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It's the Top of the 12th: Time to Check Your Hospital’s Box Score

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

your hospital box scoreEveryone in healthcare and hospital marketing likes business performance metrics. (Well, nearly everyone.) The benchmark or progress numbers that quantify exactly how we’re doing. It’s how marketing people (and the boss) keep score. Metrics tell us if a project is meeting its goals, or if an advertising campaign is producing results, and sometimes how we compare to peers in our world.

Right now—at the close of one year and the start of a New Year—is a good time to check your hospital’s “box score.” Just where do you stack up among other hospital facilities nationwide? Here are two independent resources for comparison purposes. One is “big picture” stuff, and one is narrowly focused on hospital social media. And both sites have a three-year track record.

WHY NOT THE BEST? Just about everyone in hospital admin, marketing and/or advertising has, at one time or another, taken notes from the WhyNotTheBest website, that provides “quality improvement resources for health care professionals.” The map, charts and data are impressive and detailed.

The hospital marketing opportunity: Interpret comparative data for the general public. The website was created and maintained specifically for healthcare professionals, and much of the information is wrapped in hospital, healthcare and government jargon.

There’s no reason that prospective patients can’t access the data online; it’s free and open to the public. But if the information harbors marketing and advertising benefits, a translation to “plain English” is probably needed. Look for the value messages that should be communicated to your internal and external publics.

FOUND IN CACHE Ed Bennett’s Found In Cache blog has it’s own maps, and it’s probably the most complete set of social media data and resources for health care professionals. With this site as well, hospital marketing professionals (more so than the general public) can compare their facility to others in respect to “who’s doing what” on the social media side of hospital marketing. As we write this, Ed has compiled information for more than 2,800 US hospitals.

The hospital marketing opportunity: See for yourself exactly what other facilities are doing in social media. Social media has steadily grown as a means to engage and connect with the hospital’s constituent publics. The Found In Cache lists are amazingly detailed, with listings and links to hospital websites, blogs, and official hospital accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare and YouTube. The information can be sorted by various criteria including by type of facility or by state for example, plus there are connecting links within the lists. (Check up on the competitor and watch what the leaders are doing.)

Healthcare deliver systems and hospitals are constantly changing, and generally for the better. It makes their services more valuable to the public they serve, and it makes for an always-challenging competitive environment.

Here at the end of the year, take a few minutes to benchmark your hospital and hospital marketing effort. How do you compare with other facilities? Do the metrics show improvements, or spotlight areas where improvements are needed? Consider the end of the year as the top of the 12th inning. What’s your box score?

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