Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Center for Opinion Research

Assessing Brand Image

Consumer Insight Tracking Surveys, for Main Line Health

Since 2007, the Center has conducted regular Consumer Insight Tracking surveys for the Main Line Health system. As the healthcare delivery system in the United States continues to change and become ever more complex, Main Line Health faces challenges that are typical for health care providers. In light of these challenges, the surveys are designed to reveal both opportunities for growth and areas for improvement. Over time, multiple surveys have allowed the Center to track Main Line Health’s position relative to competitors on such measures as facility usage, consumer preference and loyalty, reputation, and quality. Main Line Health’s senior management team has used survey results to identify areas for growth, develop both marketing and fundraising campaigns, and improve patient care and satisfaction.

Working closely with Main Line Health marketing and planning personnel, our team has created survey instruments designed to provide precise and accurate data to the system’s decision makers. A well-designed ongoing image tracking survey includes: 1) a core set of questions that reflect institutional priorities and key brand attributes; 2) sample sizes large enough to detect change over time within specific geographic areas; and 3) consistent interviewing procedures from year-to-year. Accordingly, each survey measures consumer awareness and perception of the system as a whole, and of the individual hospitals and health centers, and samples 2,500 households in Main Line Health’s primary, secondary, and tertiary service areas in and around Philadelphia. At least 600 consumers are surveyed for each of the four hospitals’ basic market areas, and interviews are conducted with the person who self-identifies as the household’s healthcare decision maker. Surveys were completed in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012.

The Center’s project management team consults with Main Line Health frequently throughout the data analysis and reporting phase, to ensure that all research objectives are met. We analyze data for each individual hospital and service area, creating reports for the Main Line Health system as a whole, for the four hospitals, and for selected sub-markets. The reports summarize the data collected from those residing in the basic market area for each hospital, comparing Main Line Health’s hospitals to other hospitals both within and outside the Main Line Health system. Additionally, each survey’s results are compared to all previous surveys, to detect change over time.

Summary reports contain a marginal frequency report, showing the survey questionnaire and the responses to each question, a brand ratings chart, showing the relative brand rating of each hospital on all seven indicators (awareness, differentiation, reputation, inpatient use, outpatient use, inpatient satisfaction, and loyalty), and charts showing favorability, quality, and care ratings. Over the years, our data has proven to be highly useful, providing both accurate measures of hospital preference and likelihood of use and detailed demographic profiles of the system’s healthcare consumers.


  • About Main Line Health
  • Main Line Health offers comprehensive health services throughout suburban Philadelphia and employs approximately 10,260 people, including 1,900 physicians. The system operates four hospitals (Lankenau, Bryn Mawr, Paoli and Riddle), the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital, the Mirmont Treatment Center for addiction, and multiple outpatient facilities (primary care, specialty, laboratory, rehabilitation, and radiology). The system also offers skilled home health care, and provides senior care through assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.