Making That Sale: Taking a Retail Approach to Health Care

August 3, 2016

// By Lisa D. Ellis //

MulticareIt used to be that if you built a good health system, people would come. But in today’s hectic world, many organizations find it necessary to extend their services to places their patients frequent instead. In fact, these days, organizations providing the highest-quality care are a given, but how that care is delivered—and where—have become the real differentiators for the savviest organizations.

For MultiCare Health System in Tacoma, Washington, this radical shift means the organization has had to find new ways to meet people where they live and work, and to do so in a convenient and price-conscious way. If that sounds like a very tall order, indeed it is, according to Christi McCarren, R.N., MBA, CPHQ, who serves as the Senior Vice President of Retail Health and Community-Based Care for MultiCare Health. McCarren shared the highlights of MultiCare’s retail strategy at the recent Health Care Marketing & Physician Strategies Summit, and spoke with SHCM to fill in some of the key details of the MultiCare story for readers.

Becoming Better Connected

Christi McCarren, RN, MBA, CPHQ, Senior Vice President of Retail Health and Community-Based Care, MultiCare Health

Christi McCarren, RN, MBA, CPHQ, Senior Vice President of Retail Health and Community-Based Care, MultiCare Health

McCarren points out that the ultimate goal at MultiCare is to be “Better Connected” with prospective patients. In fact, the theme of being “Better Connected” is such an important one that MultiCare includes this slogan as part of its logo—and the concept also informs all of the health service’s operations on multiple levels.

Most recently, MultiCare used the idea of connecting with patients to propel it to venture into the retail space, with the goal to make health care services easier and more accessible for patients, as well as more affordable.

For those not familiar with what “retail” health care really means, McCarren says, “Retail health care is defined as engaging directly with consumers for health-care related products and services in a price-sensitive environment.”


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