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August 16, 2012

Market Research

Too often planning of a new facility or service centers around purchasing and/or construction of the new building itself, rather than what the building will encompass and what it will do.  Meanwhile post-opening, expectations of bed numbers and predicted service lines, departments, and staffing are not well-suited to meet the actual needs and opportunities of the market they serve.
In this offering of Off the Shelf  we show you how to start 'right-sizing' your facility, beginning with a marketing assessment to get a clear picture of where things currently stand and how current and prospective future workloads are met.
As many facilities embark on their budgeting and planning for 2013, they have a great opportunity to take a closer look at the capital planning projects in the pipeline.  With healthcare reform all but finalized, efficiency has replaced capacity as the watchword for expansion.

Market Service Determination

Before you can start visualizing your new hospital, outpatient center, clinical program—whatever your initiative—you need to do your homework.  In the early planning stages, it is important to gauge the value and risks for the project through market research initiatives, which will ultimately help determine the types of services that should be offered, the size of the institution/area, its ideal location, and potential hurdles in the development process.

Market Assessment

How do we determine the size?
At the beginning of design and development stages, conduct an in-depth review based on the needs of the facility.  To better understand the marketplace for the facility's core business, perform a market analysis and look at industry trends, referral base, regulatory environment and geographic considerations, quality of care indicators, and patient satisfaction.

Some key areas to review may include:

  • Determination of primary and secondary market share for the areaMarket drivers
    • Segmentation
    • Economic stability
  • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threatsMarket research and trending, including competitive breakdown
    • Patient demographics/disease states
  • Payor mix analysis
  • Physician market assessment
Determination of Service Offerings

What services should we offer and how should they be integrated with other services at the facility?
Building on current strengths is key to service line expansion.  During this phase, you should determine what it is that your facility is, or will be, known for, what complementary services could be offered to build on current services, and what new services could be offered as a result.  Observe the market area and the demand for services, and review current service offerings that could be a potential complement to new packaged service lines.  Assess for volumes by service type, including specialty equipment and facility needs.  Look at:

  • Admission trends by service line and sub-specialty
  • Procedural trends by specialty
  • Market share by service line
  • Projected volumes by department, services line, procedure

There are many ways healthcare facilities can increase efficiency and quality but it all starts with development, design, and planning of the facility itself.  The groundwork must be set and optimized for any healthcare institution to succeed.

Soyring's Solution

Need marketing or strategy assistance in your hospital or department and not sure where to start?  Contact Us.

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