The hospital and clinic sectors and the companies that supply them will face challenges until 2025 produced by medical progress and social, ethical and ecological reorientation. The undersigned have formulated specific demands and suggestions to cope with these issues.
1. Responsibility in society
Hospitals are always attractive employers and offer interesting, diverse and varied workplaces with a particular degree of responsibility, and with that are important structural forces in the economy and society. To fulfil and retain that role, they must act as pioneers in addressing the social issues of the future.
2. Responsibility for the region
Within their region, hospitals are key economic factors. The presence of accessible medical quality gives the population security and lends any region appeal as a focal point of living and working. To develop the infrastructural strength of a region is a key goal of policies to attract industries, and their suppliers represent a core element on the way to cluster structures.
3. Saving through low prices versus integral purchasing
The costs pressure on the hospitals will not abate. Saving opportunities through cheaper purchasing must not be exploited to the limit of what is responsible. Procurement decisions for medical products should not be taken merely based on purchasing prices and financial terms & conditions; criteria such as functional certainty, handling, conservation of resources and cost reduction through reprocessing and repair must form part of the decision calculation.
Core tasks of the hospital are medical and nursing care of patients. The value chain of a hospital is optimised by concentrating on that core competence in connection with use of external services with high specialist and logistics competence. Inside the hospital, the operating room is the core element of the value chain and thus deserves particular attention in optimising the service processes in the “hospital business”.
4. Responsibility for the environment
The environment is everything we live in and what we leave to our children. Given the material turnover of a hospital, the decision for materials and processes has major effects.
For that reason, a hospital should:
5. Guilt-free economy
In the future, people will want to live ever less with the feeling that they are piling guilt upon themselves when they consume products and services. Patients and employees will in the future look very precisely at whether hospitals consider only the price when purchasing and ignore all other aspects of manufacturing a product.
Hospitals should look as soon as possible for guilt-free alternatives. In order to remain attractive for the workers they look for and for patients, the marketing should clearly address and highlight the hospital’s endeavours in this direction. A stronger competitive factor and the investments in avoiding guilt will thus pay off.
“Coopetition instead of competition” and “conservation of resources”, “patient benefits” and “fair supply relationships” are the new corporate values of management aimed at fairness and future capability. This also corresponds to the values schema of Generation Y, which will shape the employment and demand structures in the future.
Companies that commit to these values of the “New Market Dynamic” by active doing will, in times of scarce skilled workers, be sought out by employees as employers, and patients will reward them with their trust.
Hospital marketing should therefore aim to communicate a business policy aimed at sustainability to the relevant target groups and develop a brand status of a hospital with regard to fairness and future orientation.
Berlin, 2 December 2014
Prof. Dr. Dr. Wilfried von Eiff
Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Bruch