Hospital-Hybridization Model Quadrant Four: The Future-Facing Clinical Leaders

This week, we’re jumping into the fourth quadrant in the hospital-hybridization model: the clinical/transformation B quadrant. For a complete introduction to our hospital-hybridization model, check out the first entry of this five-part series.

If the previous quadrant was the ambassador for the future state of the hospital, then the clinical/transformation B quadrant is the ambassador for the future state of medicine. Both new members of this quadrant, the chief population health officer (CPHO) and the chief quality officer (CQO), are tasked with the future of care quality. In the lower-left corner of the quadrant, the CPHO nearly straddles the line between both spectrums – business/clinical, and transformation A/B. Both roles live in this quadrant because of their core, future-facing “triple aim”: (1) to improve the patient experience of care, (2) to improve the health of populations, and (3) to reduce the per capita cost of healthcare.

Similar to the CXO, the CPHO and CQO were initially introduced in reaction to a pressing threat. Revenue streams began to diversify, which exposed a potential risk in operating on a fee-for-service-only basis. CQOs were brought on to initiate a bare-bones, quality-based structure, and the position has slowly directed its focus toward more aggressive quality benchmarks after responding to the initial fire drill.

When members of this quadrant think about the future of healthcare, they don’t think about how budget spreadsheets will be rearranged or even how the hospital will look in the future. They think about how different patient populations will experience care differently, what care will cost them, and quality of care they will get for that cost. These are the buyers that feel a deep-seated disturbance about the current state of healthcare, and they’re tasked with implementing programs and tools that will get better care to more people.

Despite all of the political buzz around value-based contracts and alternative care models, hospitals are actually moving at a snail’s pace on those fronts. The clinical and business transformations required to thrive with those trends are a heavy lift, and many CEOs have been immersed in the current system so long that they’re unwilling to make such drastic changes late in their careers. Members of this quadrant, however, are on the forefront of key transformations in value-based payment and care delivery models, and they have their sights set on the future.

Many health technology and services companies have skewed their messaging so strongly toward this quadrant that they’ve hurt themselves on two fronts: 

  1. They have concentrated on the quadrant with the fewest decision makers, and they’ve done it too early. As a result, they minimized their resonance with the C-suite majority and marketed to a future vision instead of today’s reality.
  2. They have managed to tire out the “triple aim” language while somehow never talking about what their product or service actually does. 

Buyer Tendencies of This Quadrant

If the “triple aim” messaging would work for anyone, it would be the clinical/transformation B quadrant. However, many technology and services vendors have come at it all wrong – leaving a gaping hole between their buyers’ desired outcomes and the name of their product. You’ve seen it before – the “product” section of the website likely features over-simplified icons and vague language with a thumbs up for client satisfaction, a stethoscope for improved clinical outcomes, and a dollar bill for cost savings.

Unless you are honest about the actual things your product does in those three areas – client satisfaction, clinical outcomes, and cost savings – you’re devaluing your offering. The CPHO and CQO are concentrated on the triple aim already, so framing your product as the triple aim solution will not elicit a magical response, and it’s certainly not differentiating. Members of this quadrant will be more likely to respond to messaging like,

“The future of healthcare is specific. Our product was born from relentless curiosity, and here’s how it works…”


key strategy for this quadrant

Bolster big-picture solutions with precise explanations of value.


We’ve truly enjoyed sharing the hospital hybridization model with you. It’s never been so exciting to sell great products and services into the hospital C-suite, but it’s also as complex as ever. With the old guard driving familiar business objectives while new buyers enter the C-suite, vendor messaging must get simultaneously broader and more targeted. Now is the time to develop useful models, like the hospital-hybridization model, to help segment your buyers and keep up with a more varied audience. If you want to dive into our hospital-hybridization model a little deeper, fill out a contact us form, and we’d be happy to schedule some time for our analyst to brief you on it and share some other discoveries relevant to your specific buyers.

December 21, 2017
The hospital C-suite is a complex target audience.
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