Every provider wonders about the next patient, it is the why and how of the driving force used to operate your practice. Where will your next patient come from? In many cases it is an unfortunate and often immediate occurrence dealt by life that brings to you your next client. In the global healthcare industry there is a high possibility he or she could be from the U.S., as a U.S. patient and accompanied with unlimited questions and expectations of what he or she will receive from enlisting your service.
Currently you may be using word of mouth marketing. You may perform a treatment on a patient who, in turn, will refer your service’s to their friends, family and acquaintances, but how does this apply to the U.S. patient? It is off topic a little, but it supports the need of differentiating your market and marketing practices.
Defining an international patient or a medical tourism patient as “another patient looking to find you” is like finding a needle in a haystack, and is no way to plan an expansion into global healthcare.
What does a U.S. patient target market look like, could you recognize this market and most importantly where would you start to look? Are U.S. patients in need of your services or is it a fanciful market composed by the media’s fascination?
Let us assume for a minute that you do find the target market and access to entry to the market. How much of your current budget are you spending for patient marketing, would part of this budget be reallocated? If the new U.S. Patient market looked to be beneficial to your organization, how much would you be willing to spend per patient to attract that market? What happens if you have the best market plan and too many patients’ request treatment and can’t provide service? It is hard to be everything to everyone.
It can be done….
Forget about global healthcare marketing 101 and calm the bookkeeper telling you we can’t afford a medical tourism department, I have already resolved 100% of those issues for you; let’s take a look at the real market target, The U.S. Patient and what it would take for them to choose your facility and services.
Is it a cheaper price that the patient is looking for?
Yes, why not save money!
Is it better to identify to the patient your excellent care and highest quality healthcare?
Yes, I would want the best care and highest quality, you would to!
Is your location of City, Country a draw or a hindrance, has the world depicted your home town unfairly?
Yes to all three, unless you educate the potential patient of the experience they will receive by choosing you!
Do patients really expect a tan and a tour?
Yes, it is part of the allure, like it or not the patient wants to recover, rest and discover!
If you can’t identify yourself with the patient, the patient can’t identify with you. Start helping your patients before they have ever met you, I can help you with this. Accomplish your global healthcare position without staffing an office of confused employees that are wondering why the same person calls ten times a day using a different name, here again I can help.
I will not choose you “let the patient know that you are available for providing treatment” unless I am in need of your care and aware that you are willing to offer it.
This article just answered 90% of all the questions you should have about why a patient would choose your facility and service. The other 10% and the answer to global healthcare marketing 101 is available at firstname.lastname@example.org .
About The Author: Neil Fettig is the C.E.O. of Medical Tourism Connection the world’s largest global healthcare network. He has an extensive background in business, marketing and as a healthcare provider. Through his network he allows medical facilities the ability to access and manage millions of financially qualified patients using a free software system. Medical Tourism Connection allows facilities to focus their full attention to providing high quality care.