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Hospital Management from Service Sector Perspective
First Editio: 2016
My husband Arun, my daughter Jesal, my son-in-lawPreface
India is a growing economy. The world is moving towards service economy. Now marketing techniques for services are clearly differentiated from those of physical goods. Neither pure physical good nor pure service exists. Every physical product is associated with little service element. Even intangible service needs to be tangibilize to attract the customers. Many service sectors contribute to the GDP of the nation. Healthcare is one of them.
Healthcare which was considered philanthropic sector is now coming up as the profit-making sector. We have now service marketing course in almost all the B-schools. Selling concept is now outdated. Societal structure has changed. There is radical change in the lifestyle of the people. There is increase in the per capita income due to the double income families. Market is flooded with lots of options/alternatives. Consumers are time pressed and need prompt services. While teaching this subject, I was highly fascinated by this sector due to its high variability and complexity. I selected hospital sector as it being upcoming and highly people centric sector. I saw depleted condition of the general hospitals. Private sector was coming up with corporate structure but without the clarity for professional management. Most of the owner doctors were unable to differentiate between administration and management. They focused on revenue generation but neglected the employees as human asset and customer expectations at the core. I wanted to focus on aware and knowledgeable customers, their demands, their expectations and their need to value for the money they are spending. Managers of the hospitals still run the show from the traditional perspective, i.e. transactional marketing concept. I wanted to open the shift towards the relationship marketing concept. I tried to project hospital as service product connecting it with seven Ps of service marketing so that one can run the hospital as an industry. Probably, it can provide direction for consistent quality to value seekers. Quality should be established at all service levels right from core services to augmented services which are not mandatory but add value to the core element. People are ready to pay for quality, convenience and time. Physical evidence, skill development, training, yield management, waiting management, operation management, human resource management, marketing management, quality assessment, pricing techniques, accreditation, telemedicine, etc. are given primary importance and elaborated in length. I have tried to focus on all the strategic issues and projected hospital as a dynamic industry.
This book is meant for students and doctors. It is unique in both content and structure, as it reflects the hospital as a service product and how services play the vital role in the economy. I have incorporated major changes and developments in this sector and tried to provide new knowledge, change in the management practice and global trend and features in healthcare sector.
How the intangible and perishable service with its heterogeneity plays an important role for the welfare of all? When customer/patient goes to avail this service, he is not aware about its quality. Only through references, he sets his expectations. The nature of service is incorporeal and abstract. Word of mouth plays an important role. Issues like inability to inventory, difficulty in matching demand and capacity, challenges to train the human resource, customer participation as cocreator of value, consistent quality, pricing strategies, etc. are articulated in a systematic manner. Hospital is taken as a profit-making center, and all strategies described lead towards customer satisfaction, quality and return on investment.
Strong customer relationship management through quality service delivery remains at the center of the book. All topics covered explain how service excellence for competitive advantage can be attained. All 7 Ps of services marketing are focused. New features like role of IT, digitalization and GPS system for ambulance are added. Significant focus on areas like gap model, customer expectations and perceptions, holistic medicine, role of servicescape, blueprinting, customer defined standards, customer defined values, various marketing techniques, various accreditation systems, human resource challenges, role of PRO and MSW, integrated marketing communication, etc. is given. The book's content focuses on knowledge needed to implement service strategies across the healthcare institutions. I have tried to provide under single volume the composite material stating the difference between hospital management and hospital administration. Ultimate aim is to create high quality of services keeping in mind the value addition to meet the customers’ expectations beyond the adequate level.
Ashvini Arun VoraAcknowledgments
Throughout the preparation of this text, my colleagues, friends and students were integrally involved. They continuously motivated me and offered their assistance. It was my dream to write the book since I was doing my PhD thesis.
I sincerely thank Dr AC Brahmabhatt, for inspiring and providing guidance.
I acknowledge the contribution of marketing staff, HR staff and CEOs etc. of various tertiary care hospitals in Gujarat. They contributed greatly in providing me wide range of information and insights.
I sincerely thank my family, for their ongoing support, encouragement and love.
I will not forget to thank Shri Bipinbhai and Shri Dhiren Chudasama, for their valuable technical assistance.
I thank Shri Jitendar P Vij (Group Chairman), Mr Ankit Vij (Group President) and Mr Tarun Duneja (Director–Publishing) of M/s Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd, New Delhi, India for kindly agreeing to publish this book and accomplishing the task in a splendid manner.
I am grateful to Dr Vasudev Modi, for introducing me to M/s Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.
Lastly, I thank all those who have directly or indirectly helped me in this work.