strategies are now essential for hospitals to stay relevant and competitive.
E-commerce giants like Amazon are now entering the health provider world to further disrupt traditional business practices. Plan on seeing this new breed of competitors introducing more dedicated health services to fit an all-new patient-centric health model. Just as Minute Clinic is helping to reshape family practice physician environments, the hospital/health provider business is poised to shift even more as new, well-funded players begin to diversify what was a hospital-only landscape for medical services.
As change becomes the norm for hospitals, marketing that’s an investment, not an expense, emerges as the catalyst for enduring success. Marketing is now more than ever poised to deliver the right messages, to the right audience at the right time.
Rich Williams, SVP/Strategic Business Development