Hospital reputation success stories to guide your campaign strategy
Being listed on the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll gives healthcare facilities an opportunity to show consumers an objective, third-party measure of the quality of care they provide. Usually, consumers are the target of any given marketing effort and physicians are overlooked. However, in compiling the Honor Roll, U.S. News & World Report considers the opinion of physicians.
Both original survey data and secondary analyses of data from sources including the American Hospital Association and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, among others, contribute to the rankings. A minimum number of defined procedures performed or a recommendation by a minimum of 1% of surveyed physicians is required to rank within a specialty. The number of nominations necessary for a hospital to be considered increased from one to three in 2015, which further increased the importance of physician opinion and brand awareness.
Hospitals that are well respected by physicians enjoy better recruitment and retention, stronger reputations, and a better ranking. Marketing campaigns that target physicians directly can help facilities share their message with a critically important group of professionals.
Wolters Kluwer has extensive and deeply trusted expertise in the healthcare field, with access to hundreds of specialty channels, and can help you design an effective marketing strategy. The four success stories described in this paper are examples of how a solid marketing strategy can improve your ranking on the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll and demonstrate why smart hospital marketers need to target physicians as well as consumers.
Case study 1: Showcase your specialties
Challenge: Specialty practices are the centerpiece of many healthcare institutions. A highly respected research hospital in the Midwest needed a more effective way to showcase their specialty practices and boost their reputation. The hospital wanted to achieve greater recognition within the medical community for its innovative clinical trials and overall oncology program.
Solution: Wolters Kluwer helped the hospital create a campaign targeted to oncologists. The campaign featured a carefully crafted message, delivered online, to publicize its oncology program and the cutting-edge clinical trials it performs. The online only campaign was a cost-effective approach, requiring only 10% of the total annual marketing budget.
Result: The Best Hospitals Honor Roll ranks 16 different adult specialties, and while they consider some 5,000 facilities, they only rank 150 of them. As a result of their online-only campaign directed at oncologists, the hospital moved from #5 to #2 on the Honor Roll, and from #12 to #8 in the Best Hospitals for Cancer rankings.
Case study 2: Share good news
Challenge: Just as individuals must grapple with the long memory of the internet and social media, healthcare institutions must bear the scrutiny of increased media coverage and potential negative publicity. A widely known teaching hospital on the East Coast found itself dealing with two such public relations issues: an ongoing lawsuit and poor care metrics.
Solution: By working with Wolters Kluwer and focusing on positive patient outcomes and their outstanding professionals in eight top specialties, this hospital created a clear and consistent message that highlighted their accomplishments and how expert treatment had a positive impact on patient outcomes.
Result: The hospital was able to maintain its top 20 rank on the Best Hospitals Honor Roll, even as the lawsuit continued and they worked to improve care metrics.
Case study 3: Lead the way
Challenge: Being seen as a frontrunner in the field can have a significant positive impact on a hospital's reputation and ranking. A pediatric hospital in the Midwest worked to attract talented professionals and gain national recognition. Wolters Kluwer helped them make physicians aware of their institutional excellence.
Solution: The hospital marketed their successful multidisciplinary approach in a complex specialty directly to physicians. The facility created and disseminated an internal podcast through Wolters Kluwer's continuing education channels. They also promoted resources related to the specialty and allowed physicians in other health systems to interact with their clinicians, building a reputation as a leading institution among the physician community.
Result: This unique approach helped the institution reach the physician community directly. As a result, the hospital's U.S. News & World Report “specialty score” increased from 1.9% in 2015 to 3.1% in 2016. The score considers the opinions of physicians over a three-year rolling period.
Case study 4: Make your presence
Challenge: Across the globe, mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, and consolidations have changed the face of business. The healthcare business is no different, and smaller organizations often struggle to be heard over the noise. A mid-size West Coast facility worked with Wolters Kluwer to find a way to be seen, heard, and appreciated by the physician community.
Solution: Working with Wolters Kluwer, the hospital developed a digital-only campaign that focused on the outstanding patient outcomes within their cardiology program. The hospital, which is affiliated with a larger health system, targeted pediatric physicians as part of their first large-scale campaign. They showcased their positive outcomes in complex cardiology cases, and were able to reach busy professionals directly.
Result: For the first time, this mid-size hospital achieved a spot on the Best Children's Hospitals Honor Roll, clear proof that their message was heard. Even more impressive, the hospital was in the top 10!
Marketing directly to the physician community can boost a hospital's prestige.
Wolters Kluwer provides direct access to physicians through its specialty channels. Taking advantage of this opportunity to communicate with these influential medical professionals can have a powerful impact on an institution's ranking on the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospital Honor Roll, which is a clear indication of quality, prestige, and good reputation.