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America’s oldest hospital located in New York City is one of the most successful and distinguished hospitals to date. Bellevue Hospital established in 1736 celebrates its 283rd anniversary this year in 2019 and is considered a national treasure. They’re history includes providing innovative contributions to public health, medical science and education (History, n.d.) and far exceeds the national recommendation for “door to STEMI time” (History, n.d.). . They are known for providing many services including, medical, surgical and psychiatric care and are referred many times for complex cases that require special training and attention. They’re also nationally recognized for specific specialties including, but not limited to cardiology, neurology, toxicology, and neonatology (History n.d.). Their mission, vision and values has guided them and is at the forefront as to why they have been so successful and continue one of the top leading Medical Organizations in the country.
Mission, Vision and Strategic Goals
Since 1736, Bellevue Hospital has followed their mission to “provide the highest quality of care to New York’s population and to deliver health care to every patient with dignity, cultural sensitivity and compassion, regardless of ability of pay” (History, n.d.). Their role in fulfilling their mission is providing safe and appropriate care, treatment and services at each and every encounter (Bellevue Hospital Center, 2012, pg. 50). Being the oldest and one of the highest designated hospitals in the US, their vision to be one of the top 10 safest hospitals in the nation ( Bellevue Hospital Center, 2012, pg. 3.), These help set the bar high for other organizations across the country as Bellevue sets some of the nation’s highest standards of care.
As a renowned healthcare organization, Bellevue uses a systematic method to improve patient outcomes and patient safety called performance improvement or PI (Bellevue Hospital Center, 2012, pg. 50). At Bellevue, PI is known as “Breakthrough PI Methodology” and is a team based problem solving approach (Bellevue Hospital Center, 2012. Pg. 50) that utilizes strategic goals known as True North Metrics. The five True North Metrics include quality and safety, human development, delivery and throughput, costs, and growth (Bellevue Hospital Center, 2012. Pg. 52). The main key principles behind Bellevue’s performance improvements include avoiding blame and finger-pointing, evaluating effectiveness of actions by the use of data collection, and the review of processes and systems, just to name to a few.
Bellevue has adopted a set of national patient safety goals to help set guidelines for staff members within their organization. Those goals include: 1.) Identify patients correctly, 2. )report critical reports of tests/diagnostic procedures in a timely manner, 3.) use medications safely, 7.) prevent the spread of infection, and 15.) identify patient safety risks (Bellevue Hospital Center, 2012. Pg. 53-54). With these goals aligned with their mission and vision, this will allow them to continue improving patient outcomes and safety within the entire healthcare spectrum.
State of the Service
Bellevue’s services offers New York City citizens highly trained medical professionals, innovative care programs and advanced health care services for children, adolescents, adults and seniors (Our Services, n.d.) They have received numerous awards for many of their services including Center of Excellence for Bariatrics, Cardiac, Parkinson’s and diabetic care to name a few. Dr. Lewis Goldfrank, the father of emergency medicine, helped establish an accredited residency in emergency medicine at Bellevue and NYU School of Medicine which was the very first residency program created in the country (Our Services, n.d.).In edition to emergency care evolving here, in 1869 the first hospital ambulance service was created and put to use at Bellevue Hospital. NYC Health+ and Bellevue Hospital is a pioneer in identifying and categorizing mental illness and training psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses (About Bellevue, n.d.). Bellevue has set many standards for healthcare practice and continue to be a top recognized facility in the country. They’re reputation goes beyond their 11 hospitals, and holding the highest level designation for many services such as trauma, neurological trauma and amputations. They are also a Level IIIB Regional Perinatal Center, setting the standard of excellence for patient-centered prenatal care (Facts, n.d.). Their high-risk perinatal clinics assure mothers and babies the best comprehensive primary, obstetrical and gynecological care (About Bellevue, n.d.). With their affiliation with NYU School of Medicine it only enhances the quality of care for patients receiving care at Bellevue Hospital.
The list of services are considered part of their marketing strategies for Bellevue Hospital. Healthcare marketing is defined as a fine tuned art and science that creates, communicates and delivers offerings that have value for healthcare stakeholders (Cellucci, Wiggins, & Farnsworth, 2014, pg.14). For stakeholders, marketing is a vital part of any organizations success because of the value of knowing what specific services are being offered at any given healthcare organization. With the complexity of the competitive market, it is important for leaders and managers alike to understand the ins and outs of marketing in relation to the healthcare setting.
Stakeholders as defined in healthcare marketing is defined as any group with which the firm has, or wants to develop a relationship (Berkowitz, pg. 579). Within healthcare marketing, it must be done ethically meaning they must follow a set of moral standards of administrative and clinical conduct that affects healthcare stakeholders. At Bellevue Hospital, the stakeholders consists of the patients, the Community Advisory Board (CAB), staff, and accepted insurance companies along with the entire NYC Health + Hospital system that Bellevue belongs to. The Community Advisory Board plays a major role because they are the direct link between each hospital within a specific community as well as the patient’s and their advocates (CHNA, 2016). They represent the views of the members of the community when it comes to making decisions within the healthcare facility. They not only provide insight, but they share the goals and objectives as well to the members throughout the community. Healthcare marketers often make decisions in which fairness plays a role because they influence how stakeholders-employees (internal) and the general public (external) are treated (Cellucci et al., 2014 pg.43). Making sure that we listen to our community needs as well as the needs from our internal stakeholders is what is going to make them feel valued and to continue contributing to Bellevue Hospital and NYC Health + Hospitals System.
Alignment of Services with the Mission, Vision and Goals
Some of Bellevue’s traditions include approaching one standard of care for every patient, along with the spirit of inclusiveness-where all are welcome (History, n.d.). Their standard of treating everyone with top-notch care and respect along with offering many types of services and community resources is part of their tradition. With the use of their Breakthrough PI Methodology, this helps them make improvements in everyday practices, striving to be one of the nation’s top leading healthcare facilities. Not only does the extensiveness of their services and the availability they provide within their communities allow easy access to care, the hospitals mission, vision and values are met daily by providing these services and resources, along with compassionate care to their community even if they have the inability to pay. They are advocates for healthcare for everyone and want to respond to the needs of the community (History, n.d.).
Bellevue serves over 1.1 million New Yorkers every year across the cities five boroughs and empowers the citizens to live their healthiest life (CHNA 2019, pg. 13). Their theory is care for all with no exception, including both the underserved and underinsured. Within the NYC Health + Hospitals, in 2019 4.13 million patients were seen in their outpatient services and 1.12 million in emergency care services. Of those, Bellevue Hospital saw 446k in outpatient services and 111k in emergency care (CHNA 2019, pg 53). With their diverse populations within their communities, understanding what type of preventive care or treatment is available can be challenging for some. Over 33% of their patients speak a language other than English. Looking at the health needs of others, the Community Health Needs assessment 2016 identifies two priority areas of need “(1) reducing the burden of life cycle-driven illness and health equity challenges and (2) redesigning healthcare for communities.” With many initiatives in place especially for mental health allows primary care providers to increase mental health screenings especially in the low socioeconomic and Hispanic populations since they take up a significant portion (one-third) of the Bellevue Hospital population.
Being one of the nation’s largest and prestigious healthcare facilities, Bellevue accommodates to citizens in other parts of the country and across the world as well. People all across the country travel to receive specialized treatment at NYC Health + Hospitals, specifically for treatment in pediatrics, complications during pregnancy, adult medicine, mental illness and substance abuse (CHNA 2019, pg.15). Some of the biggest risk factors with members of the community include but are not limited to: poverty and low-income, obesity, housing access, hunger and poor nutrition with cancer being their leader cause of death killing 1, 292 persons per or 70.7 per 100,000. Bellevue, since its inception, has been on the frontlines battling chronic diseases and responding to any and all emerging health crises in the community and beyond (CHNA 2019, pg. 52).
With Bellevue continuing to strive to provide the highest quality of care for every single patient, regardless of their ability to pay for services and regardless of their stage in life, this in turn helps align Bellevue’s mission, vision and values with the services they provide on a daily basis. As mentioned previously, using the True North Metrics via their Breakthrough PI Methodology helps Bellevue to continue providing care that with help citizens within their community to live their healthiest life. Over time these components have helped in continuing the success of Bellevue hospital and NYC Health + Hospitals.
When considering internal and external marketing factors, we think of implementing a marketing plan and we think of the quality of care they have provided in such a large time period. Bellevue offers an abundance of services including programs in mental health and inpatient substance abuse amongst many others. Despite their current strengths and available resources within their programs, there is still a presence of threat and weakness and providing additional marketing strategies would help overcome these obstacles especially with mental health and wellness. When it comes to marketing, it is crucial to remain ethical by providing services that align with their mission, vision, values and goals. Aligning marketing factors with their mission, vision, value and goals works as a marketing tool for Bellevue Hospital to help them continue their success.
Internal and External Marketing Factors
When analyzing the marketing efforts at Bellevue Hospital, it is vital to consider both internal and external factors. All the factors that affect’s an organizations adaptability and capability to change in the exterior environment is considered an external factor. When we look at internal factors, we determine how an organization will continue on based on the external factors.
Every successful organization has a mission statement which provides a clear and concise sense of purpose and their plan to fulfill their purpose. The internal factors at Bellevue Hospital not only include the hospitals mission statement but their effective communication, leadership, and education within the organization. Bellevue’s mission statement to “provide the highest quality of care to New York and deliver healthcare to every patient with dignity, cultural sensitivity, and compassion, regardless of ability to pay” (History, n.d.). In order to be successful, it is crucial to have a strong leadership team as they guide others within the organization to follow their mission. Providing guidance through education and learning is a fundamental element and can directly or indirectly affect the organizations success, making it important for the leaders to teach their fellow employees. Communication is the key to success and proves to be a true statement when it comes to world of healthcare. Effective communication between the hospital stakeholders is important in order to provide high quality care to their patients. Facilities and organizations that have poor communication skills will often experience negative relationships between employees causing distrust within.
When analyzing external factors we know that they can be any or a combination of political, social, technological or economical etc. and all can be detrimental to a hospitals revenue if not taken into consideration. Out-of-pocket spending is not a major method of payment within the hospital entity, the state of the economy does affect public spending policies, which in turn indirectly influence hospital revenue. When we look at social factors, they can have an effect on hospital margins. With the baby boomer population aging, more and more people are undergoing treatments for diseases like depression and other mental health diagnoses, results in the United States spending more money today on healthcare than any other nation in the world (Gleeson, 2018). Other factors that can directly affect hospitals is their location as well as hospital margins. The lack of competing hospitals nearby allows hospitals to have greater bargaining power when it comes to private insurers which results in larger profits. With other hospitals nearby that offers like services, this can create competition giving patients options and likely causing them to go to the facility that is more specialized in that specific specialty. In retrospect, having a hospital within a closer proximity may decrease traffic to other like facilities. Where Bellevue lacks is the access to mental health clinics within the community when consumers are unable to gain access to the hospital. Increasing access to these facilities would help improve their ability to treat substance abuse and mental health issues more accurately. With the advantages and disadvantages associated with marketing, it is necessary when developing a marketing strategy to consider all factors when a plan is being developed. Internal and external factors have been clearly successful in terms of marketing for Bellevue, as evidenced by the hospital still running successfully after almost three centuries. Creating a marketing tool like one on social media would help draw attention to their services and all people to reach out No other organization can speak of that type of care in the New York area or across the country and sets as high of standards of care for others across the nation than NYC Health + Hospitals.
With Bellevue’s extensive list of services, including adult services, psychiatric services, rehabilitation and emergency and trauma to name a few, mental health and substance abuse is a specialty within the organization that needs additional resources and implementation of additional locations to help serve their community. For nearly a century, Bellevue has been the leading care provider of child and adult psychiatric services, offering outpatient, inpatient and emergency care services (Behavioral Health, n.d.). Their mission in behavioral health is to restore patients as vital, healthy participants in their families and communities (Behavioral Health, n.d.). Offering these services is part of their marketing strategy that tells people within their hospital organization and people within the community that this is their goal.
With the very successful inpatient service area which includes eight different inpatient units, a 20-bed medical detoxification unit for those with substance abuse that includes a collaborative team of physicians, social workers, nurses, therapists and specific individual treatment plans that can include individual, group and medication therapy (Behavioral Health, n.d.). These programs place high importance on successful treatment and staying sober, vocational assessment and rehabilitation, and socialization in order to make certain patient’s remain a vital member or society (Behavioral Health, n.d.). This program is centered around providing high quality patient care at a personal level. In retrospect, their lack of services offered throughout the community is minimal. Many of the mental health services provided are within the walls of the hospital leaving many people within the community no access to care due to lack of transportation and being low income. This creates challenges within their community and a plan to expand these services is vital for their large service area.
In addition to the list of services they offer and have available, they have many other strengths such as having 24-hour supervision by trained therapists and staff. This helps ensure that a patient never feels alone while they are seeking treatment and battling their addiction. With its residential like setting, this allows more time to help them center their attention on recovering without the distractions of everyday life.
Bellevue’s mental health program however does have weaknesses as previously mentioned that affect the success of the inpatient care services area. For example, patients are kept in a high structured environment not allowing them to come and go as they please. They are provided a schedule that informs them when to wake up, when they have treatments, when they are allowed to eat and when they are allowed to have personal time. In addition, adults who seek these treatment services don’t have options provided for child care while they are seeking treatment and have no other options available. Another disadvantage is people who need to seek treatment have to take some sort of leave of absence from work to participate in a residential program like the one offered at Bellevue, however most of the time these programs are not covered by insurance which could deter people from seeking treatment. Patients who may need to seek some type of substance abuse treatment may see some as these as cons and in return make these opportunities for growth for Bellevue to help enhance these weaknesses and make them into opportunities. Providing community clinics would help resolve some of the issues patients are having when it comes to accessing healthcare for their mental health needs.
With these opportunities of improvement for Bellevue’s behavioral health program, the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASIS), states that approximately 12% of all New Yorkers over the age of 11 will experience addiction or some type of substance abuse disorder each year (New York Substance Abuse Statistics, n.d.). Opioid drug use alone has had a 31% increase from 2008 to 2011 and growing substantially in New York City and across the nation. Because the hospital focuses on New York residents and with this high rate of substance abuse there is an area of opportunity to increase traffic into their mental health care programs by expanding their services outside of the inside the hospital as inpatient care.
With the lack of community outreach with their services available for mental health and substance abuse, there are some factors that could affect the inpatient care programs such as competition and loss of funds. It is vital for Bellevue to maintain a high volume in their inpatient program at nearly 100% to help them keep up with competitors. All healthcare organizations are affected by reimbursement amounts and cuts by private insurance companies like Medicare and Medicaid. This creates a shift towards the individual to cover more of the cost for treatment. This can be a significant threat to Bellevue as they boast on providing services to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. This can be something that can deter someone from choosing their program versus their competitors. Another factor that could deter people from choosing inpatient services would be outpatient services. Outpatient services pose a big threat to inpatient services because they appear easier to manage and accessibility seems more flexible than going through an inpatient program. Although these seem more appealing to people because they can continue living their normal lives, people who seek treatment in outpatient facilities should have a strong network of support at home. These programs are typically best for people with a lower chance of relapsing, however leaving those who need additional treatment without the ability to access those services. The cost of outpatient services is typically much lower and insurance plans typically cover more treatment options for outpatient services vs. inpatient programs. Providing patients the ability to recognize their ability to succeed in an outpatient program is part of the health assessment of the patient as they routinely seek care. Physicians and care providers should be communicating with their patients about options and provide information regarding that patients personal medical history especially mental health as that is not an easy teaching point to discuss.
With that said, an outpatient care facility may seem attractive to some, people have to have the willpower to remove themselves from the situations that created the habit. Because these people still have access to drugs and alcohol in their day to day, it is important for them to find connections and utilize resources to keep them from relapsing. Because outpatient is typically done alone, it is harder for patients to create connections with others battling the same problems to help aid them in being successful through the program.
Marketing efforts that can be taken by Bellevue to help make them even more successful could be to include using marketing tactics that include creating human connections. Many times, people feel isolated with these programs, they’re scared to open up about their problem or they just have low self-esteem. Creating a connection for these patients especially is critical for them to be successful. Because of the guilt and shame of openly admitting you have a problem; the internet allows one to search in the privacy of their own home and it is confidential. The marketing goal would be to connect people in need of treatment to the inpatient program while creating an emotional connection with them. Utilizing the SMART marketing plan would be a beneficial way to meet this goal. Creating a way like a social media page would provide patients the ability to connect with one another and for Bellevue to draw patients to their program in a rather affordable manner. Facebook costs about $0.27 per click. If Bellevue set aside even $10,000, they could reach over 37,000 members within the community. These members then could help promote the outpatient facilities by word of mouth and this would also provide an outlet for patients who received services from the inpatient perspective and allowing them to share their testimony on the Bellevue social media page. This is an easy marketing tool that could help gather insight from external stakeholders to help them better serve the needs within their community. Making a specific goal of creating connections with more people that is not only measurable, but attainable is what is going to make it successful. Having patients be a part of their marketing tactic and spreading positives attributes of the program and sharing their success stories is a great way to help attract those that need help to choose their inpatient care services. It could be enough for someone who needs help to actually go out and seek it. Sharing patient stories relates others and helps create the emotional connection outpatient facilities lack. This is relevant for Bellevue and their program because it would help make them one of the top competitors and help drive people to their inpatient services. Word of mouth is a great way to get the message out quickly and could help in their already successful psychiatric and substance abuse programs in a timely manner.
Another tactic they could use is to increase their appearance in search engines. Although this is a costly method of marketing, doing so would help increase awareness to their mental health and substance abuse programs available. Your goal when people utilize search engines is that you want your organization to pop up as a result when someone searches for example, substance abuse treatment near me. If you were to Google best inpatient substance abuse facilities in New York, Bellevue does not appear on the first page. This is an area of opportunity for Bellevue to work on including specific phrases people typically search for and get results of other like facilities. They want to be in the top facilities that show up when someone performs a search. Providing links to their success stories could also help increase their chance of showing up on the first page because these are what people are going to see and create an emotional connection with that drives them to choose their facility and program for treatment.
Although Bellevue lacks communication through search engine optimization, they along with the other NYC Health+ Hospitals currently have marketing efforts that focus on strengthening communication to patients, staff and people within their communities to help establish an action plan to help ensure the health information, products and services can be understood within the community that they serve. Providing an extensive list of services has ultimately followed the hospitals mission, however, if they went a little further to utilize the search engine optimization strategy to help create a pathway for patients to seek care in the outpatient realm of mental healthcare, this would help market those services and be an example of what they stand for by following their mission statement in everything they do. With their extensive list of services and resources available to their community, their mission, vision, value and goals continue to be met on a daily basis. When marketing their inpatient services, sharing success stories, advantages of the program and statistics should be utilized for optimal results.
As previously mentioned, Bellevue’s competition does not only lie with other facilities, but within with their outpatient services. With their lack of presence on search engines for specific services, gives other facilities the advantage of providing care to those who are seeking it. With their lack of advertisement and use of key words in search engines ultimately hurts them and could adversely affect members in their community by going to a facility such as Manhattan Psychiatric Center or New York Presbyterian Hospital that do not meet the patients expectation so it results in them relapsing. Again sharing the stories of patients on a social media page who have been successful in their inpatient program would be great way to put them ahead of the competition and fulfill their goal of restore patients as vital, healthy participants in their families and communities (Behavioral Health, n.d.).
They are many factors in healthcare marketing that are necessary in order to be successful. It is important to conduct professional life in accordance to the public’s best interest while adhering to the highest standards of truth, accuracy, and patient care (Berkowitz, 2017). With the goal to provide top quality care to all New Yorkers regardless of ability to pay or if they carry insurance, Bellevue as part of NYC Heath+ Hospitals strives to “extend equal availability of comprehensive health services of the highest quality in an atmosphere of humane care, dignity and respect” (NYC Health+ Hospitals Mission and Values, n.d.). They collaborate with other health care providers and other communities to promote and protect health in all its capacity of all the people. They also have six key features that they put in their daily work, they have a patient-centered approach, safety, excellence, cost savings and resource management, teamwork and employee development (NYC Health+ Hospitals Mission & Values, n.d.). These values apply to every patient, employee, program and service that all the hospitals operate. This is an effective marketing strategy for Bellevue because it helps them live up to their mission, vision and value statements. Every program, inpatient and outpatient alike is a great example on how the hospital follows these statements in their day to day work. Their current marketing strategies as well as utilizing the search engine optimization and word of mouth would help them excel tremendously. These marketing efforts together along with their current marketing tactics will show potential patients that Bellevue is the best place to receive care.
Marketing and Communication Strategies
In New York alone, the statistics show that 1 in every 5 people suffer from some type of mental illness. The bigger issue here is that 1 out of every 10 children or adults suffer from a mental health problem that affects their everyday life such as being able to function at work or school and handling their day to day life at home (New York City Mental Health and Substance Abuse Statistics, n.d.). Bellevue Hospital has been a leader and at the forefront of mental health and inpatient substance abuse programs for adults and children alike for years. With these programs in place, my proposal would be to create a pathway that could provide additional education and services to members throughout the community for mental health and substance abuse like additional outpatient facilities. Creating a pathway that aligns with the practices served inside the hospitals would help open the door for more members throughout the community to seek the proper help they need. The program will provide insight regarding their current services in addition to education and classes offered throughout the community in regards to mental health and substance abuse issues. Information can be provided online via their social media page so that people seeking help can do so within their own personal limitations and have the ability to get the information they need to seek the proper treatment. Creating an additional website for their mental health and substance abuse programs on their organizations website makes finding access to their facilities easy for patient’s seeking care whether inpatient or with an outpatient program. This would be a great tool and provide them the ability to keep track of how many people view their services and will also provide some statistical information on members in the community who need access to mental health programs and are trying to access them. Because many people today use the internet, utilizing social media and creating a page specific to mental health and substance abuse allows patients to seek treatment. This would be a good technique to use as a marketing tool to help determine the program’s success. Doing so will provide Bellevue information needed to open mental health clinics in neighborhoods with the greatest need first, making it easier for people in the community to seek help.
When it comes to marketing any health program especially mental health and substance abuse programs, we have to remember that creating a connection with these potential patients, their families and members within the community is vital for the program’s success. Without creating that human connection, these patient’s will not seek care and could lead to detrimental situations. In order to accomplish this task, Bellevue should focus on marketing strategies that targets increasing online traffic, which social media would provide a great return and is a fairly inexpensive way to reach a large targeted audience. Because 40% of consumers claim that social media influences how they deal with their health (Anticoli, 2018), the use of social media to market their mental health and substance abuse programs would prove to be a successful marketing tool for Bellevue Hospital.
When people seek treatment, especially mental health care, they often feel scared, have some have a sense of hopelessness and feel like no one understands them. That is why creating a marketing strategy like a social media page is important so that it would allow people to build positive relationships between other like individuals, past patients and medical professionals that treat mental health illnesses. Research has shown that people will turn to the internet for a large amount of medical related topics including topics like treatment options, information about their personal condition and for emotional support (Anticoli, 2018). Some marketing tools that would help benefit Bellevue create an emotional attachment to people throughout the community would include using inspirational photos, allowing past patients share their success stories, link new articles that they can relate to and provide supportive messages from staff that can help patients create that connection and feel that there is hope in seeking help. Using these strategies offers those seeking help, information that fosters a supportive relationship from others, making them feel that they are not alone and that they can make it through recovery with a positive support system. Providing these emotional connections with people will place their mental health and substance abuse programs ahead of competing mental health facilities in their area and across the nation.
Four and 5 P’s of Healthcare Marketing
When creating marketing plans for the education component, it is crucial to consider the four and five P’s of marketing Patients and their families are very important part of why healthcare exists. They are the customers that choose the medical facility of their choice and is what helps maintain the integrity of an organization such as Bellevue. It is very important to create relationships with our customers in order to be considered as a viable source within the community (Sederstrom & Brown, 2014). It is also important to create awareness regarding mental health and substance abuse and where one can go to seek help and treatment. Research states that about 60% of New York adults with mental health illnesses do not seek help because of the lack of available program treatment information and self-consciousness (Health Department Report, n.d.). By providing relevant information on Bellevue’s social media page(s) would allow members within the community to become engaged and would be help aid them to seek treatment.
Payers and politics go hand in hand when it comes to marketing mental health and substance abuse programs. Because Bellevue is a public, government funded hospital, it is essential that the hospital program along with the marketing efforts follow government policies in order for them to continue to receive funding. Not only does the government protect members with mental health disorders and issues with substance abuse by setting privacy standards, they put rules in place to help individual states understand what is permitted under law. For Bellevue, if they do not follow these regulations, the hospital could lose their funding for specific programs, therefore following these rules and regulations plays a large responsibility for the success of these mental health programs and the funding’s they receive to help support members within their community.
According to Bellevue’s Community Health Needs Assessment 2016, mental illness and substance abuse are in their top 10 of community health needs (Bellevue Community Health Needs Assessment, 2016). This would make the target market for the education program to include the members throughout the community and previous patient’s that have been a part of their inpatient program.
There are some variations when it comes to the demographics of those who are experiencing mental health illnesses and substance abuse within NYC. Research found that different ethnicities, age groups, educational backgrounds, employee status etc experience mental health illness and substance abuse and is not isolated to lower socioeconomic statuses. One particular study found that Latina adolescents have the highest rate in suicidal thoughts (Gregorian, 2015). Another study found that 20% of low-income single moms suffer from postpartum depression (Gregorian, 2015). -In a report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sent out a report that stated the statistics of drug use in NYC. It provided statistics that 25.3% of adolescents, 53.4% of white, 57.6% of people who carry full time jobs, 47.7% of African Americans, and 52.2% of college graduates admitted to using illicit drugs in the past year (SAMHSA, 2015). With these type of statistics, it is obvious there is a need for additional mental health facilities throughout the communities as well as education resources they can have easy access to. The benefits of creating a means for people to gain access to the availability of these mental health services would help not only decrease these numbers, it would help make Bellevue become a leader in mental health care.
Looking at the varying demographics above shows that the target market can vary from people who work full-time to low socioeconomic members within the community. How they personally handle mental health issues can also vary case by case. For example one with depression may use marijuana as their treatment of choice to numb their pain or decrease anxiety, whereas someone else may turn to alcohol to help them cope with social anxiety and feel more comfortable in social settings. Depending on access to these coping mechanisms may determine their treatment of choice. That is why marketing play an important role. Marketing for these education programs would help target anyone in need or who wants information about mental health and substance abuse regardless of the reason, their age, race, sex or job status and help them get the proper treatment for their illness.
NYC Health + Hospitals including Bellevue use marketing efforts that focus on improving communication to help get patients involved and engaged, staff and the surrounding communities help them understand the hospitals health equity and goals as well as “establishing an action plan to ensure health information materials, products and services are accessible and understandable to patients and the communities they serve (NYC Health + Hospitals Mission and Values, n.d.). Since the release of the 2019 report, Bellevue has made strides when it comes to search engine optimization. If you perform a Google search of “substance abuse and mental health treatment in NYC,” Bellevue shows up as the second result on the first page. According to the Vice President at Gateway Rehab Center which is a drug and alcohol treatment center, “how your organization ranks on a search engine will definitely affect how people are going to find you” (Sederstrom &Brown, 2014). However, when you take a look at their Facebook page it only has their address and reviews, but no other pertinent information. Their twitter page seems to have more information including links to the website, support and inspirational photos. Although Twitter is a strong marketing strategy to use, it would be very beneficial if they put some additional development techniques into their Facebook page due to the amount of traffic that utilizes Facebook daily. Facebook has approximately 2.4 billion users, whereas Twitter has only 330 million as of 2019. Because of the diversity of mental health illness, it is vital to reach a large target amount of people and successfully placing adequate information on both Facebook and Twitter would be a great marketing tool to utilize that is affordable and easy to do.
Appropriateness of Social Media Marketing
When looking at how many users currently use Facebook it is apparent that social media does not seem to be going anywhere any time soon. With that being said it is important to take advantage of the benefits social media can have for marketing strategies. People all over the world from all demographics and locations turn to social media for their health related issues. People also turn to social media for emotional support and information and use it to get encouragement, find relatable situations with other like individuals and express their feelings without any negative consequences because those people understand. Therefore, social media is the perfect marketing strategy to help reach people in need of mental health treatment, and provide the education and information about how to access these services that Bellevue provides or to learn about the disease process itself.
When it comes to using social media to market any program regarding mental health and substance abuse, it is important to do so ethically by not placing any false advertising of any sort on their social media page. Companies that do make claims that are untrue, do it to get people in the door so that they can provide service and charge them or their insurance company for as long as they possibly can. According to Berkowitz (2017), it is important to conduct professional life in accordance to ethical standards regarding the publics best interest while adhering to the highest standards of truth accuracy, and patient care. By providing only accurate and true information on all social media platforms used by Bellevue, their marketing strategies are in alignment with those ethical standards.
Organizational stakeholders should be involved at all times when it comes to the development of marketing strategies. No matter if these stakeholders are internal or external, they have a vested interest in the success of the organization and play a vital role in the needs within the community as well as the needs within from physicians alike.
Internal stakeholders are the individuals or groups who are directly and/or financially involved in the operational process (Stakeholder Engagement for Strategic Planning, n.d.) For Bellevue, this would include the physicians, board of directors, hospital staff, and their administrative staff. In order to include these individuals in the marketing plan, setting up a survey with a suggestion box that could be sent out with the employee newsletter via email. This would help develop marketing strategies because ultimately internal staff and employees know the strengths and weaknesses of the organization best because of their first hand experiences. To gather this information they could schedule regular meetings to discuss the marketing plan as well as talk about the survey results they have collected.
External stakeholders are the people that help influence and also can be influenced by an organization, but are not members of it (External Stakeholders, n.d.). For Bellevue, the public health officials, donors, city and state legislators and the target market. To properly engage these stakeholder, the education program should be displayed on the hospitals social media pages. It is crucial to develop stakeholder-focused content that centers around their areas of interest to help increase engagement, therefore, information provided should be tailored towards the target markets interest. Another avenue that could help promote their new education benefits about mental and substance abuse would to have the stakeholders post reviews on the social media pages and for these review to be taken into consideration when it comes time to market the new program. Doing so will help portray a positive image of Bellevue’s success streak when it comes to addressing and treating mental health and substance abuse.
Collaboration and Effectiveness Plan
With the use of these more personal communication strategies to help engage the hospitals internal stakeholders, it creates a stronger relationship between them and the organization. It helps the stakeholders feel involved and heard which is extremely important because they feel valued that they can help contribute to the success of the service being suggested. Companies that tend to value the well-being and opinions of their stakeholders have increased commitment to the company from the stakeholders, which ultimately increases success (Claartje & Joost, 2013).
When it comes to healthcare marketing, it must be done ethically. This refers to the set of moral standards of clinical and administrative conduct that affect healthcare stakeholders (Celluci, Wiggins and Farnsworth, 2014). The relationship between an organization and stakeholders exist due to mutual expectations to follow these standards, as they build on trust, good faith, and fair dealing in their interactions with each other (Ferrell, 2014). According to the American College of Healthcare Executives Code of Ethics, healthcare executives have a responsibility to employees and the community that include an environment of free expression of ethical concerns, as well as advocating or solutions that improve health status and promote quality healthcare (Board of Govenors, 2006). It is important to include the stakeholders at Bellevue so that they too feel like their suggestions and opinions are valued and respected
With using ethical social media marketing strategies, Bellevue would successfully be able to provide positive words about their new education program. For this to be successful, internal and external stakeholders need to be actively engaged and involved in the process. With including them in the marketing process, allows them to feel valued and respected regardless of their role within the organization.
- Behavioral Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/bellevue/health-care-services/behavioral-health/
- About Bellevue (n.d.) Retrieved from, https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/bellevue/about-bellevue/
- Berkowitz, E. (2017). Essentials of Health Care Marketing. (4th ed.). Burlington: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
- Bellevue Hospital. (2012). Bellevue Hospital Center 2012 Annual Mandates. New York: NYU School of Medicine. https://med.nyu.edu/idevelop/resources/Mandates2012.pdf
- Bellevue Hospital (2019). Community Health Needs Assessment 2019. NYC Health + Hospitals.
- Cellucci, L. W., Wiggins, C., & Farnsworth, T.J., (2014). Healthcare Marketing: A Case Study Approach. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.
- Facts, (n.d.). Retrieved from, https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/bellevue/facts/
- Gleeson, P., Ph.D. (2018). Internal and External Factors that affect an Organization. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/internal-external-factors-affect-organization-16641.html
- History (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/bellevue/history/
- New York Substance Abuse Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.lakeviewhealth.com/resources/substances-abuse-statistics/new-york/
- NYC Health+ Hospitals Mission and Values. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/our-mission-values/
- Services (n.d.) Retrieved from, https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/bellevue/health-care-services/
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