Service lines allow hospital leadership to adapt the consumer industry concept of business units to healthcare. But the comparisons to the consumer market go only so far. Hospital service lines aim for clinical excellence and revenue at the same time, while subject to internal and external pressures such as changing government regulations, new medical developments, and hospital politics.
Marketing service lines is difficult—marketing directors must balance the sometimes—competing desires of service line leaders and health system executives, differentiate the service line among competitors without overstating or running afoul of regulations, and stay on top of trends and changing technologies.
WellStar Health System, an integrated delivery network headquartered in Marietta, GA, has recently developed several service line initiatives that have made an impact for its five hospitals, which have 1,320 beds between them.
Kim Menefee, senior vice president of public and government affairs, singles out four tactics to create streamlined service line programs that achieve results. WellStar uses these methods in its marketing push for the heath system's cancer network and heart screening program.