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Patient Market Research: 5 Common Questions We Answer

The healthcare industry is made up of a lot of separate entities, all of which work together to provide healthcare products and services to patients. As a result, it’s critical that healthcare providers of all types (clinicians, manufacturers, insurers, and other medical support service providers) touch base with patients in order to remain fully informed of their standing in the market. Without patient market research, companies don’t have the data they need to make truly informed decisions and, thus, can’t fully realize meaningful results and optimize patient outcomes. Take a look at five questions that patient market research helps us answer for the companies we serve here at Research America:

Healthcare decisions are based on a variety of variables. Companies can’t possibly identify any substantial number of any of them unless they go directly to the source, asking patients about the factors influencing their health and care needs. It could be anything: location of provider, socio-economic status, level of education, job, access to information, and more. By interviewing, surveying, or, otherwise, observing patients so that they can better understand the motivators driving patients toward or away from certain products or services, healthcare providers are able to devise care solutions that address the variables having the most impact. For instance, if a majority of patients say that they are too far removed from a particular clinic to travel there for healthcare services, a decision could be made to open a satellite site in another location so that patients could more easily receive care.

Identifying the variables affecting patient care also allows companies to begin isolating the ones contributing to patients’ greatest needs. All patients are different. Some will have specific conditions that drive their healthcare choices; others will have lifestyle or cultural concerns that make specific types of products of care more appealing than others. The list of patient needs is as diverse as the patients themselves. In fact, it doesn’t really matter what the need is; it only matters that companies identify specific needs that are shared amongst the greatest number of patients. Matching needs with certain patient characteristics (such as age, gender, disease, etc.) allows companies to divide their markets into smaller groups of patients and makes it easier for them to target those people with specialized products, services, and marketing campaigns. The result: the greatest number of patients is addressed in the most effective way(s), saving companies time, effort and money.

Patient market research can also be used to assess actual products and services, not just gather information from consumers. Whether testing initial healthcare products or asking patients how well (or not) he or she is satisfied with existing products or services, patient market research is often the most straightforward and effective way to assess the usefulness, functionality, and cost of a healthcare offering. Based on findings, companies can then tweak their products or services as needed.

Patient market research is similarly effective at evaluating marketing and advertising practices. A company’s marketing collateral, including all its print, broadcast and digital media, is not unlike its actual products and services, a direct reflection of its purpose and values. As such it’s important for healthcare businesses to assess the effectiveness of their advertising objectives and marketing materials. Patient market research can be tailored to gauge consumer satisfaction with either a company’s general or specific marketing practices.

Of course, patient market research can reveal the overall level of satisfaction of certain patient populations. The healthcare industry is constantly changing. Keeping a finger on the pulse of patient satisfaction is an immediate indication of a company’s standing and potential in the market as a whole.

The healthcare industry is volatile, but patient market research can help mitigate risk and safeguard business decisions for the companies operating within it. To learn more about patient market research and the insights it can reveal, please contact our team of experts at Research America. 

You might also wish to read a summary of one of our healthcare market research studies here.

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