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Health Prog. 1989 Oct;70(8):72-6.

In the market for ethics. Marketing begins with values.


High-quality care and concern for the poor are among the core values that all Catholic healthcare facilities share. And marketing is a proven tool for extending those values. In times past, healthcare providers, including Catholic facilities, were concerned about whether healthcare marketing was ethical. Much of the concern focused on advertising and promotion. A number of ethical violations do appear in hospital advertising. But government and professional organizations have established guidelines for ethics in advertising. Hospitals should encourage their marketing professionals to personally adhere to these codes. To ensure marketing activities are conducted ethically, a hospital must clearly articulate its commitment to ethical marketing; ensure that marketing professionals adhere to this commitment; and monitor activity. These steps should extend to a hospital's strategic plan, particularly its mission statement. Although strategic planning has many critical elements, the heart of the plan and the process is the mission statement, the expression of an organization's distinctiveness. For a Catholic hospital, this distinctiveness is found in two tiers of value: the core Catholic values, as articulated by its religious sponsors, and the institution's specific values flowing from its history, location, and services. If a religious healthcare provider is really committed to its values, it will actively affirm them in its marketing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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