Newsflash: Quality is not a differentiator in healthcare.

Your patients expect your hospital to offer the highest quality in patient care, safety and cleanliness.

Awards saying that you have those things don’t matter to them.


They thought you already did.

When I read Seth Godin’s blog post, Misunderstanding Quality, I immediately thought how appropriate it is for hospital communicators. Even though he’s talking about Kodak and Polaroid, the underlying theme of misunderstanding what people want applies to our industry.

As we move from “heads in beds” to population management, and patients are forced to think about healthcare decisions (rather than simply going where their doctor tells them to), understanding what quality means to your population becomes an increasingly important part of the conversation.

So, what do your patients care about? Here are a few examples of what we think makes a hospital stand out:

Swapping recipes. Baylor Health Care System has shared more than 200 recipes with followers on Pinterest. This is a great way to show followers that you care about their health.

Virtual tours. Going to a hospital can be intimidating. Sharing a virtual tour of your campus like Cleveland Clinic can help patients feel more familiar.

Brand journalism. Advocate Health Care defines what brand journalism is really all about: Providing health news your patients can use. Its website is updated with infographics, snappy blog posts and health tips.