OhioHealth is spending $1 million to rename its hospitals and doctors' practices, underscoring the value it and other hospital systems place on their corporate brands. The sweeping changes include the addition of the OhioHealth name to all hospitals that are part of the system; Riverside Methodist Hospital, for example, will become OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital. Many of the hospital system's 103 physician practices underwent more fundamental name changes.
OhioHealth is spending $1 million to rename its hospitals and doctors' practices, underscoring the value it and other hospital systems place on their corporate brands.
The sweeping changes include the addition of the OhioHealth name to all hospitals that are part of the system; Riverside Methodist Hospital, for example, will become OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital.
Many of the hospital system's 103 physician practices underwent more fundamental name changes. One example: MidOhio Cardiology and Vascular Consultants is now OhioHealth Heart & Vascular Physicians.
The name changes reflect OhioHealth's efforts to share best practices among doctors and other clinicians and better coordinate care, in keeping with the future of the industry in general, said Laura McCoy, vice president of marketing and communications.
"We want to make it clear where patients can access OhioHealth care," McCoy said. "We want our brand to be strengthened by being associated with these excellent physicians."
OhioHealth is the last Columbus-area hospital system to include its moniker in the names of its hospitals. Signs there will be changed in the next two months.
Last year, Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center was named in honor of Limited Brands founder Leslie H. Wexner, after he, his wife, Abigail, and the company's foundation pledged $100 million.
In 2007, Children's Hospital was renamed Nationwide Children's Hospital after the Nationwide Foundation pledged $50 million. Mount Carmel Health System changed its hospitals' names in 1999.
The $1 million OhioHealth is spending includes the cost of new signs, lab coats and paper products such as billing forms, stationery and letterhead.As of July 1, OhioHealth did away with paper products that had the old names on them, McCoy said. One reason, she said, was that some patients were confused that they were receiving bills bearing the OhioHealth physician group's tax identification name instead of the name that the group does business as.
Ohio State said it spent about $270,000 to change its medical center's name. That money went toward an internal event, temporary banners for the inside and outside of medical facilities, printed items and website and social-media changes.Ohio State said it depleted old letterhead products and brochures before ordering new ones.
Nationwide Children's declined to say how much it spent to switch its name, describing the cost as "negligible."
OhioHealth cardiologist Dr. Gary Ansel said some physician practices have spent years developing a brand under their practices' previous names, and that giving that up didn't come without " discussion and angst." Doctors also were concerned that patients might have difficulty locating a physician practice in a phone book.
But Ansel said there also are many positives to taking advantage of OhioHealth's size and scale. And he said it should mean better patient care that's delivered more efficiently.
"We're going from being hospital-centric to health care system-centric," Ansel said.
OhioHealth research found that patients tend to find a doctor by using a name or street address instead of the practice name, McCoy said. She said the longer hospital names are not unwieldy because "we recognize that those names are going to be shortened in day-to-day use."
OhioHealth patients in 250,000 households were notified of the changes by letter late last month.
Name changes typically reflect a fundamental change within an organization, said Rick Carey, part owner and creative director of local advertising agency Conrad Phillips Vutech. A large organization with multiple facilities such as OhioHealth can benefit from name changes that help them deliver a consistent message to consumers, he said.
"It builds familiarity over time," Carey said.