More than likely, you answered “sort of,” or “I think so.” And not to sound harsh, but that means you probably don’t really know who your patients are.
That’s a problem, and here’s why.
In the past, healthcare organizations used their own intuition and basic demographic data sets to make decisions regarding site selection for medical facilities or how to get the most out of existing facilities.
Fast forward to the present day.
The healthcare industry is changing more rapidly and facing more competition than ever before. Now, in order to optimize and grow your healthcare organization, you must know, I mean really know, your patients.
Because the best way to keep current patients satisfied, ensure efficient referral patterns and acquire new patients is to create a profile of your existing patients and then find more just like them.
What is Patient Profiling?
Patient profiling may seem like some sort of violation of privacy, but I assure you it’s not.
Patient profiling simply models the behavior of your current patients to forecast the behavior of future patients.
It goes well beyond traditional demographic variables by using patient analytics and psychographic characteristics, such as where people shop, what they buy, and what kinds of healthcare services they utilize, to create a complete how-to guide on reaching core patients and best potential patients.
Building a patient profile isn’t as complicated as it sounds – once you have the right structure in place.
Here are a few key steps to building and getting the most out of your patient profiles:
Combine datasets for a sharper view. Viewing patients through a single lens is never enough. Instead, you can get a more accurate picture of who they are if you start with facility and patient encounter data from your own organization then take it further by layering on other datasets, such as ones that include psychographic information. Combining these two types of data will give a complete picture of who your patients are.
Work from predictive models. Analyzed together, the various data sources produce powerful, in-depth profiles of your patients, helping you create powerful tools to predict their future needs and behaviors.
Understand your patients and locate more. Once you have the right profiles, you can zero in on markets to find the “look-alike” patients with the traits most similar to your existing best patients. This allows you to make well-informed decisions about how those patients can support your facility and system growth and whether that growth can occur without cannibalization.
Precisely target your marketing. By knowing and understanding your patients’ and prospective patients’ lifestyle choices, behaviors and media preferences, you can craft more effective messages and ensure a more positive response rate.
By achieving this higher patient knowledge, you’ll be able to answer your most important business questions, such as the following, with certainty.
- Have we achieved optimum market penetration?
- How many medical office facilities can the market(s) support?
- How well will our new locations perform?
- What service lines/specialties should we offer at each location?
- How can I get the most out of my existing facilities?
The Bottom Line
In addition to giving your healthcare organization a patient-centric focus, patient profiles allow you to develop a deeper understanding of your patients’ needs and tastes and to personalize your relationship with them.
In the wake of a changing landscape, you can no longer rely on gut instinct or experience alone when making business decisions that will affect the bottom line.
Patient profiling takes the guesswork out of strategic business decisions, making it an ideal model for organizations looking to start, grow, or simply retain the current market position they have by meeting real marketplace needs.
Are you getting all the insights you possibly can from your patient data? If your answer is no, let’s talk about how Buxton can help you achieve your full potential.