The case study analysis analyses a case faced by a hospital named Akron Children’s Hospital. New competition facing the hospital threatens its strong market position. The hospital also needs a communication strategy that will help differentiate it from its competitors.
Tough competition faces the hospital. The hospital also lags under its competitors’ shadow. It is in need of a distinctive feature that will differentiate it from the rest of health facilities and raise it above the competitors. The hospital also wants to expand its a market; however, this process is hindered due to its competitors’ strong hold and lack of a strategy.
This section touches on causes of the problems faced by the hospital, the key decision criteria for use in selecting the best alternative to resolve the problems, next to an evaluation of the available problems. There are three alternatives available: engage in intense advertisement, conduct survey and get feedback from its clients, and lastly, leave the situation as it is.
This is the final part in the case study's analysis. It proposes the best alternative using the key decision criteria set earlier. Here, the chosen alternative is supported and developed strongly.
The case study at hand reveals various problems faced by Akron Children’s Hospital. New competition challenges the hospital. These are the two hospitals, Cleveland Clinic and the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital who have ventured in child care services. The two hospitals were not offering the services earlier. Worse still the two institutions rank as top five nationwide. Akron Children’s Hospital does not have a communication strategy to differentiate itself from its competitors and stand out as a unique healthcare institution. The hospital currently is overshadowed by the two competitors in its core markets. The hospital also wants to find out the criteria parents use when they are deciding which hospital to use for their child in case they need acute care services (i.e., where the child will be in the hospital for more than three days.). The hospital also seeks to expand its market beyond its home county to the neighboring counties. The problem here is that the hospital does not know which strategy to use to expand to the competitors market; therefore, it needs to work out a strategy.
Cause of the Problem
All the above problems have been exposed by the introduction of fresh competition from the other two health facilities. The problems have also been heightened by the fact that Akron does not have a distinguishing factor, which can raise it from the other facilities’ shadows. For example, Cleveland Clinic is ranked as top 3 and boasts of its reputation and high tech equipment. Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital also outshines others by using their high end technologies. Lack of a good strategy to communicate itself to the market is also a reason why Akron is lagging behind its main competitors.
Key Decision Criteria
Key decision criteria are criteria that an alternative has to meet in order to be considered as the best among the other available ones. (Winter, 2006) In the course of the case study, a remedy to solve the problems at hand will have to be employed. However several alternatives will be considered before the final alternative is realized. From the available alternatives, the best one will have to provide a solution that will help expand the market. It should also improve the profits of the health facility since it is a business, at the end of the day. It should enable Akron to rise above the shadow of its competitors. The alternative should also make the current clients comfortable and improve their relationship with Akron Children’s Hospital. It should help convey the message that the hospital is committed helping the children realize his or he full potential.
Evaluation of Alternatives
To remedy the situation facing Akron Children’s Hospital, it can embark on a number of methods. The alternatives available to the problems at hand include the following.
One, the hospital can embark on heavy advertisement campaign. This is by advertising heavily through social media because it is cheap and effective. The hospital will also place advertisements in the local papers sold in its county and outside its county. Television and radio are also strong and vital advertising tools. If we evaluate this alternative against the key decision criteria, we will see that, for sure, the strategy will reach a wide market and probably expand the market. This will automatically lead to increase in profit. The strategy will also put the hospital on the spot light and probably expose it from the shadows of its competitors. Social network can also help improve the relationship between the hospital and the current clients, thus making them comfortable. Through the advertisements, the hospital can convey its commitment to ensuring the child reaches his / her maximum potential by committing all his / her resources. The main bottleneck with this strategy is that it is capital intensive and might cost a lot of money. Advertisements are expensive.
The second alternative available is relying on feedback from their clients to improve on their services and tackle their problems. If the Clinic can acquire recommendations from the parents and work on them, some problems (if not all) might be solved. This means that the Clinic needs to conduct surveys from their database and gather information on their services. It also means having feedback forms, which parents can fill after visiting their hospital. This method will improve relations between the hospital and the clients, parents. However, it might not help on expanding the market; on the other hand, the same clients might come back. This strategy will depend on word of mouth as a tool to reach new market. This might not be effective, as such. The method will also not help in conveying their commitment to helping the children until they reach their full potential. The strategy might, however, address the issue of communication.
Thirdly, the hospital can just sit back and do nothing about the situation. This could be a good decision if the other alternatives risk making the situation worse than it is. Undertaking this alternative will not improve anything.
Based on the problems identified and the alternatives available for the problems, the hospital can only adopt one alternative. From the evaluation of the alternatives, it is recommended that the hospital adopt advertisement as a means to tackle the problems at hand. The alternative is recommended because it beats all the others and has only one disadvantage, which can be ruled out if it is successful. All that is needed is a good differentiation tool. The hospital believes it has strong emotional support and care services. This can be portrayed in its adverts and convince parents it has the bet services and care. Social media are strong and effective because it will allow interaction of both sides. This will help them gather feedback from customers.
Televisions, radios, and newspapers are widespread and highly effective. In fact, most people opt to go for what is advertised on TV rather to what is not advertised. It is also a good strategy to into tap new market. Advertisement on leading media makes an organization increase its credibility and hence increase its trust among its clients. The issue about advertisement being costly will be ruled out if the advertisements expand the market. Profits will be in plenty and hence cover the advertisements expenses. After all, if the hospital rises above its competitors it will not require intensive advertisements strategies.