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Keith Richards

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Are we investing more in our locks or our...

Harris County Hospital District—a true health care transformation

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How fresh thinking and a new brand identity are dramatically improving public perceptions of the former Harris County Hospital District

Each year Harris Health System (formerly Harris County Hospital District), provides quality health care to hundreds of thousands of patients through a network of two hospitals and 13 community clinics. Harris Health is Texas’ largest public health system and a teaching hospital for University of Texas and Baylor College of Medicine. For the past 50+ years, our client has been the provider for residents of our region who quite literally had no other option, offering both low-cost and uncompensated care that is subsidized, in part, by tax dollars.

THE CHALLENGE

When we first met our client, they had a decade of failed attempts to shift brand strategy and secure a new name behind them. Research indicated that they were clearly the provider of last resort. At the time, in light of the coming health care reform, they stood to lose one in four of their Medicaid patients who would suddenly have their choice of health care providers.

OUR APPROACH

We developed a strategic plan based on extensive community-wide research to help them launch a new brand—including an ambitious name change—and become a hospital of choice for the newly insured. We designed the new Harris Health System identity and created a brand experience that shared their heroic story as truly innovative, qualified health care champions for all. Our goals were to reposition Harris Health in the public’s eye and help them attract and retain insured patients to help fund their mission going forward.

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THE WORK

To meet Harris Health’s ambitious goals, we provided:
• A complete brand identity package, designing everything from their logo, hospital signage and stationery to their employee nametags and vehicle graphics
• A brand standards manual, providing rules and guidance to ensure consistency and integrity of the new brand
• An internal brand experience campaign, including training, posters, email communications and printed materials, along with an informative custom microsite to make sure everyone was on board with their new way of doing business In less than 12 months, we launched their new brand and trained 7,000 employees.

 

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RESULTS

Through our concentrated efforts, both internal and external, the new Harris Health System increased employee engagement to 71%, improved perceptions to a record high, and, perhaps most important, resulted in 92% of patients saying they would now recommend Harris Health to family or friends.

 

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