Advertising—and a Revolutionary Refund Policy—Help to Change the Brand Experience at Geisinger Health System

August 8, 2016

Notable Health Care Advertising

 // By Peter Hochstein //

Peter HochsteinHow fast can you turn a ship around—a really big ship?

Here’s what happened at Geisinger Health System, with 12 hospital campuses; 1,472 licensed beds combined; over 2.6 million outpatient visits annually; two research centers; 30,000 employees; 1,600 employed physicians; plus a 510,000-member health plan. All of these serve 45 counties in Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

Geisinger LogoNew CEO David Feinberg, M.D., arrived in May 2015 after serving as CEO of UCLA’s hospitals in California. What he found at Geisinger was a hospital with a great reputation for medical innovation and outcomes. But its reputation among its patients based on their hospital experiences? Not so great.

Kathy Scullin, Chief Communications Officer, Geisinger Health System

Kathy Scullin, Chief Communications Officer, Geisinger Health System

The hospital regularly surveys employees, patients, and physicians, and “some of our staff felt we had lost our way in terms of our focus on the patient,” Kathy Scullin, Geisinger’s Chief Communications Officer, gently puts it.

The consequence was a multi-pronged effort to not only improve patient service at Geisinger, but also to turn the system’s culture around so that the improvements would happen. Several things occurred at once, or at almost the same time, but let’s start with the advertising, which alone has had a significant impact.

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