Introduction: Building a New Facility
Stennis Hospital Background
Located in DeKalb, MS, the Stennis Memorial Hospital (SMH) is a comparatively small acute care facility with 25 beds. Despite its humble size, the organization has been offering high-quality services to both in- and outpatients. SMH owes a considerable chunk of its success to the Swing Bed Program that has been deployed to improve the quality of care and the proficiency of the staff. However, a closer look at the organization will show that the daycare services, which SMH offers to its inpatients, should be viewed as the primary area of concern at present due to the increasingly large number of inpatients and the need to focus on providing patient-centered services (“The importance of ensuring adequate child care in planning practice”, n.d.).
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The subject of the SWOT Analysis: Daycare Services
By definition, the concept of daycare in the context of a healthcare facility, such as a hospital, implies that the patients staying overnight should be provided with an opportunity to use daycare services for their children (Agbaje, Agu, Umoke, Ekpu, & Orungbe, 2016). Even though SMH offers opportunities for patients as far as temporary care for their children is concerned, there is an urgent need to improve the quality of the identified services so that the patients could recover faster. Indeed, according to the latest studies on the subject matter, the recovery process occurs at a much faster pace once the patient feels completely safe and secure in the hospital setting. In other words, concerns for their children may distract patients from successful recovery and contribute to the development of complications (Lewis & Slobodov, 2015; Pedersen, Pedersen, Bjlsma, & Bungaard, 2013) (see Appendix A). Therefore, the enhancement of daycare services is a matter of considerable urgency.
SWOT Analysis and What It Implies
Mission Statement: Innovative Services for the Community
The mission of SMH is rather simple, yet it has the importance and gravity that makes it a powerful foundation for the organization’s functioning. According to the official statement of the hospital’s leaders and staff, SMH strives to deploy innovative approaches into its practice. Therefore, SMH focuses on delivering the healthcare services of the finest quality.
Situational Assessment: What Needs to Be Borne in Mind
While the goal of providing daycare facilities as the means of boosting the process of patients’ recovery and saving them a significant amount of troubles and stress is admittedly noble, there might be a few impediments on the way to change (Waltham, 2015). As the overview of the existing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and strengths of the organization shows, SMH will have to alter the current marketing strategy so that the daycare services could be branded and promoted successfully to the target audience.
As the SWOT analysis carried out above shows, there is a need for SMH to design the approach that could set it aside from the rest of the daycare facilities. At present, the propensity for the company to develop innovative approaches toward meeting its customers’ needs should be viewed as the primary tool for developing a sustainable brand and encouraging its promotion.
Differential Advantage: Why the Stennis Hospital is Competitive
It would be wrong, however, to claim that the incorporation of the innovative technology and equipment makes SMH superior among the existing healthcare services. Instead, it is the combination of the technological advances and the corporate values, with the current emphasis on the quality of the services offered to the target audience, should be viewed as such.
Marketing Objectives: Making Daycare Services Recognizable
At present, the promotion of the daycare services offered by SMH should be viewed as the primary objective of the organization. However, the identified goal requires meeting several smaller objectives. Particularly, it will be necessary to make the following steps to assure that the promotion process should be successful:
- Designing the brand image of the daycare services;
- Creating a brand strategy to market the services;
- Choosing the appropriate information channels to promote the services;
- Using the available technological and financial resources to make sure that the advertisement should be seen by the target audience.
Therefore, convincing the target audience that they need daycare services in the SMH setting, as well as creating a memorable and marketable brand image should be viewed as the primary objectives at present. As soon as SMH designs the approach that will set it aside from the rest of similar organizations, the hospital will gain a significant amount of customers. Furthermore, by incorporating the innovation-based approach, the firm will create the basis for the development of loyalty in its customers (Hennig-Thurau, Hofacker, & Bloching, 2013).
Marketing Strategy: Strategic Alliances as the Basis
Given the fact that patients with young children should be viewed as the target group of customers, one may have to consider social networks as the primary means of delivering the message to prospective clients. Particularly, social media such as Facebook should be incorporated into the set of resources that should be used for branding purposes. For instance, creating a Facebook profile with regular updates providing essential information about the daycare services must be viewed as the proper start.
Furthermore, social media can be used to not only spread awareness but also conduct surveys, therefore, attracting an increasingly large number of people to consider the daycare-related options. Sharing pieces of advice and offering the opportunity to win either free services or a significant discount should also be deemed as efficient marketing strategies (Rakic & Rakic, 2015).
Aside from focusing on the introduction of the latest technological advances into the set of strategies used by the organization, SMH will also need to explore the opportunities associated with the educational opportunities for the children of the patients. Thus, the quality of the provided services will increase rapidly, which will compel the customers to try the services suggested by SMH. Moreover, innovative approaches for addressing the needs of special learners, as well as children with unique cultural backgrounds, will have to be viewed as an opportunity for creating a brand image that will capture patients’ attention immediately.
Naturally, to design the marketing strategy mentioned above, one will have to consider a change in the use of the available resources. Specifically, the principles of sustainability will have to be introduced to the framework used by the company. Thus, the available financial assets of the company will be utilized with maximum efficiency (Brem & Ivens, 2013).
The significance of daycare services in the context of a hospital environment can hardly be underrated. Patients need to make sure that their children are safe while they undergo the necessary procedures. Thus, it will be reasonable for SMH to offer its customers the required services by setting a daycare facility that will offer the patients the environment in which their children will stay safe and will be taken care of while the customers receive the necessary therapy, undergo the required healthcare procedures, etc.
Naturally, the identified goal will require developing a significant competitive advantage that will allow the organization to remain competitive in the target environment. Even though an array of companies offers similar services, SMH has the resource that will become its competitive advantage and, therefore, make it immediately recognizable among its competitors. Particularly, it will be necessary to pout a very heavy emphasis on the innovative nature of the firm’s services, including the technological advances that help monitor the children’s activities and maintain the safety levels high.
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Agbaje, O. S., Agu, B. N., Umoke, P. C. I., Ekpu, F. S. & Orungbe, H. O. (2016). Child care practices and associated factors among women of childbearing age attending health facilities in Dekina, North-Central, Nigeria. Science Journal of Public Health, 4(5), 366-374. Web.
Brem, A., & Ivens, B. (2013). Do frugal and reverse innovation foster sustainability? Introduction of a conceptual framework. Journal of Technology Management for Growing Economies, 4(2), 31-50. Web.
Gouin, J., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. (2011). The impact of psychological stress on wound healing: Methods and mechanisms. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America, 31(1), 81–93. Web.
Hennig-Thurau, T., Hofacker, C. F., & Bloching, B. (2013). Marketing the pinball way: Understanding how social media change the generation of value for consumers and companies. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 27(13) 237–241.
The importance of ensuring adequate child care in planning practice. (n.d.). Web.
Lewis, J., & Slobodov, G. (2015). Transition from pediatric to adult health care in patients with chronic illnesses: An integrative review. Urologic Nursing, 35(5), 1-7.
Rakic, R., & Rakic, M. (2015). Holistic management of marketing sustainability in the process of sustainable development. Environmental Engineering and Management Journal, 14(4), 887-900.
Waltham, M. T. (2015). Child care assistance options for parents. Web.