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Abundance of Healthcare Quality Awards Weakens Marketing Value

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, May 8, 2013

"I worry a lot about these ratings," Jerod Loeb, executive vice president for healthcare quality evaluation at the Joint Commission, told Kaiser Health News. "They're all justifiable efforts to provide information, but at the end of the day every single one of them is flawed in some respect. Rather than enlightening, we may be confusing."

If even a top official from the Joint Commission thinks hospital rankings are confusing to the public, how can promoting a top quality award have any meaning—especially if so many other organizations are receiving similar accolades?


See Also: Leapfrog's Safety Report Card Alarms Hospitals


It's important for marketers to remember to go back to basics and really consider how to promote quality in a way that connects with the consumer: Tell patient stories. Be clear. And be transparent.

Quality is a top concern for most patients, but in a time when quality rankings are a dime a dozen, it's critical to make sure your organization stands out and your message sticks in the mind of the consumer.

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1 comments on "Abundance of Quality Awards Weakens Marketing Value"


Mike Spanjar (5/8/2013 at 6:30 PM)
I don't see this as the travesty you've portrayed. Health care marketing is an exceptionally competitive space. Our many health care clients have varying success earning awards. The hospital that receives multiple top ratings from the most distinguished award organizations is proud of its accomplishments and wants to beat its chest so customers feel good about their affiliation with that hospital (and so the neighboring hospital system's customers take notice). The center that receives middling accolades is anxious to see how it can leverage them. The fees these organizations charge to use their logos or reproduce results don't negate the validity of the awards. Many have extraordinarily rigid criteria. Further, I believe consumers deserve to know where the quality hospitals are, regardless of which one has the most memorable advertising. Yes, we develop emotional campaigns. They, too, are important as part of the mix. But just try to tell a stellar hospital to keep their awards to themselves. Not gonna happen.