HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly - April 2, 2008 | Word-of-Mouth with a Bullhorn
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Word-of-Mouth With a Bullhorn
Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders News

What would have happened if, a year ago, you barged into the doctor's lounge and asked the room, "How important is patients' perception of the care they receive at our hospital? Not the actual quality of care based on objective quality measurements and outcomes, but how our patients feel they were treated during their stay?" I'm guessing you'd have gotten some blank stares. And what if you asked that same question today? I hope (though I'm not certain) that you'd get a different reaction. [Read More]
  April 2, 2008

Editor's Picks
National HCAHPS coverage: The bad
Some national coverage of the HCAHPS results took on a decidedly negative slant, such as in this story from the New York Times, which begins "Many hospital patients are dissatisfied with some aspects of their care and might not recommend their hospitals to friends and relatives, the federal government said Friday as it issued ratings for most of the nation's hospitals, based on the first uniform national survey of patients." [Read More]
National HCAHPS coverage: The good
The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog, on the other hand, focused on the news itself, with a lead that talked about the nuts and bolts of the new information. The post did a nice job explaining what the new data means, the link between patient satisfaction and quality, and whether or not patients will actually use it to choose a hospital. [Read More]
Some local stories negative
Local news coverage varied, of course, depending on local results. The Los Angeles Times, with 94 hospitals in the southern region of California, chose to focus on the bad news (big surprise), with this lead: "Patients treated at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Southern California were less satisfied than many of those at other hospitals in the region and across the country, according to data released Friday from the first nationwide satisfaction survey." [Read More]
Some local coverage positive
In Southwest Florida, meanwhile, a positive headline emerged: "Lee Memorial Health System gets high marks." Still, the paper noted in the lead that other hospitals in the region didn't fare as well. What was coverage like in your area? Did reporters focus on the bad news, or the good? [Read More]
Rankings for plumbers, carpenters, and now physicians
Yet another source that patients can go to for stories of patient experiences at hospitals was announced this week: The Indianapolis-based Angie's List, famous for its consumer-written reviews of plumbers and the like, unveiled a new service that allows its members to rate physicians, dentists, pharmacies, and health insurers. Members can log on to the site to share their healthcare experiences, rating the cleanliness of bathrooms and waiting areas or the courteousness of the staff, for example. Naturally, doctors argue that a patient's experience has nothing to do with the quality of care he or she received and that they should not be rated based on the same set of criteria as a handyman. But guess what? It doesn't matter what the doctors think: It won't stop the site's paying members from writing and reading reviews and making decisions based on word-of-mouth recommendations. [Read More]
Marketing hype can keep patients away
At first it seems strange that anyone would say that "care" is a four-letter word when it comes to hospital marketing. The problem is that modern consumers expect more than basic care, and they want cold hard facts to back up a hospital's marketing claims. The blogger, an advertising consultant, had to explain these facts to a local newspaper editor who was curious about a full-page, four-color ad that a local hospital took out in his publication. It's all about finding the medium of promoting your hospital's expertise while avoiding the hype, he says. [Read More]
UK hospitals allowed to advertise
Imagine a world where your hospital can't promote its best-performing department, seek sponsorship from a private company, or even release print or radio ads. Crazy, right? Well, that's been the reality in Britain until recently, when the UK's Department of Health announced that the nation's hospitals will be allowed to tout their assets in radio and print ads and solicit sponsorship from private firms. [Read More]
Campaign Spotlight
Timeline of Success
Click to play video. The University of Kansas Hospital, located in Kansas City, KS, has been a regional academic medical center since 1906. Having a long standing history within a competitive marketplace, the hospital decided to launch an "uncommon" branding campaign featuring a timeline of its successes. The campaign, which uses print, billboards, TV, and radio, maintains a strong focus on the brand and the history of the brand while pushing campaign messages of "uncommon care" and the choice for academic medical care over any other. [Read More]
Calendar of Events

4/3/08: 5 Easy-to-use New Media Options for Healthcare Marketers

4/6/08: National Forum on Customer Based Marketing Strategies, Phoenix

10/15/08: HealthLeaders Media Marketing Awards, Chicago

10/16/08: HealthLeaders Media Top Leadership Teams, Chicago

Sponsored Headlines From IBM

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In the interest of the patient: This paper explores how by collaborating and sharing data, the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries can realize the full value of the information they collect--and improve patient treatments.

From HealthLeaders Magazine
Your Hospital, the Entrepreneur

Forget those fixed-income investments. Many organizations are funding early-stage healthcare ventures that can yield not only healthy financial returns, but also improved efficiencies and better quality care. [Read More]
Marketing Forum

Replacing Service Line with Segment Line: Service line strategies, physician integration efforts, and millions of dollars in capital investments have failed to produce market-changing increases in volume. At best, your organization has kept pace. What you need is significant and sustained top-line revenue growth. But how can you achieve it? [Read More]
Audio Features

Diane Stover, Vice President of Marketing and Innovation Strategy at Memorial Health System in South Bend, IN, discusses why innovation is increasingly important in healthcare. [Listen Now]
Kathy Divis, president of Greystone.Net, an Internet consulting firm based in Atlanta, talks about how hospitals can use different new media methods to reach out to medical staff and referring physicians and talks about the latest online trends that hospitals are using to engage all physicians. [Listen Now]
Sponsor HealthLeaders Media Marketing Weekly

Contact Lisa Brown, Director of Integrated Sales, at or call 781.639.1872.
Marketing Resources From HealthLeaders Media

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Looking for practical ways to use new media? Learn five easy-to-use techniques for Healthcare Marketers.
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