According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up to 80 percent of the healthcare decisions in their households. The Marketing HealthCare to Women Research Company has identified that more than 60 percent of all doctors’ appointments are made by women. Clearly, this target is essential to the fiscal stability of any hospital. Women’ services are growing in health care and will continue to grow in their importance as women continue to be the healthcare decision makers.
In order to capture more of the women’s health market, administrative leaders must constantly improve their hospital’s quality and identify competitive opportunities. As an important step in the analysis of how well your women’s health services are doing, organizations should benchmark themselves against the best in the country. They should also benchmark themselves against their local competitive hospitals to identify key differentiators in quality, market share, service offerings, and so on.
When benchmarking your organization’s women’s health services, hospital executives should look at competitive quality outcomes, market share, consumer and referring physician quantitative market research, the communications of these services in the marketplace, and the breadth and depth of services offered by hospitals. This should be done once a year at minimum. Trend analysis from year to year is also valuable.
Quality benchmarking is one of the most important analysis tools a hospital can use. It is vital to identify key area of improvement for internal quality initiatives. Participating in national and local quality initiatives through some of the organizations noted below is also helpful in the improvement of your hospital’s services.
QUALITY BENCHMARKING FOR WOMEN’S AND CHILDREN’S SERVICES MAY INCLUDE SOURCES SUCH AS:
- Council of Women and Infants Specialty Hospitals (CWISH)
- National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI)
- Vermont Oxford Network
- ‘Your Ideal NICU’
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement Perinatal Collaborative
- Harvard Team Performance Plus
- National Perinatal Information Center
- National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI)
- National Research Corporation-NRC Picker
Market share is evaluated through state healthcare statistics identified through a number of various sources including CMS. Depending on your state, the required data on patient discharges varies. For example, in New Jersey hospitals are only required to report inpatient data where in Pennsylvania and Florida both inpatient and outpatient are required. This information should be reviewed by Diagnosis Related Group (DRG).
Marketers can benchmark market share by DRG in comparison to the competition. This can be tracked on a yearly basis to identify how successful your hospital has been at offering and marketing the services required to gain market share.
Ideally, a quantitative research study should be conducted by a hospital every year to trend its success at achieving its Return-on-Objectives (see the HealthLeaders Finance “Connect Branding to the Bottom Line” article.) Benchmarking can be conducted by awareness, image, preference, recall on last visit share, and loyalty. And you can use similar surveys provided to consumers, employees, and internal (employed) and external (non-employed) physicians. Then a GAP analysis can be run to find the “gaps” in what these different targets perceive about your hospital’s services.
Research companies can also ask these same respondents key attributes which will reveal why they believe what they believe. What is the most important attribute for referring physicians and consumers when choosing cardiovascular, oncology, orthopedic, or obstetrics services? Benchmarked attributes may include overall reputation, physician experience, quality outcomes, caring nursing staff, convenience/close to home, patient experience, or environmental issues.
Another valuable benchmark for your marketing department is called “Share of Voice” or “Spending Analysis.” This allows marketers to identify how much your competitors are advertising their services compared to how much your hospital is advertising. The data are reflected in volume percentages or Share of Voice, as well as dollars spent or Spending Analysis.
As you know, consumers are bombarded with advertising messages every day. This analysis will show exactly how much money hospitals are spending on what mediums (TV, radio, billboard, print, etc.) for which service lines. Marketers can also drill down into what TV and radio stations are being used and when. This information is important because if your benchmarking shows that your hospital is highly competitive to the services, quality, and access offered by its competitors, but is not achieving equitable market share, it may be that the competitors are “drowning out” your hospitals marketing efforts.
There are many levels of women’s health programs around the country varying from full service, stand alone hospitals, to department structured services for women with “virtual women’s packages” designed by the hospital’s marketing department. There are also different focuses for services from cancer to maternity. A good start is to identify some benchmark models and which categories apply to your hospital and women’s program and where your hospital falls in categorization.
- Current Models of Women’s Health Programs/Hospitals
- Continuum Model (Stand Alone Facility)
- Breast Cancer Model
- OBGYN Model
- Education “Membership” Model
- Navigator Model
- Concierge Model
As Richard Ireland of The Snowmass Institute says, “Virtually all successful centers have a retail function, a navigator role, membership, specialty services, and are highly integrated across all service lines and most clinical services.” Below are some highlights of each model to help identify which your organization fits into.
- Continuum Model Highlights
- Most have their own stand alone facility or pavilion
- Offer full continuum of cradle to grave services for women
- Offer spa and retail services
- Offer holistic services
- Offer cosmetic services
- Offer concierge and navigator services
- Offer a membership for perks such as family care coordination, patient portal, better food, more time with physicians, room upgrades, and educational materials and event passes
- Facilities are often “green”, relaxing and inviting
- Most facilities have specialty art designed into their architectural designs
- Provide Tours of their facilities and are with their Tourism Bureau
- They are combinations of the Four Seasons and Tertiary/Quaternary Hospitals
Breast Cancer Model Highlights
- Usually hospital within a hospital or virtual
- Facility designed for soothing, supportive environment
- Continuum of breast and GYN cancer services
- Mental Health
OBGYN Model Highlights
- Offer luxurious private rooms with hotel feel
- Offer “coupling” nursing care
- Offer specialty menus
- Regular and high risk OB
- Regular and high risk neonatal
- GYN services and surgical procedures
Education “Membership” Model
- Premium physician time
- Executive screenings and Smart Center access
- Free executive lunch or wine & cheese
- Receive free or discounted
- Women’s Health eNewsletters and Publications
- Access to Education and Health Portals
- RSS feeds for more info on specific clinical areas
- Mobile updates (health news, appointment reminders, etc.)
- Health Events (education, screenings, etc.)
- Cookbook, T-shirts, etc.
- Cost implies a “premium” added value
- Allows for relationship building
- Allows for capture and drill down Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Now, there are obviously some overlaps in these categories, but it is a good place to start when identifying benchmark hospitals. There is often confusion in the difference between the roles of a women’s health navigator versus a concierge. Here are some clarifications:
The Role of the Women’s Health Navigator
- Focal point of a women’s clinical service line
- Usually has an expertise in one clinical area (OB, oncology, etc)
- Assists in processes from admission to recovery
- Is a caregiver confidant, a patient advocate, an educator, a liaison, a motivator, and a reliable point of contact and support
- Is an expert in women’s health
- Assists women both with healthy living strategies and clinical diagnosis, options, and treatment plans
- Ensures care continuity, arranging appointments and acting as a liaison between all parties involved – from physician to insurer to support personnel
The Role of the Women’s Health Concierge
- Focal point of a women’s health center
- Ideally coordinates services across/within key clinical programs
- Adds a layer of “hotel like” customer service to the patient experience with room upgrades, menus, and connecting people
- Contact Concierge thru Web, call center, and phone
- Concierge connects to call center, clinical patient navigators or department to set up appointments
- “Cross-sells” or coordinates all of a families healthcare needs
- Concierge coordinates research a particular health concern in a Women’s Resource Center
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified several women’s hospitals across the country to utilize for benchmarking. Although there are many more to choose from, below are some of the benchmarks recommended by category. Recommended benchmark Health Models for Women is available at www.womenhealth.gov/owh/multidisciplinary/ccoe/coe_map.pdf.
Continuum Model w/ Facility Examples
- Woman’s Hospital of Baton Rouge (LA)
- The Weinberg Center for Women’s Health & Medicine at Mercy (Baltimore)
- Aurora Women’s Pavilion at Aurora Healthcare (WI)
- Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women (Memphis)
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston)
- OHSU Center for Women’s Health (Oregon Health & Science University)
Continuum Model w/o Facility Examples
- Women’s Health Services at John Hopkins (Baltimore)
- Women’s Health at the University of California (San Francisco Medical Center)
- Center for Women’s Health, Shawnee Mission Medical Center (KS)
- MUSC’s East Cooper Women’s Center (Medical University of South Carolina)
- Aspirus Women’s Health (WI)
- The Mary Telfair Women’s Hospital (St. Joseph’s-Candler in GA)
Breast Cancer Model Examples
- Women’s Cancer Care of Seattle, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center
- Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (Boston)
- The Women’s Cancer Center of Nevada
- The Gynecologic Oncology Center at the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute
OBGYN Model Examples
- Andrews Women’s Hospital at Baylor All Saints Medical Center (Fort Worth)
- Women & Infants Center for Reproduction and Infertility (Providence)
- Women & Infants Pavilion at Antelope Valley Hospital (CA)
- The University of Louisville Hospital Center for Women and Infants
- Margot Perot Center at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital (Dallas)
Education Membership Model Examples
- The Women’s Health Program at University of Michigan Health System
- Aspirus Women’s Health (WI)
- Ripa Center for Women’s Health at Cooper Health System (NJ)
Navigator Model Examples
- Andrew’s Women’s Hospital at Baylor Medical Center (Fort Worth)
- Summit Health (Chambersburg, PA)
- Southern Illinois Healthcare [Avon Grant]
Concierge Model Examples
- Johns Hopkins Women’s Concierge Service (Baltimore)
- Weinberg Center for Women’s Health & Medicine at Mercy (Baltimore)
CASE STUDY IN GROWING YOUR WOMEN’S SERVICES:
Woman’s Hospital (Baton Rouge)
For those of you who attended this year’s Snowmass Conference, you had the pleasure of hearing President and CEO Teri Fontenot’s presentation – Woman’s Hospital Point of View: How Innovation Drives Success in Women’s Health. Using innovation and benchmarks to success, Woman’s Hospital has grown dramatically since its inception forty years ago. Woman’s Hospital is a Magnet® hospital with a Level III NICU regional referral center that has statewide reach. With 300 staffed beds, 82 beds being for the NICU, it is a safety net and lifeline in a disaster.
Started by physicians who saw a need in their community, the hospital opened its doors in 1968. In the1970-80’s it added 4 floors, breast and osteoporosis centers, and opened a NICU and GYN oncology unit.
Through benchmarking and needs analysis in the 1990’s, the hospital saw the opportunity to add a maternal fetal medicine, urodynamics center, reproductive endocrinology, satellite mammography, dedicated NICU O.R., medical office building, and a parking garage. It also expanded its labor and
delivery, NICU, radiology, and lab. In the last eight years, the hospital has added digital mammography, bariatric surgery, gastroenterology, robotic technology, and a wellness center featuring exercise/aerobics classes, indoor jogging track, swimming pool, weight loss program, yoga, and a spa.
Currently, the outpatient services include physical and occupational therapy, audiology, mammography, bone density, sex therapy, rehab, and more.
Through research and benchmarking, the Woman’s Hospital identified a need for community mammography outreach. Their program currently provides 5,700 mammograms annually within a 60-80 mile radius at public health centers, employer locations, churches, and shopping centers.
Through needs assessments and benchmarking, the Woman’s Hospital identified critical areas to develop and expand. This information fed into their strategic planning allowing for clear identification of opportunities to invest in.
In order to capture more of the women’s heath market, administrative leaders should look at competitive quality outcomes, market share, and consumer and referring physician quantitative market research, the communications of these services in the marketplace, and the breadth and depth of services offered by hospitals. The valuable information obtained through this work will allow clear understanding of where your women’s services stand against national best practices as well as your local competition. From there, hospital administrators can make the important choices of what to invest in to get your hospital where it wants to go.
To ask questions or inquire about consultant services for growing your women’s service line, please contact Gabrielle DeTora at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As seen on HealthLeaders Media.