When we’re not conducting research on experiential marketing programs, we’re directing our resources toward traditional market research. I periodically write research reports for different professional organizations. The most recent one drew some interesting conclusions.
We were tasked with identifying the key benefits that physicians seek in a professional association, and then evaluating a particular state’s physicians association based on how well they perform in providing those benefits.
Who participated in the survey?
Our client distributed online and printed surveys to over 4,000 physicians in a specific U.S. state. The respondents fell into a three-category demographic:
- 29% worked for a hospital-affiliated health care system
- 26% worked for family practice groups
- 64% worked at practices that employ just one to five physicians
Attitudes of physicians toward healthcare changes
Respondents were asked which issues they believe will have the most significant impact on medicine in the next three years.
- 71% of respondents believe the increasing demand for health care due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be the most significant factor for change in patient behavior
- 38% of respondents believe adapting to changes mandated by the ACA will have the largest impact on practice structure
Physicians are preparing for potential changes resulting from the ACA. What does that imply for the association? When asked about perceived work force changes,
- 58% of respondents were concerned about an inadequate supply of physicians in the future
- 44% believe physicians will start leaving the workforce due to increasing non-clinical responsibilities
Perhaps the commonality between the two may be the issue of having to devote more time to administrative work and less time available for treating patients.
How does this vary by practice size? Respondents from small practices most prominently believe that physicians leaving their practices due to non-clinical responsibilities is going to be a major change.
Satisfaction among member physicians
The majority of respondents anticipate a heavier regulatory burden on physicians down the road. What can the association do about it?
It just so happens that one of the benefits the association provides is physician and patient advocacy in legislative affairs, which 74% of respondents considered the association’s most important benefit to their membership decision.
However, when asked to rate the association’s performance with that particular benefit, just 55% said they were satisfied, which indicates a significant gap between member satisfaction and importance of the issue.
What conclusion was drawn from the research?
We identified a key opportunity for the association to improve.
While respondents anticipated an increasing demand for healthcare due to the ACA, they were also concerned about having to spend more time doing administrative work potentially brought on by the regulation. They look to a professional association for legislative support, but this particular association is not meeting expectations in that area.
With this information at hand, hopefully, the association will take measures to improve member satisfaction in this area and transform that opportunity into a strength next year.
Photo Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/waldoj/