As health care continues its shift from volume to a “value-based” reimbursement structure, hospitals and health systems are rethinking population health, as they are increasingly responsible for patient care beyond institutional walls. In fact, one of the stated goals for newly created accountable care organizations (ACOs) is to “improve population health.” And because providers will be penalized for “never events” and unnecessary hospital readmissions, effective health education programs have never been more important.
What is Population Health?
According to the AHA, population health is the strategic platform upon which to improve the health status and outcomes within a population. Improving population health requires effective interventions to do the following:
- Expand prevention & wellness services
- Improve quality & patient safety
- Increase care coordination
Why Does it Matter?
Although resources are tight, marketing leaders are always searching for ways to grow share in their markets. Targeted messages that emphasize your hospital’s population health priorities can help build market share by:
- Delivering on brand promise – by encouraging consumers to take an active role in their health, you are improving the health of the community. By improving the health status of the community, the disease burden is lowered.
- Attracting new patients – decide on which population cohorts to target to improve health (e.g., chronic disease populations; or, middle-aged (40s & 50s) men and women, as this commercially insured population is highly receptive to taking charge of their health).
- Promoting physicians and specialists – showcase physicians as experts on certain health topics at online events, while building good will among the physician community – an essential partner in care delivery and outcomes.
Hospitals alone cannot take care of its population’s health. Improving health status requires the synergies of patients, families and other resources, such as providers, public health agencies, social services, employers and insurance companies. But, by starting with the community you know and serve, you can build a healthier population, one patient at a time.
Although demand for joint replacement surgery continues to be robust, most healthcare marketers face saturated markets. Orthopedics remains one of the top volume producers for hospitals and that trend is not expected to change – for example, knee replacement procedures alone are expected to grow to a staggering 3.48 million surgeries a year by 2030. (In 2010, there were 244,000 knee replacements among Medicare beneficiaries.)
One way to break through the marketing din is to develop a content marketing strategy to reach and engage prospective patients at each point in their quest to alleviate pain and restore mobility. To do this, we need to understand how consumers discover, consume and share health information on-line; and the role of search and social interaction across the consumer decision or buying cycle. Continue reading
Last week, nominations were announced for the Academy Awards. Cinematography is one those “artistic” categories that many overlook, but it’s a lot like marketing. How? Let’s look beyond the standard technical definition of “lighting and camera choices.” What makes a movie memorable? Yes, a strong story and compelling performances are essential – but what about the feelings, the memories, a good movie promotes? More often than not, this can be traced back to its cinematography – such examples include “Titanic,” or more recently, “War Horse”. What do you see? What do you feel?
The cinematographer is responsible for the technical aspects of creating the images, but works closely with the director to ensure artistic aesthetics are supporting the director’s vision of the film. Starting to see how this relates to marketing? Let’s look at how your team works . . .
- Do your marketing efforts support the organization’s overall vision?
- How do your campaigns support the visual identity of your brand?
- What kind of emotional experience are you associating with your brand?
Just as the cinematographer creates a “mood” or “experience” for the director to convey to the movie audience, so too does the marketing function bring to life for consumers the brand as articulated by the hospital’s vision.
For example, the goal of one mid-Atlantic hospital is to be “the world’s preeminent health care institution.” As a patient there, I have seen this demonstrated first hand. The campus is like a small city – clearly a world-wide destination. There are signs everywhere in at least 8 different languages. Other signs reassure me I’ve made a smart decision because I’m visiting the nation’s “number one hospital” (eight years in a row, according to US News, as they helpfully note). Additional wall hangings are prominently displayed reminding hospital staff to be deferential to patients and remain vigilant with hand-washing. I have to tell you, it works. I’m thinking to myself, “ I’m so clever for picking this hospital for my care. And I feel safe while I’m here.”
So, how are you like the cinematographer for your hospital? How do you create the “artistic aesthetics” to deliver your institution’s brand promise?