Looking for More Online Reviews? Solicit and Post Them on Your Own Website

by Sheryl S. Jackson While hospitals throughout the country look for ways to manage their online reputation on a wide range of review sites, an 86-bed rural community hospital invites patients to post reviews directly on the facility’s website. “We have always focused on patient-centered care and are constantly looking for feedback from our patients,” Read More

Lessons Learned: Tips for Managing Online Reputations

Sheryl S. Jackson

by Sheryl S. Jackson Online review sites provide opportunities for providers to respond quickly to individual complaints and com­pliments, as well as to identify overarching customer service issues that need to be addressed throughout the organization. Maintaining an online reputation requires the same thoughtful, strategic approach required for any marketing communications initiative, but the real-time Read More

Planetree Hospitals Achieve High Satisfaction, Performance Scores

by Deborah Borfitz Since 1992, 170 acute care hos­pitals have undergone rigorous evaluation and orientation exer­cises to become affiliated with the Planetree network. Thirty-eight facilities have attained formal Planetree designa­tion, available since 2008, which requires passionate and systemwide support of the Planetree care model and holds hospitals to measurable standards for high-quality, compassionate care. The Read More

Pricing Information Now Expected by Alegent Consumers

Nancy Vessell profile pic

by Nancy Vessell When Alegent Creighton Health introduced the first online calculator enabling consumers to find their out-of-pocket costs for many procedures, the novelty attracted national attention to this Omaha, NE, inno­vator. Some 20,000 people logged on in 2007 to see what they would be billed to have a baby or a nose job or Read More

Consumers Shop Price More, But Industry Response Still Lags

Nancy Vessell profile pic

// By Nancy Vessell // For the past decade, David Marlowe, principal of Strategic Marketing Concepts, based in Ellicott City, MD, has encouraged health care providers to consider pricing their services more strategically in order to gain market share. Here he answers questions about the latest in strategic pricing. First, what is strategic pricing, as Read More

Social Media ROI Means Much More Than ‘Likes’ and ‘Views’

Michele von Dambrowski

by Michele von Dambrowski “ROI should always be tied to dollars,” Chris Boyer, AVP of digital strategy for North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, NY, points out. “If you don’t measure ROI, don’t worry – your successor will,” quips Boyer, who also serves as an external advisory board member for the Mayo Clinic Center Read More

Market Research and Engagement Through an Online Community Panel

Michele von Dambrowski

by Michele von Dambrowski “We had relatively low patient engagement … outside of the clinic setting,” says Mark Rothwell, vice president of marketing and communications for Dean Clinic, giving one reason why the 107-year-old Madison, WI, organization began an online patient community. Patient engagement, in­cluding a two-way dialogue, is critical to Dean Clinic’s brand value, Read More

Geographic Expansion Is a Continuing Saga

Deborah Borfitz

// By Deborah Borfitz // A report from the Center for Studying Health System Change, published in the April edition of Health Affairs, concludes that hospitals are shifting their competitive focus to strategies that will give them a foothold in new geographic areas with well-insured populations. Under debate is how the employed strategies, ranging from Read More

Community Hospitals Reposition Themselves with Clinical Trials: Innovative, Progressive Care Is a Competitive Differentiator

Sheryl S. Jackson

by Sheryl S. Jackson Twenty years ago, industry-sponsored clinical trials were conducted through academic medical centers. As pharma­ceutical, device, and biotech companies pushed to get products through test­ing phases and onto the market, the value of opening trial participation to physicians at community hospitals became clear. “Today, nearly 70 percent of pharmaceutical- and device-sponsored clinical Read More

A Hospital for Kids Touches Musicians – Now Their Music Touches a Community and Helps Build the Hospital’s Brand Awareness

by Peter Hochstein The big idea happened because Rick Ender sometimes takes his work home. One evening Ender, the creative director at Atlanta advertising agency Frederick Swanston, was working on concepts for a new campaign for Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, KY. Meanwhile, his kids were watching “American Idol” on television. “Just then,” recalls Ender, Read More

What’s ‘New’ About New Movers?

by Barbara S. Long, APR Welcoming a newcomer to a service area is hardly new. The “welcome wagon” concept has been around since America’s westward expansion. In those days, new settlers were greeted with a warm welcome and provisions as their wagon rolled into town. Today, the sentiment is the same, but the de­livery method Read More

The Hemingway Challenge: A Novel Exercise to Improve Communications

by Dan Fredricks In the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway was reportedly challenged by a colleague to write a complete story, with a beginning, middle, and end, using only six words. Hemingway won the wager by writing, “For sale: baby shoes, never used.” Legend has it that he regarded this simple story as one of his best Read More

Brain Health Center Offers Model for Comprehensive Alzheimer’s Care: Collaborative Approach Benefits Patients and Family Caregivers

Joan Trezek

by Joan Trezek The “graying of America” is hardly a secret. The media has focused at length on the impact of seniors and especially the boomer generation on health care and society. These discussions often lead to a dizzying catalog ofstatistics about Alzheimer’s disease. Indeed, almost everyone knows someone of advanced years who is experiencing Read More

Blood Management Programs Extend Marketing Efforts: Patients Choose Bloodless Medicine for Non-Religious Reasons

Sheryl S. Jackson

by Sheryl S. Jackson Although the primary audience for bloodless medicine and surgery programs is the Jehovah’s Witness population, as well as other individuals who will not accept blood products based on religious convictions, the general community is another audience to which hospitals can market bloodless programs. Patient blood management programs represent a higher standard Read More

Teaching Hospitals Lead Innovation Movement

Deborah Borfitz

by Deborah Borfitz During the last five years, a growing number of health systems have confronted marketplace uncertainties by establishing formal and sometimes far-reaching innova­tion initiatives. Many health care organizations are giving innovation the “attention it deserves” with full-fledged, if often virtual, innovation centers and appointing chief innovation or transformation offi­cers, according to Joanne Conroy, Read More

Fast Takes: News & Trend Lines, April 2013

Most physicians favor financial incentives for changing consumer health behavior According to a new Deloitte survey, 71 percent of U.S. doctors believe that if incentives were widely intro­duced to motivate consumers to engage in healthy behaviors, such incentives as direct payments, reduced insurance premiums, and lower co-pays might work best. Less powerful motivators were rewards, Read More

Racing to Wellness: A Marketing Model for Wellness

Susan Dubuque

// By Susan Dubuque // This article is the third in a series on the role of marketing in the face of a changing health care environment. Health care marketers are being swept along in the frenzy of wellness and health promotion. But for most marketers, the concept is still ill-defined and a bit fuzzy Read More

Behavioral Health Programs Tailored to Niche Populations Gain Traction

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// By Nancy Vessell // Behavioral health services have come and gone in the halls of hospitals as reimbursements have waxed and waned, often losing in the competition for hospital space to more profitable service lines. But a growing number of psychiat­ric programs catering to targeted population segments—the elderly, college students, and war veterans, for Read More

Fast Takes: News & Trend Lines, March 2013

Staggering numbers have type 2 diabetes According to a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll, one in eight American adults (or about 29 million peo­ple) has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Further­more, of those interviewed, more than one-third either have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or reported having a child, sibling, parent, or spouse with Read More

Hospitals Tackle Risks and Rewards of Insurance Business

Deborah Borfitz

by Deborah Borfitz In light of the Affordable Care Act and mounting pressure to reduce costs, most health systems are now either actively engaged in the health plan business or contemplating how to make their entry. In fact, they will be hard pressed to survive without taking on some level of risk for a significant Read More

What’s in a Name? Rebranding Ties Health System Together

by Sheryl S. Jackson The simultaneous unveiling of exterior signs on eight hospitals across the 29-county area signified the launch of “Vidant Health” as the new name of the health system previously known as University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina. But the name change was just an outward symbol of the rebranding process that began Read More