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Value dimensions in behavioral healthcare

April 26, 2013
by Terry L. Stawar, Ed.D.
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Branding for Fun and Profit

The basic notion behind branding is to develop a public perception of your organization that is not only immediately recognizable, but also one which differentiates your organization from competitors. What do you want your  brand to be synonymous with? When they look up “friendly” or “effective” or “cheap” or “responsive” in the dictionary is a picture of your brand there?

The way to build a brand to review the possible value dimensions for you industry and decide which ones to emphasizes as you signature feature. Just as important is deciding in which ones you should de-emphasize. For example if your brand is “The Low-Cost Alternative” this might require sacrificing many values dimensions in order to achieve your promise. On the other end if you brand is “Why not have the best.” You may be emphasizing a lot of dimensions to an extreme degree such as convenience, locations, facility, and personal attention. You may also be introducing new value dimensions that are not typically associated with your industry.

Below is a partial list of  some of the major value dimensions in behavioral healthcare today. Discovering or inventing  new  value dimensions can help you develop a true unique brand—one with much perceived value-added. Borrowing from other industries, looking at individual market segments needs, and analyzing client/community complaints are methods to uncover some of these possibilities. What other value dimensions have your organization discovered and used?  


Typical Value Dimensions in Behavioral Healthcare Organizations

  • Competitive Price
  • Premium/price with Added Value
  • Quality of  Care
  • Friendly Clinicians
  • Friendly Support Staff
  • Effectiveness as shown by outcomes
  • Integrated Care setting/one-stop shopping
  • Pleasant/Non-threatening Experience
  • Easy to Communicate  with Staff
  • Highly Credentialed and Qualified Staff
  • Immediate Availability 
  • Linked to Services by Trusted Party 
  • Ability to See Prescriber 
  • Ability to Get Medication
  • Perceived Expertise
  • Perceived Professionalism 
  • Ease of Access to 1st Appointment
  • Ease of Access to Prescriber Appointment
  • Perceived Ability to help
  • Perceived Competence and Effectiveness
  • Ease of Navigating the System
  • Full Continuum of Services available
  • Evidence based Practices Used
  • Effective communication with Referral Sources
  • Responsiveness to Complaints or Issues
  • Accurate Billing and Client Statements
  • Geographic Accessibility/Location
  • Ability to Service  Contracts  
  • Perceived as a Community Asset  
  • Embedded in Alliances and Collaborations
  • Caring Environment
  • Professional, stylish, upscale facilities
  • Perception as good stewards, thrifty, efficient
  • Free and Available Parking
  • Specialized services  for identified segments
  • Convenient Hours (after school, after work, weekends, etc.)
  • Ability to provide the Intensity of Services Needed
  • Ability to Integrate  Services with any Other Services They are Currently Receiving.
  • Perception of Secure and Confidential Setting
  • Clean,  Comfortable, Safe Waiting Areas (videos,  games, current magazines, coffee, etc)                                

Terry Stawar

President/CEO (LifeSpring, Inc.)

Terry Stawar


Terry L. Stawar, EdD, is President and CEO of LifeSpring Health Systems, a community behavioral...

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