Managing Health Tourism Business Operations
Health & wellness tourism management by PPPs funded by tax receipts, enable business growth, education, provides jobs and supports destination development.
The Center for Health Tourism Strategy attracts medical tourism entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, health policy and government agencies and journalists seeking useful and reliable information, advice, insights, resources, and inspiration for planning, launching, running and growing medical tourism businesses. We believe were are making progress to change how the medical tourism industry looks at itself and how it is perceived by the rest of the world. Here, you'll encounter inspiration from forward-thinking innovators, early adopters and influencers in medical tourism.
Health Tourism PPP Management and Operations
Medical tourism business clusters have been attempted in several countries, but they lack the infrastructure necessary to survive and thrive. Maria Todd has been remediating some of the clusters created by other consulting firms. Many were built as a a simple group of hospitals for the purpose of co-opting massive to buy event exhibitor stands and pay for event hosting and sponsorships. That's MICE, not medical tourism business development. Many were led to believe that by raising a common flag and logo - they had developed a destination brand that would attract referrals. When it didn't happen, the cluster fell apart or remains but isn't really functional and doesn't grow the business of health or wellness tourism. Maria has been working in several countries on five continents and has gained a devoted worldwide following. because of this remediation work and is now beginning to receive calls from new starts that haven't made the mistakes of their contemporaries.
Developing PPPs to manage the health and wellness tourism business operations is not the same as creating a special economic zone or free trade zone for health and wellness tourism export. The PPP requires funding to operate but centralizes health tourism business administration and supports destination branding at a macro-level, enables analysis at the meso-level and preserves brand individuality and competitive rivalry at the micro-level. Everybody wins.
Data is managed using an affordable tool such as Higowell's purpose-built, cloud-based platform, medConnect™ , (depicted below) is the only one of its kind, tested and ready for deployment by PPP health tourism promotion and operations clusters. The system was purpose built with the understanding that employees of the PPP would not have the experience at the early stages of PPP inception. Programming was designed to set the business rules in place to operate the PPP. Training and development is provided through a support agreement for the first year (and beyond if required). With functionality developed by collaborating, experienced travel and health tourism experts from India, Europe and the USA, the software was designed to prevent mistakes and oversights through required field entry and a library of pre-designed reports for quicker deployment and implementation.
Complementary smaller scale platforms are available for individual and chained-brand healthcare facilities and clinics, wellness centers (balneology, thalassotherapy, spa, etc.) and medical tourism facilitator applications are also available, but not required. The suite provides for built-in interoperability between the PPP and its partner stakeholders, and is currently compliant with EU, US and Canadian healthcare information privacy regulations - and easily adaptable to other national and federal regulations of other jurisdictions. The license is affordable, paid for in only a few cases. Ongoing costs are simply a modest maintenance fee to cover costs of enhancements and support.
Interoperability was paramount as a critical design specification because most health and wellness tourism outlets already have a legacy system in place that is not up for replacement, and the business of health and wellness tourism is most often an addition to a brand service line or sell off of excess capacity instead of a stand-alone business startup, except in the case of a medical tourism facilitator. The Higowell suites come with a fully-developed content management system. At every level, simultaneous operation of a consumer facing marketing websites plus back end intranet are operated as one. This design reduces costs, eliminates finger-pointing associated with two disparate systems, and requires fewer personnel and administration to manage than running two separate software platforms (front end and back end operations of medical records exchange, logistics, messaging, data gathering, etc.)
Any newcomer to the health tourism software scene seeking to develop and sell a competing product will first have to identify subject matter experts with practical experience in travel management and health tourism, and will require years to develop and test their product to compete head on with this first and only product in a narrow market space of health tourism PPP operations. Higowell has received first round investor funding, but only after the product was developed with bootstrapped capital and sweat equity to deliver a functioning, marketable product and sales on the books. It is well on its way to steady growth managed by a CEO with a DBA and practical airline travel logistics and operations and officers and directors with health, travel and tourism subject matter expertise at its helm.
Health tourism cluster management and operations requires five critical elements to function and grow the business:
- a comprehensive regulatory framework
- tools for data management and business administration
- a collaborative environment for stakeholders and government authorities
- management and administration by adequate staffing with defined roles and responsibilities
- business operations leadership and staffing powered by proper training and capacity development
We believe that only then, after the product is developed, should a medical or dental tourism or wellness cluster attempt to buy exhibitor pavillions and stands and buy advertising sponsorships at medical tourism trade gatherings. To do this prematurely risks irreparable destination brand damage from a cacophonous mixture of dissonant uncoordinated stakeholder messages that confuse the consumer. The old adage in business still applies: "A confused consumer doesn't buy".
Mercury Healthcare International, Inc. (MHI) is the owner and curator of this website.
The Center for Health Tourism Strategy is the research division of MHI
Mercury Advisory Group, a leading health and wellness tourism consulting firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MHI
Mercury Health Travel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MHI is a health travel administrator for employers and insurers.
MHI is a shareholder in Higowell, the first and only robust medical tourism and wellness tourism website framework of its kind.
Executive Director: Health Tourism Expert, International Keynote Speaker, Author and Strategist, Maria Todd.
Contributors: The consulting experts and authors of the Mercury Advisory Group
© 2016. Mercury Healthcare International, Inc. All international rights reserved.
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