Why Hospitals Don’t Buy

Posted on October 29, 2012


A week or so ago I blogged about the “noise” in the healthcare market, and how that noise affects strategy for companies trying to better service healthcare providers. Right now, architects and builders simply do not know what hospitals need, what they are going to do, or why, so it is a challenge to provide market-leading thought to guide facility programs.

For all the market and industry uncertainty, which greatly influences a decision to invest in building infrastructure or not, I believe there are six concerns that, if present, definitely preclude a project—noise or not. These are not groundbreaking by any means. 

  1. No need.  On a base level, someone at the hospital does not have a problem costing enough money, or an opportunity to make more money, to justify the effort of a project.
  2. No motive.  I have posited before, and has been discussed by others, decisions are best made in the gut. Without a motive, which I define as desire, there is no reason to build.
  3. No value.  If a hospital needs a project, it must be clear the benefits outweigh the cost.  Sometimes that is not the case, or it is not clear—things are just too expensive.
  4. Not risk-reward positive.  Politics play a role in projects, and the risks of project execution (including cost) must be minor in comparison to the gains to be had by a new building.
  5. Next steps not clear.  Hospitals like to see a road map.  If trust is not established, commitment to a partnership is tentative, and a project is unlikely to move ahead.
  6. No like you.  Personality is an important fit, as well as the more crucial company culture match. It can be too much of a sacrifice to choose to work with someone you just don’t like.

When I meet with a prospect, I seek to address each one. With them, projects progress somewhat logically. Without them, the noise can be deafening.