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E-Business Strategy

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Viability of Product or Service

Business’s Case for Changing to the Website

An online environment will help AHCF staffs in different locations in the country claimed to tackle operational problems in care provision. These include issues in providing care for underserved populations. Several of them reported that a financial challenge for AHCF lies in the fact that they do not get updated information from healthcare facilities. Moreover, healthcare insurance companies delay reimbursement for services related to care coordination they provide to patients.

Online environment will facilitate sharing of information with providers outside the organization, making online payments to healthcare facilities located in remote locations, and providing information to patients on where to receive specialty care. The website will be effective in recruiting healthcare providers for its patient population, ensuring timely delivery of medical products, and integrating care with other healthcare facilities.

How well AHCF will do in the Online Environment

AHCF is expected to increase its market share by going online. In the online environment AHCF will integrate all methodical and instrumental tools for health information acquisition, management and applications in clinical practice, research and administration. An online environment will increase AHCF’s scale of reaching far beyond hospital environment. AHCF’s online environment will create an integral environment for health services for all users.

Online environment will enable patients with serious ailments to receive the required help and even consult with physicians. AHCF should go online to fulfill its needs for communication, information, convenience, and facilitate easy access to their health records from different parts of the world (Nelson & Ball, 2004). Going online will enable AHCF to facilitate patient-computer interviewing, disease management, healthcare quality, and patient safety.

Through online environment, AHCF will increase its market share to 25% in the next five years because it will provide one of the most important solutions to address the cost and quality of healthcare. Online environment will reduce the complexity of healthcare associated with high cost, and the need for quality, patient safety, adequate organization and delivery, cross-border care, reimbursement and liability.

Advantages and Challenges of Going Online

Going online will enable AHCF to provide patients and other healthcare organizations and collaborators with information not only about illness prevention but also educate them about their health plans and costs of healthcare. Clinicians will use AHCF website to keep up with current information about health conditions. AHCF's online presence will provide caregivers located in remote locations with access to consulting specialists as well as clinical data useful for diagnosis and treatment.

The challenge associated with AHCF going online is evaluating the quality of online data on the basis of completeness, accuracy, and consistency. Ensuring security of patients and other health records data and transactions poses a major challenge to AHCF. Authentication techniques are expensive technologies to use and support and are prone to failure (Nelson & Ball, 2004). There is a risk of jeopardizing patient privacy and confidentiality. Physicians may openly engage in inappropriate behaviour such as blogging and unprofessional commenting.

Current Online Competition

The major competitors of AHCF are John Hopkins Healthcare Foundation (www.hopkinsmedicine.org ), Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.com), and Centres for Disease Control (CDC) (www.cdc.gov). These three competitors have established global presence through various technologies such as websites and facilitated various research studies in developing countries especially in Africa and Asia. The websites of three competitors provide high levels of usability, are reliable and convenient for users who require health related information.

AHCF is going to face online competition from John Hopkins healthcare foundation because it uses social media to rate the level of service delivery to patients. The hospital also uses its e-commerce platform to facilitate online payments and reimbursement from insurance companies. John Hopkins Hospital online presence presents a major competition for AHCF because its online portal links the patient health portal with the electronic medical record which in turn assists in population based panel management programs. This panel management is of great importance for care management of chronic illnesses including behavioral conditions.

The John Hopkins Hospital website portal has enabled the hospital to obtain a market share of 7% of online presence for health based organizations. This is because it helps John Hopkins Hospital care managers to schedule medical appointments, e-mail securely with a client’s medical provider and view the results of laboratory tests and other medical records. John Hopkins Hospital is therefore a major competitor for AHCF because the hospitals online presence has been an efficient way for the care managers to contact medical providers and reduces the time needed to make medical appointments.

Mayo Clinic's e-commerce platform enables patients to pay for treatment services online, while its online CRM enables the organization to keep patient records in a database, which in its turn ensures timely communication. AHCF will face major online competition from Mayo Clinic because with a help of online CRM, Mayo Clinic is able to contact patients from different parts of the world to know their progress and book for physicians in advance.

Online presence enables Mayo Clinic consumers to tailor plans according to individual needs, obtain instant quotes, and make online purchases. Mayo Clinic has been able to obtain 8% of market share with a help of online presence. Mayo Clinic’s share of online presence presents major competition for AHCF because through its website Mayo Clinic provides disease- and drug-related information for its users effectively and efficiently.

CDC website is designed to serve an international community. This encompasses the use of various languages and payment options to increase its global reach. AHCF will face online competition from CDC website portal because it lists diseases in alphabetical order and users can easily navigate using initials. The important point is to include alphabetical buttons alone without any default list, which requires users to at least skim the list and lose time.

CDC's website helps users find information easier compared to a complete but long list. CDC's online presence commands 5% market share because it provides information on all possible diseases and conditions and lists common conditions besides providing a separate detailed list. CDC's web portal minimizes the burden for health information seekers, who are probably experiencing stress and anxiety. CDC's online presence presents a major competition for AHCF because of its systematic, simple and consistent designs offering interactive tools. It is important to note that content partitions are shaped according to medical knowledge of target users. 

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