WakeMed Children’s, a leading community health system in Wake County, North Carolina, faced competitive pressures from several large academic health centers expanding into its region. Their facilities and services provide healthcare for the entire community, however increased competition could result in lower market share, loss of revenue and increased intensity to attract and maintain patients.

WakeMed Children’s needed a way to improve growth in community healthcare and differentiate themselves to “win the market.” Accenture helped to embark on a journey to transition this Health system from an acute-focused hospital to a pediatric community health system that will deliver a broader suite of healthcare services.

Strategy and solution

With new competition entering the market, WakeMed wanted to better understand new growth opportunities, competitively differentiate themselves in the market and better meet the needs of the community. The hospital embarked on a five-year strategic plan to effectively transition from an acute-focused pediatric hospital to a children’s community health system. The acute focus was centered around WakeMed’s pediatric and neonatal intensive care units while the shift to a community health system would create a seamless patient and family centered ecosystem that better supports the health needs of the community across the care continuum.

To accomplish these goals WakeMed needed solutions that would address their current business challenges:

  • Future growth for the children’s hospital
  • Market differentiation
  • Brand awareness
  • Seamless care across the ecosystem

WakeMed asked Accenture to help produce a strategy based on five key goals and to create a vision for growing their brand and footprint over the next five years.

Strengthen the pediatric ambulatory network:

Determine opportunities for Pediatric Primary Care expansion, affiliation options and strategies to capitalize on Primary Care opportunities.

Close gaps in the care ecosystem:

Address care transition gaps and opportunities for sub-specialties and key support services.

Build pediatric awareness:

Develop a distinct children’s brand and optimize existing online channels (google search, patient reviews, hospital wayfinding and navigation, etc.).

Remove access barriers:

Remove records requirements, standardize physician templates and streamline scheduling protocols to enable direct scheduling.

Improve communications platforms:

Leverage technology as an engagement platform to increase enrollment. Improve awareness and connections with physicians by using new technologies.

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The client asked Accenture to build a customized growth model to help define the pediatric vision and strategy, inventory opportunities and develop a road map for a five-year market expansion plan. Accenture also led a strategy retreat which focused on the following components:

  • Market trends and leading practices in pediatric health systems
  • Competitive positioning relative to key competitors and competitive advantages
  • Creation of an executable vision that includes high-level priorities for the future strategy

WakeMed was able to meet its goals by properly aligning its strategy to meet market trends. Accenture helped define the pediatric vision, strategy and road map for a five- to ten-year expansion plan. The team also developed a roadshow deck that allowed the client to market their plan and objectives to internal stakeholders over the next five years. With a better understanding of patient trends within specified regions, WakeMed Children’s is now able to properly align its strategy and use quantifiable metrics to quickly move into the market.

Accenture analyzed the following detailed local market demographic data to create a long-term road map based on build, buy and affiliate options across each specified region.


5 years of market and outpatient data was analyzed to assess market share, patient growth and procedure growth to understand market characteristics.


WakeMed Children’s Patients were surveyed to develop national patient experience provider benchmarks to identify patient desires and preferences.


Informal interviews were conducted to identify and validate WakeMed’s market position, strengths and weaknesses.


Secret Shopper research to identify patient pain points and service/access gaps.

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