Ten Adams

5 tips for small hospitals competing in bigger cities

February 9, 2016 | Engagement
small hospitals vs. large hospitals – Ten Adams

Hospitals and health systems come in different shapes and sizes.

And, small hospitals can compete with bigger city systems. If you feel like you’re in a “David vs. Goliath” situation, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Highlight your care.

Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services, a regional 236-bed hospital, just outside of the Louisville metro area, was struggling to convince patients they didn’t have to choose a “big city” for medical care. They wanted to show people that outstanding care was available right in their backyard. This energetic message, “Health Happens Here” was highlighted on TV commercials, print ads and billboards.

Be connected to your community.

People like living in smaller towns or cities because they like the feeling of community. Does your hospital play an active role in the community? Are you sponsoring fitness events? Could your nutritionists go to local schools and talk about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables? How is your hospital helping people live longer, healthier lives? Let people see your hospital as a pillar of strength in your community.

Showcase your doctors.

Riverside Medical Group in Kankakee, Illinois, is just outside of Chicagoland. With 60 providers, it wanted to show the people of Kankakee who they could expect to meet, if they made an appointment. This commercial makes finding a hometown doctor less intimidating. We also included a vanity phone number, so that people could call for referrals.

Bring people into your hospital.

Hosting a fun event shows that going to a hospital doesn’t always have to be associated with something “bad.” Think about hosting a farmer’s market, wellness fairs or yoga classes. You want people to feel comfortable coming to your hospital. That way, when faced with a medical decision, they’ll know where to go — and where to park.

Think like a boutique.

Bigger doesn’t always mean better. Witham Health Services, a 48-bed hospital, just north of Indianapolis is a boutique hospital. Sure, Witham competes against bigger hospitals in Indy, but they see their smallness as a source of strength. Witham shows off its unique personality with lively, colorful ad campaigns that tell patients and physician stories.

Learn how we can help you compete against hospitals in larger markets.


Written by Ellen VanRoyen

Ellen knows a thing or two about endurance. A lifelong marathoner, her dedication and discipline have made her an incredible asset to our clients over the past 15 years. As Project Director and overseer of the strategic plan and long-term goals, Ellen helps our clients stay on the right path — and helps our project management team find the endurance to finish strong.

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