Marketing and Palliative Care

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Top Tips for Marketing Your Palliative Care Program

Rodney Tucker, MD, offers advice on marketing a palliative care program.

A solid marketing strategy is as essential to planning and growing a palliative care team and program as a sound business plan. It ensures that the team will win support of the program, gain referrals to its services, serve patients well and be best positioned to stimulate and manage growth in the number of patients served.

It's All About What Your Audience Perceives

Leaders of successful programs understand the need to shift between roles. For example, creating a compelling business plan requires a clinical leader to think like both a hospital decision-maker and a marketer. Palliative care program leaders working to generate physician referrals, for example, will need to design a program perceived by clinician colleagues to be of value to them.

Effective marketing requires an in-depth understanding of the people served, often referred to as the audience. Knowledge of the audience allows the team to offer desired, easily accessible services and to deliver messages that promote these services.

Leaders must often put aside their role as clinical palliative care advocates and recognize that their own reasons for promoting palliative care may or may not reflect the reasons others may have for wanting it. Always remember, it's about them, not about you.

Messaging Palliative Care

The palliative care field uses confusing language and conveys mixed messages when it comes to defining and explaining palliative care. As a result, we confuse our audiences. Instead, we need to clearly position palliative care as specialized care that focuses on quality of life at any age and at any stage in a serious illness. In our Messages Matter briefing, CAPC Director Dr. Diane E. Meier and health care communications expert Lisa Morgan explain how to do this and discuss the written and visual evidence-based messages that frame palliative care properly.

To learn more about marketing for palliative care programs, and to access the tools, training, technical assistance, metrics and expert resources CAPC has to offer, members can go to CAPC Central.  Please log in. To become a member organization, please visit our Membership section.

Messages Matter

Dr. Diane E. Meier and Lisa Morgan's briefing on how to properly define and message palliative care

Watch the Briefing 

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