Apr 22 2014

Doctors, Therapists, Practice Managers, Hosp…







. . . ARE NOT




You and your practice or facility are not likely to be a Fortune 500 corporate entity. So there’s no need to pretend being a marketing guru.

In fact, if you are feeling even a little bit over your head with marketing, you’re likely to be wasting money, time, and energy!

Maybe you’re unearthing a monster budget expense at the behest and/or persuasion of some big-time marketing company, PR firm or ad agency you’re working with or thinking of hiring? It can often feel (and be real) that such entities are simply throwing away your money to create a mumbo-jumbo branding program aimed at earning an award for themselves.

If you’re working with or considering  “experts” who are trying or promising to “position” you as the brightest star in the heavens . . . you may want to re-think it with a dose of reality.

Reality? Yes, you are a healthcare provider. That makes you an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs challenge the system. In healthcare, they use (or retain) innovative thinking to establish, re-establish and upgrade the authenticity of themselves and the “saleability” of their services, careers, investments, and reputations.

You can accomplish this with: much less expense of money, the same expense of time, and sometimes greater expense of energy. Oh, and –by the way– having and practicing a sense of entrepreneurial reality tends to get far better value and results than engaging one of the “big-time-expert” groups noted above.

Just to be sure we’re on the same page here, I’m talking about –specifically– how to increase patient volume, how to stimulate patient and patient-family loyalty, and how to strengthen referral bases, channels, and networks without having to bet the farm!. Is that what you’re looking to accomplish?

Stay with me on the next few weekly blog posts and I’ll tell you HOW… or call or email me (info below) if you can’t wait!

Let’s start with the idea that what truly “sells” people is to be entirely focused on them and not on ourselves. Chest-beating, posturing messages about how great you think you are and smiling-face billboards, ads, and Facebook pages –regardless of expense involved– make no difference whatsoever. In fact, they often do the opposite… annoy, antagonize, create doubt and distrust, and send the people you’re trying to reach galloping off to your quiet competitors.

So do you have to be “quiet”? No, but you do need to be your authentic self. You do you need to be more conscious of the training and talent and experience gifts you deliver in your vital societal role as a healer and healthcare provider. Because THAT is your best marketing!

Is that hard? Of course, especially given the volatility, misdirection, intrusiveness, and mismanagement of government agencies, insurance companies, and today’s Obamacare circus, but –in the end– difficulty (as most entrepreneurs learn) is a choice.

There is much more coming to you at this blog in the hands-on, specific-how-to-steps departments in the days ahead. So, do return for more on how to get started and how to re-start.

In the meantime . . .

CHECK THIS disarmingly true, insightful post

at www.HealthcareTalentTransformation.com  

by David Lee Scher, MD, titled:

Five Ways Physicians Can Change Patient Behavior


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Hal@Businessworks.US    931.854.0474

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Apr 16 2014


Healthcare Pros STILL


Flushing Money Down the Drain!


Thanks for your visit. We have recently relocated to Cookeville Tennessee (between Nashville and Knoxville), home of Tennessee Tech University. Return here often for new posts in this series for Doctorpreneurs©and Healthcare professionals.


Why not just open the window and throw your money out? Why bother spending it on meaningless, confused thinking about marketing? Why keep feeding the nonperformance of media, mobile apps, direct mail magazines and newsletters, social media and, oh yes, outdoor advertising? Can we look at this open-mindedly?

The business and sports worlds have fed your fires since childhood that you must be competitive at all costs in order to win… that’s 100% false for healthcare professionals! In fact, many healthcare pros have marketing success expectations as unrealistic as imagining that a heart attack can be treated with a BandAid®

REALITY: No one “buys” billboards with smiling doctor faces (or, even worse, the recent trend toward somber looks!). Most people are not so stupid as to think that hospital “magazines” and “newsletters” with feature (dressed-up PR) stories are interesting or meaningful enough to be worth reading. My guess is that –other than the few and far between genuine healthcare educational mailing pieces– most of these exorbitantly expensive items go straight to the recycle pail. All this nonsense came and went thirty years ago. [Interesting how America’s healthcare institutions are accelerating these feeble old-fashioned attempts at marketing. Is it some kind of knee-jerk attempt to cope with the Obamacare muddle?]

BOTTOM LINE: No one cares! The public simply doesn’t care how great hospitals, doctors, therapists (or any professionals for that matter) think they are! Healthcare consumers may have more (and more personal) issues on the line than other kinds of consumers, but they really and truly only care about the same thing that every consumer cares most about: What’s in it for me? Period.

So if you’ve read this far, perhaps it would be useful to explore and reassess your current “marketing” practices, and decide if your money could be better spent on strengthening patient, patient family, and referral network relations. If you’re looking for a role model institution, consider the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center… you’ll find no shallow representations of professional skills… “Treatment” is their specialty, and it applies to everyone who enters their doors. Oh, and guess what? The only expense is training and training maintenance time.

Marketing –if it’s done right– might sometimes succeed at building brand loyalty for some products and services in some markets and marketplaces. But when the two end-results people seek most from healthcare professionals are 1) Reassurance and 2) Trust, it’s not likely either will ever be achieved with empty images or promises.

Doctorpreneurs© Copyright Hal Alpiar, 1994. All rights reserved.
BandAid® is a Registered Trademark of the Johnson & Johnson Company

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Hal@Businessworks.US    931.854.0474

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Feb 16 2013

Is Obamacare Killing Healthcare?

Doctors know where they’ve been


but they don’t know


where they’re going!


Today’s medical professionals are strapped to a rudderless ship at sea that’s being sucked into a raging storm.

Some politicos would have us believe that the scandalous fifteen-thousand-page Obamacare program (and when, by the way, was the last time anyone you know read 15,000 pages of anything?!) need not be such a shocking insult to healthcare consumers because after all, it helps “less fortunate” people to get medical care.

Steamrollered through an inept Congress, Obamacare appears to have little if anything to do with the realities of healthcare. Instead, Obamacare hints at having everything to do with the crippling economic and personal freedom limitations brought on by the relentless White House pursuit of dictating increased government controls on American lives.

The end result? We will definitely end up with fewer competent physicians.

And those who remain will clearly not be providing adequate care –regardless of competency–  because of the restrictions Obamacare piles on top of the restrictions already imposed on them that limit their ability to deliver meaningful health services.

But computerization is what tightens the noose around healthcare necks, some say. Not so. The mismanagement and misappropriation of administrative computerization advances by interfering and uninformed government misfits and ignorant insurance providers is what is at the root of today’s healthcare delivery shortcomings.

The de-humanizing of humanizing services is the characterization that uninformed and manipulative individuals, agencies, and organizations have wrought as they’ve twisted administrative computerization advances into shortcut invasions of patient and physician privacy. Have we lost even having thoughts of human dignity?

When “DOCTOR’S ORDERS” becomes “DOCTORS ORDERS” (as in orders issued to doctors by the White House) to conduct patient gun ownership surveys to build a bigger “Big-Brother-Watching” database universe designed to gain yet more government control, do you think this might possibly get just a bit in the way of doctors performing healthcare services?

Of course EMR (electronic medical records) and EHR (electronic health records) have succeeded at putting patient care over paper care. But are these important advances enough to be really helping doctors to know where they’re going?

And the Internet has fully armed healthcare consumers to be better prepared to understand and manage their own healthcare issues, to be more informed about diagnostics and treatments, and to work more productively with their doctors. But are these advances enough to be able to really help doctors to know where they’re going?

The whole lean organization, lean management fad (where did Quality Circles go?) may be a solution, but is not THE solution. It is simply a band-aid acknowledgement that things have gotten so bad, we can no longer afford for the physician to spare a minute or two extra with each patient and patient family to help heal, and help ensure and reassure a sense of well-being.

More dollars are saved. Care is more efficient. But –at the ultimate point of care– doctors don’t get to spend more time with their patients, so is this increased efficiency really enough to help doctors know where they’re going?

Being preoccupied with efficiency necessitates lower levels of individual healthcare delivery. And last time I looked, healthcare was a profession dedicated to individual care. Perhaps it’s time to redefine the word “care”? The bottom line is that doctors are literally trapped.

Adherence to rules and regulations designed to increase control over their skills and abilities to earn livings commensurate with their training and societal value is squashing the very lifeblood out of healthcare. And Obamacare will surface as the culprit when it’s too late to matter — unless enough small business owners and practice administrators and doctors start to make waves

. . . NOW.

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Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0911

Open Minds Open Doors

   Make today a GREAT day for someone!

  God Bless You and Thank You for Your Visit!

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Jan 17 2011

As The World Learns

Are you making money


or providing healthcare?


The mission of doctors, nurses, hospitals, and all affiliated healthcare-related and therapeutic professions is to provide healthcare services. Emotional-based businesses and professions trying to sell rational doses of reassurance

The mission of all for-profit and (surprise) not-for-profit entities is to provide products, services, and ideas in exchange for money or other dollar-value products and services. Rationally-reassuring-based businesses and organizations trying to sell emotional triggers.  

And rarely if ever do “the twains” seem to meet.

Yet, each side of that two-edged coin has much to learn from the other.

They can protest ’til they’re blue in the face and spitting wooden nickles, but truth is there is barely a doctor, nurse, hospital or affiliated healthcare-related or therapeutic profession that knows the first thing about the realities of marketing.


It’s as rare as finding an 1861 three-cent piece in your pocket change that businesses have as much customer care savvy as an ICU nurse or front line physical therapist.

Oh, you say, but that’s not a fair comparison because business is business is business, and who can be worried about a customer problem after she or he has left the store, office, showroom, or work site. After all, we’re not in business to hold hands and pat heads.

Ah, but business is in business to cater to customers before, during and after (and long after) purchase because it’s the only way to grow the future. Boast all you want about your databases and efforts to serve the customer after the sale is made, but reality is that if you’re not doing something dramatically positive with past customers –and especially long after the sale– you’re missing the message!

What can you learn now from your past customers?

How? What’s holding you back?

(You had better be “holding hands”!) 


Hospitals have the whole lifelong loop covered. They are tenacious about providing fall-over services at every level, to present and past patients and families. They haven’t a clue about how to attract attention, create interest, stimulate desire, and bring about action, but they sure do know how to ensure satisfaction (maybe not with the bills and insurance tangles, but definitely one-on-one!)

Businesses need to take a page from that and appreciate that today’s customer should NEVER have  a reason for not also being tomorrow’s customer.


As the world gets smaller by time and communication transmission, we face enormously bigger and better opportunities to learn from one another.

And -yes– even hospitals and healthcare professionals with no business skills have an instinctive sense of customer momentum. Almost all of us could stand a booster shot of customer momentum as we troop through the daily grand rounds of our work sites and work stations, our staffr and employee meetings, and our customer encounters at every level. Think it. Try it. Do it. STOP studying things so much! Surprise yourself! 

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302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Dec 12 2010

Only ENTREPRENEURS can do it!

Stop Dreaming!  


Hope for economic 


change will not come 


from Washington.


It can only come


from YOU! . . . 


Roll up your sleeves!



It’s time to step up to the plate, and accept the fact that we are not just the movers and shakers of the business world, we are quite literally the catalysts of society. Washington is not about to solve the economy or hand over the job creation tax incentives we need in order to get the job done.


We have to make things happen on our own.


Lest you have any doubt (or in case you’ve bought into token SBA talk), here’s some food for thought:

  • America’s small businesses have been painted into a corner. Billions have been doled out to corporate giants (to appease union voter support instead of solve the problem). Recipients are using tax dollars to dig themselves deeper into the holes they created.

When entrepreneurs dig into a hole, they get up and out, and try digging someplace else. 

  • Like a fancy dinner out with one’s spouse while the baby starves, a long trail of reckless spending has been carved out for creeping socialism programs that have no ability to do anything for the economy except increase the deficit.

Entrepreneurs consider worst-case scenarios and then take only reasonable risks!

  • Next, we face the national healthcare plan that can bankrupt more small businesses than any other single act in history.

Forcing entrepreneurs to pay for healthcare coverage (including for illegal immigrants!) and deleting the free-market competition that has made America’s healthcare program the world’s best, is pure blindness.

  • Now, we can choose our own healthcare professionals, institutions and methods — choices that will be eliminated. Many top  doctors are already seeking early retirement and new careers.

The tax-cut game is back to stage center (a diversionary tactic?) — all while unemployment continues to worsen. So, timing-wise, it’s back to the “He who hesitates is lost!” entrepreneurial spirit.

A prosperity direction?


Let’s remind ourselves please that just a handful of entrepreneurs is more likely to save our economy than all of politics combined. 

Why?  Because only entrepreneurs understand how to make things happen, and then make them happen. The antithesis of government and big business thinking, entrepreneurs believe and practice the philosophy that some action is always better than no action, and that “if it ain’t broke, fix it anyway!” 

Throughout U.S. history– from Henry Ford to Dale Carnegie to Thomas Edison to Bill Gates to Mary Kay Ash and Oprah Winfrey–  it’s been entrepreneurs that have achieved their burning desires, and created jobs, who have overcome crushing economic defeat, government incompetence, and corporate greed.

It will happen, this straightening of the crooked path, but only when the innovative pursuits of entrepreneurs are able to create new jobs. It is that innovative spirit that throbs deep within our existence as the guiding light and stronghold of leadership in the free world.

Sure, we can choose to wallow in misery–as many terrorist forces would no doubt relish–or just as easily choose to make an active and conscious choice to give America genuine hope and genuine change.  

How will this happen?

We who are blessed by America’s freedom, will help it to happen by what we do with every day, and with the gift of life each of us carries from dawn to dusk.

What we DO with that, how we use it to grant others freedom from oppression and depression, each in our own unique ways, giving others our own unique kinds of pats on the back… is how it will happen! 


We shall rise up as supporters and igniters, lending and offering the incentives to make forward motion possible. By putting our shoulders to the wheel, and marching alongside others, moving in the same directions of enlightenment, we will make the difference.

The investments we make of ourselves in ourselves, and in clearing the way for those who have the gift of making lemonade from lemons, will make the difference.

Think about someone you know who glows with that “git ‘er done” energy and drive…reach out with belief and encouragement…it will work as surely as even the tides rise and fall, and the moon fills with light. 

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302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Feb 02 2010

Your Business’s Psychological Health

Is Your Business


A Headcase?


The word therapy may sound ominous to the business mind. It evokes the specter of illness, or worse, of craziness. That should not be. Therapy is part of education. Therapy teaches us through personal experience about who we are and how we became that way. Therapy teaches us how personal responsibility plays a role in who we are. Therapy teaches us how we relate to others and how important other people are in the conduct of our lives. And therapy helps us claim our freedom and take charge of our lives. These are all elements of growing up and getting a complete education.”

–Dr. Peter Koestenbaum, in his groundbreaking book of 1987: The HEART OF BUSINESS

     If this seems like a strange and out-of-place subject for you, let me assure you that it is extremely relevant. Why? Because every business –like every human– has problems to solve that have been created and nurtured internally. And, more often than not, a great many of these are denied and consciously or inadvertently glossed over by the boss.

     If you were to distill down all my years of diverse career experiences into one defining function, it would be that I have been a reality therapist to businesses. Powerful corporate executives, entrepreneurs, sales and healthcare professionals alike have called me in the middle of the night, reduced to tears. They have called on the verge of lighting fuses to blow up their businesses.

     I’ve seen business temper tantrums where filled file folders, office equipment, and even scalpels were flung in rage across offices and into doors. Because businesses that needed therapy, that were being run by owners and managers who refuted the need for it, had no place else to bury upsets but inside the troubled stressed-out minds of their leaders.

     Every person and every business, I believe, can benefit by some degree of professional therapy engagement at some point, perhaps continuously, in their lives. Therapy need not be as threatening or embarrassing as Hollywood would have us believe, nor as intimidating as the naysayers around us claim.

     The truth is therapy can be extremely enlightening, masterfully empowering, and a magnet for improved mental, physical, and emotional good health — the secret keys to increased sales!                  

     It may be useful to pause here and be reminded that the feelings of being threatened, embarrassed, and intimidated –like those feelings of enlightenment, empowerment, and improved health — are all behaviors and all behaviors are choices. Why choose negative over positive? Because of some fear? If the fear is not genuine, realistic, and physical, it is imagined; it is fantasy; it is also a choice!

     Many businesses fail because the leaders operate under a self-fulfilling prophecy that a business is beyond repair and nothing can be done to save it. The economy. The bank. The landlord. Lousy sales. Lazy employees. Products or services without real benefits or competitive advantages. No future. Poor track-record. They fail.

     The fix? Hire an informed, experienced, fresh, outside perspective to shrink out your business and coach your leaders.

     Savvy business owners and managers recognize that the business needs to be considered a living, breathing organism, and treated as if it were a separate individual entity apart from the paperwork, computer files, and physical workspace.

     In this context, business therapy can be a healthy and productive intervention capable of turning problems into opportunities. The distance from survive to thrive is measured in receptive leadership that’s willing to explore and innovate.


Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You!

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Jun 14 2009

US Hospitals & Healthcare Need Surgery

U.S. Hospitals and healthcare


proposals waaaaay past 


the point of 1st Aid!






     At some obscure moment in recent history, about 30-40 years ago, it seems to me, someone had the bright idea to start advertising hospital services. And it was contagious. Pretty soon, ripples began to surface amid the vast sea of shallow-mindedness and business incompetency (that many physicians and business professionals still consider a) breeding ground for hospital executives, administrators, and boards of trustees.

     Hey, marketing works for other kinds of services, these do-good-Boy-Scout-type doctor-wannabes were running around proclaiming, why not hospitals?  Sure, agreed the medical professionals who knew even less about business, why not? they said; nothing else you’ve done has worked. And so it came to pass that hospitals then began to compete with hot dogs, beer, cigarettes, cosmetics and car dealers.

     Well, sure, alcohol and tobacco advertising have since taken a big hit (thankfully), but guess what? Hospital marketing has just continued to get worse. With very rare exception, today’s hospital advertising and marketing programs are ineffectual, misdirected, and unnecessarily expensive. The job is simply not getting done, and they keep spending more to make it not work!

     Present federal government administrative healthcare overtures are equally misdirected and will cost taxpayers a fortune, not to mention the staggering losses in professional healthcare skills that will certainly accompany socialized medicine.

     The problem with what the government proposes is the same one that hospitals have struggled with all these years. It’s that the ideas behind it all are being manipulated to appear creative and the public is being sold on the creativity.

    Unfortunately, creativity does not sell. Everyone on Earth can be creative. Very few are innovative. Innovation gets things done. http://halalpiar.com/2009/06/creative-ideas-vs-innovative-ideas/

     The bottom line is that hospitals need to shape up and start to get their messages straight; the public isn’t as stupid as hospital executives think.

     Similarly, the federal government needs to shape up and get its thinking straight, start being innovative, start thinking these empty, ill-suited proposals all the way through in the context of reality, not fantasy.

     The uninformed, incompetent socialistically-manipulative people being relied on may be well-intentioned, but they haven’t a clue about the business of healthcare, or any business for that matter.

     In the end, communities, citizens, healthcare professionals, and taxpayers will suffer. The time to step back and reassess is NOW. Remember that in the end, after all is said and done, it’s YOUR body and your family’s bodies that will be, so to speak, on the line.

     Do you really want hospital business administrators and government representatives with zero or inadequate healthcare knowledge and experience dictating to you what doctor you need to see and when and where? And do you really think socialized medicine will reward you with quality care? Think again. 

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Hal@TheWriterWorks.com or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. 

Go for your goals, good night and God bless you!

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