Making the coveted U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals list is a goal for many healthcare marketing professionals. This list allows you to promote your talented team and their great work as top ranked hospitals.
Recently, U.S. News announced changes for their 2023-2024 rankings set for a Summer 2023 publication. The revised ranking system gives:
- More weight to clinical outcomes and other objective quality measures
- Less weight to the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals physician opinion survey
U.S. News instigated these changes to reduce the subjective data in their rankings, which patients use to consider their healthcare options.
When your team’s efforts earn a top spot, it’s not the end of the journey. So how do you effectively communicate those rankings in a way that celebrates your organization’s success and engages patients? And even if your organization didn’t make the list this year, it’s always important to find ways to highlight awards and recognition within your marketing strategy.
Here are a few ideas for your team to use when marketing hospital rankings:
Dedicate a page on your website
Making it as one of the nation’s top-ranked hospitals is no small feat. It’s the type of news that should have a dedicated page on your website. You can direct marketing campaigns to this page and track engagement from different channels. Having all the information on one page can also help you keep ranking information current and organized from year to year.
Use this dedicated page to explain what you did to earn the top spot and why it matters. You can also link to specific studies, programs and physicians who may have contributed to your ranking. U.S. News & World Report also has badges and other logos you can add to the page.
Highlight patient stories
Patient stories can connect you with people who need your services on an emotional level. Consider adding a few to that dedicated website page we mentioned. You may even want to tie the stories to any specialty areas that received recognition.
Highlight patient stories on your:
- Social media
- YouTube channel
- Email newsletters and campaigns
- News interviews and briefings
Patients may not fully understand the magnitude of being a nationally ranked hospital. But they can better understand the significance when they hear about your exceptional care from a patient.
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Create a social media campaign
Social media is the perfect outlet for marketing hospital rankings. Creating a social media campaign is a simple and cost-effective way to get the message out to many people. Your patients are also more likely to see the news on social media than in a typical press release.
In the social campaign, highlight details about each of your recognized service lines. Make sure to focus on items relevant to patient care and how you stand out in that field.
Market rankings to healthcare professionals
As much as patients may be impressed by your hospital’s ranking, other healthcare professionals will take notice, too. Promoting your organization’s success to internal and external colleagues can have a big impact. People working within the healthcare field know the expertise needed to earn a top spot.
Try using physician newsletters and social media platforms like LinkedIn to spread the word to a broader professional audience. News of your ranking could entice professionals to join your team or boost patient referrals.
Produce video testimonials
Video is one of the best ways to get information to your audience. Video testimonials from patients and physicians make your organization seem accessible, personal and relatable. You can post these on social media channels and use them on your website.
While it’s tempting to brag about your rankings (they are hard-earned, after all), your audience will be more receptive if you show them why you earned those rankings. As responsible advocates for healthcare, explain how U.S. News & World Report ranks hospitals and services, then talk about how you met or exceeded those parameters.
Acknowledge your integrated care team
Being named one of the top-ranked hospitals comes with lots of recognition and traffic. Use the distinction to acknowledge your integrated care team and their efforts to bring excellence to each service line. And your internal team will love the kudos! You didn’t reach the top spot alone, so use this opportunity to promote everyone involved.
Promote the rankings internally
Send a thank you email to your employees for embracing your mission/vision and providing quality care. Your employees can be your biggest advocates. Being part of an organization publicly acknowledged as highly rated can give them a sense of pride and increase their drive to succeed. It can also encourage them to look beyond their role and see what your hospital as a whole can accomplish.
Try these methods when marketing hospital rankings internally:
Employee newsletter or email
Do you have a regular employee newsletter? Include information about your ranking so all your employees are aware. Be sure to highlight everyone’s efforts, especially any service lines or individuals who may have directly contributed to the success. If you don’t have a newsletter, a company-wide email also works.
Employees can connect and share the win with coworkers on your organization’s intranet. Create a post, notification or banner to spread the news and thank team members.
Physical thank you cards
Sometimes an email doesn’t stand out when you get hundreds a day. A physical thank you card can break us out of our digital mode and create a direct, personal touch. You might not be able to deliver a card to everyone, but getting one to as many employees as possible can help share the joy in the success.
In-person meetings aren’t as common in the age of COVID-19, but when you (safely) can, the connection is much more meaningful. If you can give coworkers and employees a big congratulations in person, they will surely feel the sincerity. You can also encourage management to congratulate those they see on site.
Marketing hospital rankings
You’ve spent time and effort achieving this recognition, so make sure you’re effectively marketing your hospital rankings. Don’t be afraid to use as many resources as possible — the ranking is significant, after all.
But remember, while your hospital may have received this honor, it’s the people who made it possible (your employees and clinicians). Recognizing them and their work will more likely resonate with internal and external audiences. And don’t forget the power of storytelling to highlight your expertise and explain why you’ve made it as one of the top hospitals.
With all these efforts combined, you’ll showcase more than just a spot on a list. Instead, you’ll highlight your most powerful marketing assets: your expertise, compassion and quality patient care.
Contact WriterGirl for your hospital ranking content
Need help getting started on your hospital ranking content? WriterGirl specializes in creating custom content that’s tailored to your audience. Contact us to learn how we can help you reach your marketing goals.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2021. It was updated on May 17, 2023. Elizabeth Creehan contributed to this blog post’s update.