1. The consumer decision process for patronizing ambulatory health care facility basically starts with stimulation from the fact that this health care facility is better than the other health care facilities available. The benefits that are attached to this facility (ambulatory) include extended hours with reduced fee as compared to charges in emergency rooms. In addition, no appointment is necessary and there is provision of treatment for minor injuries.
Moreover, the ease with which the customers can access the facility and the availability of parking, added to the short waiting time and the fact that they accept credit cards all act as stimulus to the consumer. These stimuli make the customer see the benefits that this facility will bring compared to going to the other existing hospitals. This indicates that the consumer has made a good evaluation of the two and seen these benefits.
The consumer then decides to try this new facility and see how it works thus leading to acceptance by consumers of the ambulatory health care facility. 2. Down Town Clinic, which was opened with four major objectives including expanding the hospital (Perpetual) referral base, increasing referral of privately insured patients, establishing a liaison with the business community by addressing employer’s specific health needs and becoming a self-supporting in three years after opening has greatly succeeded in achieving it’s objectives.
To begin with, financially, it has managed to reach revenue of slightly above $378,000 and a net profit of $30,000 after just eleven months. In addition, it has managed to make 105 referrals to PMH, which was part of its main objectives. Notably, almost all these patients are privately insured. This indicates commendable growth in terms of its market. When it comes to performance with reference to operations, there is also great progress. However, the 4% bad debt indicates that there is need to act or else the profit margin will be affected; reduce.
As for the performance as a hospital, it is doing well which is indicated by the number of people paying a second or repeated visit. This number is 113 whereas first visits are up to 97% even without the advertising. 3. The reduction in bad debts will mean that the profits will increase. However, the 8 percent increase might put off the customers. This will happen if there is no enough information given to the customers to make them understand the causes of the increase.
To ensure that the information is effective, there is need to make the people understand that the cause of the increase is their request for time extension which will require that they employ more physicians and the request for a gynecologist will also increase the staff, thus increasing the expenses. Moreover, if no marketing is done, and with the news of the expected new heath provider, who will definitely bring in competition, the revenue figures will decrease since most patients may choose the new health facility if their rates and services are better.
The strategic changes that DHC should consider are mainly related to marketing. As much as they are afraid to market to avoid the consumers seeing them as materialistic, they can choose a strategy that will not emphasize on the money but on the services provided and their benefit to the consumers. In addition, they need to carefully work on the consumers’ requested changes like extension of working hours and reduction of waiting time. If waiting time is reduced, there is a possibility of increase in the number of emergencies whose charges are higher that all the other services provided.
5. In order for these changes to have impact, the DHC can take advantage of the good relations it has with the people and encourage them to tell their family and friends to visit the facility. In addition, the facility can introduce packages for employment physical exams. In addition, they could also provide worker’s compensation exams and treatment to cover companies as well as some packages for families which will be offered at a subsidized fee.