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From The CriticsReviewer: Bernard H. Baum, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: The four authors are all associated with the HSM Group, Ltd., a health care consulting firm. (The Group's address and phone number are provided on the last page of the book so that readers may call or write for information.) The book relates some of their experiences and marketing advice to physicians' services.
Purpose: The authors seek to enlighten physicians on how they can improve their services and "bottom line" by adopting more effective marketing techniques. The focus is quite clear and pragmatic.
Audience: The work is aimed at practicing physicians, but the tone and content of the book is quite simplistic and may not appeal to persons who deem themselves somewhat sophisticated in the area of human relations.
Features: The only illustrations are black-and-white exhibits, e.g., check-in cards, telephone test, the Ritz-Carlton Credo, etc. They are not worth commenting on. The references are current and adequate in that they comprise a wide range of sources. The appearance of the book is that of a commercial publication.
Assessment: The title and subtitle accurately reflect the authors' message. The suggestion is made that practicing physicians must become more sensitive to their patients' needs. The chapters are broken down into more than 250 subheadings such as "Why Complaints Occur", "Yes, Sometimes Your Patients Frustrate You" and "Hire Smart, Sharp, Friendly People." It appears clear that the techniques of marketing are treated in a somewhat simplistic, cookbook, nuts-and-bolts and folksy manner. Implementing the dozens of ideas for keeping patients loyal may well help practicing physicians.