All around the world, health management systems rely on evolving networks on the global and local scales. Health care systems and providers must account for the demographic, economic, and industrial changes occurring in their operational areas. In Israel, far-reaching modifications have been motivated by reforms in public health services, provided primarily through the four health management organizations (HMOs/ kupot cholim). Additional mitigating factors include the demand to reduce the cost of public health per person, the public’s increasing demand for services, and a general (and positive) public focus on health and wellbeing.
As a natural consequence of these changes, the HMOs are forced to compete for clients, resources, and public awareness. Israel’s healthcare organizations must navigate these chaotic considerations; most have realized that the best way to do that is by embracing a business-inspired management structure and marketing strategies.
As the owner and CEO of a leading Israeli advertising and publicity agency, and with many years of communication and business experience, I am pleased to see this transition in the Israeli the health market. Competitive business behaviors force the Israeli HMOs to be thoughtful about the services they provide and the way they interact with the public; almost always, this yields a better patient experience overall.
Like any good business, Israeli hospitals and HMOs have come to realize that innovation is a primary propeller of growth and success. Assuta Hospital, for example, has undertaken international programs which build partnerships with hospitals, medical startups, and industry experts in Israel and the US. As Israel’s largest private medical center, Assuta is harnessing the creativity and genius of Israeli and global startups and researchers to bring life-saving solutions to patients in Israel and abroad. It is this kind of creativity and modernization that is bridging the divides between medical care, entrepreneurs, and businesses in the efforts to respond to global challenges.
By recognizing the need for flexibility and adaptation as the foundation for its own success and the wellbeing of its patients, and recognizing the significance of collaborative inter-disciplinary relationships, Assuta is positioned to develop, market, introduce, and provide new medical developments, treatments, technology-based solutions.
Another good example is Maccabi Health Services. As an HMO, Maccabi has transformed everything from its service structure to its communication platforms. With targeted, focused, and culturally relevant marketing campaigns, Maccabi continues to revolutionize the way Israelis think about health, and the way they expect to receive in-clinic and remote services.
When Covid-19 forced healthcare outlets to pivot to online services, Maccabi was at the forefront of that change. The HMO focused on disseminating real-time information on various platforms, promoting “digital health” in the practical and applied aspects, and creating a supportive package for members, doctors, and the wider Israeli audience. In publicizing their efforts, Maccabi pinpointed the challenges and concerns of Israelis and validated them through real solutions alongside a sustainable business model.
When COVID-19 vaccines were introduced, Maccabi led the efforts in vaccinating the public. The scope and severity of the pandemic motivated Maccabi to leverage cutting edge interventions and top-quality research. Maccabi knew that effective and efficient management was necessary to streamline vaccine access, public awareness, and clinic experience. The HMO’s ability to provide inoculations in a timely way rested on its ability to embrace modern technologies, data-driven methods, strategic marketing, and top-notch medical management.
The acceptance by Israel’s health organizations, at a relatively early stage in their development, of the relevant aspects of a business orientation, allows it better contend with the plurality of stakeholders including policy makers, financial supporters, public opinion, rivals, workers, managers, and others.
When approaching healthcare from a consumer-based perspective, I focus on this exact cooperation and synergy with industry leaders to ensure success. Spanning the worlds of business, medicine, technology, and communications, I give clients the tools they need to manage and lead companies and avoid high-cost mistakes. Throughout my career in the marketing industry, I have studied, learned, and analyzed the extent to which Israelis are responsive to branding, advertising, and marketing campaigns. Israeli consumers are interested in quality, cost, and experiences; higher prices, if reasonable, do not dissuade an Israeli shopper. Israeli consumers like new products and are fond of any service they can get online. That is why I find the points of synergy between all stakeholders and use them to formulate, create, devise, and implement public campaigns. Alongside the substantial efforts being made in Israel to improve quality of care, I turn to good data to assess what is working and what needs attention.
To succeed in Israel’s market today, hospitals, HMOs, and healthcare providers are acknowledging the need to adopt a managerial-business approach and dedicate resources to strategic planning, public outreach, and marketing. Incorporating appropriate managerial strategies requires close collaboration between all stakeholders; lack of buy-in by any one party is an obstacle that contributes to partial, potentially counter-productive, strategic efforts.