Friday, December 8, 2017

“Brand” vs. “Evidence”

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about a big dilemma in the U.S. healthcare system. Patients are generally unaware of facts and rely instead on reputation when they choose a hospital or healthcare provider. They often don’t know if they’ve chosen a hospital of lesser value because they’ve assumed quality based on common wisdom or “brand.” Unfortunately, this can lead to patients receiving subpar treatment because they were unaware of facts when they were choosing their provider.

At their meeting this week, The GBMC HealthCare Board Quality Committee was reviewing the phenomenal performance of our orthopedics and spine surgical teams. Under the leadership of Joy Reynolds, RN, the Unit 58 nurse manager, Lee Schmidt, MD, the chief of orthopedics, and Bimal Rami, MD, the chief of neurosurgery, they’ve improved everything from evidence-based pre-op care in the physician offices, to outstanding performances in the operating rooms and phenomenal immediate post-op rehabilitation with GBMC’s sensational physical therapists. 

This improvement work has led to outstanding outcomes as evidenced by near-zero wound infection and readmission rates and the patient engagement scores for Unit 58 (where patients go from the operating room). These are among the highest in Maryland (with the best care experience). GBMC’s prices for the procedures are significantly lower than many, if not most, other hospitals in our region (with the least waste).

Our teams serve many patients but we would like to grow our programs. I would love to hear your ideas about how to get consumers to choose value over a brand.

In The Spirit of the Holidays, Please Donate ...
This year, we are a proud sponsor of the Fill the House for House of Ruth initiative to collect everyday necessities for this partner in care. This is the first year of the campaign and the items collected will help thousands of women and children to recover from abuse and to rebuild their lives. The work that the House of Ruth performs is closely aligned with our SAFE program.

Please don’t forget to donate items at various drop-off locations on the GBMC campus, including Family Care Associates and at each of our 10 off-site primary care locations. Some of the House of Ruth's greatest needs include diapers, women's and children's undergarments, pillows, twin-sized sheets, comforters, and blankets. The drive will run through Friday, December 15. All items must be new and unopened. An additional way to donate is through our Amazon Wishlist. All items purchased through this link will be shipped directly to GBMC Marketing so you don’t have to worry about dropping anything off.


  1. Ideas to grow the Ortho program: Partner with area colleges offering education to their sports programs, as well as care to professional sports brands in the area. Offer education at area yoga studios, running studios, 5K events for injuries, working in success rates. Build facebook groups that past and potential patients can share their experiences, fears, success stories, etc. Offer open houses for ortho practices to invite their patients to see an OR during an off-time, sharing all of the state of the art instrumentation, infection control measures, meet the docs and nurses. I'll think some more...

    1. Thanks, Ginny. We will share these excellent ideas with our marketing team.

  2. I believe that most consumers would choose better health care over a brand if they were provided the knowledge to make an informed decision. Therefore, one could ask why are consumers not informed of the orthopedic and surgical teams value at GBMC?

    1. Thanks, Anonymous. We put our data on our public facing website, and we celebrate our accomplishments on social media. It’s not just a matter of getting our data out…it’s also about getting the comparison data from other organizations. Do you have any ideas? Please share them with me and our marketing team.


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