The Need for Consumer Analytics in Healthcare

The Need for Consumer Analytics in Healthcare

When the healthcare industry hears "analytics," the default assumption is often clinical analytics—metrics that focus on patient outcomes, treatment efficacy, and clinical processes. However, to thrive in an increasingly competitive and consumer-driven market, healthcare organizations must also leverage consumer analytics. These analytics provide insights into consumer behaviors and preferences, driving smarter business decisions that enhance growth, optimize resource allocation, and improve patient satisfaction. 

The Gap in Healthcare Analytics 

Despite the disruptive potential of consumerism, many healthcare organizations remain predominantly provider centric. A 2023 survey by Kaufman Hall found that only 28% of healthcare organizations use consumer-centric metrics to make strategic decisions about their physical footprint. Moreover, just 39% utilize consumer insights to guide decisions on the range of services offered. These statistics highlight a significant gap in the adoption of consumer analytics within the healthcare industry. 

Benefits of Using Consumer-Centric Analytics 

1. Avoid Costly Real Estate Mistakes 

Investing in new facilities or acquiring existing ones involves significant financial risk. Consumer analytics can reduce this risk by providing valuable insights into site suitability. Using Buxton’s industry site selection models, healthcare organizations can analyze trade areas to make informed decisions without needing to transfer sensitive patient data, allowing them to begin evaluating opportunities right away. This approach helps avoid costly real estate mistakes by ensuring new locations are strategically placed based on consumer demand and preferences. 

2. Optimize Service Line Offerings and/or Existing Facilities 

Not all service lines are suitable for every facility. Consumer analytics help healthcare organizations determine which services to offer at each location based on local consumer needs and existing provider supply. This optimization ensures that each facility meets the specific demands of its community, enhancing patient satisfaction based on convenience and operational efficiency.  

Additionally, consumer analytics enable organizations to quickly understand the performance of existing facilities, identifying underperforming assets that may require additional support. By aligning service offerings with consumer needs and continuously monitoring location performance, healthcare providers can improve resource utilization and patient outcomes, ensuring that each facility operates at its full potential. 

3. Make Strategic, Data-Driven Decisions 

Effective strategic planning requires comprehensive market data. Consumer analytics provide insights into population demographics, payor mix, healthcare demand, and competition. These metrics enable healthcare organizations to make data-driven decisions about expanding services, entering new markets, and optimizing existing operations. By understanding the market landscape, healthcare providers can align their strategies with consumer needs and market conditions. 

4. Improve Patient Acquisition and Retention Efforts 

Consumer analytics are vital for identifying and targeting the right consumers. By analyzing consumer behavior and preferences, healthcare organizations can identify individuals with the highest likelihood of needing their services. This information allows providers to prioritize marketing and outreach efforts, ensuring they reach the right audience with the right message. Additionally, ongoing communication programs can be optimized to keep patients engaged, improving retention rates and fostering long-term loyalty. 

Bottom Line

The healthcare industry's future depends on its ability to adapt to a consumer-driven market. While clinical analytics will always be essential for improving patient outcomes, consumer analytics are critical for making strategic business decisions. By leveraging insights into consumer behavior, healthcare organizations can optimize their facilities, plan strategically, attract and retain patients, and provide the right mix of services. Embracing consumer analytics is not just a competitive advantage—it's a necessity for sustainable growth and improved patient care. 

Curious about how consumer analytics can transform your healthcare organization? Request a demo with Buxton today to see the power of data-driven insights in action.