[ Friday, September 09, 2005 ]


Off topic (but healthcare related): Here's an interesting article on 10 things hospitals can do to market themselves. All pretty interesting, but what I find most interesting (perhaps in a "blind men and the elephant" sort of way, since I'm often an observer at the nexus between hospitals and physicians) is number 2. Too often hospitals look at doctors as either a necessary evil or as competitors. In my experience, limited though it may be, hospitals do best that have a symbiotic relationship with their doctors, usually focusing on the commonly understood "mission" of the hospital; by this I don't mean some soporific and idealistic "mission statement" most hospitals have ("striving to connect our high quality focus with the health needs of the community, blah blah blah"), but the real underlying nature of the hospital itself: some rural hospitals are truly community hospitals; some hospitals primary focus is on producing a return on investment, often for both the facility and its medical staff, through cost cutting or aggressive revenue enhancement; some teaching hospitals or strongly faith-based hospitals reflect that type of mission in everything they do. Hospitals that have a strong teaching background will often do best if they find staff physicians who have the same level of commitment to teaching; hospitals with a strong particular religious background do best if they attract staff members who have the same type of commitment. I don't mean that a Catholic hospital can't have Jewish doctors on staff; but if there is a strong connection between the particular tenets of Catholicism that are most central to the hospital's true nature (teaching, evangelism, service to the poor, research) and the personalities of the doctors on the medical staff, the hospital is much more likely to be a leader. Same with rural hospitals: many see themselves as a community asset or at least a community service (like a branch of the local government, which many of them are), and if they attract physicians who are committed to the community and are real small town boosters, they do much better than those staffed with doctors who are there to make a buck and get back to the Galleria in the nearest big city.

Or at least that's my experience.

Jeff [8:33 AM]

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