Evaluating the Marketing Practices of Rural Hospitals in Idaho

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Health Science, Health Services Leadership

Major Advisor

Sarah E. Toevs


James T. Girvan


Edward T. Baker


This descriptive, cross-sectional study examined the marketing practices of rural hospitals in Idaho. In the study, data were collected with a survey and compared with recommended hospital's marketing practices in order to offer evidence based recommendations. The study used a survey modeled on the framework of a model marketing plan for rural hospital completed by the Health Care Advisory Board (HCAB). The findings of this study add to the body of knowledge regarding rural hospital marketing.

The study examined the entire population of rural hospitals in Idaho in communities under 15,000. Thirteen of the hospitals participated in the study yielding a response rate 54%. The results of this study indicate that the marketing practices align with the recommendations of model marketing practices identified by the HCAB. Those practices reported by these facilites were advertising, community outreach, physician relations and payer relations. The respondents perceived community relations and physician relations as equally important, followed by advertising. Payer relations were viewed as less important by the respondents, which varies from the HCAB' s recommendations. However, this variance may be related to the HCAB's data on larger hospitals operating in different marketing conditions.

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