The Food Court of Healthcare

Healthcare has been under a white-hot spotlight for nearly six months now throughout the US – and around the globe. Of course, COVID-19 has brought a lot of pressure to the healthcare systems around the world, particularly on emergency services. This doesn’t mean that everyday ambulatory care ceases to exist, however, and many providers have continued their plans to innovate and improve upon their offerings.

AdventHealth serves millions of patients across the US every year. Though their headquarters are in Altamonte Springs, FL, the faith-based hospital system serves patients in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.[i] In Central Florida, where AdventHealth Orlando acquired the Florida Hospital system in 2019[ii], the company’s primary competition is Orlando Health. 

AdventHealth and Orlando Health have been in a tight race to provide top-tier medical services to the Greater Orlando area. One of the major current trends in healthcare is to create pavilions or health parks – one central location for patients to take care of all of their medical needs at once. In October 2019, AdventHealth broke ground on one of these one-stop-shop health parks catering to Kissimmee, St. Cloud and surrounding areas of Osceola County.

“We are reimagining the health-care experience based on extensive consumer research,” said Dr. Scott Brady, AdventHealth’s senior vice president of ambulatory services. “Visiting the health park will be a very seamless experience – it’s a one-stop shop with a single check-in and a single bill for all services.”

Their health park will include primary and specialty care, imaging, outpatient sports medicine and rehab and lab services.[iii] However, Orlando Health is not to be outdone. In June 2020, Orlando Health celebrated the grand opening of their ninth medical pavilion – this one in AdventHealth’s backyard. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

This pavilion is a little different from AdventHealth’s vision for an all-inclusive health park in that it’s a women’s pavilion – bringing a new healthcare experience designed exclusively for women from the leader in women’s health. Every physician and medical provider at the Orlando Health Women’s Pavilion in Winter Park is a woman.[iv]

“We’re excited to increase our presence in the Winter Park community,” said David Strong, president/CEO of Orlando Health, in a news release. “The placement of this pavilion in Winter Park will make accessing our services easier for members of the community who choose Orlando Health for their medical needs.”[v]

The women’s pavilion offers care for women through every stage of life. Patients who need to see multiple specialists now have the opportunity to received coordinated care in one central location. Services offered include aesthetics and reconstructive surgery, behavioral health, bone health and osteoporosis care, breast care, cardiology, endocrinology, general surgery, imaging services, internal medicine, laboratory services, obstetrics and gynecology and urogynecology.

The pavilion might remind you of a food court or a shopping mall. Patients can visit their primary physician, who might recommend a mammogram and bloodwork – both of which can be taken care of in the building before the patient leaves. Everything is available at the patient’s fingertips.

“We are delighted to bring our expert care to the women of the Winter Park community,” said Kelly Nierstedt, president of Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies. “We want to meet and treat women where they are, and this new location will provide our services right in their backyard.”[vi]

The Orlando Health approach is interesting in that by focusing on women specifically, it captures a primary gateway audience for future potential audiences. According to Jessica Greene, a professor of health policy and statistics at Baruch College who’s studied physician selection bias, research suggests that in families with a mother and a father, the mother usually makes decisions regarding the children’s healthcare.[vii]

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Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

Additionally, the hospital’s decision to employ female physicians is significant. A study published in the PNAS in 2018 revealed that both male and female heart-attack patients had higher chances of survival under the care of female doctors. Particularly, female patients saw the most significant change in survival rates when treated by female doctors.[viii]

While the study does not prove that women are better off seeing female doctors, it does reinforce the idea that doctors need to understand the way factors such as gender might affect how health conditions manifest in different patients.

The different approaches taken by the rival hospital systems in the Central Florida region illustrate two separate marketing tactics. While AdventHealth aims to completely redefine the healthcare experience, starting from scratch and using the first-mover advantage, Orlando Health has selected a target audience and is using prototyping to improve on their pavilions as they continue to expand locations. Time will tell which is a more lucrative strategy.

Questions for Marketing Managers to Consider:

  • How can AdventHealth leverage their national brand power to maintain their position as market leader in the Greater Orlando area?
  • What can Orlando Health do to capture additional audiences in their quest to become market leader in the healthcare community of Central Florida?
  • If Orlando Health wants to take their audience of women and leverage their influence to capture new audiences, what kind of messaging tactics should they take?
  • Is it better to have the first-mover advantage when launching innovative services and products, as opposed to being able to improve on existing frameworks to provide higher quality service?

[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AdventHealth

[ii] Central Florida Division External Communications. (2019). Florida Hospital is now AdventHealth. AdventHealth. Retrieved from https://www.adventhealth.com/business/adventhealth-central-florida-media-resources/news/florida-hospital-now-adventhealth

[iii] Central Florida Division External Communications. (2019). AdventHealth breaks ground on ER, health park to serve residents of Osceola County. AdventHealth. Retrieved from https://www.adventhealth.com/business/adventhealth-central-florida-media-resources/news/adventhealth-breaks-ground-er-health-park-serve-residents-osceola-county-0

[iv] https://www.orlandohealth.com/facilities/medical-pavilion-winter-park

[v] Miller, Naseem. (2019). Orlando Health to open medical office in Winter Park. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved from https://www.orlandosentinel.com/health/os-ne-orlando-health-winter-park-medical-pavilion-20190517-7dmrvb4rsvca5dzng25rkzkzxu-story.html

[vi] Orlando Health. (2020). Orlando Health Opens New Women’s Medical Pavilion in Winter Park. Orlando Health. Retrieved from https://www.orlandohealth.com/content-hub/orlando-health-opens-new-womens-medical-pavilion-in-winter-park

[vii] Zocdoc Insights. (2020). How Does Gender Factor in When Patients Choose Doctors? The Script. Retrieved from https://thescript.zocdoc.com/do-women-prefer-female-doctors-it-depends/

[viii] Greenwod, Brad; Carnahan, Seth; Huang, Laura. (2018). Patient-physician gender concordance and increased mortality among female heart attack patients. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved from https://www.pnas.org/content/115/34/8569