Assessing the value placed on hospital awards

[The research] has actually saved us money because we aren’t spending it promoting awards that are not going to drive our business. The other thing we learned is we need to do a better job of promoting ourselves, so the awards are more in line with our brand.

Business Issue

A large, regional health system sought to understand the value consumers place on hospital awards like U.S. News Best Hospitals, Watson Health Top 15 Health Systems, and Healthgrades Top Hospitals. The system needed to understand which award—if any—would offer the most long-term marketing value.

Health systems often invest significant resources to purchase the rights and promote hospital awards so understanding how much value they hold among consumers when making healthcare decisions—like selecting a hospital or new healthcare provider—is critical in evaluating the financial investment.

What We Did

To evaluate the benefits that each award offered specific to our client’s health services, Escalent designed an online survey that leveraged a sequential monadic design and multiple trade-off exercises.

We asked respondents to “trade-off” various criteria when selecting a hospital or health system to understand the patient decision-making process. We then used two paired comparison exercises—pre- and post-award education—to assess which awards instilled more confidence when selecting a hospital or health system. The final and most critical component of the research measured the impact branded awards (or, in some cases, no award) had on various brand perceptions of key health systems.

Result

Escalent identified the “winning” award for our client—the research clearly established which hospital award would provide the health system with the longest life and value to attract and retain patients. And, perhaps more importantly, it identified which awards would not add value and thus not be worth the financial investment.

Additionally, Escalent mapped out the key areas of opportunity in education and promotional elements for the best messaging around the awards.

Our findings enabled the client to make a data-driven decision, which resulted in financial savings for the organization, by only promoting the award that demonstrated the ability to elevate the brand.

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