Viewpoint: Strategies for Success

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In the digital era, patients have the resources and savviness to take an active role in their health and wellness. According to Pew Health Online Research, 35 percent of US adults have gone online to investigate a medical condition. And of these, half followed up with a visit to a medical professional. But with the tight restrictions placed on patient information and privacy, delivering on the promise of a customer-friendly digital experience can be difficult. So, how can healthcare organizations capture those who are primed to receive health information online? The First Step Is Discovery. St. Luke’s Health System, Idaho’s largest not-for-profit ...
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Healthcare is complex. And to add insult to injury, patients experience care, no matter how compassionate or coordinated, when you are sick or injured—when you are NOT on top of your proverbial game. You are often in no condition to manage the complexity ahead of you. Many are lucky to have a family member step in to help. Others are not so lucky. But one thing is certain—everyone benefits from a more streamlined process that is more empowering and easier to understand. And although mobile applications are not easy to develop, for a user, they have the power to help them navigate even small portions of the healthcare experience in a way that is more empowering ...
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From Data to Decision

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At Novant Health, headquartered in North Carolina, the marketing team has embarked upon a journey to use untapped data to identify and engage new consumers, develop more relevant products and services, and pinpoint the media channels that perform best for significant consumer segments. The Path to Segmentation In 2013, the Novant Health brand was launched when the health system brought together more than 350 separate brands with a goal of improving the patient experience. Additionally, the aim was to double annual revenue within five years. To achieve these ambitious goals in a hypercompetitive marketplace, the marketing team turned concepts ...
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As the healthcare field continues to exceed the rate of change, organizations must find new ways to bring strategy and vision to execution. Historically, organizations have experienced significant gaps in strategic performance due to the disconnection of strategy development from execution. Those that are successful have realized that effective strategy execution requires cascading corporate strategy in a way that aligns executives, business units, and employees to common goals. Having an approach to adapt and test the strategy becomes even more important to stay relevant and plan for changing competition. What approach provides the best adaptability and ...
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Imagine a world where your smart phone—and a nurse connected to it—can determine the level of care you need for a health concern before ever leaving the house. Or envision an urgent care visit where, upon your arrival, you are registered in the time it takes to walk to the exam room—and are out the door in less than an hour. While healthcare providers have been adjusting to the realities of consumerism through transparency initiatives and pricing strategies, MultiCare Health System in Washington state is meeting the challenge through disruptive innovations that add location, access, and lifestyle to the mix. MultiCare’s specific strategy, dubbed “First ...
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In 2013, the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) was at a crossroads. The 123-year-old academic medical center—with four schools, research enterprise, health system, correctional man-aged care program, and 12,000 faculty and staff spread across 700-plus miles—was experiencing rapid growth. It also was in the midst of a years-long recovery from 2008’s Hurricane Ike, which did $1 billion in damage to the headquarters campus on Galveston Island and closed its hospital for four months. A resulting major reduction in force—coupled with leadership changes and the rapid pace of change in healthcare—had employees feeling uninformed and unsure about ...
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The early days of marketing were about awareness and brand recognition. But leadership asked us to show them the value. Social media marketing is no different. We’re past the experimental phase and need to be sharing and measuring these tools like our other communications methods. While metrics like reach and likes are great feel-good ways to share how we’re contributing to the bottom line via social media, we can do better. Even if you don’t have a CRM tool or a reporting team at your disposal, you can step up your social media reporting to senior leadership. Here are 4 ways to do it: Use Google Analytics and forms to your benefit. ...
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For the past few years, the art of decluttering has gained a cultish following, and with good reason. Being organized and selective with your possessions helps clear the mind and, supposedly, opens up your capacity to get more done. While this is generally a practice applied to your clothes, books, and home accents, when you translate the magic of decluttering to your digital assets, the same positive benefits apply to your marketing efforts. Think about it when youre juggling social media campaigns, budgets, print campaigns, giveaways, email campaigns, radio campaigns, website content, provider profiles, SEO, brand reputation, and more, keeping ...
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For two decades, research conducted by change management thought leader John Kotter and others has shown that approximately two-thirds of large-scale change initiatives fail to meet their objectives. Faced with daunting odds like these, how can strategists position themselves to better lead and communicate the significant changes sweeping through the healthcare field? The following principles can guide you in developing an effective communications plan for a change initiative: 1. Understand the neuroscience of change. Resistance to change is more than an intellectual responseits biological, says Lu Anne Stewart, senior vice president, US Health ...
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Learn more about the differences between Millennials and their older counterparts They said what? Todays healthcare marketing landscape is more challenging than ever before. Consumers have so many different preferences, emotions, and needs. Plus, the demographic variances are mind blowing re-stating the obvious, eh? How do we best reach and serve these very different needs? Learning and better understanding the differences in digital healthcare behaviors between Millennials and their older counterparts is one way to start. Hear what Millennials had to say when responding to an annual consumer research study as well as some ideas to ponder. ...
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We are in a renaissance. The rate of change in the healthcare marketplace is moving at an accelerated pace. There are more opportunities than ever before for healthcare strategists, but there are greater challenges to refine and build upon their skillsets in preparation for an unknown future. Its a new era that Heather Prasad, director of strategic planning at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia, wants to make sure her team is ready for. Its vital for us to build the right competencies that will position our health system for success in the future, she says. With healthcare changing so rapidly, that can be a challenge. Sometimes, its easy ...
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Physician communication is an art, not a science. Luckily, there are some easy-to-implement tricks that can make your physician marketing strategies more effective with this unique and important audience. Here are our top five insider tips for hospital marketers: Think mobile first Physicians love their mobile devices even more than the rest of us. Physicians are busy during the day and tend to catch up on news and messages on their Apple or Android devices rather than a desktop. Succinct and approachable messages, designed for mobile viewing, resonate well with the physician community. Keep it real Other physicians do not ...
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There are so many maybe too many priorities to manage each day. As a marketing expert, are you ever tempted to just give in to the request of an employed practice rather than engage in a conversation? Its so hard to get ahead of it all on the practice marketing side. Weve had the best success when we can get consensus on the essential elements, the foundational items. Easier said than done, but heres where we start. See if you agree. Begin with brand. Marketers generally need to do a little education about what brand is and is not, and to discuss brand standards. What I like about starting with this is that the marketer leads this conversation ...
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On June 12, 2016 a heavily armed gunman storms an Orlando nightclub. Forty-nine people lose their lives in the mass shooting and 53 more receive treatment for their injuries at nearby hospitals. On July 29, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms four cases of local transmission of the Zika infection in Miami, putting area hospitals on the alert. On August 12, a devastating flood hits Baton Rouge. Patients flock to area hospitals. These three examples of catastrophic events drawn from the headlines are indicative of the new age of crisis communications that healthcare organizations face and must be ready to address. When a crisis occurs ...
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Childrens Specialized Hospital, the nations leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care for children with special health needs, created the #FightFace social media campaign in the summer of 2015 to increase brand awareness, build consumers positive brand impression, and start a digital movement. We wanted to engage with all of our audiences in a campaign that would empower patients, families, donors, volunteers, and staff in a new and exciting way. #FightFace was a cross platform campaign that encouraged audiences to post a selfie of their Fight Face to inspire the young patients at Childrens Specialized Hospital to keep fighting to get better. ...
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As healthcare leaders across the country are focused on improving quality and the patient experiencewhile grappling with challenges that are transforming the practice of medicinestandalone hospitals and health systems are becoming increasingly rare. In order to remain strong in the new environment, many organizations are forming alliances with other providers, including clinical affiliations, regional collaborations, mergers, and acquisitions. Before pursuing these options, healthcare strategists must carefully evaluate potential partners with an objective, analytical approach that takes into account financial, clinical, operational, and market considerations. ...
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If you look through Periscope to see how healthcare marketers might use personal video, the picture is still fuzzy. But if you look at this through Facebook Live, its crystal clear why many are adding Facebook Live to the innovative edge of their brands digital engagement strategies. Twitter has been helping get people familiar with personal video for years. Back in 2013, I described Twitters six second Vine loops as a low risk way to get teams tuned-in to personal video. Then came Periscope, Twitters live video streaming app, which would let you broadcast as long as your devices battery bandwidth could hold out. Facebook Is Simply More Invested ...
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Healthcare consumers are evolving. They are becoming customers in the classical sense of the word. They are asking more questions, shopping around, comparing prices, reading reviews, and overall taking on increased ownership of their healthcare. Hospital and health system leaders and marketers must also evolve to meet the expectations of the engaged healthcare consumer. But how? Listening to the Voice of the Customer In its efforts to build strong consumer relationships, Gundersen Health System (a healthcare network with hospitals and clinics located throughout parts of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota) created an online panel to make ...
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Repealing and not replacing the Affordable Care Act would be harmful for patients and the hospitals that serve them. Thats why the AHA recently sent letters to President-elect Trump and Congressional leaders highlighting the results of a new study that details the impact repealing the ACA would have on hospitals, health systems, and the communities they serve. This study, cosponsored by the Federation of American Hospitals and completed by the firm Dobson|DaVanzo, reveals some very important findings. If ACA is repealed without a bill providing simultaneous coverage to accompany it, the net impact to hospitals from 2018 to 2026 would be a loss of $165.8 ...
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Although it seems obvious and is largely taken for granted in other industries, healthcare marketers still face obstacles explaining to partners why having a strong brand matters to the ultimate success or failure of their marketing efforts. During my healthcare marketing MS class at OHSU we talked about why brand matters, and the role marketers play in leveraging strong brands to promote an organizations products and services. Before we get in too deep, it might help to define brand. As Seth Godin explains it, A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumers decision to ...
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