Hospitals in India today are facing probably one of the biggest crises and this crises has to do with fact that we are struggling with our financials. The businesses of small hospitals, individual clinics, small nursing homes are getting very difficult. The revenue top line is not growing the way it should, there was a time when we could effect 10-15% increase in the pricing and the offset inflation but today it is not possible as the patients are getting very price sensitive. There are lot of competitions especially for the multi-speciality hospitals and the other area we are struggling is the profitability. The margins have come down from double digit to single digit. Also, another big area is managing expectations of patients, as they are now better educated, they have higher expectations. They know their rights, looking for transparency in the pricing, demand better information, they want to know the prognosis. Unfortunately the doctors are not equipped to handle these queries and this changed patient behavior. Other big area is the chronic diseases have taken over in terms of the disease demographic as it has changed remarkably as there are more chronic disease now. Chronic diseases do not get cured, they have to be managed with the change in lifestyle, medication and proper monitoring. Hospitals require a major change, which is the marketing has to patient centric and not hospital centric. Nobody cares about what technology you use or what kind of hospital you are, they are more interested in whether you have solution for their problems, it’s either whether you use robotic surgery or whether you do the average normal laparoscopic surgery, the patient isn’t interested in that.
So today, if we look at what hospitals are grappling with is their top-line growth, their revenue has to go up, revenue comes from marketing, marketing has to be ethical. Key to ethical marketing is creating doctor patient connect and how can you do it more effectively by using digital technologies.
Says Dr. Shenoy Robinson, Director, Catex Healthcare