Here is a link to the hospitals affiliating with MD Anderson. Does this help their marketing departments drive more cancer business? Does it make them a better cancer department? The answer is likely yes and yes.
1) For hospital marketers: MD Anderson has consistently delivered the best branding in the country – arguably the world – related to cancer. To say the best branding in all of cancer treatment does not drive patients in the door is to deny provider branding can work.
I have gone on record as saying I think 90% of hospital branding is probably a waste of money. But I have also said MD Anderson is one of the exceptions to the rule — just like Mayo is for everything, Cleveland Clinic is for heart surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering is for Cancer, and some universities are in specific areas of expertise. An MD Anderson affiliation is a chance for hospitals in smaller towns to leverage their years of credibility built by an unimpeachable cancer brand.
2) It also helps the patients because any continuing education makes you better at what you do, and the affiliated docs learn through the MD Anderson intellectual property to get their certification. No doubt, that has to be good for the patient.
Am I encouraging hospitals to affiliate with a national brand? Maybe. For some providers it could be good for the patient and good for the business.
What has your experience been with affiliations? Is it something your hospital might consider? Why or why not? Let’s hear your feedback in the comments below, or give me a call at (317) 684-7777.