Doctors must participate in the transformation in health care that is currently underway. However, many are extremely worried and incensed about the change, fearing a loss of independence, respect, and income. Given their resistance, how can health system executives encourage them to participate in the redesign of care? We propose a framework of four motives to assist healthcare leaders in motivating physicians to work towards the larger objectives of medical marketing for doctors. These are: shared purpose, self-interest, respect, and tradition. Leaders can use these tools to get the support of physicians and implement the transformation that the system so desperately needs.
Engaging in Shared Purpose
Physicians must create a picture of the better—possibly even great—healthcare that awaits patients on the other side of the coming upheaval to assist them in moving through it. Any transformation agenda professionals will support must have better patient care at its center.
Healthcare leaders must also accept that providing high-value treatment to every patient comes before maintaining the status quo for any particular doctor. The same techniques used to forge agreement in any organization establish a common purpose:
- Exhibiting respect for differing viewpoints.
- Developing processes through which stakeholders can influence the vision’s execution.
Appealing to Self-Interest
Like everyone else, money rewards and job stability are important motivators for physicians. This innate self-interest can be used in various ways to strengthen participation.
Some organizations tie a percentage of doctors’ pay to their productivity. Other organizations keep doctors on straight salaries because financial incentives can have unforeseen negative effects and encourage system gaming.
Any strategy can be effective over time, but only to achieve objectives compatible with a common aim. Even modest financial incentives will be sufficient to encourage physicians to consistently execute management-endorsed behaviors or practices if they believe that doing so will improve patient care. Even sizable incentives will only have a minimal impact if they are unsure whether it will improve care.
Getting doctors on board also involves non-financial incentives and sanctions. Physicians like compliments and are especially concerned about losing the respect of their peers. Medical professionals are receiving more information from high-performing organizations on how their performance compares to that of their peers, and these organizations are doing it in ways that increase peer pressure.
Such scrutiny can be unbearable when the data are “unmasked” so that peers may view one another’s findings. The quality-performance information for specific doctors is now publicly available on the online medical platform of several organizations. Although it’s unclear whether customers use this data to make decisions, doctors are highly driven to perform better since they know that the public is watching their actions.
Physicians are driven to uphold the organization’s ideals and traditions when they value membership, whether out of pride, a need for security, or another cause.
Such norms establish consistency in how doctors engage with one another. This is a fundamental step towards more efficient teamwork, whether connected to dress and manners or providing care. Perhaps recently created rules, like employing checklists, can be effective motivators if doctors know that disobeying them could result in rejection or perhaps losing their jobs.
The majority of healthcare organizations already employ one or more of the aforementioned four motivating levers. The most effective, according to our research, relies on all four.
In 2019, Doceree UK, a network of medical-only programmatic marketing platforms, was established. By enhancing physician engagement through data and inventive healthcare marketing, Doceree aims to address the problem of rising healthcare expenses. The first programmatic ad exchange in the world, exclusively used for advertising to physicians, is seamlessly connected to pharmaceutical businesses by technology.