market segments and the most forward
thinking will identify go-to-market strategies for each of them. Among the physician referral base, there will be a number
of specialty physicians. Segmenting the
referrers by specialty is a great approach.
Tell the organization’s story to the orthopods in their own language. Use a
different approach for general practitioners and yet another approach for neurologists, gynecologists, oncologists, etc.
Also consider the served population and
consumers, especially for screening programs. Women’s health is clearly a market segment that might warrant a direct-to-consumer go-to-market strategy. Are
there others that can be identified?
Before reaching out to the served
market, take a moment to think about
internal communications. The sure fire
way to ensure an R3 initiative will fail is
to overlook internal communications.
Refreshed mission and vision statements
are a great way to kick-off an internal
communications strategy and—done
right—become a great banner to have
the staff march behind. The plan should
be to engage the radiologists and staff
followed by the entire hospital staff followed by referrers and the population at
large. Make the mission statement exciting and compelling—post it everywhere!
The vision statement should describe
where the group is being taken (ie, “We
will become . . .”) and, again, have a clear
vision of the road ahead. All staff should
be engaged in developing these statements and they should then be tasked
with walking the walk.
Turning to external marketing and
communications, it is important to develop offensive and defensive strategies.
First, analyze the current referral base.
Typically, the 80: 20 rule will apply—
ie, most referral volume comes from a
small number of referring physicians.
The strategy for these critical referrers is to protect the relationships at all
cost. This is playing defense. Growth
comes from bringing the offense onto
the field. Sometimes, when relationships
get strained, special teams are needed
too. Targets for the offensive marketing
Figure 3 • Quality Circles
campaign should have become apparent
during the demographic analysis. Adopt
a situational management approach and
don’t take the one size fits all approach.
Don’t hesitate to bring in outside expertise as a facilitation resource or as an out-sourced business partner, as marketing is
not a skillset frequently available within
Successfully running a diagnostic imaging department depends upon achieving
the highest possible quality outcomes
in four areas, shown in Figure 3 as four
While it is obvious that an accurate and
timely report of findings to the referring
physician is the product that the diagnostic imaging department sells (relying, of
course, upon a diagnostic quality image
generated by technologists using appropriate protocols with the relevant modality) there are also less obvious drivers
to quality outcomes. For example, the
patient experience. This encompasses
everything that happens to and around
the patient from the moment of scheduling an appointment, to first impressions
upon arrival at the imaging facility (
location, parking, décor, cleanliness, etc), to
every touch point between the patient
and staff until the visit is completed. The
patient experience extends to timeliness
of reporting and any follow up, such as
satisfaction surveys or any need for retests. Satisfied patients might also share
their thoughts with their physicians and,
equally important, with the referral coordinators who are critical to success.
That is the good news. The bad news is
that dissatisfied patients are much more