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Understanding health information requires an understanding of women

Posted Dec 17 2009 10:10am
by Beth Friedman

Companies that are trying to market a technology solution or service to health information management professionals would be wise to understand one critical fact: they're marketing largely to women.

Good, bad or indifferent, health information management (HIM) is made up of women. I was reminded of this fact while attending the AHIMA national convention in Grapevine, Texas last month.

While travelling to Africa several years ago, I had the opportunity to read a book focused exclusively on marketing to women. The eight "truths" espoused by Faith Popcorn were all relevant, but one stuck out in my mind and is particularly important today.

In most cases when a female is frustrated, dissatisfied or generally not pleased, she will rarely speak up or raise her hand. Instead she'll complain to all her friends and peers; and in the era of social networking and AHIMA's Communities of Practice we all know what this means! Secondly, she'll terminate her contract and move over to the competitor. Finally, she'll never return until she lands the next job in a national healthcare chain and someone at "corporate" decides which vendors to use.

Maybe it's our conflict-avoidant personalities. Maybe it's that we were all taught that speaking up for ourselves isn't "lady-like." Regardless of the cause, it's important that vendors understand this critical truth about women if they want to make us feel connected with their company, satisfied with their service and engaged in their growth. Ladies, do you agree?

Beth Friedman, a former coder, specializes in healthcare marketing and is president and founder of the Friedman Marketing Group.

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