When a local reporter said during a tour of the Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, SC, that the organization’s safety system was impressive, the hospital realized it should promote that strength to the community.
“There was a lot of national attention on patient safety in hospitals so we really wanted to take the route of getting information out before anyone questioned [our safety],” says Tod Augsburger, COO for the facility.
That’s how the organization came to create the budget-friendly, in-house designed “Patient Safety 24/7” campaign.
Many competitors were also concentrating on their safety records, says Augsburger. “So we needed to find ways to differentiate ourselves from the competition.” Focusing the campaign on safety, technology, and nurse staffing levels was a piece of the campaign. However, the major focus was to appeal to the community with ads that had a local feel.
Mark Shelley, director of marketing and advertising for Lexington Medical Center says the organization was seen as the local community health system. “Then we found out we were going to be a part of a large merger years ago. With that we knew we were going to lose our community hospital identity. So we pulled out and decided to go with a small community strategy.” That strategy has a strong influence on the creative. “We wanted to create something that was clean, unique, and not typically healthcare-looking,” says Shelley.
Although the marketing team chose to use a multi-integrated approach, it was the TV spots that really took a unique look at the organization’s level of care by showing the facility’s ‘rapid response’ team. The spots do the job of showing the immediate attention for the patient in a non-threatening way by having a sense of dramatic urgency combined with a calm but quick response. The commercial uses actual physicians and nurses.
Although the campaign is still new, the early results have been positive. “So far we have a high number of nurse applications coming in, we do surveys periodically, and we will do a community profile,” says Shelley. What’s most important to Lexington Medical Center, though, is that it’s raising awareness about the facility and those who work there.