The burden of healthcare delivery in India cannot be borne solely by large hospital chains which constitute a small percentage of beds. When the majority of patients across the country are treated by small hospitals, the success of entrepreneurial doctors is critical to the country’s health.
Small Hospitals are run by Entrepreneurial Clinicians
Small hospitals are run by star clinicians taking on the incredible task of starting up their own private practice. These star clinicians provide healthcare services to almost 70% of the country’s population while having only a fraction of resources of the larger players.
Running a clinical practice while focusing on business growth is challenging for the few managing directors of these small institutions. Thus, it is incredibly important for these facilities to focus on their key strengths and use technology to do more in less time.
Corporate Healthcare has easy access to Capital
Corporate hospital chains have access to massive foreign capital allowing them to expand their reach and service offerings. Their fiscal resource for marketing and customer acquisition is one of their clear strengths. Moreover, large hospitals have the ability to invest in their internal processes to maximize efficiency and drive down their cost of patient care. By building strong processes, large players are able to achieve economies of scale, maximize patient throughput and continuously invest in providing comprehensive services across medical specialties.
Scale and process efficiency, however, sacrifices patient experience in the pursuit of lower cost of care, and greater margins.
Small Hospital should Focus on Customer Experience
Patients trust their clinicians far more than they do the hospitals that provide care. In fact only 63% of respondents in an online health survey agreed that hospitals act in their best interest, vis-a-vis 72% who agreed that doctors act in their best interest.
A leading geriatric expert, Dr. Medha Rao, reinforces the need for personalized care as “healthcare is not one size fits all, in fact, it is one size fits one”.
Small players can avoid the customer ‘trust deficit’ trap that plagues corporate players by focusing on more effective communication and increasing patient touch time with their clinicians. Given the star quality of doctors that run their own hospitals, focusing on the patient pays far more dividends than investing heavily in advertising and marketing. Satisfied customers make excellent brand ambassadors for small hospitals.
In a market where 90% of healthcare decisions are driven by doctor credentials, word-of-mouth referrals will build a steady customer acquisition path for entrepreneurial doctors. After all, why would a family want to travel far to receive standardized healthcare when they can go to their trusted local clinician for personalized and reliable care.
Small Hospitals should adopt Future-proof Technology
Focusing on increasing patient touch time sounds good in theory, but how can small hospitals limited by resources actually increase their star doctors’ time? Technology adoption offers a solution here through task automation, process efficiency, and greater convenience.
However, technology often suffers from bad user experience and rapid technological advances render equipment obsolete. Understandably, small hospitals are hesitant to deploy their limited resources towards large capital investments in technology that will rapidly become obsolete.
Small players should invest in technology that solves multiple pain points for a hospital and provides a future-proof solution.
Take for example, the impact of implementing a continuous patient monitoring solution like the Stasis Monitoring System. Stasis leverages available hospital infrastructure and current clinical workflows to automate manual monitoring tasks that can save nurses nearly 80% of monitoring time. This gives nurses more time for personalized patient care.
Stasis ensures patients are informed throughout in the care pathway with a simple color coded display and gives them the assurance of being connected to their doctors. IoT solutions, like Stasis, also ensure regular upgrades that benefit both small hospitals and large players alike.
Today’s technology is even available on an OpEx model, ensuring that even the smallest players can invest without a large infra spend. A continuous monitoring system is only one example of the plethora of solutions available to hospitals today.
Small hospitals can win by focusing on their key strengths
To maintain a competitive advantage, small hospitals must focus on expanding their namesake in key specialties and providing a superior customer experience. Through effective technology adoption small hospitals can bridge human resource gaps, provide a unique ‘connected’ patient experience, and allow entrepreneurial star doctors to focus on their core function: being the best in their class.
Team Stasis brings you the latest stories and trends in Indian healthcare. Our mission is to accelerate the practice of medicine toward proactive patient care.