THE ROLE OF BRANDING IN THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM WITH SPECIAL REVIEW TO HEALTHCARE INSTITUTIONS
Keywords:healthcare system, healthcare institutions, brand
In healthcare, before visiting a healthcare institution, patients choose a hospital brand as a confirmation of quality based on their own experience, perception and brand recognition, as well as consultations and opinions from their friends, colleagues and family. Branding in healthcare is a relatively new concept and differs significantly from other activities because it mainly depends on the trust of patients. In the past, health institutions did not need to be branded because they did not face the level of competition they currently face. Today, the number of hospitals is steadily rising, while population growth and health focus are dynamically increasing health needs. The main goal of this paper is to understand the importance and need for branding in the healthcare system with special review to healthcare institutions, to prove how much the brand, ie the opinion of patients, is an important factor for the success of the institution. The conducted theoretical research deals with a topic that is always relevant for both healthcare providers (healthcare institutions) and users (patients). As a basic hypothesis set out in this research is that, the good image of the company significantly affects the success of the market, ie the good brand of healthcare institutions, has been proven to increase the number of patients and improve the perceived quality of service, increase satisfaction and loyalty. To prove the hypothesis, in addition to theoretical research, a survey was conducted that provides an analysis of the importance of the brand and its impact on the choice of healthcare institution, perceived quality of service, satisfaction, and increasing the number of patients and their loyalty. The research part - case study, is aimed at the company "PHI Sistina Nefroplus". A total of 40 respondents were included in the survey, of which 1 manager, 20 health workers and 19 random respondents. The survey was conducted in January 2020. As a research method, standardized survey questionnaires were used, which covered all groups of respondents, and the obtained results are presented graphically. The conclusions drawn from the research, refer to the importance and role of branding in the health system, the role of the brand for healthcare institutions and the impact of the brand on patients in choosing a healthcare institution. Hence, the importance of branding in the healthcare system for patients clearly emerges, as the main driver of any healthcare institution that directly affects the business strategy and revenue generation. It is also a significant competitive advantage that is achieved with a difference, and the only strategy that the competition cannot imitate is the difference in the created brand.