Riverview Regional Medical Center: An HMA Facility -- Case Analysis
Identify the (6) stakeholder groups for Riverview Regional Medical Center (RRMC)
There are a number of players in the market that could affect or be affected by Riverview Regional Medical Center's -- RRMC's actions. These are the hospital's stockholders and in this case, they include competitors, patients, the facility's ownership (HMA shareholders), professional groups, the government and its various regulatory agencies, and employees. To begin with, RRMC's competitors include all those hospitals offering similar services mainly within Gadsden. Examples in this case include but they are not limited to Gadsden Regional Medical Centre (GRMC) and the Mountain View Hospital. Although located outside Gadsden, UAB could be considered yet another key competitor of RRMC. One competitor, GRMC, appears to have been traditionally more competitive than RRMC especially given that unlike RRMC, GRMC already has an approval from the American College of Surgeons for its cancer program. Further, GRMC (unlike RRMC) from the very beginning "offered neurosurgery, psychiatry, and obstetric services…." (Swayne, Duncan, and Ginter, 2008). Secondly, the facility's patients could also be regarded a key stakeholder group. The patients in this case include both outpatients and inpatients. In an attempt to show responsibility towards this key stakeholder group, Mr. Hayes, on assuming leadership position at RRMC sought to ensure that outpatient services were made more patient friendly. Further, he also championed the creation of a Chest Pain Center "in response to the number of patients entering the ED complaining of chest pains" (Swayne, Duncan, and Ginter, 2008).
The government given its regulatory function through its various agencies could also be regarded a key stakeholder in this case. Professional groups such as the American College of Surgeons and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations could also be regard key stakeholders. Next, we have stockholders or shareholders. To identify some of the stakeholders of RRMC, we might have to take into consideration the ownership structure of HMA. Lastly, it is also important to note that RRMC has a responsibility to its employees. This stakeholder group comprises of all those the hospital hires to advance its agenda. The other equally important stakeholders I have not mentioned in detail in this case include but they are not limited to the local community and suppliers. While the local community comprises of all those who live around facilities associated with the hospital, suppliers are all those companies and entities that provide the hospital with various medical supplies. RRMC has a responsibility to all these stakeholders and in that respect; its actions must not be injurious to their interests.
2. Discuss the target markets of existing programs and identify gaps in RRMC's marketing strategy
RRMC's key market (in general) seems to be the nonurban market. The company according to Swayne, Duncan, and Ginter (2008) also extended its presence to Anniston in what should be regarded a strategy to further expand its scope. The government's contract for Tri-Care also gave RRMC's executives yet another reason to celebrate. The introduction of highly innovative programs such as the Heart and Vascular Center will also see the hospital continue to serve high growth markets going forward. Other highly beneficial programs that add significant value to RRMC in the eyes of its patients include but they are not limited to the "Nurse First" program. With its emphasis being on the hospital's commitment to patient care, the said program according to Swayne, Duncan, and Ginter (2008) targets potential patients.
When it comes to RRMC's marketing strategy, MedKey was according to Swayne, Duncan, and Ginter (2008) "a focused marketing strategy that used the patient database to promote RRMC facility utilization through membership incentives and rewards via discounts and extra services for MedKey members." As the authors further point out, Hayes was of the opinion that MedKey was not only more efficient in terms of cost but also more effective than mass advertising. RRMC also made use of an in-house newsletter as a customer retention strategy. In this particular case, MedKey members were regularly sent newsletter features that outlined not only the facility's existing programs but also the various benefits that had been added for MedKey members. In a way, newsletters could hardly be regarded effective marketing tools. This is more so the case given that receivers of newsletters are most likely to read the said documents at their convenience. The message delivered could therefore be affected by issues to do with timing. RRMC had also early enough identified the benefits of the internet as a marketing tool. According to Swayne, Duncan, and Ginter (2008), the facility's website enhanced the accessibility of hospital programs as well as events to both existing and prospective customers and members of staff. It is however important to note that this approach cannot be regarded as an edge in marketing as it is quite easy to replicate. RRMC's competitors as Swayne, Duncan, and Ginter (2008) point out also had functional websites. This hence remains one of the key gaps when it comes to RRMC's marketing strategy. In an attempt to further enhance its public image, RRMC had also shot a commercial whose message Hayes claims was that the hospital would continue to serve the needs of the communities. In my view, RRMC should take into consideration niche marketing. This marketing strategy would see the hospital focus on only those patients with needs it can most effectively address.
3. Discuss the new services and products that could be developed with existing resources
As I have already pointed out elsewhere in this text, RRMC could get into a strategic partnership with a specialist provider to reopen the Women's Pavilion. This in my view would not require the hospital to invest significant resources in such an undertaking. It is also important to note that's such a move would allow the hospital to effectively compete with the likes of GRMC which offers obstetric services it does not offer. The other products and services which could be developed using the hospitals existing resources include educational programs, hyperactivity disorder treatment, etc. In this case, the facility could easily make use of its existing staff.
4. Discuss the services that need to be strengthened and promoted
On the other hand, services that need to be strengthened and/or improved include the cardiology facility, i.e. The Heart and Vascular Center, and the Heartburn Treatment Center. The latter could be developed to become a leading unit in the region.
5. Describe what RRMC should do to counter its image problem in the community because of its decision to close the Women's Pavilion.
It was Mr. Hayes' predecessor who deemed it fit to shut down the Women's Pavilion back in 2003. According to Swayne, Duncan, and Ginter (2008), although the unit had a strong patient load, its inability to capture the majority of the county's births was causing it to lose money. As Swayne, Duncan, and Ginter (2008) further point out, the move to close the unit created fertile grounds for speculation with many in Gadsden believing that RRMC was encountering financial challenges. The closure of the unit also injured the good relationship that had existed between the medical staff and the management of RRMC. It is also important to note that regardless of the fact that the closure of the unit had led to significant gains for the entire facility especially with regard to the enhancement of operational efficiencies, the decision did not go down well with the medical staff and community citizens. This Hayes knew for a fact. Indeed, as Swayne, Duncan, and Ginter (2008) point out, Hayes' focus in the immediate future was well cut out for him. He has several options at his disposal in my opinion.
To begin with, the reason for the closure of the unit should be explained in full. This will in…