Today patients are better able to compare healthcare providers than ever before. According to a recent Gallup study – “To build and maintain patient loyalty and engagement in an era when consumers can shop around for the best value, healthcare organizations must not only provide quality care but also surpass patient expectations.”
The study goes on to note, “patient experience will be an increasingly influential factor in determining healthcare providers’ financial success”.
This means that as the future unfolds hospitals will not only be looking for ways to reduce costs but also to improve the patient experience. One pivotal trend that will increase the importance of the quality of the patience experience is the shift from a fee for service to an outcome payment model. Patient satisfaction will be an important component of pay-for-performance model.
The HCAHPS survey contains nine key metrics for measuring the patient’s perspectives on care: communication with doctors, communication with nurses, responsiveness of hospital staff, pain management, communication about medicines, discharge information, cleanliness of the hospital environment, quietness of the hospital environment, and transition of care.
What does all this mean for MedTech sales?
- MedTech salespeople must be more knowledgeable about the hospital’s strategic direction from executives in the carpeted halls of the hospital. Knowing answers to questions like: how is the hospital attempting to improve patient satisfaction – how does the hospital plan to differentiate itself from its competitors on patient satisfaction? – how do they plan to reduce costs and improve patient care?
- MedTech salespeople must consider how they can add value to the hospital efforts for improving the patient satisfaction. They must align their products and services to the new set of metrics. This will be true across product lines to include: medical devices, capital equipment, or consumables.
- It’s likely that increased patient satisfaction will result in additional players engaged in the buying process – for example: more involvement of senior level executives, patient care advocates, financial personnel, and facility personnel in charge of the hospital environment. This impacts various components of the sales process from the background information required for sales call planning, to whom will be required to participate in the sales cycle from the selling organization, to what the value discussion will look like. It will introduce new call points into the sales cycle – with different concerns, new objections and a different perspective on the balance between clinical and economic value.
Every time customers go through a period of transformation change, a new set of winners and losers emerge on the vendors’ side of the table. The winners are those that make changes in their sales process commensurate with the changes in the buying process.
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