Many factors should be considered when planning and building a women’s service-line expansion, says Madhavi Kasinadhuni, senior consultant for research and insights at the Advisory Board Co. The considerations include:
1. The health care market
Community demographics, current and future demand for services, potential service gaps in the area and what competitors offer should be evaluated when deciding whether and how to expand women’s health services.
2. The current service level
Medium or large organizations that already offer the services in house could opt to package and brand several women’s health services across departments. A smaller organization might prefer to focus on a single specialty where it already has a strong presence, such as cardiology or gastroenterology.
When stretching beyond traditional OB-GYN services, hospitals typically don’t colocate the offerings in a women’s health center. However, service line leaders should work together to determine what services they want to focus on for women, how to build programming and how to create a unified women’s health campaign.
4. Online presence
The organization should create one landing page on its website for women’s health services. It should describe the various specialty offerings and make it easy for women to find resources and to make appointments. Ideally, it would provide only one phone number for women to call for scheduling.
5. Friendly faces
Some hospitals have one person serve as the public face of the women’s health program. Sometimes this person is a women’s health navigator who takes calls, helps to coordinate appointments, facilitates care transitions or simply handles social media. Other times, it’s a physician champion with a particular interest in women’s health.
6. Physician connections
Hospitals should make sure employed and independent primary care physicians and OB-GYNs know about the breadth of women’s services they offer. The task can be taken on by the hospital’s physician liaison.