Rehabilitation and HealthCare Industry
Entrepreneurial Opportunities in the Rehabilitation and Health Care Industry
Rehabilitation is a forte of medicine that aims to evaluate, diagnose, and restore patients with any physical disabilities or impairments. Experts in the field treat patients with conditions that limit their functionality through therapeutic procedures that aim to prevent or cure physically limiting complications that are caused by disability, disease, trauma, or hereditary disorders (Beinhocker, 1999). Since the Second World War, the Rehabilitation and Health sector has been growing continuously. The field gained recognition in 1946, as many soldiers who had been injured in World War II sought treatment.
Rehabilitation is used to help regain body functions that were lost from injury or medical conditions. It may be carried out in various settings, and in most instances, it begins when a patient is in the hospital recovering from an injury or illness. Sometimes, patients can schedule it for a planned surgery. Injuries or medical conditions, such as stroke, brain disorder, chronic pains, brain injury, arthritis among others, can affect a person’s functional ability.
Rehabilitation treatments can therefore be carried out in a rehabilitation center with the help of qualified staff and equipment. Sometimes, the focus on the rehabilitation process can exceed to uninjured parts of the body and, therefore, require more time. The rehabilitation and health care industry has some unexploited entrepreneurial opportunities (Christensen, Raynor, & Verlinden, 2001). After patients suffer from functional limiting complications, they are referred to rehabilitation centers for treatment. Disruptive innovations, such as separate independent rehabilitation institutions, can be opened up close to hospitals.
Family and friends facing serious, life-threatening illnesses and approaching death deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, and compassion. Furthermore, they also need to receive quality health care that is tailored to meet their needs. It is imperative for the family members and close friends to be involved in the rehabilitation process. As a health care professional, I have a passion for helping sick people as well as providing care and support to those facing life-threatening illnesses.
I have identified entrepreneurial opportunities in the Rehabilitation and Health Sector that I intend to pursue after completing my PhD. In the recent past, the number of children facing health problems that require medical/surgical intervention has been rising (Dyer & Singh, 1998). Research shows that after the medical intervention, the majority of the children develop functionality challenges that hinder their participation in school, sports, and other facets of life. In response to the above pediatric problem, I will open a rehabilitation center targeting children who are about to or have undergone a medical intervention procedure.
The pediatric rehabilitation center will aim to treat the whole child taking into consideration their goals and interest. The rehabilitation program will be in the context of the child’s developmental and functional needs. I will involve the families in designing the best rehabilitation program for their children. Furthermore, I will work with like-minded educational institutions to maximize the learning opportunities for each child. The rehabilitation center will provide inpatient, and outpatient clinics in addition to outreach and day rehabilitation programs (Eisenhardt & Brown, 1998). In intend to specialize in spinal cord injury rehabilitation to maximize the child’s recovery potential. The rehabilitation program will treat children at all levels of spinal cord injury, namely, ventilator dependent, complete paraplegia, complete tetraplegia, diaphragmatic pacing, and incomplete injuries.
I will invest in assistive technologies to boost the recovery potential of the patients. Furthermore, I will enter into partnerships with children hospitals across America to provide rehabilitation services for spinal cord injuries. Therapy will be provided at the hospital, home, or school to avoid interrupting the child’s daily schedule. Children who suffer spinal cord injuries deserve another chance to live a normal or assisted life. 52% of the spinal cord injuries in the United States involving children are incomplete injuries. This means that with timely and focused rehabilitation, it is possible to recover from the injury.
The modular strategy refers to the organizational processes that are coupled together to form a system, but each process is executed separately. It allows parts of a system to be separated and combined with much greater flexibility. Although the rehabilitation center will provide care for spinal cord injury patients, the intervention program will be provided in separate processes. These processes are evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. Each process will require special procedures and equipment to serve the needs of the patients. It will provide me with opportunities to design, manufacture, and distribute evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation accessories. The objective is to improve the patients’ mobility and sensory motor (McGahan, 2004). The rehabilitation intervention program will be developed and implemented with the help of the parents, guardians, and teachers. I intend to rehabilitate children with spinal cord injuries, as well as champion for their acceptance in the society. Treatment and rehabilitation are inseparable; therefore, I will work directly with pediatrics from across the United States. The rehabilitation programs will be tailored to meet the needs of each child irrespective of their race, gender, or class. I intend to source for funding from donors, NGOs, and charities targeting children suffering from spinal cord injuries.
Two of the main players in the rehabilitation industry are Patterson Medical and Mujo. Patterson Medical is a global leader in the distribution of rehabilitation and assisted medical products to thousands of therapy clients across the globe. Most of its products are developed for physiotherapy and occupational therapy use (Dyer & Singh, 1998). The medical institution is part of the Patterson Group that is based in the UK. The group is a multinational corporation offering health care products and services to clients facing diverse medical challenges.
Patterson Companies Inc. has three operating units, which include Patterson Medical, Patterson Veterinary, and Patterson Dental. Patterson Dental is in the growth stage of a product lifecycle. The business unit offers over 90,000 products as well as software, equipment, and technology solutions related to teeth problems. Patterson Veterinary is also a leading distributor of supplies, vaccines, technology, pharmaceuticals, and equipment in the UK and the US.
Patterson Medical is the leading distributor of sports medicine, patient assistive technologies, and rehabilitation and healthcare products in the world. The global occupational and physical therapy market is made up of clinics, long-term care facilities, and hospitals (Christensen, Raynor, & Verlinden, 2001). Patterson Medical, having its global outreach, can open up rehabilitation centers in hospitals and clinics in many regions across the globe. The new centers can be equipped with all required products and trained staff who will be dedicated in diagnosing and treating its patients and earn revenue independently. Such a measure ensures the profit made by the rehabilitation center is utilized by the center. Consequently, the cost of treatment can be subsidized by the Patterson Group, which aims at providing affordable treatment to all its customers.
Patterson Medical’s Strategy
Patterson Medical strategy is to manufacture and distribute quality rehabilitation supplies and equipments to assist patients from across the globe recover from life-threatening illnesses. In this regard, the firm distributes rehabilitation and health care supplies and equipment to hospitals, therapists, and clinics all over the globe. Furthermore, Patterson Medical has a strategy of partnering with or acquiring leading companies in a bid to continue being the leading distributor of rehabilitation and medical products globally. The firm appears to focus on developing innovative intervention plans for medical conditions that affect children below five years. The firm realized that most rehabilitation service providers in the UK prioritize the needs of adults of those of young children. This move helped the company to open up new markets that had not been exploited before. Consequently, its product-differentiation strategy has helped the firm to develop a sustainable competitive advantage over its rivals in the UK. In regard to resources, it has invested heavily in recruiting and retaining a qualified and experienced workforce to meet the diverse needs of its clients. Furthermore, it is expanding its presence in the UK by acquiring essential health care institutions as well as building long-term relationships with all the major suppliers in the market. The objective is to increase its market share by streamlining its supply chain. By building long-term relationships with the main medical suppliers in the UK, the company has ensured that its products will be used in all the health care institutions across the nation in perpetuity. Its principle business units’ position in the product lifecycle involves manufacturing and distributing rehabilitation supplies and equipments. Its products are divided in three main categories namely rehabilitation solutions, physiotherapy solutions, and pediatric solutions. Being the leading distributor of rehabilitation products and services, Patterson medical aims at providing a wide range of products and quality services to its customers (Eisenhardt & Brown, 1998). Through its many acquisitions and partnerships, it aims at growing its market base and leading in the rehabilitation products industry. In 2007, Patterson Medical acquired the PTOS software, which is a line of software used by physical therapists. As a result, health care practitioners and therapists can benefit from the organization’s endorsement of the technological solution.
In the United Kingdom, Patterson Medical has international operations, such as Homecraft, and in France, it is represented by Kinetec (Beinhocker, 1999). Homecraft deals in the supply of rehabilitation products in the UK, while Kinetec is a manufacturer and distributor of continuous passive motion machines, as well as homecraft products.
In the US, Patterson Medical has 12 branch offices that have resulted from internal start-ups and acquisitions. Moreover, it has a vast array of services and products that are focused on quality, and innovation, making sure it safeguards its global market share. Consequently, the multinational company aims to be reliable and well positioned to spread out to core markets (McGahan, 2004). Patterson Medical highly values its relationship with its suppliers in the industry. It is aggressive in finding new business partners and making strategic coalitions that are intended to provide its customers with the best products available in the market. Using its Platinum Partner Program, it has gained valuable partnerships with different suppliers. As a result, the long-term relationships have enabled Patterson Medical to respond to its customers’ needs quickly by offering high quality and innovative products.
Patterson Medical’s vision is to be a global leader in the rehabilitation health care industry by expanding its market share through the provision of high quality rehabilitation supplies and equipments. Furthermore, offer training to all the employees to improve their knowledge and skills necessary to meet the needs of its clients. Through acquisitions and internal start-ups, it aims at having a wider reach and increase the value-added capability of its business units (Beinhocker, 1999). With numerous suppliers who can meet diverse user needs, the company can increase its value using the quality products and services it can access.
Demand in the rehabilitation and health care supply market is influenced by the demographics of the population as well as technological advancements. Companies that can produce superior products and enjoy the economies of scale are profitable. Smaller companies in the industry can compete by offering highly innovative products or by finding a particular market segment to specialize in.
Many people require medical supplies and devices to help solve health issues, such as cancer, trauma after accidents and surgery, and diabetes among others. The demand is rising from the increased expenditure on health in the public and private sectors. Patterson Medical will need to invest more in research and development. Such R&D gives the firm a chance to develop new methods of diagnosing patients. This is besides designing equipments that are easier to use and affordable. The strategy will help the organization to remain the leading distributor of rehabilitation and medical products in the world.
I would recommend that the medical organization allocates more funds to enhance its marketing strategy. The firm is lagging behind with regard to promoting its products and services. I would recommend an aggressive marketing approach to create awareness about its products and services. The marketing strategy should target both the patients and the service providers. This is because each category of users requires persuasion to use Patterson Medical’s products. In addition, the company should organize workshops and seminars to create awareness about its products and services. This will be besides developing relationships with the current and would-be clients.
To build a loyal customer base, I would recommend the introduction of loyalty cards that allow customers to earn redeemable points every time they purchase an item. It is a good way of rewarding loyal customers and attracting potential customers looking for discounted prices. The recent economic recession has affected the purchasing behavior of the customers because they have become more conscious about their expenditure. Essentially, the majority of the customers are looking for the most affordable quality health care services; therefore, Patterson Medical should market its services bearing that in mind. The above recommendations are made based on the strengths and weaknesses of the organization in the rehabilitation and health care industry.
A recent survey targeting Patterson Medical employees revealed that the majority of the workforce would like to receive better remuneration for their efforts. They argued that it has a highly dysfunctional compensation plan for its sales workforce. Furthermore, the climate of distrust is pervasive in the organization because communication between the managers and the staff is ineffective. To address the above issues, I would recommend that the firm replace all the sales executives with qualified and experienced individuals who appreciate comprehensive evaluations. It will help to develop a climate where every stakeholder can share ideas freely.
Finally, the firm should decentralize its functions from its headquarters to allow its branches to operate autonomously. The senior management should allow the line managers to have a say in the management of the organizations. Allowing a dozen individuals to dictate the functions of both the firm creates delays in the decision-making process. Essentially, select and train competent employees to manage the functions of each branch whilst the senior management focuses attention on the performance and growth of the entire organization. All the above recommendations should be implemented in collaboration with all the stakeholders to build trust and improve accountability in the organization.
Beinhocker, E. D. (1999). On the Origin of Strategies. The McKinsey Quarterly (4), 47-57.
Christensen, C. M., Raynor, M., & Verlinden, M. (2001). Skate to Where the Money Will Be. Harvard Business Review, 72-81.
Dyer, J. H., & Singh, H. (1998). Cooperative Strategy and Sources of Interorganizational Competitive Advantage. The Academy of Management Review, 23(4), 660-679.
Eisenhardt, K. M., & Brown, S. L. (1998). Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos. Long Range Planning, 31(5), 786-789.
McGahan, A. M. (2004). How Industries Change. Harvard Business Review, 86-94.