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Health Prog. 1988 Apr;69(3):62-5.

The physician as customer.


Hospitals must look to physicians as the main targets of marketing efforts, since physicians are the first to see the patients and recommend a hospital to them. Hospitals must first determine what physicians specialties they want to attract to meet community needs. They must find out how physicians feel about the hospital, educate them to what the hospital has to offer, and set out to meet their needs. This can be done by helping new physicians set up practices, offering marketing seminars and advice, and providing physician referral programs. The nursing service should be geared toward improved relations with physicians. Hospitals should involve physicians more in planning and management, perhaps through joint ventures, which give physicians a financial stake in the hospital and prevent physician-hospital competition. Hospitals must rely more and more on physicians to maintain a competitive edge, and marketing to physicians is the most effective tool.

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