Please include the name of the person or question to which you are replying in the subject line. For example, “Tom’s response to Susan’s comment.”
ALSO COMMENT ON STUDENTS COMMENT BELOW
I can not believe this course is coming to an end!!!! Throughout this course, I have learned that having to have a certain amount of words to an assignment makes you really think about what you are writing. I just thought I would be finding answers and writing them down. It also makes you have to research and find more words to add to the assignment. I was terrible at research and almost wanted to cry at first, but I think I have gotten a little better. I think being able to research and cite properly will help me greatly in the future. A lot of companies require writing so being able to do it correctly will be more of a bonus. I also keep to myself a lot so having to respond to a classmate was also a scary part for me. I think doing the responses will help in the future with being able to talk to patients and employers more easily. I have really enjoyed this class and learning all about health care administration.
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Course Learning Outcomes for Unit VIII Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
5. Categorize marketing procedures in a healthcare organization. 5.1 Determine the importance of creating and implementing a marketing plan for a healthcare
organization. 5.2 Identify an effective marketing message for a healthcare facility’s primary target market. 5.3 Describe various potential marketing vehicles which may be appropriate for healthcare facilities.
7. Examine information services in a healthcare setting.
7.1 Prepare a management action plan for a healthcare organization.
8. Evaluate ways to improve the quality and economy of patient care. 8.1 Prepare a management action plan for a healthcare organization.
Course/Unit Learning Outcomes
5.1 Unit Lesson Chapter 15 Reading Unit VIII Reflection Paper
5.2 Unit Lesson Chapter 15 Reading Unit VIII Reflection Paper
5.3 Unit Lesson Chapter 15 Reading Unit VIII Reflection Paper
7.1 Unit VIII Management Action Plan
8.1 Unit VIII Management Action Plan
Reading Assignment Chapter 15: Health Care Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations
Unit Lesson Marketing Health Care Services Just a generation ago, it was seen as inappropriate for a doctor to advertise. Physicians were seen as somehow above it, and any doctor who did advertise was shunned by his professional colleagues. Hanging out the “proverbial shingle and a single line Yellow Pages ad” was just about all the advertising that doctors were willing to do in the first half of the 20th century. Patients would find them, doctors believed, through word of mouth and through their reputation. All that changed in a hurry in the 1970s. Bates v. State Bar of Arizona In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not prohibit advertising by lawyers. The case was Bates v. State Bar of Arizona. That led to a nationwide flurry of advertising by lawyers. They were on TV, in newspapers, on the back of the Yellow Pages book, on billboards, and just about everywhere else you can imagine (Stawicki, 2007).
UNIT VIII STUDY GUIDE
Marketing and Advertising
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Although the Supreme Court ruling applied to lawyers and not doctors, physicians certainly took note of all the professionals out there who had begun advertising. Mostly, they noticed that the advertising worked! Lawyers who advertised were soon busier than their conservative counterparts. So it happened that the first doctors began advertising, following the model of attorneys in their own communities. Advertising worked for the doctors as well. Soon there were doctor and hospital billboards, radio ads, TV ads, and websites as soon as the Internet came along to accommodate them. Hospitals created the positions of marketing director or director of public relations and marketing to keep up with all the marketing needs. Just about all hospitals and clinics advertise today. So, if we are going to do it and spend a lot of money on it, we had better be good at it. Let’s consider some aspects of marketing and advertising in health care. Marketing Successful hospitals do a few things very well. They identify patient needs, develop programs to meet those needs, and then satisfy patients through their programs. It is not that tough really, but it takes a lot of communication and a lot of time and effort. Hospitals can become proactive about marketing by building relationships with patients, with the community overall, and with doctors. Yes, doctors are our customers. Many of the most important purchase decisions in health care are not made by patients. The patient may not even know that a particular service is needed or appropriate. The doctor knows that, and often the patient simply agrees to the service. While it is definitely true that we are dealing with better informed patients in U.S. health care today (primarily via the Internet), major purchase decisions are still typically made by physicians. The decision to have open heart surgery rarely originates with the patient; it comes from the outcome of a cardiac stress test or cardiac catheterization and a physician’s interpretation of the results. Smart hospitals ask everybody for advice, including patients, civic clubs, churches, employers, other medical facilities, and doctors. What services are needed? What do we do well today? What do we not do well today and need to improve? A principle of retail marketing that applies very well to medicine is this: It is five times easier to obtain repeat business from an existing customer than to obtain business from a new customer. If we are smart, we will communicate regularly and professionally with our existing customers. Perhaps they will come back for additional services, and perhaps they will even help us to market, bringing us friends, family members, and co-workers as new patients. Effective Marketing Techniques in Health Care There are some time-tested and proven effective ways to market healthcare services. Let’s list those here:
public speaking and public relations,
media interviews of healthcare leaders and professionals,
demonstration advertising, and
advertisement of professionals. The great thing about getting our professional staff out and about in the community and speaking up for our programs, is that it is so inexpensive and so appreciated by the community. The tough part is the professional time involved and human nature about public speaking. A doctor or department director who is a good public speaker and has an interesting message can really help a hospital’s image in the community. He or she should be put in front of the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Lions, Masons, church groups, and anybody else who will listen. The doctor is not just promoting a service; he or she is becoming human and personable for everyone he or she meets at these events. This does in fact build business. Media interviews are also effective, and typically the reporter can visit the doctor or other professional at his or her office, making it easier to get physician participation. This approach is particularly useful if there is a new service or technology available that may not be well known in the community. A well written newspaper article can help to spread the word, again at minimal cost. Demonstration advertising on websites and on TV can have huge impacts today. Yes, it can be expensive, but it reaches a large audience quickly and pays for itself in a reasonable timeframe if it is well planned. Meanwhile, unprofessional or poorly-planned demonstration advertising actually hurts and should not be done! Use of social media to promote healthcare services can be very effective, and this is a focus area for
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many hospitals and clinics today. Facebook, in particular, can potentially reach more patients than the hospital website itself. Again, professionalism is the absolute key in social media marketing. Finally, featuring a “doctor of the week” in local media and hospital newsletters is a simple but effective way of getting the community to know our medical staff and their capabilities. When hospitals do community health needs assessments, they often learn that the community does not really even know what services are available locally. Many patients may be driving right past a smaller facility on their way to a larger hospital or clinic, not realizing that the services they need are available right at home in their own community. Sometimes, they are actually driving to see a specialist at the larger facility who holds clinic locally one to two days per week! Success Stories When you want to be successful, do what successful people do. Associating a great medical success story with your program or facility can have tremendous impact, especially if the patient is someone well known and well regarded in the community. You will see hospitals doing this frequently today, so talk to your doctors, nurses, and patients. Find a great success story, and use that story to build public opinion of the hospital. The message is clear: “It worked for me, and I am so glad that I came to this hospital instead of some other hospital.” Conclusion This lesson intended to share some ideas and principles of marketing and advertising for health care. No one approach works in all communities and all settings, but the key principles really are very much the same. Today, we must engage in marketing and advertising to spread the word about our services, and if we are going to do it, we need to do it well and do it professionally. Notes Well, you have worked hard throughout the course on your management action plan, and now is the time to submit it for grading. Let your instructor know if you have any last-minute questions or concerns before you submit.
Reference Stawicki, E. (2007, July 9). Lawyer advertising still controversial after 30 years. Retrieved from