Howard University Hospital and Hurley Medical Center Negative Brand Image

Two Healthcare Organizations with a Negative Brand Image

Two health care organizations with a negative brand image include Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan. Both facilities attracted negative press after they appeared in a 2019 report by The Leapfrog Group, which listed the worst hospitals in the US (“Home | Hospital Safety Grade”, 2020). The Leapfrog Group is a nonprofit watchdog that issues grades to health care organizations based on safety and quality (“Leapfrog”, 2020). A failing grade means that patients risk dying from hospital-acquired infections, medical errors, and safety lapses. The negative brand image adversely affects the hospitals’ ability to attract patients since they fear their illnesses could deteriorate or even face avoidable death due to low quality of care.

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Branding Strategies to Restore a Tarnished Brand         

There exist several branding strategies that organizations can implement to restore a tarnished brand. Firstly, acknowledge the problem causing the negative brand image. Secondly, apologize for the problem through the press and social media and inform the public about the plans to remedy the shortcomings (Chao, 2019). Chao explains that building dialog rather than ignoring criticism plays a vital role in rebuilding positive relationships. Thirdly, evaluate the organization to identify the deteriorating brand image’s causes and take action (Li & Wei, 2016).

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Preventing the recurrence of the underlying problem is an essential step to restoring the brand image.  For the two hospitals, the action would entail establishing a patient-centric culture to ensure improved quality and safety. Fourthly, after dealing with the immediate brand problem, the organizations should focus on strengthening their reputation by making brand image a strategic priority action (Li & Wei, 2016). If necessary, the two hospitals should hire a reputation management professional to advise and implement a framework for communicating changes and improvements.

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