I’m fortunate in my line of work to have the opportunity to visit medical centers across the country. For the last two days I’ve been in the Delaware Valley doing consumer research in the Philadelphia and South Jersey market. Yesterday my team and I did one-on-one consumer intercepts asking area residents about their perceptions of healthcare providers in the region. We also conducted a focus group with an incredible collection of female healthcare decision-makers. They were remarkably well informed and demanding!
I’ve spent most of today visiting Cooper University Hospital at their health sciences campus in Camden, New Jersey, just across the river from Philadelphia. Camden is a city that is slowly being revitalized, thanks in large part to Cooper’s commitment to growing its health system and medical school in Camden. Cooper is arguably the leading hospital in South Jersey.
Spend just a few moments in its new $220 million patient pavilion, and you’ll quickly understand that Cooper and its board of trustees have driven a stake in the ground; although they already have an exceptional health system with centers of excellence in heart, cancer, orthopedics and neurosciences, they have committed themselves to building a 21st century university hospital that will rival anything across the river in Philadelphia. That’s what I call driving a stake in the ground! And let me tell you, there are some exceptional healthcare providers in Philadelphia, beginning with Penn Medicine (University of Pennsylvania Health System) anchored by the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Penn was ranked 8th overall on the U.S. New & World Report Best Hospitals list for 2009-2010 As if that’s not enough, Philadelphia is also home to the Thomas Jefferson University Health System and Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals. These are truly world class organizations. And one day Cooper plans to rank among them. Interestingly, having met the folks at Cooper and seen what they’ve already accomplished, I believe they will do it.
Another tidbit about the Delaware Valley: Within a 100-mile radius of Philadelphia is the nation’s largest concentration of health care resources with 373 physicians per 100,000 residents in the Greater Philadelphia region. When one looks at the excellence within various specialties, the competitive landscape within Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley becomes even more complex: Think of the Fox Chase Cancer Center and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
One remarkable part of my visit to Cooper was eating an early lunch in their Oasis Restaurant. The food was the best I’ve had on this trip and the service was impeccable. This is a restaurant located in a hospital! The wait staff kept checking in on me, and truly worked as a team. They all seemed to take ownership of me as a customer. As I was leaving the restaurant, the waitress noticed that I was carrying a nearly empty water bottle, and she offered to fill it up for me. That is customer service! The restaurant is located right off the lobby of the patient pavilion, and provides easy access for visitors to the hospital as well as staff. I noticed several members of the medical staff having lunch at a table next to me.
If you want to see a healthcare brand on the rise, check out Cooper University Hospital at www.cooperhealth.org. They have a remarkable story to tell.
To close, here are a couple more photos from my visit to Cooper.
Post by Dan Dunlop, The Healthcare Marketer