I was wondering the other day about hospital advertising that you might see in your community (TV ads, billboards, newspaper ads). With the focus on improving quality and patient safety, is there a hospital somewhere that is advertising itself as a “safer” or “better quality” option? I don't mean advertising that their doctors are highly skilled or “the best.” That's different than the quality provided through hospitals processes and systems, the operational aspect as opposed to the clinical/medical aspect.
There are hospitals that advertise their efficiency differences (zero waiting or short waits for emergency room treatment). Product companies, including automakers, are often touting quality (Toyota or new GM ads) or safety (Volvo) in their advertisements.
Has anyone seen a hospital using quality or safety performance as a way of attracting patients? Click comments if you have an example to share. Would hospitals accept this? Is it risky to admit that quality hasn't been perfect all along? Would hospitals find it distasteful to point out that competing hospitals in the community are less safe? I'm curious to see what happens are more quality metrics are made public, through voluntary efforts or government requirements.
I just got a postcard ad in the mail today from a hospital that touted they are:
- “leading” (based on what??)
- “board-certified physicians” (that seems like a good starting point)
- “acclaimed” (by who?) and “recognized” (another fairly empty word)
- “providing exceptional care”
I realized it is just a postcard, but there wasn't anything really specific there. I suspect, again, that they are referring to the quality of their physicians as opposed to the quality of their processes.
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