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How to go from tepid growth to radical growth

December 8, 2017

    Brian Fuller

    Across the country, as I talk with health system executives about plans for growth, a common trend emerges. There's often a very small gap between the fastest- and slowest-growing health systems within a geographic area. The fastest growth rate is typically 2.5%, while the slowest is typically about 1.5%.

    These low and narrow bands show growth has calcified in many regions. How can a health system create breakthrough growth in this environment?

    New strategies call for a focus on organic growth—thinking beyond expanding the health system's presence across a region or the continuum—to compete for customers, and specifically for patients, physicians, and employers.

    How to build customer-centric strategies

    My colleagues focused on health system growth and design, and I recently shared our perspective on the trends shaping this competition and how to develop an effective growth strategy. The principles for building a strategy are knowing your customers, designing around the patient journey, and marketing to inflect key decisions.

    To become the provider of choice for a community, health systems need to create value for customers by understanding customer segments and decision-making for the patient journey through episodes of care. By identifying the behaviors and decision-drivers that influence customer decision-making, health systems gain the ability to reach customers at key decision points and share compelling calls to action.

    Inflect customer decisions

    Beyond enabling the kinds of consumer marketing seen in other industries, using advanced longitudinal patient data and analytics also empowers health systems to see where they need some work. These data can provide insights on the strength of physician and consumer relationships, what kind of physician network the geographic area needs, and what network integrity strategies would be most effective.

    In short, instead of building strategy around the local competition and M&A, strategies for organic growth should begin with redefining success to delivering the maximum consumer value and developing lifetime loyalty. Disrupt your models before someone else figures out how to differentiate their services and attract your most important customer segments.


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