Friday, December 12, 2014

NowIknowmemorial. Do you really?

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?


Bart Windrum said...

Hospital advertising directly contributes to patient-family harm.

The overall question I asked myself as a budding "patient activist" was "Why did we fail to manifest the peaceful deaths my parents desired and had thought were planned for?" The first query was to deconstruct the promise of care (a term I no longer use until its delivery, in felt experience, has been proven). I asked "why did we loose the first third of my parents' remaining lives before beginning to awaken to the fact that the ongoing experience we were having was not as advertised to us all along?

The typical American terminal hospitalization is 3 wks; we lose the first week to not believing what is happening and not believing what's not happening. That's the best third of your loved one's remaining life. Lost opportunities both medical and personal. Harm ensues.

Banners the size of billboards hanging off the sides of facilities, happy-couple ads and webpage banners, the wholesale usurpation of the term "care" and when we complain the absence of care is filled in by its corollary, offense, as if medicine owns the term and no other class of endeavor warrants it…

Bogus, meaningless messaging intended to obfuscate and mislead. Medical services are transactions occurring in a marketplace.

E-Patient Dave deBronkart said...

From Facebook:

I mean, seriously - the hospital in this particular case was on the "best hospitals" list even though the same site's ratings detail had it slightly WORSE than average on satisfaction, notably worse than average on "would recommend," and not ranked at all for any of the hospital's services. Yet US News gave it their "best hospitals" badge. Seriously? Don't fall for it.