Healthcare is a complex industry and getting more complicated all the time. Hospitals consolidate into larger and larger hospital systems, including urgent care and surgery centers. More procedures are being done in doctor’s offices. And during the pandemic, telehealth came into its own as well. With this complexity, of course, comes a key challenge for healthcare marketing research: who is the best-qualified respondent for your project, and how do you find them?
For example, do you need to talk to the person who makes purchase decisions? Or the person who is using the product or service? Do you need to speak to the surgeon, or could you get the same (or better) information from another surgical team member? Can you survey any neurologist, or do you need one
with particular expertise, or who is most likely to prescribe a specific drug? Do you need to talk to a clinician or an administrator? And if administration, do you need the CEO, the VP of Finance, or a department head?
The more closely you can define your ideal respondent, the better your research will be. There is nothing worse than spending money recruiting and incentivizing healthcare respondents, and then finding out they don’t have the experience you need to answer your questions. The key, of course, is using a healthcare panel that allows for the enhanced profiling of respondents.
Here are some examples of the enhanced profiling capability that you might need in your healthcare marketing research.
- All physicians are not the same, of course. There are many, many different specialties. And even within a specialty, some physicians may have more than one area of expertise within a certain therapeutic area.
- And all surgeons are not the same, either. Do you need an orthopedic surgeon or a transplant surgeon? Even if your product or service can be used in all surgeries (e.g., surgical gloves), the nature of the surgery may have a huge impact on how your product or service is perceived. Even within a surgical specialty, all orthopedic surgeons are not the same either. In our hyper-specialized world, orthopedics may specialize in a specific area, such as knee replacements or sports medicine. The same holds true for all surgeons – you need to know their specialty and the medical area where they spend most of their time.
- Now think about pharmacists. Do you need one who works in a hospital or other clinical setting? Or do you need retail pharmacists who work in an independent setting versus a big box store, or even one of the large chains? If they are in a clinical setting, do you need pharmacists who work at the patient bedside? Enhanced profiling will help you find the right pharmacist for your project.
- Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) play a much more significant role in hands-on patient care today. If you think you need to augment your physician sample with a sample of NPs or PAs, make sure you get the ones with the expertise and specialty you need.
- It is also essential to think about the practice setting. Is your respondent working in a major research healthcare setting, a private clinic, or somewhere else? If they are in private practice, how many doctors are in the practice? Are they in a large urban area or a small rural area? Their reactions to your products/services will vary greatly depending on the population they serve.
- Would you like to narrow your respondents to those who work in a particular size hospital? Well, do you want that by revenue, or number of beds, or number of physicians, or total staff? Or perhaps the number of a particular type of procedure?
As the healthcare industry changes, it is crucial to think through each project to define the best possible respondent or combinations of respondents. Enhanced profiling can give you many more options with which to refine your definition of the qualified respondent.
Reckner Healthcare has the most extensive profiling available on any proprietary healthcare panel. Contact us today for more information and to talk about your perfect healthcare sample.