Featured Articles

A New Model Attempts to Give Health Care Wings

by Cheryl L. Serra Imagine bringing health care to patients instead of requiring patients to travel to health care. Ernie Clevenger, co-founder and president of CareHere, LLC, did just that. The result? His company has a health care clinic with a retail component, the CareHere Walk-In Clinic and Wellness Store, located in the Nashville International Read More

Centralized Marketing: Building an Effective Structure

Nancy Vessell profile pic

by Nancy Vessell Marketing functions within hospital systems have run the spectrum from fully centralized at the corporate level to mostly autonomous at the local level. But as more hospitals fold themselves into systems, marketing is increasingly shifting toward centralization. “A lot of it is being driven by this crazy world of mergers and acquisitions,” Read More

Fast Takes: News & Trend Lines, March 2014

Workplace programs cut chronic disease costs, but savings from lifestyle change efforts elusive According to a new Rand Corporation study, workplace wellness programs can lower costs for employees with chronic diseases, but components of the programs that encourage adoption of healthier lifestyles may not reduce health care costs or lead to lower net savings. Examining Read More

Hospital Rewards Patients Who Take Care of Themselves

Diane Atwood

by Diane Atwood A man walks out of his doctor’s office with prescriptions to lower his blood pressure and choles­terol. He has been told that if he doesn’t lose at least 25 pounds, stop smoking, and start exercising, he’ll be at great risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The odds of the man accomplishing Read More

Fast Takes: News & Trend Lines, February 2014

Next CEOs may come from outside the industry According to a survey conducted for executive search firm Ferguson Partners, health care executives who were asked to name the top three outside industries likely to produce tomorrow’s health system leaders chose finance, (92 percent), hospitality (55 percent), investment (40 percent), and pharmaceutical (33 percent). Manufacturing, information Read More

Los Angeles Area Hospital Finds Benefit in Event with Worldwide Exposure

by Mark S. Gothberg Why would the City of Hope, a Los Angeles area research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases, participate in the 125th Rose Parade on New Year’s Day? For pretty much the same reasons it has been involved in this world-famous parade, held in Pasadena, CA, for the Read More

The Best Way to Be an Effective Storyteller in This Digital Age

by Dan Dunlop The best marketers have always been accomplished storytellers, and that is still the case today. The stories they craft are meaningful and connect with the audience in a manner that meets some fundamental need – educational, informational, emotional, or entertaining. The most effective stories allow the audience members to become part of Read More

KidzStuff: Much More Than Stuff for Children

by Diane Atwood How comfortable would you be clipping the nails of a fidgety two-year-old? This simple task makes many parents fairly anxious and has landed more than one child in the emergency room with a cut or infected nail bed. There had to be a safer and easier-to-use tool than regular nail clippers, thought Read More

The Health Care World Series

Ritch K. Eich, PhD

by Ritch K. Eich, PhD In the game of professional baseball there are two levels of contest and two levels of play: the World Series and everything else. This model translates now and again to organizational management – though hardly as often as business authors would like us to believe – and under extreme circumstances Read More

QR Codes Are Obsolete

Michele von Dambrowski

by Michele von Dambrowski Not only are Quick Response codes dead, they “should have never lived,” claims Dean Browell, PhD, execu­tive vice president for the social media strategy firm Feedback in Richmond, VA. Browell likens QR codes to the ill-fated CueCat, a cat-shaped code reader that plugged into a computer like a mouse. Wired and Read More

A Massive, Four-State Health System Rebranding Effort Leads to Simple, Informative, Cheerfully Straightforward Advertising

by Peter Hochstein So there it was, a sprawling health care behemoth, at first glance scarcely recognizable as a single entity. It was named Novant Health, created in 1997 by the merger of two North Carolina organizations, Carolina Medicorp and Presbyterian Healthcare, into a single system. Over time, other organizations joined Novant Health until the Read More

Are You Prepared for the Next Generation of Service Lines?

by Cecily Lohmar The last decade has seen con­siderable growth in health care service lines, most often with the objective of expanding the more profitable services. At the same time, there have been numerous market changes – with more to come. Service lines have been an effective model for im­proving quality and cost in the Read More

Ten Sites or Apps That Exemplify Good Use of Mobile Health Care

Michele von Dambrowski

by Michele von Dambrowski Everyone knows that mobile is hot, observes Christian Twiste, vice president of interactive services at BlueSpire Strategic Marketing. But what everyone struggles with, including large Internet companies, is how best to address the different ways that people interact with their mobile devices. “A lot of mobile users are either bored, busy, Read More

Fast Takes: News & Trend Lines, December 2013

Survey: Cost transparency major factor in provider and plan choice A survey of insured health care consumers released last month by TransUnion, a credit information and information management services company, reveals that 55 percent of consumers have started paying more attention to the details of their medi­cal bills during the past year. Two-thirds (67 percent) Read More

A Unified Brand Has Many Benefits; Need to Give the Process Time

Michele von Dambrowski

by Michele von Dambrowski Among the many roles of marketers is the job of chief marketing inte­gration officer, which usually in­volves the subject of brand. “It’s a subject we all know and love,” says Susan Solomon, vice president of marketing and com­munications for St. Joseph Health, an integrated health system based in Irvine, CA. In Read More

Will Posting Prices Trigger a Price War?

Nancy Vessell profile pic

by Nancy Vessell Keith Smith, MD, is a soldier of free-market health care, and he wants to start a price war. He has fired the first volley by posting guaranteed, all-inclusive prices for most procedures performed by his Surgery Center of Oklahoma (SCO) on its website (www.surgerycenterok.com). The outpatient surgery center’s prices are often one-fifth Read More

Turning a House of Brands into a Branded House

by Cheryl Haas On March 18, 2013 at precisely 11 a.m., employees of Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center unveiled their organization’s new name and logo. In a special ceremony, a group of employees – accompanied by a dramatic drum roll – revealed a 40-by-10-foot logo and a new visual identity, and the largest hospital Read More

Focus on Consumer Needs, Not Provider Needs to Survive Health Care Transformation

Sheryl S. Jackson

Price and Quality Transparency to Gain Importance in Coming Years by Sheryl S. Jackson For almost seven years, the television show “Marcus Welby, MD,” featured a veteran general practitioner who fo­cused on patients as people in an era when specialized medicine and tech­nology were growing in importance. Many storylines had Dr. Welby listening to patients Read More

Dignity Health Rebrands: Say Hello to Human Kindness

by Jane Weber Brubaker A helicopter hovers over a concrete embankment, flood­waters rising rapidly around the target of the rescue operation, a black lab, alone and struggling to keep his head above water. “Does everyone matter?” asks the TV commercial. The chopper drops a line and a rescue worker lifts the dog to safety. “Yes” Read More