Saturday, 17 August 2013

Are there any NABH standards applicable to hospital marketing?

This was the question a friend of mine asked me recently. This gentleman is administrator of a 200 bed multi specialty hospital planning to implement NABH in their hospital. His question was interesting because out of all the departments in a hospital, only this one came to his mind. But his context of asking the question is what made me thinking.

I told him that as such NABH standards are silent on the aspect of hospital marketing. But if I stretch my imagination a little bit, I think there is one area pertaining to marketing which is covered in NABH. The standards require that the hospital should define its Scope of Services and display them prominently inside the hospital. If we look at it differently, what NABH demands is that the hospital should not confuse the patients by only saying that they are a multi-specialty setup. Rather they should specify which all specialties and services are offered by them and display them in a public area inside their premises as well. Therefore, indirectly NABH ensures that hospitals do not make unnecessary claims about services that they do not provide.

My friend went on to ask, what if hospitals misrepresent their services on their websites? Since we live in the age of Social Media, it is a powerful tool by which organizations connect with their customers. What if a hospital makes false claims about its services in an online medium? It is a valid concern of my friend, however I think this comes under the purview of MCI.

NABH has a specific role to play in ensuring quality in how healthcare services are delivered by the providers with clearly defined objectives of improvement in patient safety and quality of care.

1 comment:

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