Indmedica - India's Premier Medical Portal - Cyber Lectures


Chronic vs. One Time

Vivek Shukla

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As a consultant, there are dozens various ratios and data that I have to analyze for my client hospitals. There is one ratio that has been gaining importance of late. This ratio is about the chronic patients visiting hospitals for regular treatment and the ‘one time’ buyers of hospital services.

Chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, etc. bring people to hospitals regularly. A gall bladder stone patient, on the other hand will only come to the hosptial once.

The marketing dynamics at the internal, operational and external level are different when it comes to catering to either kind of patients. Even the insurance scenario is different when it comes to the either category.

It is no secret that the chronic conditions are increasing by the day all over the world. If your hospital or your practice is more tilted towards the one time customer, it is time to introspect. I believe that every hospital needs to work towards creating distinct ‘value propositions’ for the chronic, as well as one time patients. These are two distinct categories with distinct needs and we must respect that.

Suggested Actions: Here is what I suggest you can do.

  1. Calculate the chronic:One time ratio in your OPDs. Three to Six months data is sufficient depending upon the size of your OPD numbers.
  2. Calculate and see how what per cent of chronic patients keep their repeat appointments for first, second, third and more number of times respectively. I reckon that maximum ‘repeat’ patients are lost between the first and the second visit. Working on this number will be ‘fruitful’ exercise.
  3. Also start calculating how many people walk-in as a result of a recommendation made by the one time customer. Working on an increase in this number will also be a ‘fruitful’ exercise.

Vivek Shukla
Healthcare Marketing Consultant
Phone +91-9816086868