This fall, Yale doctors donned lab coats embroidered with a new logo — on Aug. 31 “Yale Medicine” replaced “Yale Medical Group” as the brand name of the clinical practice of the Yale School of Medicine.
Efforts to rebrand Yale Medical Group as Yale Medicine have been underway for years, according to Mary Hu, the associate dean for communications at the medical school. The rebranding, which goes beyond a simple name change, is a multipronged initiative aimed at providing a more cohesive patient-centered care experience, Hu said. To this end, the new brand is pursuing multiple strategies, including establishing consistent naming conventions for programs and services offered by Yale physicians, creating a more patient-friendly website and increasing its social media presence.
“[The initiative] is far more than just a name and logo change.” Hu said. “It is about making our entire care experience more consistent, in line with a core set of values which have been defined for the practice.”
Hu described the core values as “compassionate, human, innovative, passionate and inquisitive.”
Dean of the Yale School of Medicine Robert Alpern said the initiative allows the practice to unify under a common name and purpose, thus ultimately provide a better patient experience. He added that academic medical centers in the past have often been heavily focused on education and research and provided patient care largely in service of those two aims. In the last 20 to 30 years, however, there has been a realization among academic clinical practices that if they are “going to provide patient care, they need to do it really well,” he said.
According to Alpern, the rebranding will allow Yale Medicine to develop systems that will maximize patient convenience.
“Typically patients who come to academic medical centers know that they’re getting the best quality care but they don’t always get the most convenient care,” Alpern said.
Yale Medicine’s new website is due to launch in early 2017, according to Connie Branyan, the director of strategy and program development at the medical school. Branyan said that the website will include new search functionality that is not available on the current site. This will allow patients visiting the site to type in a condition, a procedure or a physician’s name so that they can “find the most appropriate doctor more easily,” she explained.
Though in the past individual departments populated the website with their own content, giving rise to some inconsistency, the new website will operate under the purview of a central communications team, Hu said. This team will be responsible for generating communications and features about the practice.
In order to acquaint members of Yale Medicine with the new brand, the practice has created an online training program, according to Hu. Yale Medicine worked with a consultant who is aware of the most “up-to-date training pedagogy,” in order to create an intranet via which small learning modules are pushed to Yale Medicine physicians and staff on a regular basis.
Maryam Saeri, chief operating officer of Yale Medicine, said that the program is due to last seven weeks.
“[These] online training modules help to familiarize the staff and the faculty with the new brand,” Saeri said. “[This] e-learning platform covers things such as, who we are, what our organization is and who are partners are, what our business context and aspirations are and how to ‘live the brand’ every day.”
Saeri added that the practice also held a few large-scale meetings over the summer to introduce the rebrand to “physician and department leaders,” as well as other faculty and staff members.
Babar Khokhar, the medical director of ambulatory services for Yale Medicine, also expressed his enthusiasm for the rebranding, stating that it will allow the practice to maintain a seamless patient experience across all of its care sites.
“Our patients, staff and providers expect a high level of care and service at an institution such as Yale and we hope our brand will help achieve that goal,” Khokhar said.
With over 1,400 practicing physicians, Yale Medicine is one of the largest academic multispeciality group practices in the United States according to its website.