3d imagination / GO DESIGN / Evgeny Karandaev / Shutterstock.com. Photo illustration by SPARK Publications


In sickness and in health, people across the globe turn to health-care providers. The health-care market, which encompasses everything from hospitals and dental offices to residential care facilities and diagnostic laboratories, is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing industries.

By 2022, the global health-care market is projected to reach $11.9 trillion, according to Research and Markets. While the pandemic has left no industry unscathed, recovery is well under way in the health-care market.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that physicians’ offices added 80,000 jobs in June while dental offices added 190,000 jobs. Jobs for diagnostic labs jumped 7,000 and jobs in home health-care services increased 17,000 in June. Between 2018 and 2028, the BLS projects 1.9 million new jobs in the health-care field.

When it comes to a noble and respected profession, the health-care profession rises to the top. For the past 18 years, nurses have consistently ranked as the most ethical and honest professionals, according to Gallup. The 2019 poll showed that 85 percent of Americans rated nurses’ honesty and ethical standards as “high” or “very high.” Doctors and pharmacists also ranked high, at 67 percent and 66 percent, respectively.

The World Health Organization declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, an especially meaningful honor amid a global pandemic.

Health-care organizations looking to show appreciation and celebrate nurses and other health-care workers often turn to promotional products. According to PPAI research, health care is the top market for promotional products sales and in 2018, it accounted for 8.5 percent or $2.4 billion of total distributor sales. From recognition programs to helpful items for daily use, promotional products are a proven way to help show health-care professionals how vital they are to their organizations and communities.

Promotional items are also useful tools in promoting telehealth services and staying top-of-mind when patients are moving away from face-to-face interactions. Healthgrades reports that since the pandemic began, most Americans feel comfortable using electronic information and telecommunication technologies. Approximately 83 percent of consumers say that telehealth services can replace some or all of their in-person appointments, and 34 percent say they have used telehealth services recently.

Read on for a pulse on today’s health-care market and get a dose of ideas for using promotional items for your health-care clients.


The global pandemic has underscored the world’s critical need for health-care providers—and the continuing demand for more of them. By 2033, the U.S. could face a shortage of as many as 139,000 physicians, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Nurses are also in high demand, especially as the population ages and brings on the need for more complex care. More than 200,000 registered nurses are needed by 2030 to replace the retiring generation, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Those who currently work in the health-care field face a higher risk of burnout than any other workers, according to Mayo Clinical Proceedings. A study by the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that nearly half (41 percent) of physicians experience at least one symptom of burnout. Women physicians are more likely to experience burnout, notes the National Academy of Medicine, largely due to greater responsibilities at home and less control over their workloads than their male counterparts.

The strain isn’t just felt by health-care providers—patients also feel stress when finding the care they need. According to an AAMC poll, 35 percent of respondents say they had difficulty finding a doctor in the past two to three years. This number is up 10 points from 2015, highlighting an opportunity for physicians to get in front of their community with branded products.

Now is also an ideal time for health-care providers to spread awareness about their virtual offerings, from telehealth services to online preregistration and wait-time tracking. Patients are no longer loyal to their providers simply because they receive good care—they value convenience as well. NRC Health found that 80 percent of people who were satisfied with their care said they would switch health-care providers based on convenience factors alone.


Here’s a look at the states with the most active physicians in 2020.


When people choose a health-care provider, they expect more than excellent care. These are the top reasons patients stay loyal to their health-care providers:

While health-care professionals are needed in all areas, the demand is highest for these specialties:

  • Family medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • Internal medicine
  • Nurse practitioners
  • OB/GYNs
  • Hospitalists

Source: Board Vitals


U.S. News & World Report vetted hospitals around the country to determine the ones that provide the highest-quality care. These 21 hospitals made the 2019-20 Best Hospitals Honor Roll.

  1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
  2. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
  4. Cleveland Clinic
  5. New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell, New York
  6. UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
  7. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco
  8. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
  9. NYU Langone Hospitals, New York
  10. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago
  11. University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor
  12. Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, Stanford, California
  13. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
  14. Mount Sinai Hospital, New York
  15. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, Pittsburgh
  16. Keck Hospital of USC, Los Angeles
  17. University of Wisconsin Hospitals, Madison
  18. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia
  19. Mayo Clinic-Phoenix
  20. Houston Methodist Hospital
  21. Yale New Haven Hospital, Connecticut



House calls are making a comeback. Amid COVID-19, when many people want to avoid sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, house calls are a safer ticket to treatment. According to SEMrush, a data analytics company, search volume for in-home doctor visits spiked in January and February, with searches for “in-home doctor visits” surging 135 percent, “on-call doctors” by 285 percent and “in-home medical care” by 400 percent.

Source: BizJournals.com


Want to break into the health-care market? Take a look at the industry’s largest companies by revenue (as of March 2020).

  1. CVS Health Corp. - $257.3 billion
  2. UnitedHealth Group, Inc. - $240.3 billion
  3. McKesson Corp. - $224.9 billion
  4. AmerisourceBergen Corp. - $182.1 billion
  5. Cigna Corp. - $153.7 billion
  6. Cardinal Health, Inc. - $149.7 billion
  7. Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. - $137.4 billion
  8. Anthem, Inc. - $104.2 billion
  9. Johnson & Johnson - $82.1 billion
  10. Centene Corp. - $74.6 billion

Source: Investopedia



But on the bright side: 

Ninety percent of doctors are satisfied with their career choice and 61 percent say they would encourage others to pursue a medical career.

Source: PatientPop.com


About half of U.S. adults (48 percent) have skipped or postponed medical care amid the pandemic, with 11 percent saying their condition worsened as a result. Health-care providers can use promotional products to assuage their patients’ concerns and promote the benefits of getting seen now as opposed to postponing care.

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation


The United States has some of the highest health-care costs in the world. In 2018, the U.S. spent 16.9 percent of GDP on health care, which is nearly double what other high-income countries spend. In 1960, per capita health spending hovered around $146. This number now soars above $10,000, which is more than two times what the U.K., France, Canada, New Zealand and Australia spend. The average American pays $1,122 in out-of-pocket health-care costs each year, with only the Swiss paying more.

Sources: The Commonwealth Fund and Statista


To stay healthy, regular check-ups are important. However, most men (60 percent) only go to the doctor when they are seriously ill. Women are 33 percent more likely to visit their doctor for all types of care, and they are 100 percent better at maintaining screening and preventive care. To get more men on board with screenings and exams, talk to your health-care clients about creating awareness and outreach campaigns. You just might save a life.

Sources: Cleveland Clinic and Centers for Disease Control


Give health-care management professionals a cohesive and professional look with custom neckwear. Choose from neckties and scarves in 100-percent silk, 100-percent silk-like polyester and a variety of weaves.

Buffalo Bay  /  PPAI 111547, S4  /  www.buffalobay.com


From front desk staff to physicians’ desks, the BIC® PrevaGuard™ Mouse Pad makes a smart office accessory. Complete with PrevaGuard preservative, this mouse pad suppresses the growth of fungi, bacteria, mold and mildew.

BIC Graphic NA  /  PPAI 114187, S13  /  www.bicgraphic.com


The Personal Care Kit keeps all the essentials handy and contains enough to share with others. Included are 10 disposable face masks, five hand sanitizer packets and five antiseptic towelettes packed in a drawstring backpack with imprint. Choose from 10 colors.

BIC Graphic NA  /  PPAI 114187, S13  /  www.bicgraphic.com


Health-care brands can keep their names front and center with the Vynex® Peel&Place® Ultra-Thin Counter Mats. Featuring a scratch-resistant, textured matte surface, these low-profile mats fit flush to countertops and stay put with removable adhesive.

CounterPoint  /  PPAI 227346, S7  /  www.doyoupop.com


Position the 16-ounce Vx2® Gloss Double-Wall Insulated Paper Cups next to coffee makers in hospitals and doctors’ waiting rooms. These American-made cups are printed in full color with a high-gloss finish for a visually appealing, useful promotional tool.

Visstun  /  PPAI 339893, S6  /  www.visstun.com


Keep health-care workers comfortable in the Jockey® Scrubs Unisex Four Pocket Top. Crafted of polyester and rayon with a touch of spandex for easy movement, it featured a classic, banded V-neck design with a forward dropped shoulder and badge loop, side vents and four pockets to carry all their gear. Choose from 10 soft and classic colors with an imprint or embroidery on left chest or either sleeve.   

Hit Promotional Products  /  PPAI 113910, S13  /  www.hitpromo.net


Ideal for health programs, the Slow the Spread Kit contains all the essentials to help halt the transmission of the coronavirus: hand sanitizer, disposable masks, disinfecting wipes and a no-contact keychain. The items are packaged in a cotton travel pouch for easy transport.

Leed’s  /  PPAI 112361, S13  /  www.leedsworld.com


When creating health-care promotions, think beyond clinicians to the canines that may be helping as well. When Jennifer Hagen of distributor Feury Image Group, Inc. in Newark, New Jersey, wanted to raise awareness for the animal companion program at Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut, she used custom bandanas to give the therapy dogs a uniform much like the nurses.

“The logo on each bandana adheres to Yale New Haven Health System’s strict brand standards,” Hagen says. “It was really well-received. Who can resist a dog in a bandana who likes to be petted and help people?”

Hagen also provides uniforms to more than 15,000 clinical and non-clinical employees and works with individual departments within the hospital as well. For example, for the house staff department, she has provided a variety of branded products, including tote bags, mugs, pens, lanyards, journals and more.

The therapy dogs began wearing the bandanas in October 2018 and continue today, bringing smiles and plenty of cheer to patients and staff alike.


Every month is filled with opportunities to center a promotion around a health-related cause. See below for some ideas to raise awareness, celebrate health-care workers and push toward better health for all.

National Blood Donor Month
National Bath Safety Month

American Heart Month
National Children’s Dental Health Month

National Doctors’ Day (March 30, 2021)
Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month
Move More Month

National Nurses Week (May 6-12, 2021)
National Blood Pressure Month

National Men’s Health Month
National Safety Month

World Hepatitis Day (July 28)
Cord Blood Awareness Month

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month
National Breastfeeding Month

Pain Awareness Month
World Alzheimer’s Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Eye Injury Prevention Month

Men’s Health Awareness Month
American Diabetes Month

National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month
National Handwashing Awareness Week (December 1-7, 2020)

Source: Healthline


Audrey Sellers is a Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas-area writer and former associate editor of PPB.