... or maybe I should say, "NUHs:"
As I post this, the flags are going up as our hospital system, formerly known as Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, officially announces their new name and brand:
(Be sure not to separate the words).
The new preferred shortened nickname? "NorthShore." The new logo is shown above and contains Nike-like swooshes (representative of the waves of Lake Michigan, I guess) as part of the healthcare cross. ("Cooler by the lake" maybe?)
They decided to go with a more conventional blue hue rather than our former purple motif - certainly not as shocking to the eye. Our new website url has changed from enh.org to northshore.org.
So there you have it. Our name has officially changed. For the adminstration and marketers of healthcare, this is a BIG day. The loss of the Northwestern name will require a reassurance to the business community and community at large. As such, there is real risk (and expense) to changing your brand. Stationary, signage, voice messages, policy manuals, and literature distributed to patients must be changed. But the change, regretfully, has become necessary, as consolidation of health systems nationwide continues and large systems compete.
But the real test will be when the rubber meets the road: first impressions for new patients, ancillary providers, and nursing and physician recruits are everything in these days of internet communications, lightning-fast judgements, and "quality ratings." The hope is the new name, coupled with its continued academic affiliation with the University of Chicago, will invoke a sense of community, stability, and prestige. For established patients and their doctors, the change brings more of an inconvenience having to type six additional letters for the internet address; the people, the buildings, and the healthcare are very much the same.
Now, as I'm off to pick up my new lab coat, stand by as the local media branding blitz begins...