How Boston Children’s Hospital Stands Out in a Crowd of Standouts

August 1, 2014

// By Peter Hochstein //

Peter HochsteinDespite specializing in kids exclusively, Boston Children’s Hospital confronts a wall of competition that hospitals elsewhere might find daunting.

Liz Vanzura, chief marketing officer for Boston Children’s advertising agency, MMB, can list 10 other local hospitals that treat children—among them such formidable names as Mass General, Tufts Medical Center, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Boston Children’s also competes with 10 big-name children’s specialty hospitals in cities around the nation and pulls in patients from around the world.

So 395-bed Boston Children’s has to fight hard to maintain its position. With a total of over 230 locations in eastern Massachusetts, ranging from a once-a-week clinic to five full-service campuses, and partnerships with community hospitals to operate pediatric emergency rooms and neonatal clinics, the hospital treats almost 600,000 patients a year. The loss of a small percentage of its traffic could cost it more patients than some small hospitals treat in a year.

Moreover, Boston Children’s once suffered from what Margaret Coughlin, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, calls “a false familiarity” with its brand.

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