The rapid growth of technology in the information age has changed the strategies for marketing across all industries. For healthcare, IT has changed the how marketers interact with their clients. The advancement of technology has made it easier for healthcare professionals to establish brand recognition and inform the public about issues related to health. Many hospitals write persuasive content and distribute it on websites to draw in customers.
You can find a wealth of consumer-focused healthcare information online. Technology improves communication among departments of the healthcare sector. It plays a crucial role in planning for patient discharge. Doctors are able to interact with patients via remote. Furthermore, IT makes it possible for patients to receive medical treatment in any center.
Facilities are able to easily transfer health information of patients. The main drawback of technology-based information is that it subjected information about patients to security risks. Healthcare marketers face challenges when it comes to maintaining the confidentiality of patient’ personal information.
The data is susceptible for identity theft manipulation by malicious means and hacking. It has become more difficult for marketers to come up with an effective marketing strategy that can meet the demands of various markets across the world. Furthermore, it makes it difficult for healthcare companies to decide which marketing services to outsource and which ones to retain within the company.
The growth of the field of information technology (IT) has changed the way healthcare is conducted. Today, the healthcare industry utilizes IT to serve a variety of purposes. One of the areas in which healthcare professionals use IT is in marketing. Devaraj as well as Kohli (2015) claim that IT aids hospitals in obtaining excellent returns on their marketing budgets.
Nowadays, the majority of people are technologically savvy. Additionally, the majority of households has a smartphone or a laptop. The advancement in internet connectivity has made it easier for people to conduct marketing online. As per Devaraj and Kohli (2015) the majority of consumers buy various products and services, such as healthcare online. In turn, many healthcare providers make use of information technology to build the brand’s image.
Additionally, hospitals utilize IT to inform people on health issues. A lot of hospitals employ digital strategies to gain clients and improve the loyalty of their patients. Hospitals make sure that their customers have access to information on their services.
Devaraj and Kohli (2015) claim that nearly every hospital has websites. The websites are designed in a way that is user-friendly to attract prospective clients. Additionally, the websites include “quick links” toolbars that affect patients’ decisions.
Hospitals make use of technology to target specific kinds of patients. Devaraj and Kohli (2015) claim that healthcare facilities make use of buyer persona profiles in order to identify their patients. In reality, technology has changed the game in the marketing strategy used by in the field of healthcare. This article will explore the effects on the impact of IT on the healthcare marketing strategy sector.
Benefits that Information Technology in Healthcare Industry
Kilo (2005) Kilo (2005) defines Information technology (IT) as “The use of computers, mobile devices as well as web-based platforms to manage, store information, retrieve, transfer, and alter data or information, usually within the context of a company or other enterprise” (p. 1297). Information technology can make a variety of contributions to the healthcare sector and other fields.
Alongside the healthcare industry in hospitality, the industry makes use of information technology in its marketing strategies. Information technology allows both the hospitality and healthcare industries to automatize marketing (Kilo in 2005).
Healthcare organizations send out emails to patients in order to inform them of their health status. Additionally, they send emails to inform patients about the services available. Patients are often distracted by their appointments with their doctors. Thus, hospitals send messages at patients’ inboxes to inform them of their appointment. This helps build an emotional connection with the patients and improve the loyalty of patients.
On the other hand hospitality companies send out emails to prospective customers. Kilo (2005) states that a lot of companies send discounts emails to their customers for special occasions, such as birthdays.
The majority of hospitality companies have advanced marketing tools that allow them to find and reach out to potential customers that go to their website. The technology helps hospitality businesses to track and nurture their prospects and increase their customer base as well as encouraging returning customers.
Cline as well as Haynes (2001) assert that at minimum 67% of consumers are seeking solutions to health problems via the internet. Healthcare professionals are aware that there’s an enormous market seeking information about the latest products and services for healthcare.
So, most hospitals use IT to promote their content. Based on Cline and Haynes (2001) numerous hospitals produce compelling content and then publish it on their websites to draw in customers. Cline as well as Haynes (2001) assert that it’s easy to find healthcare information that is focused on consumers online. Certain hospitals have online communities in which patients discuss their experiences.
Healthcare facilities utilize IT to produce content that is responsive to the demands of patients and reflect their personal journey. While the healthcare industry utilizes IT to grab the attention of patients, hospitality industry makes use of it to promote its products and services.
Hotels post information about their services and products on their websites. In contrast, while the healthcare industry makes use of IT to provide expert guidance for potential patients while the hospitality industry utilizes it to advertise its products to the general population.
Healthcare professionals use mobile tools that allow consumers to monitor their health. The research carried out by the American Marketing Association found that healthcare professionals use mobile gadgets to help customers monitor their heart rate as well as their weight and fitness levels to control chronic illness (Cline & Haynes, 2001).
Today healthcare marketers are currently developing new ways to reach customers in order to establish trust and boost the business.
Additionally, many hospitals employ cell phones as a standard way of communicating between physicians and patients. Doctors can make use of phones to check on the patient and provide treatment suggestions via the internet. However, the hospitality companies use mobile devices to contact prospective and current customers. Mobile phones allow customers to inquire about available services, make orders or make reservations.
The advantages and disadvantages of using IT in Healthcare
Information technology offers numerous advantages to the health sector. In the words of Bates (2000) IT helps facilitate communication between the various departments of the hospital. The employees do not have to move from their desks to transmit information.
It’s easy to do so through social media or other platforms for communication. Effective communication facilitates discharge planning. Prior to granting the discharge procedure, it is necessary to make sure that the patient is been cleared with all departments. Information technology allows for hospital staff to access information on the patient and to communicate with other departments at moments of the discharge.
Bates (2000) affirms that IT helps improve quality of healthcare. By using the use of information technology, hospitals are able to connect their databases in order to ensure information sharing. In addition, it’s easy for hospitals of different types to collaborate on research.
This means that hospitals can rapidly determine which is the best treatment for different illnesses. In the present, IT has minimized the necessity of transferring patients from one place to another. A doctor with specialized training can treat patients remotely because of IT.
Kotler as well as Clarke (2003) claim that IT has made it easier to access healthcare services. As a result, it has allowed healthcare facilities to expand their customer base. Hospitals keep patient details electronically. Prior to the advent of information systems, the patients were required to be confined to one health facility, in which all their medical data was kept.
Nowadays, distance is not a factor for health care. Physicians can remotely access the patient’s medical records and provide the required services. Bates (2000) believes that sharing health information within hospitals aids in reducing medical errors and ensure patients’ security. Information technology allows healthcare facilities to provide personalized services.
Personalization promotes customer empowerment. In the present, IT has enabled patients to be in control of their health. Patients make use of smartphones and computers to talk with their doctors and upload videos or images of their issues. Certain hospitals have interactive technology for patients that allow patients with illnesses to know more about their condition. It facilitates empowerment. Patients learn to manage their ailments.
Based on Kotler as well as Clarke (2003) Kotler and Clarke (2003), health marketers make use of the information technology industry to collect information about patients. Data mining is an essential way to increase the competitiveness of an enterprise. The data gathered help healthcare companies to create marketing strategies. They know the requirements of patients from different backgrounds and provide customized services.
Furthermore, data mining assists healthcare providers to predict future requirements and plan ahead. Along with enhancing competitive edge data mining also allows healthcare providers to guarantee their customers satisfaction. They have options for customers can evaluate their services on the internet. The feedback from customers is received in real-time. It allows you to gauge the level of satisfaction and pinpoint areas for improvement.
According to Lu, Xiao, Sears as well as Jacko (2005) The information technology isn’t error proof. Relying too heavily on shared data could lead to mistakes. Some of the information shared is true. Certain patients might provide false details, resulting in doctors providing the wrong treatments.
Additionally, hospital staff could change the patient’s information in a malicious way. Lu et al. (2005) mention weak connections among computers, fragmentation of data and misidentification of the patient as reasons for mistakes. Furthermore, information technology could compromise the security of patient’s information.
The information shared is susceptible to hacking, unauthorised use as well as identity theft. In certain instances information technology may weaken the feedback and harmonization mechanisms in the nurse-doctor collaboration.
Problems that Healthcare Marketers Have to Face
Healthcare professionals face a variety of challenges when using information technology to market. One of the issues is the cost associated with setting up and maintaining an information technology platform. Installing an IT system requires the purchase of hardware , such as computers and other internet-related devices.
The expense of purchasing high-quality machines and Internet services could be costly for most health establishments (Rooney 2009.). In addition to the purchase of internet services and information systems healthcare facilities must to train its managers on how to utilize the system. Training is costly in relation to time and money. The time healthcare marketing professionals invest in training could be used to perform other activities.
Dhar as well as Balakrishnan (2006) argue that globalization has led to openness of market globally. Additionally the fact that it has created fierce competition. To be successful on the international market, it has to ensure that marketing efforts result in sales. The globalization of the market has made it more difficult the healthcare industry to build international brand names.
Healthcare marketers face difficulties when creating and IT marketing strategy that targets the market in the world. The world market is complex and dispersed. Healthcare companies need to develop diverse marketing strategies to target different regions of the world.
Dhar and Balakrishnan (2006) claim that in the globalized world marketers must use IT to aid in the development of a strategic plan. However, many healthcare professionals let technology be the main driver in their marketing strategies, instead of encouraging their success.
Based on Dhar and Balakrishnan (2006) Globalization is facilitating outsourcing of marketing functions. Healthcare institutions do not have to worry about purchasing an IT system to manage marketing. They can, instead, they can outsource the services to other organizations.
The security risks that are associated with globalization and IT technology pose a serious risk to businesses. It is difficult for healthcare marketers to identify which functions they should outsource and the ones that should remain within the company. Inability of healthcare institutions to establish a an exact schedule and scope of work results in outsourced services not delivering significant results.
Healthcare marketers are required to ensure the security of patient information that is stored in their care. It is the Health Insurance Accountability and Portability Act (HIPAA) stipulates that healthcare organizations protect the privacy regarding medical data (Dhar & Balakrishnan, 2006).
Healthcare marketers face challenges in sending health information, without risking its security. Today, every online information is vulnerable to cyberattacks. Cyberattackers of today are familiar in hacking.
The hackers employ sophisticated software that are difficult to identify or block. Therefore, today healthcare providers must be vigilant about strengthening its IT security. Healthcare marketers need to be vigilant and constantly monitor the IT systems for signs of malware.
Thomas (2014) asserts that the majority of healthcare professionals don’t have any experience with information technology. Therefore, they cannot detect malware, thereby exposing their IT systems to a massive risk.
Past and current Marketing Activities
Based on Kotler as well as Clarke (2003), five essential characteristics differentiate the previous and current marketing strategies. They are customer-orientation, market research, market planning, integrated marketing, and customer satisfaction. Thomas (2014) affirms that the business’s activities must be focused on the creation and satisfaction of the customer’s needs. Prior to this, health marketers were focused on increasing sales.
They didn’t care if the health products or services were able to meet the requirements of customers. Today, marketers are aware of the impact of their marketing decisions on their customers. In the past, marketers performed very little market research prior to introducing their product on the market (Thomas 2014).
In the final analysis, they ended up flooding the market with just one item or service. Nowadays, marketers conduct exhaustive market research in order to know the demands of their customers. They can keep current with the changing needs in the marketplace.
The most important goal of an business is to generate money by catering to the requirements of its clients. The past was when healthcare marketers did not consider the importance of a marketing strategy. In the modern world, healthcare professionals create an outline of their marketing strategy prior to starting a marketing project. This allows marketers to bring the benefits of being a consumer-oriented business system.
Thomas (2014) asserts that disintegrated marketing was the norm in previous organizations. Each organization unit was responsible for their marketing functions. Nowadays, integrated marketing is the hallmark of the modern companies. Marketers create the marketing mix that aids in the achievement of the objectives of all the organizational units.
Satisfaction with customers is one of the main marketing attributes of modern organizations. Before, marketing were focused on maximising profits. Nowadays, marketers are seeking to maximize profits by ensuring the satisfaction of customers.
Information technology has brought about modifications to marketing strategies. Prior to the advent of technology, health organizations utilized radio, print media and television to communicate with prospective customers. In addition, healthcare companies took advantage of the large daily newspapers to promote their services.
Apart from using media, hospitals relied heavily on public opinion and advertising campaigns. Many hospitals encouraged patients send their colleagues to the facility. Wu, Wang, and Lin (2007) assert that some hospitals needed to establish corporate social responsibility programs in order to promote their facilities.
The advent of information technology has changed the way that the hospitals advertise themselves. Nowadays, a majority of healthcare facilities are equipped with websites as well as email platforms they make use of for marketing purposes (Wu et al. 2007). Websites contain information on the hospitals.
Visitors can go to the site to find the address of the hospital and the services they provide. Certain healthcare marketers utilize mobile devices to promote their services. They send out messages to their existing customers as well as potential customers. Others send out random emails to prospective clients in order to build brand recognition.
The rapid growth of technology in the information age has changed the strategies for marketing in health care companies. The advancement of technology has allowed the healthcare sector to implement the goal of automating marketing. The healthcare industry is able to send emails to patients in order to educate patients on their health and also to inform them about their health conditions.
The advancement in technology has enabled the healthcare industry to establish online communities. Communities are useful in sharing experiences of patients with potential clients. IT has improved collaboration and communication in the field of healthcare. It has also assisted in reducing the risk of medical mistakes. Healthcare marketers employ IT to mine data.
The data gathered by IT assists in the development of a marketing strategy, increasing the competitive advantages of healthcare companies. Information technology allows healthcare organizations to provide customized services that help empower consumers.