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Healthcare marketing and HCO strategies
Healthcare marketing is a process that helps doctors and physicians bridge the gap between passion and profitability. It involves making healthcare as much profitable as it is humanitarian. Most medical practitioners work hard but get very little in return especially in private practice and usually end up closing. It is therefore healthcare marketing that has come to the rescue of these doctors to keep and maintain them in practice (Anwar & Capko, 2001). To attain effective healthcare marketing, HCO strategies are used.
HCO strategies help medical practitioners and other healthcare groups to identify and conform to upcoming marketing trends and business opportunities. It is very important for healthcare system to adapt to the changing trends in business development in order to maintain competitiveness which is attained by effective HCO strategic planning process. Although there are different strategic planning process models, the basis of the models is determining what needs to be done in future and how it will be done (McCay, 2001).
The basic purpose of a hospital or any other healthcare facility is to help sick people get well but it also needs to generate some profit in order to continue serving its purpose, otherwise it will fail. Any business is run by effective marketing, so is a hospital not a business? It is, and should be treated like one in all aspects including marketing and strategic planning. However, it should be noted that healthcare planning is one of the most complicated aspect in healthcare. It is simply not just selling and promotions. It has to be in a position to maintain and meet the needs and wants of its patients by strategically planning and executing processes based on the analysis of your products, services , pricing, location, methods of promotion and more.
One of the ways in which medical practice gains profitability is by gaining referrals which generally are physician to physician. Note that any physician will refer their patients to another physician whom they like, trust and respect. To gain a large professional networking is quite expensive as it needs one to hold seminars and build relationships with prospective referral sources. When you gain confidence of these professionals and they visit your premises, a foundation is laid for referrals.
It is more important to always remember that you gain by giving and therefore you should also refer some patients back to your referring physicians. This creates a good rapport between your office and theirs. Additionally, prospective patients are also targeted. When treating a referred patient, make sure you get back to your referring physician before the patient does. Also the paperwork and other documents that you might share should be done and sent to the physicians to avoid burdening your referring physician; this becomes fun for him when working with your office (Ward, 2010). The results of HCO strategic healthcare marketing are increasing the patient base, improving the hospital image and perception and expansion of services.
Some examples of healthcare marketing includes hospitals and healthcare organizations arranging for free treatments like eye checks and eye surgeries or even creating awareness to some diseases. For instance, standard chartered bank is usually approached by hospitals to organize heart runs globally for treatment of heart diseases to children. Hospitals that partner in such a project usually create a brand for them as the best in management of heart conditions. Put simply any business marketing strategy in healthcare marketing should have a propensity for creating a brand for the organization. The marketing styles should include internet and social media, creating a good public relations, external and internal marketing, branding and most importantly, fishing for and maintaining professional referrals (Fortenberry, 2010).
Communication in marketing
To effectively manage marketing, one has to have good communication skills. The skills are what make the development of the business. In short for development of good marketing, one should carefully look at the purpose in the business, attitude towards the business or other players, the importance of communication and teamwork. With these factors into consideration, a healthcare marketer is in a position of making sales for the healthcare system and still point out to the consumers on the primary focus of the institution which is caring for the sick. Note that the way one communicates while marketing other businesses is not the same way one should approach healthcare marketing. The most important aspect of effective communication is to change the perception of healthcare community to your facility (Berkowitz, 2010).
Saint Clare's Imaging Center at Parsippany Commons
This hospital is situated at Parsippany in New Jersey and is one in a chain of st. Claires health systems. As indicated by its name, it is mainly for carrying out imaging for diagnosis. One of the ways by which this hospital can market itself further is by making use of the internet to show the types of machinery and imaging equipment it owns. With the diagrams, a brief description of the mechanisms and the safety of the machines can be indicated so that the community can have faith in them. Additionally, it would be remarkable to have a video of the physicians using a dummy to show them at work. This can build trust in efficiency and competence of the staff.