This year's edition of FutureScan: Healthcare Trends and Implications from the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development offers several insights that can guide your marketing strategy for 2017—and beyond.
Here are four key trends identified in the report and their implications for marketers.
Trend: The New Role of Healthcare Integration
From FutureScan: Among the examples of what hospitals and health systems will need to meet new demands from their leadership and market forces are, “Comprehensive clinical and business intelligence to inform decisions pertaining to segmentation and stratification of populations.”
Data Point to Ponder: 63% of FutureScan survey respondents predict their organization will enter into a merger or other affiliation with another hospital or health system in the next five years.
Implication for Marketers: By leveraging CRM and data analytics, marketers can help identify the organization's best growth opportunities and target patient segments based on payer mix, demographic profile, and other factors to support peers in business development, community education, and other stakeholders.
Trend: Striking a Balance Between Population Health and Individual Health
From FutureScan: To succeed in providing holistic care for individuals, we must increase our efforts to meet patients where they are and make it simpler and more convenient for them to become and stay healthy.
Data Point to Ponder: Eight in 10 (81%) FutureScan survey respondents believe that in the next five years, new hospital or health system CEOs in their service area will have prior experience managing population health for a healthcare organization.
Implication for Marketers: By mining customer and market insights and translating the data into meaningful information, marketers can help inform strategic decisions around reaching their populations and delivering educational content to prevent illness/injury and manage chronic conditions.
Trend: Leading the Workforce of the Future
From FutureScan: Communication across generations is another complex challenge. In the past, a single communication strategy sufficed to keep staff engaged and up to date. Now, leaders need a varied set of channels to inform their staff. Social media has upended how nearly everyone communicates with others and connects to the outside world. Leaders should look for new ideas on how best to communicate by mining the special knowledge and skills of the digital natives — those who grew up with computers and the Internet — in their organizations.
Data Point to Ponder: 86% of FutureScan survey respondents believe their organization's human resources training, rewards, and recognition in the next five years will be designed to support the needs of four different age generations of employees.
Implication for Marketers: Creating a comprehensive content strategy that integrates with the internal and external communication efforts of HR, Foundation, and other functions will gain buy-in from employees and ensure consistency in the brand voice, quality, and frequency across channels. Tap into the talent and experience of digital natives on your team or at partner organizations to ensure content is distributed and optimized across preferred channels like social media and email.
Trend: Physician Leadership and Engagement
From FutureScan: Embrace physicians as partners by communicating with openness, building trust, seeking mutual commitment to goals, and involving physicians in decision making.
Data Point to Ponder: More than two-thirds (70%) of executives participating in the FutureScan survey believe that 75% of more of patient care in their hospitals will remain in the hands of physicians over the next five years.
Implications for Marketers: Like with any consumer, understanding your physician audience will help you to develop a communication strategy that aligns with their needs and preferences. This is another area where leveraging automation and other marketing technology can help you scale personalized communication and support your limited field resources dedicated to physician relations and business development.
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