Fast Takes: News & Trend Lines, October 2013

Wide disparities in access and quality by state Access to affordable health care and the quality of care provided vary greatly for low-income people ($47,000 a year for a family of four) based on the state in which they live, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund. Geographic differences also extend to people Read More

Ohio Health System Develops First Steps to Wellness Campaign

Diane Atwood

by Diane Atwood Akron General Health System shares the northeastern Ohio landscape with some big health care players, including Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. Akron General Medical Center, a 532-bed teaching and research center, is one of several entities that make up the not-for-profit system. A major challenge, as it is for most marketers, is Read More

Aesop, The Neuromarketer: The Power of the Simple Story

Dan Fredricks

by Dan Fredricks Sour Grapes A hungry fox tried to reach some clusters of grapes that he saw hanging from a vine trained on a tree, but they were too high. So he went off and comforted himself by saying, “They weren’t ripe anyhow.” Moral: In the same way some men, when they fail through Read More

Personal Connections, Consistency, and More – Advice from a Brand Authority

Michele von Dambrowski

by Michele von Dambrowski A former marketing executive for Nike and Starbucks, Scott Bedbury entertained attendees of the 18th National Healthcare Marketing Strategies Summit with stories of the transformation of an elitist athletic shoe company and the reinvention of the coffee category. Author of A New Brand World: Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in Read More

Rehab Center Gets Smart

Barbara S. Long, APR

by Barbara S. Long, APR There is no doubt that “smart” is the latest buzzword in technology. Smartphones, and increasingly smartcars, are commonplace. It’s easy to foresee a time in the near future when we’ll all use smart technology to control our home, work, and leisure environments with the blink of an eye or a Read More

Internal Branding and Stemming Leakage the Imperative of Today

Michele von Dambrowski

by Michele von Dambrowski Consider these statements made by two speakers at a ses­sion of the 18th National Healthcare Marketing Strategies Summit in Scottsdale, AZ, earlier this year: “The ROI on internal branding is significantly higher than what you might achieve with external communications for probably 30 percent of the spend.” – Rob Rosenberg, President, Read More

Pharmacists Help Hospitals Cut Readmissions

Deborah Borfitz

by Deborah Borfitz In May 2012, Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, MD, joined a handful of hospitals testing WellTransitions, a post-discharge program being de­veloped by Walgreens to help increase medication ad­herence and reduce preventable readmissions. More than a dozen hospitals were on board for the program’s rollout in October. Given outcomes to date, and Read More

Shared Appointments Improve Access, Quality

Deborah Borfitz

by Deborah Borfitz Shared medical appointments have been heralded as a way to ease the primary care shortage, by having doctors see up to two dozen patients at once. As it turns out, these appoint­ments not only can improve access to care, but also can improve care quality – at least for patients with chronic Read More

Fast Takes: News & Trend Lines, August 2013

Consumer demand spurs urgent care center growth According to a new qualitative study conducted in six metropolitan areas by the Center for Studying Health System Change, the growth of urgent care centers is driven heavily by consumer demand for convenient access to care. At the same time, hospitals view owning urgent care centers as a Read More

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