Marketing Professor Leonard Berry’s research article “Managing the Clues in Cancer Care” was recently published by the Journal of Oncology Practice. The paper provides a framework recommended for cancer centers to implement in order to improve their services.

It was written in collaboration with Dr. Joseph O. Jacobson, chief quality officer of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Brad Stuart, chief executive officer of Advanced Care Innovation Strategies ( in Forestville, Calif., and chief medical officer of Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (

The article outlines the importance of managing certain clues that act as stimuli to patients, eliciting either positive or negative emotions. These clues – identified as functional, mechanic and humanic – involve the perceived technical quality of the service, tangible aspects of the facility itself and the ability of the employees to interact effectively with the patients, respectively. Managing these clues well can make a frightening and emotional service experience much more positive in the eyes of the patient.

Berry is a University Distinguished Professor of  Marketing at Mays Business School and a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass. He has been an influential voice in the marketing and healthcare industries for many years. His research at Mayo Clinic and other high-performing healthcare facilities have translated into 10 books and extensive research on healthcare services. As a marketing professor at Mays Business School, Berry founded the Center for Retailing Studies and earned many awards, including Distinguished Achievement Awards in both teaching and research and the Lifetime Achievement Award at Mays.

For the full paper, go