What's In a Name?
Leave it to me to be able to apply an episode of "Downton Abbey" to health care! Without creating any spoilers for those who may be catching it at a later time, a situation arose in last night's episode that I have seen play out time and again in health care.
A character chooses the advice of a health care provider who is famous... the best in the business. The trusted local physician, only a small-town doctor, is ignored. Of course, television being what it is, the outcomes would have been better if the character had heeded the advice of the small-town doctor.
How many times have I seen a similar situation play out with my clients? I've seen older adults choose an orthopedic surgeon because he's the doctor for some major sports team. That doctor may be brilliant about young athletes' knees, but does he really know older adults' bodies and how they will react? Maybe. What about patients who seek out rehab centers, outpatient clinics or individual therapists because of their name, not necessarily their expertise?
Each of the ADVANCE bloggers has a different specialty. If my parent were to have a stroke, I'd want them to be seen by Toni or Jason. If a family member had an acute orthopedic injury, then off to Lisa or Karen. If you had an older adult with balance, gait and issues with falling, you'd want me. One of us may have a better market presence, but that doesn't mean we're all stellar at everything.
Generally we'd rather think about clinical care and leave the marketing to someone else. However, getting our names and specialty reputations out there could make the difference between patients getting exactly the care they need or somebody else's best try.