How to Measure Your Brand

The following is reprinted with permission from strategicplanningMD.

Despite having rankings for everything imaginable in healthcare — patient satisfaction, core measures, best hospitals, best places to work and more — the industry still hasn't figured out how to measure and rank hospital brands. So, pending an accepted standard, we decided to tackle this on our own.

With all of the data that hospitals have at their disposal, much of it already used for strategic planning purposes, it's not too difficult to measure your brand. If you subscribe to the notion that a hospital's brand is largely experientially based, then there are many metrics that can help you illuminate the power of your brand.

Here is our list of brand indicators that deserve a watchful eye:

•    Physician satisfaction: If I had to select a single metric to correlate with brand power, I would choose physician satisfaction. If the physicians don't like your hospital, they won't refer or admit patients to your facility, and worse, they will tell patients who actually want to use your hospital exactly why they shouldn't. What's more, with so many hospital ranking surveys based, to some degree, on physician preferences, not having this group tightly aligned with you can spell brand disaster. Metric to watch: Overall physician satisfaction.

•    Patient satisfaction: Ultimately, your brand hinges on patient satisfaction. The word-of-mouth advertising that results from a patient's experience is more powerful than any TV spot, billboard, print ad, or direct mail piece that you can produce. Metric to watch: Overall patient satisfaction.

•    CMS likelihood to recommend: This is the ultimate question in the CMS [Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems] survey. More than likely, patients who are not willing to recommend your hospital are telling their friends and neighbors why they shouldn't use your hospital. Metric to watch: Likelihood to recommend.

•    Employee satisfaction: The ability to turn your employees into brand ambassadors is a powerful strategy that has not been leveraged by many healthcare organizations. For a mid-sized hospital with 2,000 employees, their potential market reach is dramatic. And because they work for you, what they tell people about your hospital is taken as gospel. Unhappy employees who are bad-mouthing you away from the hospital can destroy brands faster than a couple of ill-advised Tiger Woods text messages. Metric to watch: Overall employee satisfaction.

So, if you take the four factors above (overall physician satisfaction, overall patient satisfaction, CMS likelihood to recommend and overall employee satisfaction), all of which are on a 100-point scale, and multiply them together, you will get an indication of your brand strength.

For example, Hospital A has the following metrics: 72.6 overall physician satisfaction, 81.5 overall patient satisfaction, 67 percent likelihood to recommend and 56.9 overall employee satisfaction. Multiply all four scores and divide the product by 1,000,000 (to convert the score back to a 100-point scale), and you discover that Hospital A's brand strength is 22.6.

Comparatively, a hospital that scores 90 in each of the four categories would have a brand strength of 65.6, and one that scores 80 in each of the four categories would have a brand strength of 41.0.

While this might not be the perfect solution to rating and ranking hospital brands, it's not a bad place to start.

More Articles on strategicplanningMD:

6 Brand Strategy Rules of Great Hospitals
Balanced Scorecards Revealed

Do You Know Your Strategic Planning Terminology?

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