When you think of “Centers of Excellence”, what comes to mind? I’d guess maybe highest quality. The best of the best. Specialized. Prestigious reputation. Esteem. That’s why when I heard Walmart was offering a Centers of Excellence program, it kinda stopped me in my tracks. I thought the ultimate incongruity. I mean mini clinics are one thing, but this is ridiculous. Then I read on, learning that this Centers of Excellence program is for Walmart’s 1.4 million employees. A first-of-its-kind that will offer no-cost heart, spine and transplant surgeries at six of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals. Including the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and Geisinger Medical Center. Employees will receive 100% coverage, plus travel, lodging and food for the patient and caregiver.
I thought wow, how Walmart of them to negotiate bundled, volume-based value for their health benefits. And positively brand-consistent to provide a one-stop-shop at these Centers of Excellence. To their credit, Walmart will also work with the six healthcare organizations to collectively share best practices collaboration. Kudos to Walmart for this innovation in healthcare value and delivery, as well as brand and employee morale boosting. Not to mention the six hospital partners who are boasting highest quality specialty care and outcomes at lower costs.
While we all hope not to be in the market for these healthcare services, we never know what lies around the corner. And Walmart's providing this Center of Excellence program makes me feel a little better about having them in the neighborhood. How about you?
Herbs? Essential Oils? Reiki? Acupuncture? I'm a believer, which is why I'm always thrilled to learn about the growing acceptance of alternative medicine. The University Hospital's Connor Integrative Medical Network, Cleveland, Ohio, is the latest I've read about. What got my attention is that as an academic medical center, University Hospital is touting their alternative medicine as "evidence-based" therapy. In this world of value-based reimbursement, results matter. And they are getting them.
More and more patients, tired of the pain meds, side effects and continued pain, are opting for natural remedies. Thankfully, half of all medical schools are now offering courses in alternative medicine. And while it's still not at all mainstream, coverage is growing. New Hampshire naturopathic docs just celebrated a big win in June with legislation providing insurance coverage for their services. Most of us still have to cough up the dough ourselves, but find it very worthwhile.
That's because naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the human body has an innate healing ability. NDs find the underlying cause, helping to create a healing internal and external environment. Recommendations often involve dietary modification including "clean eating" (maybe why 2011 gluten-free sales were $2.7 billion, estimated to grow to $3.4 billion by 2015, according to a Euromonitor International estimate), herbal supplements, nutrients, exercise, massage, etc. When combined with traditional medicine, you get the best of both worlds. The problem for the patient has been it's so hard to know how to blend it all, when to listen to your MD or your ND, when to stop the meds and start the meditation.
Aside from the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, I haven't seen many hospitals or health systems leading the way in claiming an "alternative", "integrative", or "naturopathic" brand. But I predict as the evidence grows (and I'm confident it will), this brand position will grow. What do you think?
What do you want to do when you're 100? If you're like me, you don't think much about it. Too busy with today's priorities - like getting to work on time, packing lunches and making the next track meet. But Florida Hospital's Healthy 100 campaign, especially the beautiful Healthcare Advertising Award winning spot below, will stop you in your tracks and make you ponder.
A successful marketing program emotionally connects and can make you think about things you really don't want to think about. We've done it with healthcare issues like organ donation, drunk driving and AIDS prevention. This hospital has me convinced of their vision of a world where people live to be a healthy 100 years old. They offer a wealth of positive body, mind and spirit tools to motivate longevity. Like healthy recipes, inspirational videos with adorable centenarians, healthful events, newsletters, deals on healthy products and services, even a mobile app to track your daily water intake. But it doesn't stop there. The hospital has forged ahead with community extensions into Healthy 100 Kids, Healthy 100 Church and an executive program. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube successfully echo each component of the vision, rounding out a wonderfully convergent campaign.
If you're not convinced you need to think about what you want to do when you're 100, use the Life Expectancy Calculator to see if all of this is worth your time. This innovative campaign makes me want to live to be a healthy 100, how about you?
Memorial Hermann will be doing more than putting pins in patients today. They will be pinning a live brain tumor resection. Brain surgery on Pinterest? Yep. I'm not sure if it's the right social platform - it's not where I'd go to get up to speed on leading brain surgery centers - but it's certainly innovative. As is the hospital's social media machine.
This Texas hospital performed the world's first live-tweeted open heart surgery a few weeks back. When this reaped 125 million views via Twitter, Storify and media coverage, they decided to go for it again. Adding in Pinterest.
Today's brain surgery will be performed by Dr. Dong Kim, the surgeon who operated on former congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. While surgeries have been tweeted in the past, this will be the first to share the feed from the surgeon's fiber optic microscope. Real time pics and videos will be posted on Twitter, YouTube and Storify.
According to Nielson @Plan, homemakers index 204 on Pinterest, meaning they are 104 times more likely to be on this site. So Pinterest definitely reaches the female healthcare decisionmaker. But will she want to look at photos of brain surgery while hunting for recipes and fashion tips?
(Image from IdeaStream.com)
Time will tell. I think one thing's for sure. Memorial Hermann is living up to its themeline of "100 Years of Patient-Centered Care and Innovation." Not only with its team of expert docs, but its team of social media experts.
What do you think of surgeries on Pinterest? Is it over the top? Or is this hospital ahead of the curve?
How often do you get to do really cool healthcare transit advertising? I have to give our client, Covenant HealthCare, a big pat on the back for being great partners in letting us create 6 really cool buswraps for them. And for wrapping up a Silver Addy at the Great Lakes Bay Addy Awards last week for their transit campaign. Here are photos of 2 of the winning buses. The big idea? Use the entire bus to break through and create a wow factor for Covenant's messages.
Caution tape wraps the Emergency & Trauma bus. The Pediatric bus uses the actual wheels of the bus for the baby stroller wheels. Kudos to Covenant for taking their brand to the streets.
Let us know what you think. And please share your really cool transit advertising with us.
Academic Medical Center advertising can be boring. All trying to push the research and education angles, with lots of high tech blah blah and no break-through messaging. Not so at the Medical University of South Carolina. Their "Changing What's Possible" TV campaign is a refreshing gripper. Patient stories unfold in a unique way with beautiful, touching footage.
Each spot is narrated by a different doctor but the great thing is you don't know it's a doctor until the very end, when the doc says "I came to MUSC to change what's possible in cancer care" or whatever the clinical area is. The patient story is the star and we are convinced and humbled by the fact that this doctor came to this hospital to offer patients treatments that don't exist anywhere else.
The epilepsy spot is my favorite. Maybe because I have a nephew with this disorder which is preventing him from taking drivers ed like all the other kids in his class. The spot focuses on Independence Day, juxtapositioning a hometown parade with an older male patient opening his door to celebrate independence from the fear of epilepsy. All due to the revolutionary surgical procedure developed at MUSC which has helped thousands of epilepsy patients.
Take a look at this Healthcare Advertising Award winning spot and let me know if it makes the emotional connection for you like it did for me.
Walt Disney and happy kids. They just go together. That's why the new Walt Disney Pavilion at Florida Hospital for Children - the whole hospital concept - is a top pick for innovative healthcare marketing. After all, Disney "Imagineers" designed it. Brilliant integration of themed environments with Simba, Little Mermaid, Jungle Book - all characters kids know and love as protectors and friends. The interactive lobby with playground and games makes you feel you took a wrong turn and are at Disney World, certainly not a hospital.
Kids get to pick their own illuminated wall visual in their rooms, whether it's in the jungle or flying through outer space. They can even request movies or a visit from Murray, the resident hospital dog, through the "Get Well Network", available in all patient rooms. The idea is a supporting cast of characters and services throughout the entire hospital designed to let kids be kids.
As a healthcare marketer, you might wonder if the Disney brand is too light, too fun for a hospital. I mean this is life and death business, right? I think as long as the hospital integrates serious language about their pediatric specialties n their messaging (i.e."more than 90 pediatric specialists trained in surgery, oncology, cardiology and transplant services...") , they can't lose with the strength of the Disney brand. It's Disney's first time to create a totally immersive hospital environment - and to lend its name to a hospital. And it's all the magical support you'd want for your child if he or she had to be in the hospital.
What are your thoughts on the Disney plus children's hospital equation?
The Pew Research Center found that 83% of interviewed Americans owned a mobile phone, 42% of those have a smartphone and 25% of them go online on their smartphone to access the web or email once a day. And the research is the same across the board; consumers use smartphones to go online. But what does this mean for brands? Well, you need a mobile friendly site.
Ecommerce and retail sites have come out on top as the example for mobile sites.
Amazon has a good mobile website where you get the functionality of the full site, but it is tailored to the mobile user. You can look at reviews, order a product, and have it shipped to you – all on your mobile.
Even yesterday I ordered a pizza from Papa John’s using my Droid. It was a great experience being able to fully customize my order (I like mushrooms, but my roommate does not) and have it delivered, all from my phone.
Retail isn’t the only place that can utilize a mobile site. Every brand should be compatible with a mobile device because a potential customer can look you up on the go, and they want that information instantly.
Hospitals can use mobile to their advantage. Saint Thomas Health in Tennessee has a mobile site that has a simple navigation: Emergency Numbers, Find a Physician, Locations, Phone Directory, and Health Information. They also have links to their Wikipedia, Facebook, and YouTube pages as well as a link to their full site. Since consumers are turning to the internet for healthcare first to find information, hospitals and health care facilities that provide a mobile experience, have a huge advantage.
Below is a quick list of some points to keep in mind while implementing a mobile site. This is not an exhaustive list, but rather like a mobile site should be, the most pertinent information.
- Site needs to be branded with your logo, colors, etc.
- Simplicity is essential and can be achieved through a strong navigation.
- Make sure the mobile user can still get to all the information they want, or have a link to the full website.
- Make sure links take you to the correct page – avoid sending users to the homepage over and over again.
- As with all sites, avoid using Flash.
- Be sure to test your site on different devices.
- The mobile user is most likely using a finger to click on links – keep in mind that the mouse is gone
What has your experience been as a mobile user? What things drive you crazy and what things do you love on a site?
When I say St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, what do you think of?... Marlo Thomas, right? Or maybe Jennifer Aniston or Robin Williams if you’re too young to appreciate founder, Danny Thomas. At any rate, you probably get a warm feeling, as they’ve done a great job of positioning this national pediatric research center and hospital via celebrity spokespeople paired with pediatric cancer patients. Nothing fancy, just consistent messaging that pulls at the heartstrings and delivers their undisputable leadership claim.
And always with a fundraising call to action. Because this is the critical marketing goal for St. Jude's as “85 cents of every dollar goes to research and treatment” and “no child is ever turned away”. (You learn these impressive facts quickly if you look at any of their marketing communications.)
So what makes them an innovative healthcare marketing story? The way they’ve extended their brand and fundraising efforts into the social media world. With 425,000 fans, their Facebook page has customized tabs including my favorite, “Patient of the Month”, with photo and short summary, linking back to the website for a more detailed profile of the child, including an endearing patient story video. Their incredibly active wall has branded posts from the hospital, including fundraising activities, donor appreciation messages, even some from Marlo herself. Many more posts come from the loyal St. Jude’s patient family and fan base.
The YouTube page is nicely branded and chock-full of touching testimonials, both internally and externally produced. Their Twitter page is branded, and while they don’t come close to leader Mayo Clinic’s 190,000 followers, they do have 29,000. Again, the message is clear: donate to save children’s lives. Opportunities to donate, such as the “Become a Partner in Hope” button, abound throughout all social and digital media. As do opportunities to share patient stories. Interactivity is further encouraged via text or email alerts about St. Jude’s.
Social media is the perfect health care marketing avenue for an organization such as St. Jude’s as moms, key social networkers, love to connect and share experiences, especially about their children. Kudos to St. Jude’s for maximizing this medium to help us connect with and love them even more.
Share with us your favorite innovative healthcare marketing example.
Another day, another breakthrough. Remember this one? Close your eyes for a moment and it will come back. Simple, elegant, sepia-toned hospital branding with really great headlines. A different look for its time (6 years ago). A different approach to testimonials and doc touting. You guessed it. Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York. A top Healthcare Advertising Award and ANDY award winner, this print, radio and outdoor campaign did it for me.
Smart and emotionally connecting. Giving you confidence that this indeed is the hospital you turn to for the most horrific of diseases and disorders.
I searched and googled to see if this innovative healthcare marketing campaign lasted, hopefully growing, transforming with the medical center. But couldn't find anything. Nothing on the hospital website, Facebook or YouTube. I wondered what the market research said. So often healthcare marketers tire of a brand campaign (even a winning one) before the target. Another day, another ad campaign? Let me know if you know. And any favorite innovative healthcare marketing campaigns of yours.