DCH will redefine strategic plan

Dearborn County Hospital is refining its strategic plan for the next two years, starting with “rebranding,” one of six primary pillars around which the strategic plan is built, said Dearborn County Hospital President/CEO Michael W. Schwebler.

Emphasizing quality, growth and efficiency, the pillars form the framework for the development of systemwide goals and objectives. DCH will introduce its new brand in the first quarter of 2018, said Schwebler.

“For many people, rebranding means only that you change your logo and colors.  While the changing of logos or corporate colors may be included in a rebranding effort, it is only one small part of a much more in-depth and comprehensive initiative,” said Schwebler.  

The rebranding will include a new, more accurate identity for the hospital along with establishing core values and systemwide principles, including re-envisioning the hospital’s mission statement and the development of a brand promise, he said.  

“Most importantly, it means making a commitment to adhere to our mission, vision and values in all we do, 365 days a year.”

The current brand does not accurately portray DCH, its wide scope of providers, services and locations, or even the geographic area in which patients live and work, he said.  

DCH is much more than a hospital in the traditional sense. The DCH brand encompasses more than 45 healthcare providers with offices in Dearborn, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland counties, said Schwebler.   

Care once provided in the hospital now is available in more convenient community settings, including outpatient physical therapy and sports medicine facilities in Bright and Versailles, he said.  

“DCH also offers a wide range of home health and hospice services in five Southeastern Indiana counties, sponsors area WIC and PATHS programs, and holds the licenses for a number of long-term care facilities located throughout the state,” said Schwebler.

A successful rebrand is a concerted, comprehensive effort that takes time, expertise and research, added DCH Director of Marketing.

“For almost a year now, we have worked with Madison Design, who are specialists in brand strategy, creation and implementation,” she said.

“Last summer, focus groups, comprised of area healthcare consumers, were asked targeted questions pertaining to their perception of the hospital’s brand including its name. A secondary round of focus groups was then convened to explore potential new names and logos.”

The research concluded that the name Dearborn County Hospital does not accurately represent the present-day hospital on numerous fronts, said Hornberger.  

“While the use of the words ‘Dearborn County’ represents ownership, it severely limited the perceived geographic scope and significance of the facility.  To many, the word ‘county’ automatically implied a smaller, less sophisticated facility and/or one which primarily served the basic needs of lower income or indigent populations,” she said.

Using the term “hospital” implies a singular or stand-alone facility, not representative of the hospital’s full range of services, providers and facilities, said Hornberger.

“We strongly believe that the new brand will better represent all that DCH has to offer to the region. It will also serve to tie together the additional pillars of our strategic plan,” Schwebler.

“From acute hospital stays to routine physician visits, much work is being done across the board at DCH to refine and enhance the way we interact with and serve both our patients and the community.  Along with our new name and logo, the public will notice a greater emphasis on our mission, vision and values.”