Engaged care delivery team key to 'branding' hospitals

Building a brand is essential for any hospital or healthcare system to attract and retain new patients, as well as top physicians during an era of consolidations, mergers and closures, according to a blog post on Nursescount.

"The best teams of physicians, nurses and administration leaders want to be affiliated with top 'brands,'" according to the post, and having a staff to deliver that brand experience once patients enter the hospital is key.

Hospital CEOs and leaders not only have to worry about quality measures, but public and patient perception of those measures. A great care delivery team helps project those objectives through their actions and patients see it first-hand. Highly engaged care teams make fewer mistakes and tend to do a better job of providing instructions at discharge, giving better post-treatment follow-up and making the patients feel tended to, as well as driving better medical outcomes, according to the post.

From reception to billing, a hospital's care team must represent the organization's brand quality. "Imagine this--a spectacular patient experience in both their objective clinical outcome to their true collaboration and participation in their ongoing care. But the last contact is with a cranky, ill-tempered billing department that is working on antiquated systems that make billing a nightmare for everyone. Result? Brand damage, and game-over," according to the post.

The post cites a study published in the Journal of Healthcare Management that showed staff responsiveness was a dominant factor in patients' willingness to recommend and return to a facility, followed by nursing care.

As patients become more sophisticated consumers and have more of a hand in their own healthcare, creating a positive experience and relying on word-of-mouth recommendations becomes a more effective use of money than advertising and media, according to the post.  

Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Mich., worked to strengthen its brand by telling community members' stories about life-saving measures for multiple children, using their positive experiences to create a marketing campaign that showed how Hurley was "touching lives through better medicine," Andrea J. Simon, Ph.D., the former marketing, branding and culture change senior vice president at Hurley, wrote in a Hospital Impact blog post.

To learn more:
- here's the blog post