Business acumen in healthcare: The need for consumer-minded leaders

William Woods Business

telemedicine and healthcare administrationHealthcare is changing rapidly. The influx of new technologies and evolving patient expectations are among the primary forces driving change. A recent report by a healthcare business consultancy, VIE Healthcare, highlights a notable shift in the healthcare sector’s perception of who it’s serving — from “passive patients” to “discerning healthcare consumers.”

This shift comes as no surprise at an age where patients conduct their own research by reading online reviews or comparing prices before choosing their provider or a healthcare facility. As a result, healthcare executives are becoming more aware of the need to ensure and maintain a high level of patient satisfaction. Satisfied consumers can provide positive reviews, testimonials, case studies and ultimately proof that can help influence prospective patients.

However, ensuring high patient satisfaction is no easy feat. Some of the strategies prescribed in the VIE Healthcare report are primarily related to measuring, analyzing and responding to patient satisfaction surveys. The following are some of the tips offered in the report:

  • Administer patient satisfaction surveys using multiple channels (phone, email, mobile, etc.) to ensure wider reach and participation.
  • Translate gathered data into insights and actionable steps aimed at resolving patient complaints and improving overall satisfaction.
  • Establish internal communication channels that allow relevant staff and employees to stay informed regarding patient feedback.
  • Leverage positive patient feedback for marketing purposes.
  • Invite satisfied patients to provide online reviews or testimonials.
  • Continue to use patient feedback to inform continuous improvement efforts.

Beyond ensuring and measuring patient satisfaction, the report also identified other key concerns for today’s healthcare executives. Among them are implementing telehealth, leveraging analytics to increase and/or maintain profit margins and maintaining a high quality of patient care.

These issues underline the importance of informed business judgment when it comes to how healthcare organizations are managed. As the industry shifts to a more consumeristic view of patients, healthcare executives will need to draw from business management best practices as well as their specialized knowledge of healthcare administration.

William Woods University MBA and Master of Health Administration dual degree program is ideal for aspiring and existing healthcare administrators looking to advance their careers. Students will take courses such as BUS 585 – Integrated Studies in Business Administration allowing them to work through complex interdisciplinary issues drawing from advanced principals and methods in both healthcare administration and business management. Upon completion of all required MBA/MHA courses, graduates will receive two separate diplomas.

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