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This paper presents a marketing plan for private nursing services for patients suffering from severe illness due to critical stage of disease or has faced a serious injury. Private nursing services are nursing service for patients who require continuous and individual care that available at any clinic or any home health agency. Private nursing is commonly referred as employment of nurses by individual patients for delivery of healthcare services to patients (Øvretveit,2003). These nurses are paid for these services as per predetermined fees. Particularly, these individuals are hired for a specific period of illness, and they care for one patient at one time. In case of private nursing services, highly individualized care is provided to paying patients as long as patient needed and could pay for these services. Some institutes such as certified home health agencies provide only part time services which are not enough for patients of critical diseases like cancer and those who are suffering from serious injuries. Private nursing services are appropriate for Medicaid clients if he/she needs care and nursing services beyond the scope of any home health agency. The concept of home care is one that is embedded in basic human needs such as familiar surroundings, independence, (Øvretveit,2003) and companionship of caring individuals. Private nursing services are a cost effective mean of providing skilled professional services to patients in a peaceful environment. It required experienced and dedicated staff that is passionate enough to provide required service to patients.
Before creating a marketing plan for services of private nursing, it is important to have a brief SWOT analysis of the industry. It is a tool which can provide prompts to staff, nurse tutors, nurse mentors and managers involved in analysis of what is effective and less effective in clinical procedures and system, in preparation of some plan for checking the quality of system. SWOT analysis is useful analysis and planning an activity that can have a potential impact on future finance, planning and decisions of management. It helps to analyze the upcoming and potential opportunity in a comprehensive manner.
Strengths of private nursing business:
Following are the organizational strengths that can provide a basis for distinct competitive advantage for firms involves in this business of private nursing services. Before going to start with it is important to identify among these strengths, which are most important ones and how these strengths can be best utilized and capitalized.
An innovative and new service of healthcare for patients of critical diseases and serious injury
Providing service at a very cost effective rate
A good reputation in market place
Value adding aspects
People serving with great expertise and experience
Advantage of superior locations or geographic
Potential Weaknesses for private nursing business:
These are the areas where improvement is needed. For everyone involved in the concerned business it is important to analyze this part carefully and identify which are most important areas of weakness that needs to be improved immediately. Absence of some certain strength can be attributed as weakness for organization and presence of the same strength can give a competitive advantage to a competitor. Some potential elements that can be attributed ad weakness may include for nursing services organizations:
Poorly implemented market plans
Using backward technologies
Damaged reputation in market place
Gaps in areas of services and capabilities
Lack of dominant competition
Own known susceptibility
Geographic barriers and poor locations
Undifferentiated services line
New and significant trends and changes in industry can be a source of potential opportunities for organizations within industry. In order to undertake opportunities in market, it is important to identify potential source of opportunities existing in market and also determining how these can be exploited in better manner. Potential opportunities may include:
A market vacated by a competitor
Introduction of new technology
Changes in profile and needs of population
New market segment providing potential profits
Lack of dominant competition in the market
New horizontal or vertical markets
Threats are external elements affecting eth organization in negative way. Threats can play a role of barriers in the way of success of organization. Threats can be identified in advance and can be minimized through a careful and up-to date analysis of market place and industry situation. It is important here to identify potential threats and find the ways that can be used to minimize the effect of these threats. Also find out the ways through which threats can be turned into opportunities. Potential threats here may include:
Innovative service by a competitor
Entry of new competitor in your target market
Adverse changes in regulatory framework
Changing insurance plans and or contracts for employers and major areas
Competitors having superior access to channels of distribution
Shifts in economical conditions
Loss of key personnel
Shift in referral resources
Industry of healthcare services contains establishments basically engaged in providing inpatient nursing and services of rehabilitation services to patients who require continuous health care services. Person serving such patients must carry out practices of patient care under the instructions of doctor or physician. Staff of any healthcare service providing organization must be licensed on duty continuously with minimum full time on duty nurse during the day shift. Skilled nursing homes, extended care facilities, continuous nursing care, mental retardation hospitals are included in skilled nursing facilities. More than $178 billion was spent in early 2010s on nursing home care annually (Levit, Smith, Cowan, Lazenby,Sensenig, & Catlin,2003). Nursing care facilities which can be for profit as well as non-profit, government owned. The industry is serving population segment with fastest growth those with age of 65 or older. It is a population segment that is, by the end of expected to grow at the rate of 20 percent of population, with 6.6 million people residing in nursing homes by the end of 2050. It is reported by American health care association that in 2011, there were 15690 certified facilities and 68 percent of these facilities are for profit and 25 percent non-profit, 6 percent government owned facilities. During twentieth century, according to data gathered by Federal inter agency forum on statistics related to age, population of United States, with age of 65 and over increased from 3 million to 37 million, and the number of people those with age of 85 or over, increased from 100,000 to 5.3 million. As the generation of baby boomers is reaching to age of retirement, those numbers were expected to spike. It is projected that number of Americans 65 years and older, nearly double by 2030 to reach nearly 71.5 million. From 2030 to 2050, number of oldest old people was expected to continue to raise rapidly baby boomers being older. Trend toward small families, coupled with long life span, fewer children to share responsibilities for the aged, it means a greater need for healthcare service organizations. This indicates future growth potential of healthcare services industry; however it is unlikely that it will be unable to keep pace with growing demand for skilled, experienced and quality healthcare services providers. Probable problems that this industry may face are of funding, as reduced spending by government is a wide concern (Levit, Smith, Cowan, Lazenby,Sensenig, & Catlin,2003). These important figures essentially reveal populations and scope served by skilled care industry of nursing. Skilled services of nursing care differ in terms of level of service provided, staffing and reimbursement mechanism and patient admission criteria. High level of intensive care is reflected by each aspect of skilled nursing care environment. Independent, non-profit facilities consistently gave the best care. All professional and dedicated healthcare facilities provided 24 hours care that is directed, prescribed, and executed under supervision of professional physician or doctor. Integration is one of trend affecting healthcare, where patients are tracked over time, fostering alliances among various care providers and spanning all levels of care. Nursing home regulations, the need for nursing staff, higher care standards, managed care contracts, and rising insurance costs are some of the challenges facing the industry.
Although in 2010, demand remains high in the industry, healthcare industry faced several challenges, including cuts in Medicare provisions, shortage of personnel and increased competition from assisted living facilities. In center of Medicare and Medicaid services administration cut federal Medicare reimbursement rates more than 11 percent, in 2011. According to mergers and acquisitions, which would result in a $79 billion loss over a period of 10 years? In order to survive in highly competitive market place, SNFs must obtain necessary capital to modernize their facilities and provide adequate care.
Mission of organization:
As an organization providing healthcare services to patients who are suffering from serious diseases and or critical injuries, it is committed to promote the dignity and self worth of all clients in order to give them an excellent quality of life, individually and as a group, as defined by clients. Time, skills and expertise of our staff are valued. We are committed to provide fair and well returns for their dedicated services, skills and abilities, (Findlay,1999) and clear duties and sphere of rights and responsibilities for all members. People here, are never expected to do which they are not trained to do and have skill of carrying that task. The organization expects them to share their suggestions for improving any aspect of it. It has aim to provide jobs which not only provide substances for families of its workers but also allow them a space to make a difference in the world around them through expert assistance and caring to our community’s most vulnerable members.
Performance objectives help organizations to make efficient use of time, resources and competencies and hold a better position to meet and exceed the customer needs. Following are the key performance objectives of organization.
Continuing success to be maintained with clients through combining a high standard of customer voice and with fair and competitive rates for services
Staff, chosen specifically for their friendly approach and competence is expected to build an enviable client base
Build an essential nursing care with a staff having specialist experience in their field
Standards of service and care will meet stringent guidelines as stipulated by care standards act and employment agencies act
Committed to strive for standards of excellence
Being supportive to clients and staff, continuously reflecting upon services being provided
Professional development of staff as primary focus to increase the services and client’s satisfaction
Dedicated commitment to clinical excellence from qualified nurses and care workers
On the basis of objectives and mission of organization, target customers of organization are identified as who are suffering from critical diseases e.g cancer and or form serious injury. On the basis of demographics, these customers are defined as retirees from generation of baby boomers with age of 65 or older.
Marketing mix of organization comprises of price, place, promotion and product or service. Each of these components of marketing is described briefly.
Product / Service:
Product includes the healthcare services of nursing to patients with critical diseases, disabilities and or serious injury and availability of service to patients 24/7 to healthcare clients. Service will be provided in professional and friendly manner as our staff knows these are the humans to which they are dealing with and not the machines. Humans have emotions and feels things around them. Thus they need to be treated in a very human manner. As compared to other organizations providing similar services our organization offers services of highly professional, committed, passionate, dedicated and experienced nurses with high moral and ethical values.
For its dedicated and highly concerned services for its target customer, services are offered at very fair rate with no compromise on quality of service (Lancioni, 2005). As most of the customers in category are retirees and living on pensions, price level is maintained below the price level by competitors. Organization also offers special discounts to its clients who are with very low income base.
Service of healthcare services of nursing are offered all across the city. For the convenience of its clients organization has established multiple outlets across country so that clients can access the services at nearer location. Our services can also be availed online via official website or organization and request for services can be submitted via telephone call.
Organization is using multiple source of communication to make its target group of customers aware about its services being offered for them. News papers, T.V, and radio have been traditional means of communication with its target client group. Social media networking websites are now being used by company as well to spread message (Morris & Clarkson, 2009) of its quality services to its clients on larger scale. In this regard, organization has its official page on face book and twitter to have more interactive communication with its clients that provide it chance to improve its quality of services as well.
A comprehensive analysis of healthcare industry, it can be concluded that it has enough potential for growth and fair enough returns on investments. As industry trends shows that the population of people with age of 65or more due to generation of baby boomer who are getting retired. With large number of customer base, it is very profitable to go for the business of healthcare services (Findlay,1999) as private entity. With clear focus on selected group of customers, appropriate service rates, easy access and clear and effective communication, business in healthcare can earn fairly handsome returns.
Recommendations for execution of plan:
Before implementation of plan, availability of all required resources, financial and human must be considered on critical basis.
In order to communicate the message of company effectively and with right customer segments, it is important to use up-to date and advanced means of communication such as in today’s era of internet focus must be on social media networking websites as means of communicating with customers.
Target market and customers must be defined clearly so that efforts can be directed toward right side of market segment.
Analyze critically the marketing activities of your competitors before implementing your plan and make changes to your plan if find some important elements from analysis.
Ensure quality at every step of execution and implementation of your marketing plan.
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