The annual report cards are meant, in part, to give consumers helpful information for making healthcare decisions. But these lists and grades are also an important component of hospital marketing strategy. For example, when Children's Hospital Los Angeles rebranded itself in 2011, the advertising campaign centered on the message that it was the best children's hospital in L.A.
DeaAnn Marshall, chief marketing and development office for CHLA, says she felt comfortable using that as a premise because of the grades the hospital received from various report cards.
"What we use in our marketing materials and our advertising is our U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll status," says Marshall. "We are [also] ranked as the fifth best children's hospital in the country by U.S. News and World Report. We are also a Magnet hospital, which is the highest designation for high-quality nursing care; we are also a Leapfrog hospital."
But, HANYS' report card awarded both Leapfrog's Hospital Safety Score, and U.S. News and World Report's Best Hospitals List only one star out of three. Only four report card-issuing organizations received HANYS' highest ranking of three stars: