The positioning and differentiation strategies of two nearby hospitals, St. Francis Hospital located in Roslyn, New York and the Schneider Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park, New York will be discussed in this article. These two institutions are located in Long Island, New York and are approximately 5. 2 miles apart from each other, servicing the nearby counties of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk. These renowned facilities are recognized for their specialty services throughout New York as well as the United States.
The intent of this article is to examine the positioning and differentiation marketing strategies of these hospitals; how they have created and established a unique, identifiable image of their products and services (Positioning) and how their services differ from other institutions, and each other, to influence the consumer’s perception and preference (Differentiation). Saint Francis Hospital: The Heart Center Founded by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in 1922, St.Francis Hospital is a full-service, 279-bed, nonprofit facility, located in the affluent area of Roslyn, New York. St.
Francis is the only hospital in New York designated as a cardiac center (St. Francis Hospital and Heart Center, 2007). The institution declares to offer one of the leading cardiac care programs in the country, providing such services as cardiac surgery, catheterization, angioplasty and the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias (St. Francis Hospital and Heart Center).
According to the New State Department of Health, the hospital has performed the highest caseload of cardiac surgery and catheterizations in the state with mortality rates significantly below the statewide average (New York State Department of Health, 2004, p. 14). The organization is very proud of these achievements and has announced its position in various advertisements found on local television, radio stations, community newsletters and a regional major newspaper across Long Island. The reputation of excellence, low mortality and using highly-advanced technology has been an excellent marketing strategy when differentiating this institution amongst local hospitals that perform the same procedures.
The hospital also promotes that nearly all of its cases of isolated heart valve repair are carry out by a minimally invasive approach (St. Francis Hospital and Heart Center). Besides being acclaimed for cardiac surgery for all ages, the hospital is also offers full-service healthcare to its surrounding communities. The hospital treats patients in over two dozen different departments, including emergency services.
The hospital was also rated one of the safest hospitals in the nation and ranked number 2 in New York State (HealthGrades, 2009). These ideal characteristics of the facility are found in all their promotional advertisement throughout the Long Island region. These ideal attributes positions their services to create a perception of uniqueness and high quality to patients, especially cardiac patients. Saint Francis Hospital has sparked an appeal to many because of these model techniques and statistics; most cardiac patients prefer to be treated at this facility.
This differentiation strategy has been a successful venture; it has made the hospital the number one choice for cardiac care in the counties of Nassau and Suffolk among the 4 surrounding hospitals providing similar services (Best Hospitals, 2008). Schneider Children’s Hospital The second hospital of discussion is the Schneider Children’s Hospital (SCH); this institution is a 154 bed tertiary hospital located in New Hyde Park, New York and is part of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Care System. The hospital is committed to the complete care of children, from premature infants to adolescence.
Since its inception in 1983, the hospital has provided outpatient medical service to over 162,000 children. The hospital treats a vast variety of diseases such as epilepsy, cancer, cardiac, and cystic fibrosis. Special services are provided for Lyme disease, the deaf, food allergies, immunology, human genetics, cardiac surgery, emergency and trauma. The facility proclaims to be “a destination hospital for children across the United States and around the world” (Schneider Children’s Hospital, n. d. , para. 1). SCH is the only hospital located on Long Island dedicated to the care of children.
It has prided itself on being named one of America’s best children’s hospitals for two years in a row by the U. S. News and World Report (Best Children’s Hospitals: General Pediatrics, 2009). These rankings are based on good community standing, patient outcomes and care-related issues as patient volume, nursing care, advanced technology and recognition by outside organizations. The hospital has several consultation centers throughout Long Island and New York City to offer specialized healthcare to children right in their own community.
The Centers provide specialized services for a broad range of medical conditions such as heart disease, neurological disorders, cancer, Lyme disease, growth deficiencies, and other childhood illnesses. The main marketing strategy to attract it target audience is through a community newsletter, its participation in community events and sponsorships, a pediatric mobile unit for the uninsured, television, radio and newspaper advertisements. The institution asserts that it provides the only pediatric emergency department with 24 hour pediatric attending coverage throughout Long Island.
The hospital publicizes its emergency department as a Level 1 pediatric trauma center with a team of pediatric emergency physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologist and trauma nurses (Schneider Children’s Hospital); these distinctive healthcare services, along with a strong marketing and public relations department has persuaded many consumers’ perceptions and preferences for such services. Another service worth mentioning is that of its cardiac surgery division; SCH advertises that it has been recognized as one of the largest volume pediatric cardiac programs in New York State and the largest in Long Island.
The hospital provides extensive experience with an entire range of congenital and acquired heart diseases in children and adolescence. The institution claims to be the only hospital on Long Island with the ability to provide extracorporeal membrane support for the support of certain high-risk pediatric cardiac patients. The image of having such technological advance equipment as well as the expertise for such procedures, positions SCH with high attributes as an advanced hospital for pediatric cardiac programs.
The Similarities and Differences of the Organizations The similarities and differences between St.Francis Hospital and Schneider Children’s Hospital are quite evident; similarly each hospital treats children, pediatric cardiac procedures and pediatric emergency medicine; both are tertiary and trauma centers. The differences are also obvious; SCH only treats pediatrics and overall provides more pediatric specialty services than St. Francis Hospital. Saint Francis treats adults with congenital heart disease, besides children with such defects. SCH is the only facility that can provide extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for high-risk pediatric cardiac patients.
These differences in the specific specialties allow these hospitals to coexist and maintain their own market niche or unique identities. By means of strategic positioning, St. Francis has been branded as “The Heart Center” of the region. This image of the institution has been successfully established in the minds of the consumer. The message has been driven by both the victorious marketing strategy of the hospital along with patient and physician word-of-mouth and free publicity by the media when success stories come to pass; the well planned-out marketing of St.Francis’ technological advances in cardiac surgery differentiate it from the competitors.
When consumers or patients perceive the difference between this hospital and another tertiary care center, the preference of the consumer is due to the differences in quality, service and status. The same holds true for Schneider Children’s Hospital; their positioning strategy is clear through their mission statement expressed throughout their newsletters and ads, and states that they are dedicated to providing the highest level of care that speak to the special needs of children; from premature babies to adolescents.
They also communicate to be a prominent hospital for children across the United States and around the world (Schneider Children’s Hospital, n. d. ). SCH differentiates itself from the rest by being the only hospital located on Long Island dedicated to the care of children and provides a pediatric emergency department with the only 24 hour pediatric attending coverage throughout the region. Borna and Chapman noted (1993) consumer perceptions is the common underlying concept of both product differentiation and positioning.
The positioning declaration must express how ones organization differs from the competition and this must be filled in the clients mind. The attributes of the above hospitals are viewed as different and unique and are highly valued by the community and its consumers. Their services offer a benefit considerable enough that stands out in the minds of the end user; this uniqueness is characterized by criteria such as quality, a high level of service, convenience, reputation and high technology. References Best Children’s Hospitals: General Pediatrics (2009).
U. S. News & World Report. Retrieved from http://www.usnews. com/directories/hospitals/index_html/specialty+IHQPEDS/state+NY/metro_area+/name+/sort+/page_number+1/page_size+10 Best Hospitals: Heart and Heart Surgery. (2008). U. S. News & World Report. Retrieved from http://www. usnews. com/directories/hospitals/index_html/specialty+IHQCARD/state+/page_number+1/page_size+10/sort+/name+/metro_area+Nassau-Suffolk/zip+/distance+/detail+more Borna, S. , & Chapman, J. (1993). Product Differentiation and Positioning: Confused Concepts. American Journal of Business, 8 (1), 51-56.
HealthGrades (2009). Patient Safety. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from http://www. healthgrades.com/consumer/index. cfm? fuseaction=mod&modtype=hospitals&modact=hospitals_search_results&prodtype=hosprat&state=NY&city=&maparea=&proc=&tabset=psa New York State Department of Health (2004). Adult Cardiac Surgery in New York State [White paper]. Retrieved from New York State Department of Health: http://www. health. state. ny. us/nysdoh Schneider Children’s Hospital (n. d. ). About Us. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from http://www. schneiderchildrenshospital. org/ St. Francis Hospital and Heart Center (2007). About Us. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from http://www. stfrancisheartcenter. com/chsli/sfh/live/utility/about. html.