POST-COVID-19, INFECTION CONTROL IS KING.

Hospitals and health systems are in a bind. Elective surgeries generate a huge majority of their revenues. To survive, they need patients to have surgery. And soon. The predicament is so acute that the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic recently pleaded in a CNBC interview for patients to return, rationalizing that hospitals represent a reduced risk of infection. Medical device marketers can help.

THERE’S THE PROBLEM.
Pretty much everyone is aware that if you don’t want to get sick, you don’t go to a hospital. Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are a recurring nemesis and a target of CMS penalties – and with all the COVID attention, hospitals are the last place patients want to be.

IT GETS WORSE

New projections show the COVID curve is flattening in many states, but new cases aren’t significantly declining. And scientists think the pandemic timeline is elongating, with many believing it will persist into the fall, and perhaps through 2021. Initially, it was thought that once the economy reopens, and elective surgeries are permitted, hospitals and medical device companies would go back to business as usual. However, if COVID-19 infections persist through 2021, patients will be extremely reluctant to have elective surgeries, further eroding health system finances and wreaking havoc on medical device company revenues and sales funnels.

HOSPITALS HAVE A PR NIGHTMARE ON THEIR HANDS
Hospitals have to convince their communities that it’s safe to have surgery. But without a story of “improved infection control,” they’ll fail to do so. They must embark on aggressive infection-control initiatives that provide the evidence they’ll need to convince their communities that elective surgeries are safe.

Medical device marketers have a potential nightmare on their hands as well. Will the sales of their elective surgery products:

  • Decline due to new customer needs?
  • Grow because they already market heavily to these new needs?
  • Go back to pre COVID-19 sales levels?

CUSTOMER BEHAVIOR WILL CHANGE

  • Infection-control leaders will gain new responsibilities and be under increased pressure to drive down infection rates
  • Surgeons will also face increased pressure to measurably reduce their infection rates
  • More cases will move to outpatient settings, where infection risk is perceived to be lower
  • Sepsis prevention and SSIs will gain renewed focus
  • The lab will take a more proactive role with infection testing and diagnosis
  • Worker protections will be elevated to higher standards
  • Disposable instruments will gain additional favor over reusables
  • Pricing pressure will intensify as hospitals try to offset lost revenue

MAKE SHIFT HAPPEN
If your medical device marketing has an infection-control angle, prioritize it by making sure infection control is reflected in your value prop. Then, start promoting it to the right people as soon as possible. Remember, hospitals will be looking to show their communities they’ve dramatically reduced their infection rates. Now, your value prop has to enable this more than ever.

Need some guidance on making the shift? VIVO is a medical device marketing agency with experts that can help. Reach out for a free strategy session today – and see how to refine your approach to address new customer needs.

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COVID Neutralized