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May 19, 2022

The 20 top health system brands (and 5 ways to boost your own brand)

Daily Briefing

    Monigle, in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Society for Health Care Strategy and Market Development, on Tuesday released a report listing the top U.S. health systems by brand experience, with 19 Advisory Board members making the top 20.


    For the survey, Monigle surveyed 28,831 consumers between November and December 2021 to determine their perceptions of health systems' brands based on how well they delivered a humanized experience for patients.

    All health systems in the study were evaluated using Monigle's Humanizing Brand Experience framework, which uses a structural equation model (SEM) focused on:

    • Sensorial: What consumers see and hear from a brand, including its buzz, aesthetics, and environmental spaces
    • Intellectual: What consumers associate and understand about a brand, including its employees, outcomes, and transparency
    • Emotional: The emotional connection a brand builds with consumers, including a sense of security, freedom, and confidence
    • Behavioral: How a brand builds engagement with consumers, including through positive interactions, digital tools, and virtual care

    According to Monigle, the SEM has been shown to drive both brand choice and advocacy among consumers. For this year's ranking, Monigle applied a weighted moving average to brands' composite scores to account for past years' performance and assigned more value to recency. All brand scores were also weighted by health care engagement in each market.

    The top 20 health systems by brand performance

    Overall, Monigle ranked 201 health systems nationwide based on their brand performance in delivering a humanized experience for patients. The top 20 health systems were:

    1. Cleveland Clinic*
    2. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center*
    3. The Christ Hospital*
    4. UC Davis Health
    5. Nebraska Medicine*
    6. Johns Hopkins Medicine*
    7. University of Michigan Health*
    8. Valley Health System*
    9. UAB Medicine*
    10. Baptist Health South Florida*
    11. Massachusetts General Hospital*
    12. UT Southwestern Medical Center*
    13. University of Miami Health System*
    14. Kadlec*
    15. Mayo Clinic*
    16. UNC Health*
    17. OhioHealth*
    18. Bronson Healthcare*
    19. Memorial Healthcare System*
    20. Spectrum Health*

    (* denotes an Advisory Board member)

    Download the report to see the full list.

    5 tips to improve your health system's brand

    As health care changes, health systems will need to update their brand, culture, and experience to meet consumers' expectations, the report notes. To help health systems humanize their brands, Monigle offers five recommendations:

    1. Advocate for human experiences in your brand and marketing

    Leaders should work to advocate for consumers' needs during executive and team meetings, focusing on how the brand can offer a human perspective. In addition, leaders should evaluate their company's culture planning, training, and scripting to see how empathy and efficiency are valued.

    Monigle says it is also important to consistently track consumers' feelings toward a brand, so that leaders will have access to feedback and be able to build upon it.

    2. Prioritize access to care and whole-person health in your offerings

    To understand consumers' expectations, leaders should take a broader, more holistic view of how people engage with their health, wellness, and care. Doing so will allow companies to identify potential gaps in their services or opportunities to expand offerings and access to care.

    Monigle also recommends companies create panels for quick feedback from consumers, patients, and employees. Instead of waiting several months to make decisions, the data from these panels will allow leaders to make decisions in just a few days.

    3. Improve your digital tools and virtual care experiences

    Although many health care brands used "duct tape and elbow grease" to develop digital tools and virtual care options at the start of the pandemic, Monigle writes that companies should now work to refine and improve these online experiences for consumers.

    "Start treating your virtual experiences like a digital marketing testing ground," Monigle writes. "For nearly zero cost, you can trial messaging, communications hierarchy, and visual or verbal cues dynamically. Test concepts, track behavior, and solicit feedback; the virtual experience is a vast, untapped testing ground."

    4. Embrace your consumers' diversity

    "It's essential to explore and document the rich diversity and nuance that define the consumers that make up your market," Monigle writes. "To do so requires a repeatable segmentation model that flexes by service line, life stage, and health engagement."

    These segmentation models can also be built directly into company's EHRs and other systems, which will provide "incredible richness, balancing consumer-based behavior data with actual usage experiences."

    5. Be inclusive leaders

    In order to make health care more equitable and accessible for all people, companies need to ensure that inclusivity is one of their top priorities and put pressure on payers, vendors, and service providers to be more inclusive.

    "For years, healthcare brands have focused branding efforts on standing out in the health world. But what if your purpose were more about changing the health world?" Monigle writes. "The last few years have pushed us to ask bigger, bolder questions as an industry and a society. How will you and your brand answer the call?" (Diaz, Becker's Health IT, 5/17; Monigle Humanizing Brand Experience Vol. 5 report, 5/17)


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