ST. JOSEPH’S MERCY – RED RULES CLINICAL SAFETY PROGRAM
St. Joseph’s Mercy need a creative internal campaign to drive awareness among surgeons, clinicians and co-workers regarding “Red Rules” – rules in the operating room that, if not followed, could greatly impact patient safety. The program needed to recruit the physicians as champions while empowering co-workers to “speak up” and stop the line if a red rule was broken in the operating room. The campaign needed to carry some very specific and detailed safety information, however, it needed to cut through the clutter of all the other safety initiatives that co-workers were exposed to.
We developed a “Speak Up for Red Rules” campaign that blended physician engagement with co-worker awareness. The campaign conveyed to key co-workers the important role of every person in the OR to “stop the line” if a Red Rule was not followed.
The messaging focused on:
- It’s the Right Thing to Do
- Collective Responsibility in the OR: It’s Our Patient
- Our Patients Have Entrusted Us with Their Care
- We All Have a Vested Interest in Outcomes
The materials developed included:
- Physician Engagement Materials
- Online Video: Showcases 4-5 physicians endorsing the Red Rules program, interview with Tim, model behaviors (2 min)
- Direct Mail (50): Featuring all 3 Red Rules
- Co-Worker Awareness Materials
- 1 page flyer
- 3 Posters Featuring 1 Red Rule Each
- Dry erase boards with Red Rules logo and messaging – Red pens with Red Rules Messaging
- Mercy Messenger – article and word game
By actively engaging physicians at the forefront of the campaign, we helped to carry the message to co-workers through key OR influencers, thus empowering co-workers to speak up and stop the line when a Red Rule was broken. St. Joseph’s achieved record compliance for the program. The integrated nature of the campaign dramatically improved co-workers’ awareness of the program.
ST. JOSEPH’S MERCY – CLINIC CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT
The patient volumes for St. Joseph’s Mercy Express Care were down. The clinic locations were not optimal and there was very little awareness about Express Care in the community. St. Joseph’s was getting ready to open a new Express Care in a more visible location adjacent to the hospital. Though there was thought given to “mar-keting” the new Express Care location, little attention was given to a new customer experience upon opening.
We approached the opening of the new Express Care location as a true “product launch”. We started by gathering together a cross-functional team of clinic managers, doctors, operations managers and marketing managers to re-evaluate the Ex-press Care value proposition. Before any marketing materials were considered, we conducted a patient wait-time analysis to set metrics for Check-in to Exam Room, Check-in to Be Seen by a Doctor, and Check-in to Check-out. Next, a customer experience assessment was conducted to optimize the Express Care environment, patient flow, and “touch-point” branding, such as greeting and patient engage-ment. A launch campaign was then developed that included radio, direct mail, online, outdoor and sig-nage and point of care retailing. An open house and ribbon cutting was promoted with the Chamber of Commerce to initiate a PR campaign that included radio and print placements.
Over the next 6 months, patient volumes more than doubled at the Express Care Clinic, wait times re-duced by 20%, while patients had more quality time to spend with physicians. Patient satisfaction also improved due to the enhanced customer experience.
ST. JOSEPH’S MERCY – HEALTH EXPERIENCE REFORM
Partially due to economic influences, St. Joseph’s Mercy was experiencing a dramatic rise in non-emergent cases in the Emergency Department. There was an 11% increase in ED volumes in just four months and non-emergent cases increased to 34% of total cases. While St. Joseph’s wanted to be true to its mission and faith-based heritage in caring for the poor, it became evident that something needed to be done to counter the misuse of the Emergency Department for minor ailments for uninsured patients. Given the fact that it costs 30% less to treat a non-emergent case in alternative access points, the goal was to divert such cases to more cost-effective urgent care and primary care settings. This meant behavior change for both co-workers and the community.
First, we established a cross-functional team of doctors, nurses, administrators, communicators and mission leaders to ensure that the program considered all points of view. Next, we created a Customer Experience Strategy to clearly document the impact a new ED policy would have on the patient experience, making sure that there was a seamless transfer of information from the Emergency Department to the urgent care clinic or assigned a primary care physician. Next we crafted an internal and external awareness campaign called “Know Before You Go” – a fully-integrated strategy that emphasized the importance of the patient’s role in helping to reduce healthcare costs by utilizing the right avenue for care.
The campaign included:
- Public Relations, including radio and print
- Online Communications, educating the community
- Advertising in local newspapers
- Signage in the ED, urgent care and doctors offices
- Scripting for co-workers on the front lines
St. Joseph’s Mercy was able to take a thought leadership position on health experience reform while countering any potentially negative perceptions of its new Emergency Department policy. Non-emergent cases to the ED declined by 10% and hundreds of thousands of dollars were saved by diverting patients to more appropriate access points. In addition, the program helped a significant number of patients find primary care physicians.
ST. JOSEPH’S MERCY – BRAND & MESSAGING
St. Joseph’s Mercy, based in Hot Springs, AR, was well respected by area residents because of its long-established history in the region. However, due to a number of external issues, it’s brand had taken a hit in the media and its brand image was fragmented and unfocused. Furthermore, there needed to be alignment between any external brand marketing and internal cultural messages that made the brand live in the daily lives of patients and co-
workers. St. Joseph’s Mercy needed to revitalize its brand, from the ground up, but that brand had to be believable. It needed to express visible outcomes in terms of an enhanced customer experience.
Internal focus groups were held to establish the core values and differentia-tors that motivated St. Joseph’s 2,000 co-workers who functioned as brand ambassadors in the community. Follow-ing that insight, creative messaging and positioning “hypotheses” were developed, which were then tested in community focus groups. Simultaneously, a brand audit was conducted to review how the brand expressed itself over the past two years. The compiled findings determined that St. Joseph’s core promise to the community centered on re-establishing two important attributes: 1) the experience and dedication of its professional staff of physicians and nurses; 2) a renewed effort on improving the experience of customers and patients at various touch points of care.
We created a brand strategy focused on the concept of “experience” – Experience Matters (yours and ours). This high-level brand position was reinforced by very focused customer experience manage-ment initiatives to ensure the authenticity of our message. The campaign was ex-ecuted consistently through all aspects of internal and external marketing materials, from public relations, to internal adoption posters, to educational events, to TV, radio and print ads, as well as online. Over the course of 18 months, the brand re-posi-tioning has greatly enhanced St. Joseph’s awareness while providing a consistent message for the community and co-work-ers to internalize.
ST. JOSEPH’S MERCY – PHYSICIAN INTEGRATION (TEAM MERCY)
A cornerstone of St. Joseph’s Mercy’s integrated healthcare strategy is “physician integration” – assimilating physician practices into Mercy’s network of physicians, promising patients increased access and more coordinated care. As a part of this strategy, Mercy acquired a long-established physician practice, the Heritage Physician Group. Mercy needed a strategy to introduce these physicians to internal co-workers as well as the community. The strategy had to fuse the new physicians with the mission of Mercy, as well as create awareness in the community about the benefits of physician integration.
We developed a coordinated campaign called “Team Mercy” that had a two-fold objective. First, to help assimilate the new physicians into the Mercy culture and internalize the notion of one team, one mission. Second, to develop an external campaign that engaged the new physicians into the community in new ways, helping them build their practice while promoting the community benefits of physician integration. The campaign comprised:
- Public Relations, including radio and print interviews with the new doctors
- Online Communications, including a Team Mercy micro-site that had the “team roster”
- Advertising in local newspapers
- Outdoor ads
- Physician “Baseball Cards” that were used as referral pieces
- An internal Team Mercy kick-off event where co-workers could eat, drink, meet the docs and see the new campaign materials
The Team Mercy campaign helped to transform a physician integration initiative into a true cultural assimilation and celebration. The campaign helped to drive awareness about the new physicians coming on board while explaining to the community the benefits of a more coordinated approach between doctor, clinic and hospital. The campaign received rave reviews by doctors and their staff and helped to increase their referrals (patients actually requested cards to give to their friends and family).