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How Can We Find the Right Healthcare Partnerships?

health-partnersIn its annual look at coming trends, PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) predicts that 2015 will see partnerships become more common as organizations strive to meet the demands of a transforming healthcare industry. The HRI report notes that “to thrive in this hypercompetitive new environment, the most successful companies will work together on innovative products and services and seek expert partners to help fill the gaps in their businesses.”

Not surprisingly, healthcare consumerism is influencing the trend, with HRI reporting that 58 percent of survey respondents saying they would be “more likely to choose a healthcare company that partnered with others to improve services.” How can organizations identify the types of partnerships that will work best to meet the needs of the consumers they want to engage?

Psychographic segmentation could be the key.

Looking Beyond Healthcare Diagnoses or Demographics

For hospitals and other healthcare providers, population health management is a crucial component of meeting healthcare reform mandates. In the past, efforts to communicate to targeted population segments— individuals with asthma, heart disease or diabetes, for example— generally adopted a one-size-fits-all approach, with less than impressive results.

But a person is more than a health diagnosis.

Failing to develop initiatives— or partnerships— that acknowledge the fundamental differences between people lifestyles, goals, motivations and attitudes towards health and wellness substantially limits success.

The PatientBond Consumer Diagnostic is a national market research study that examines the health attitudes and behaviors of the general population and at specific populations with various health conditions — like consumers with cardiovascular conditions. By examining the hundreds of variables that influence healthcare decisions, the PatientBond Consumer Diagnostic offers insights into how the population with cardiovascular conditions differs from the general population. However, the PatientBond Psychographic Segmentation model takes this further, breaking the population of consumers with cardiovascular conditions into five distinct groups with 91.1 percent predictability:

  • The Balance Seekers who are wellness-focused and proactive.
  • The Willful Endurers who are often overwhelmed by health issues and reactive.
  • The Priority Jugglers who are focused on others but are reactive to their own health.
  • The Self Achievers who are goal-oriented and proactive.
  • The Direction Takers who need guidance and accept the authority of healthcare professionals. 

Each of these psychographic segments has its own motivations and approaches to health and wellness, as well as a unique set of preferences regarding communications and education.

A healthcare provider can develop initiatives — including meaningful partnerships with other companies with similar goals — to drive more engagement and improved chronic disease management among specific segments within the larger group of consumers with cardiovascular conditions.  Both Self Achievers and Direction Takers are, for example, more likely to report having cardiovascular conditions than the other segments. Armed with that knowledge, a healthcare provider might take two different approaches to engaging these segments.

  • To reach Self Achievers, a hospital might partner with a local fitness organization to design wellness programs that patients can enroll in to “take control” of health issues, or with an app developer to create a goal-oriented, tracking application to help them manage their chronic disease more effectively.
  • On the other hand, to engage Direction Takers, a hospital might develop a communications plan that reaches out more often to offer medical guidance and reminders to help patients stay on track with healthy behaviors.  Direction Takers need reminders and help incorporating behavior change into their daily routine.

Psychographic segmentation can be equally revealing about populations that do not have a specific chronic disease, but rather reflect a market segment that a hospital, insurance company or other healthcare-related business wants to attract.

For Insurance companies, the younger — and for the most part, healthier — market represented by Millennials is a prime audience. Gamification and social networking may not be in the traditional insurance company’s wheelhouse, but going forward, insurers will need to think outside the box if they want to win over Millennial consumers. Despite the many generalizations that can be made about this demographic, they still fall into the psychographic segments noted above.

By having these deep insights into attitudes about health and wellness, insurance companies may be better able to identify innovative partners or products needed to attract the more proactive, wellness-focused consumers within the larger millennial audience.

Several companies have approached PatientBond to integrate its consumer insights and psychographic segmentation model into their consumer-facing health tech offerings. For example, one company has designed a patient engagement platform that integrates with a hospital’s EMR to automate outreach (e.g., emails, SMS/Text, phone calls, etc.) with messaging customized to a patient’s psychographic segment. This solution is being used to address 30-day readmission avoidance, medication adherence, and care management.

Another company has developed an online price transparency product to help consumers choose cost-effective healthcare options.  Integrating PatientBond’s psychographic insights is helping this company optimize the consumer’s online experience.

As a B2B entity, PatientBond's approach is to “white label” its offerings so that its partners can benefit from the brand equity generated from a superior consumer experience. Consequently, we can scale its business while its partners realize significant benefits.

View a sample of the PatientBond Consumer Diagnostic results for consumers with cardiovascular conditions and contact PatientBond to learn how psychographic segmentation can help you determine the best partnerships to pursue in order to attract the consumers you want.

Psychographic Segmentation and its Practical Application in Patient Engagement and Behavior Change

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