How Hospitals Can Systematically Kick-start Growth Planning
Hospital market share is traditionally measured by the breadth of services offered, distance to customers, public perception, and physician capacity. But this measurement is becoming increasingly complex to calculate as major shifts happen around how care is delivered.
As discussed in a recent HealthLeaders Magazine article, “To win the market share battle, healthcare organizations must first redefine what it is and then build strategies that take advantage of the shifts in healthcare delivery.” Author Phillip Betbeze explains that the new indicators of market share include patient access (measured in part by ambulatory services growth, physician practices, and other service locations), physician claims data (outpatient surgery volume and growth, traditional office visits, and even telemedicine), and the cohesive network of services that make them a must-have for insurers’ narrow networks.
Strategies for how to measure market share (and plan for growth) must change alongside the shifts in care delivery. Executing a SWOT Analysis of your market share allows you to take into account the many new factors impacting care delivery. This analysis will also provide an actionable outline of where to focus when mapping out your strategic growth plan.
What Is a SWOT Analysis?
As defined by MindTools.com, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT Analysis is a technique for assessing these four aspects of your business.
As discussed in our popular “8 Steps to Strategic Growth Planning” white paper, conducting a SWOT Analysis for your organization as a whole can be a helpful way to examine internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and threats, and consider how each is helping or hindering system growth. It’s an important exercise to engage in early in your strategic planning process. Conducting a SWOT Analysis specifically in relation to market share is an extra step that allows you to home in on specific ways to address market share growth, an essential measure of success.
Using a SWOT Analysis, you can outline strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats directly relevant to your market share, such as the following:
- What service lines are helping you gain market share? How can you devote more resources to these strengths?
- Where are you losing market share, and what steps can you take to address these weaknesses?
- Where do you see your market shifting, and are those changes creating opportunities you should consider?
- What is the competition doing, and how do they stand to threaten your market share?
Let’s consider each of these aspects in more detail as they relate to measuring market share. We’ll then discuss how to apply these insights to your strategic growth plan.
Market Share Strengths and Weaknesses
As Marcus Buckingham, strengths expert and bestselling author, says, “If you want to grow—if you want to be successful in any way in your career, your relationships, your life—you’ve got to focus on strengths, and manage around your weaknesses.” A helpful personal mantra, this viewpoint is also useful in business. Hospital leaders will benefit, for instance, from investing in service lines that are already successful and looking for opportunities to grow these offerings. In the meantime, establishing outside partnerships or outsourcing expertise to manage areas of weakness will create margin to focus more on your strengths.
Market Share Opportunities and Threats
Possibly most exciting, as they highlight new arenas for growth or potential hazards to avoid, your opportunities and threats are as real and relevant as ever in our changing healthcare world. Opportunities and threats relevant for today include the following.
It’s no secret that Google, Amazon, and other major tech players are positioning themselves to be major disruptors in how healthcare is delivered. Their actions cannot be overlooked or taken lightly. Healthcare providers should be tracking how they are already affecting market share and looking for opportunities to proactively respond. As cited by Becker’s Hospital Review, “these companies leverage big data to make processes more precise and improve decision-making accuracy.” Healthcare providers can do the same by leveraging Stratasan’s APCD alongside our tools and services for more data-driven strategic planning. In our paper on “How to Make the Right Data-Driven Decisions,” we discuss our philosophy on how healthcare leaders interested in data analytics can capitalize on their resources and make more informed, data-driven decisions.
Preventive care can help lower healthcare costs by deterring the progression of diseases before they require emergency room care. This is an especially important opportunity for hospitals that treat a high number of uninsured patients. Offering more preventive services can keep these patients healthy and out of your emergency room. Dallas’s Parkland Hospital serves as a great example of how aggressively adopting preventive care can lower costs. Their “Frequent Flyer” program created a safety net for the city’s most vulnerable and effectively addressed soaring costs associated with uninsured ER visits.
While healthcare reform is hard to anticipate—it’s unknown exactly how healthcare reform will look in the days to come—one thing is certain: more change will come. Fee structures will change again, and the push for more transparency in services pricing will likely continue. Healthcare providers can’t plan for every change, but they can make strides toward developing patient loyalty and establishing deep roots in their communities that will weather even the most tumultuous times. This can be done by strategically placing additional surgery centers and FSERs, and by focusing on building a reputation for top-of-the-line telehealth offerings. Over time, this strategy will lead to market share growth that is in harmony with the shifts occurring in how care is being delivered. It will also create a web of healthcare offerings that are more convenient and agreeable to the needs of your community.
Applying Market Share SWOT Analysis to Your Strategic Plan
As you view your market share through the lens of a SWOT Analysis, you should take steps to apply these learnings and implement them to your strategic plan. This can be done using the following tools.
Stratasan’s Launch Pathway allows you to take what you learn from your SWOT Analysis and apply it directly to your strategic plan with minimal effort. Launch is a visual intelligence platform that makes data-based healthcare market insights accessible to anyone in your organization. It enables all team members to be on the same page, creating organization-wide synergy that leads to real-time decision-making based on a universal understanding of intelligence.
With Insights, users can access a personalized market narrative without the hassle of time-consuming data analysis. Insights takes information gathered across Stratasan platforms and translates it into meaningful takeaways that help align your team and empower growth planning. Leverage this tool to know where to focus and what growth opportunities to pursue in your market.
Blackbird is perfect for ”slicing and dicing” any dataset, including APCD. Use Blackbird to dig deeper into your data and address discussions that stem from your SWOT Analysis. Power analysts can gain unparalleled access to claim-level detail, easily apply filters, or add custom crosswalks to query and access the intelligence needed.
“Hospital-centric organizations used to measure market share in terms of inpatient volume or discharges, but as more services have moved outside the hospital environment, those have become less reliable measures of success.” - Philip Betbeze, HealthLeaders Media
As traditional market share measures change, the way healthcare planners measure and plan for market share growth should shift as well. Implementing market share measures based on a SWOT Analysis will help to move your mindset away from old practices and toward new measures for growth.
For more information on how Stratasan’s products and services can support your strategic planning and market share growth, schedule a discovery call today. Find out how we can make data-driven decisions more accessible for your team so you can realize greater growth in less time.
Article by Aaron Frazier, Customer Success Manager for Stratasan