Survey finds healthcare companies undervalue reputation

LOS ANGELES: Despite the intense focus on trust in the healthcare industry, just over half of healthcare CEOs measure how their company's reputation fares.

LOS ANGELES: Despite the intense focus on trust in the healthcare industry, just over half of healthcare CEOs measure how their company's reputation fares.

In a survey sponsored by the PRSA and FischerHealth, nearly two-thirds of CEOs noted that reputation is "critical" or "very important" to the bottom line. Yet 39% noted that they have never attempted to measure reputation.

Thirty healthcare CEO from a number of healthcare sectors participated in the survey.

"We always run into the same excuses," said Ben Singer, FischerHealth SVP and national practice leader for health services, who cites a lack of time and resources as the most common ones.

But he likens measurement as a form of preventive medicine.

"Reputation itself is an ethereal subject, but we're asking people to think quantitatively," he says. "If reputation takes a hit, it will take significant resources to [execute a crisis response]."

Alan Hilburg, president and CEO of Porter Novelli Consulting, agreed.
"Communication professionals must learn how to quantify reputation management and make it a bottom line discussion," he said. "You can't have a discussion with a CEO about reputation unless you have quantifiable data."

He added that when reputation falters, companies struggle to address the symptoms – declining sales or falling share prices, for instance – rather than the problem because they lack metrics.

FischerHealth is a Porter Novelli company.

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