If you’re wondering how to conduct a healthcare market study, read on to get some expert advice about the five key things you need to know.
The healthcare industry is the fastest growing industry in the United States. According to Forbes, in 2022 the focus on health industry growth will be on innovation, data analytics to accelerate biotechnology innovation, and telemedicine.
The trend is for organizations to achieve this growth through technology and providing value-based care.
In a time when our healthcare industry is changing in never-before-seen ways, your organization must stay on top of these trends to stay competitive in this rapidly evolving health environment. Having a healthcare market study completed is a smart tool your management can use to define your customer’s wants and needs.
A healthcare market study is the research and evaluation of health data to help decision-makers understand the current market as well as health care trends. Conducting a healthcare market research study can help you measure perceptions and attitudes towards healthcare and give you a competitive edge and advantage in providing the best healthcare services and products. It can also help you determine stability and financial growth.
How a healthcare market study is conducted, will determine to a large degree the usefulness of the results.
Conducting healthcare market research is a proactive action that will help your healthcare organization attract and retain patients and referral sources. A good market analysis will review important factors like price, location, competition, and demand.
Market research is essential for identifying practical and profitable ways to enhance services and products. This will help your company retain existing clients by providing new and innovative offerings.
How do you conduct a healthcare market study?
1. Define your research objective.
First, you need to define your market research objective.
- Who and what is your market?
- Are you looking regionally, nationally, or globally?
- Are you looking for data on new products and services or your existing offerings?
- Who is your target audience?
- Do you want to gather data from your patients or your healthcare providers?
- What about your competition? Who are they and where are they located?
- And lastly — what are the current trends and what is in demand?
Other key factors of a healthcare market study that are important to consider: Who influences the purchase of products and services? Do healthcare providers and/or parents influence the decisions? What about insurance and prescription coverage? Do your patients represent a unique or specific demographic — age, gender, chronic diseases, medications, etc.?
2. Develop your healthcare market study “data points”.
Once you know your objective you can develop your research questions. Focus questions based on your target audience that you defined in step 1. Questions you may ask include:
- What motivates your “audience to purchase” products and services?
- What form of communication works best for your demographic?
- What other products or services are available as substitutes and who offers them?
- What is the perception, reputation, and image of your brand?
- How likely is it that the offered products and services will be purchased? At what frequency?
- How effective is your clinic at providing the products and services?
- And how effective is your communication with your demographics?
- Do you communicate through healthcare providers, clinics, online, social media, commercials, or magazines?
3. Gather your data.
Now that you have formulated your research it’s time to determine how you will conduct the market analysis. There are two ways to gather your data — qualitative or quantitative. You may choose to utilize both methods; often using a combination of methods will help you obtain the best possible data.
Qualitative research is data gathered firsthand. This means data obtained from conducting one-on-one interviews, distributing health and wellness questionnaires, hosting focus groups, and observing participants. Qualitative research can also include recordings of participants in natural settings such as case studies or dietary studies. The goal of qualitative research is to understand the patient experience.
Quantitative research focuses on enumerating the collection of data. Quantitative data collection includes online or paper surveys or polls, questionnaires, and interviews. The goal of quantitative research is to find statistical or mathematical results or patterns.
4. Interpret your findings.
Data interpretation can be overwhelming. For that reason, it is important to have clear objectives before you begin to interpret the data gathered. Your objectives will determine how you write metrics to summarize your findings. Reviewing the data and applying those metrics to organize the information will give you a complete picture that makes sense.
If you hire a consulting firm to conduct your healthcare market study, be sure to use a firm that has qualified staff with experience in asking the right questions. They must be able to pose questions that can be complex or private in nature. Can they recruit qualified participants? Do they possess the skills to analyze, interpret, and present results in a way that will effectively enable you to make the right decisions for your company?
5. Draw conclusions and make decisions.
Finally, the data gathered must give you what you need to make a solid plan with well-defined objectives. Healthcare market research studies are one way that your business can not only meet but also exceed your customers’ expectations in managing their health and wellness.
Conducting healthcare market research can take time and be intense. Reliable data is essential for drawing conclusions that will benefit your company and allow you to make the right decisions. Use a consulting services firm with the experience to uniquely target your needs and a proven ability to gather real-world data. Only then can you draw successful conclusions that will result in stability and growth for your business.