Passing through Jacksonville Airport, we saw the advertisement above for a local hospital. I guess I should be used to ads that suggest that robotic surgery has "quicker recoveries," but this ad made me wonder what other assertions this hospital might make. What I found is all too typical of the generic, meaningless, and unsupported advertisements hawked by marketing firms and favored by hospital PR departments, CEOs, and Boards of Trustees.
I went to the website to review other aspects of the "NowIknowmemorial" campaign. Here are the other three images presented.
What does "some of the shortest" mean? Compared to what? Over what time period? I searched the website and couldn't find those answers.
Of course, OB hospitalists are a valuable service offering, but does it matter that Memorial was the first, if others now have this service? Obstetrics competition is apprently rife in Jacksonville. This article notes:
Maternity care is a major marketing tool for hospitals. A nice facility and positive birth experience can mean that the mother, who overwhelmingly makes the health care decisions for the family, will return for pediatric and other care.
And, the ultimate meaningless metric. But let's say the US News ranking has some validity. Is this hospital in the Honor Roll of Best Hospitals, one of just 17 out of over 5000 nationwide. No. So it's one of the hundreds of so-called "best hospitals."
Here's the actual page from the rankings. First, let's see how many services were ranked by US News. Well, none:
Now, let's see how the hospital compares to its peers with regard to patient satisfaction:
Oh dear, below both the state and national average with regard to likelihood to recommend, and above average with regard to unlikelihood to recommend.
Look, I don't mean to pick on this hospital. Its campaign is emblematic of so many others being run around the country. I think it's reasonable to ask: Does any of this kind of advertising contribute to the public good?