The Three R’s of Using Internal Advertising to Create a Cultural Change in a Health Care Organization: Repetition, Refreshment, and Recognition

December 6, 2018

Notable Health Care Advertising

In a hospital setting, changing employee routines and behaviors can save lives — but the change may call for altering the entire institutional culture. A memo to staff likely won’t work. What will? Signature Healthcare discovered some of the answers, involving an internal advertising campaign that began in 2015 and is still running today. 

// By Peter Hochstein //

Peter HochsteinBack in 2014, Signature Healthcare in southeastern Massachusetts hired a consulting firm called HPI (Healthcare Performance Improvement, acquired by Press Ganey in 2015) to measure its “sentinel events” — events resulting in death or injury — and also to get a sense of what its employees perceived about safety in the institution and the institution’s priorities.

One of the results came as a surprise to the management of Signature, an organization with a 217-bed hospital, a medical group with more than 150 employed physicians, a school of nursing, and a foundation.

When asked about their perceptions of the organization’s priorities, “patient safety” barely made the list. And this at an organization that was dealing with 65,000 ER visits annually, as well as 13,000 admissions a year.

How could that be possible?


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