Free Weekly Ezine

Each week we email a tip or news that we are covering in Strategic Health Care Marketing. You can view the archives of this weekly ezine below.

Crisis Communication Planning Is Essential for Health Care Marketers

Paul Wood kicks off UPMC’s Health Care Crisis Communications Summit, August 2018

What if your hospital is suddenly the center of national media attention for all the wrong reasons? What if a catastrophic event occurs and you must respond immediately? Do you know what to do? Do you have a crisis communications plan in place? In our new article, Paul Wood, vice president and chief communications officer Read More

Turning Hospital Employees Into Ambassadors for Your Health Care Brand

Newton-Wellesley Hospital - Finding a Better Way Campaign

The latest marketing efforts at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts have a very important goal: to engage employees to do whatever it takes to provide the very best experience for patients. While most health systems recognize the importance of internal engagement, Newton-Wellesley’s approach — which includes seeing the employees as “brand ambassadors” to extend the system’s Read More

Design Thinking: A Key Competency for Health Care Marketers

Michael Joyce, design specialist with Kaiser Permanente’s Innovation Consultancy

Health care marketers have much to gain by getting up to speed on the concept of design thinking. This approach is becoming increasingly valuable in helping organizations effectively meet patients’ needs and address an array of challenges. With more people living longer and needing to manage chronic conditions, and with the health care model shifting Read More

Length of Stay: An Increasingly Obsolete Metric?

Jessica Farrar, director of strategic planning and decision support, Anne Arundel Medical Center

Length of stay (LOS) is the duration of an inpatient episode of care, calculated from day of admission to day of discharge, and based on the number of nights spent in hospital. By tracking LOS, hospitals seek to improve processes and prevent errors, which ultimately lowers costs. But for Anne Arundel Medical Center, a 350-bed Read More

Christine Woolsey: Bringing Two Health Systems Together as SCL Health

Christine Woolsey, senior vice president and chief communications and marketing officer, SCL Health

Christine Woolsey began working with SCL Health — then known as Sisters of Charity Leavenworth Health System — as a public relations consultant helping the organization manage issues and communications related to a merger with another health system. In 2010, she joined SCL as senior vice president and chief communications and marketing officer. “At the Read More

Bringing Health Care Marketing and PR Together

Don Stanziano, chief marketing officer for Geisinger

More and more, health care marketing and PR are coming together with a common goal of advancing organizational objectives. Gone are the days when marketing and public relations functions competed for funding, worked in silos, or thought that one side of the house was more creative than the other. Truth is, there’s plenty of creativity to Read More

Staff Suggestions Lead To Big Patient Experience Wins

Julia Beynon, BSN, RN, director of Imagine Perfect Care

The parking garage at the University of Utah Health, where families leave with their newborns, used to be dirty and stark. But a team of staff members recently recognized the poor image this created and decided to do something to improve the conditions. With a few gallons of paint and lots of artistic skill and Read More

The Importance of Defining and Recognizing Clinical Excellence

Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence at Johns Hopkins

Marketers’ ability to grow market share and promote patient loyalty is intricately and inextricably linked with what actually happens when patients receive treatment. Patients expect clinical expertise as a baseline. It’s the way they are treated that defines the relationship and either forges a bond or drives patients online to report their bad experiences on Read More

How Health Care Marketers Can Boost Population Health Efforts

“As health care marketers, we are keenly aware of the rampant changes taking place in our industry — unforeseen mergers and consolidations, aggressive competitors entering the marketplace, pressures to demonstrate measurable ROI, and reorientation from delivering acute or episodic care to managing the health of a population with the goals of improving health and reducing Read More

Keys to Keeping Patients for a Lifetime

Preston Gee

Many health care organizations today focus their marketing efforts on bringing new patients through their doors. But they often stop there instead of going a step further to ensure that these patients will stay with them long term. If this sounds familiar, your organization’s own health could be at serious risk moving forward. Times are Read More

How Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Handled Unthinkable Human and PR Crisis

This may not be what hospital communicators signed on to deal with, but it can — and did — happen. How would you handle the ensuing human and PR crisis? On September 12, 2017, a Rhode Island man drove up to Lebanon, New Hampshire, and entered the intensive care unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where his mother was recovering from an aneurysm. According to news reports and indictments filed against him, the man asked for some time alone with his mother. Once they were alone, he allegedly pulled out a handgun and shot her four times, killing her.

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Jane Weber Brubaker named Executive Editor of Plain-English Health Care

Jane Weber Brubaker

I’m very pleased to announce that Jane Weber Brubaker has been promoted to the role of Executive Editor of Plain-English Health Care. Jane has been the editor of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends since 2015 and is chair of the eHealthcare Leadership Awards. She contributed several of our most popular articles to Strategic Health Care Marketing between 2013 and 2015, and Read More

NPS and Patient Experience: Focus on What Patients Really Value

NPS score visualization

“What if you and your hospital were measuring patient satisfaction incorrectly?” posits James A. Gardner. “Worse, what if you were focused on improving things that didn’t really matter — and overlooking things that did?” Gardner leads national market and business development efforts for MedTouch, a digital marketing agency serving hospitals and health systems nationally. “In Read More

Internal Branding Strengthens Hartford HealthCare from the Inside Out

Shawn Mawhiney, director of service line communications at Hartford HealthCaree

Are some of the biggest heroes in your organization going unnoticed? At Hartford HealthCare, leadership uncovered amazing examples of frontline staff members who were going to great lengths to show patients they cared. Recognizing these actions provided the health system with a valuable opportunity to strengthen its brand from the inside out. “At Hartford HealthCare, Read More

Health Care Marketers’ Important Role in Addressing Mental Illness

The tragic suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and television personality Anthony Bourdain have thrust mental health issues into the limelight, catching the attention of people from all walks of life. Further, the recent rash of shootings in schools and at public events both in the U.S. and abroad have also raised widespread awareness about Read More

Tackle Physician Burnout with Proactive Solutions

Stamford Health Logo

Physician burnout is a hot topic, but effective solutions have been more elusive. In March 2017, 10 CEOs of the nation’s most prominent health systems examined physician burnout, proposing an 11-item call to action (Health Affairs). In a new article, Susan Emerson, senior vice president of strategic planning and business development at Private Health News/MedNews Read More

Using Experiential Marketing for Health Care: Live Events Help Connect With Your Audience

Becca Lyon, senior manager, marketing strategy at agencyEA

Some of the savviest health care marketers are reaching out to connect with people on a personal level through live events. This premise is at the heart of a growing trend called experiential marketing. According to Becca Lyon, senior manager, marketing strategy at agencyEA, “Some of the innovative ways the health care industry can leverage experiential includes using technologies like virtual reality, which allows people to experience a facility from a remote location, hosting grand openings for a new hospital or clinic, so people can come and take an in-person tour, and sponsoring a booth at a trade show to introduce new products, medications, or supplies to a large audience.”

Clearing Up Brand Confusion at Georgia Cancer Center

Aubrey Hinkson, AVP of marketing for Augusta University Health

What would you do if your ads were actually sending your customers to your competition? Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University recently faced this challenging scenario. Further complicating matters, the brand had gone through several name changes in recent years, leaving its target audience confused about what the health system was and what it stood Read More

New Campaign Aims to Destigmatize Mental Illness

Logan Hall Behavioral Health Destigmatizing Campaign

If you’re traveling through Logan Airport in Boston anytime soon, you’ll probably be drawn to a collection of portraits, and accompanying personal stories, lining the walls between terminals. You’ll see beautiful, larger-than-life portraits of: Teens. Single men and women. Parents. Grandparents. Athletes. Lawyers. Physicians. Musicians. An author. A former soap opera star. Some have light Read More

Let’s Go Blue: University of Michigan Health System Ad Campaign Hits Powerful Notes

Dave Brudon, director of marketing (retired), Michigan Medicine

“Last month, this column dealt with two advertising campaigns that you’d never guess were for hospitals — at least not until the last few seconds when a hospital logo appeared,” says copywriter and Strategic Health Care Marketing contributor Peter Hochstein. “In recent years, marketing people I’ve interviewed at hospitals and their advertising agencies have more or Read More

Learning What’s Truly Important to Your Target Audience

Marketing to people with similar interests and needs is usually intuitive — but what about when your target audience is completely different from you? How do you know what they care about? If you can get to the core of what makes your audience tick and what they may respond to (hint: it may not Read More

Ramp Up Your Internal Marketing: 8 Tips for Success

Terri McNorton, chief marketing communications officer at Bon Secours Health System

When is the last time you received from your employer an email or text so enticing you wanted to open it right away? Most likely, the answer is “never.” That’s because most employee communications are talking at you or providing you with information they want you to have, but they somehow miss the boat entirely Read More