Viewpoint: Strategies for Success

Without execution, strategy fails. Without strategy, execution creates a default future that might be far from the one your organization wants to build. But with the right alignment of strategy and execution, operational leaders and strategists throughout the organization will know which actions to take, even in a dramatically changed environment like the one that the health care he field faces today. Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, Minnesota, developed a toolkit for team leaders to align their execution to the organizational strategic goals. The process consists of four activities: Step into the future. Chart your course. Stress test ...
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This guest blog is written by Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D. a thought leader regarding health care and other factors related to aging in America. Dychtwald is featured in an article offering healthy aging solutions in SHSMD’s Futurescan 2020-2025: Health Care Trends and Implications . He is also the co-author of What Retirees Want: A Holistic View of Life’s Third Age . As retirees make up a greater proportion of the U.S. population than ever before in history, hospitals and health systems must understand their needs and concerns in order to deliver a good consumer experience and build a relationship of trust. This blog post addresses four very common problems ...
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This blog post draws from an interview with Stacey Brandt , executive vice president, chief strategy and marketing officer at Tampa General Hospital. Before the Pandemic When COVID-19 started, Tampa General put a pause on its originally planned messaging to focus on the immediate community needs for accurate and timely information. Each year, the hospital uses a stop/start/continue/modify/accelerate framework to adapt the strategic plan to changes and they used this same discipline to determine the next steps during the pandemic. First Phase: Successful Pivot Brandt and her team developed processes around communications across audiences and stakeholders ...
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Disruption has been a common theme in health care for the last several years, but 2020 raised the stakes to a whole new level. Disruption this year has occurred with all aspects of our lives, including how SHSMD is engaging members through virtual conferences. For me, a highly effective professional conference delivers the following: inspiration, useful content and networking opportunities. The recent Navigating a New Reality virtual conference – offered in partnership by SHSMD and the American Hospital Association – provided all three. With COVID-19 impacting travel and in-person gatherings, virtual conferences are here to stay for at least the next ...
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The COVID-19 situation is full of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (a combination often referred to as VUCA). During the recent Navigating a New Reality virtual conference from SHSMD and the AHA Center for Health Innovation, health care strategists learned how to reduce uncertainty about consumer needs and preferences and about economic instability. Monitoring the Consumer’s Pulse Understanding consumer data and applying it to organization and business unit strategy was critically important before the pandemic. Today, it’s imperative to achieve growth, noted Northwell Health’s Jeff Kraut, vice president of strategy and analytics and ...
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A “Virtual Hospital” in 10 Days On most days prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Atrium Health, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, already exceeded its inpatient bed capacity at hospitals in its core service area. Leaders were anticipating needing upward of 50 percent additional inpatient bed capacity. Atrium came up with the idea of a “virtual hospital” to treat COVID-19 patients at home and free up hospital space. It took the 45-hospital system just 10 days to implement the concept in the spring. By August, the service had treated nearly 16,000 patients through the program, and only about 3 percent became inpatients. “As an organization, we always thought ...
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Scenario planning is a vital tool for building strategy in an environment full of uncertainty. It systematically builds possible futures in a way that prepares strategists for a range of potential outcomes and aligns work with the most important objectives. Building Bridges by Imagining an Uncertain Future From telemedicine adoption of less than one percent, to delivering all or most primary care virtually in a matter of weeks, health care has undergone unprecedented change, according to Holly Sullivan, senior director of strategic marketing at Spectrum Health. “COVID-19 has accelerated important debates about values, rights, the definition of health, ...
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In 2016, AdventHealth, based in Orlando, Florida, started creating an entirely new and centralized digital marketing team, adding new functions and new leadership. It also looked to other fields to find new leaders, including Anthony Cadieux, AdventHealth’s executive director of digital marketing, who joined the system after previously working for Ritz-Carlton, and Brandi West, executive director of digital brand and content strategy, who brought her global ecommerce and consumer roots to the health care space. A New Digital Marketing Mindset and Centralization At the beginning of their journey four years ago, AdventHealth leaders quickly determined ...
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This blog post previews an upcoming panel session with Alan Kaplan, M.D. CEO of UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, at Navigating a New Reality , the virtual conference from the AHA and SHSMD, from September 14-16. The session, “Using the Road to Recovery to Build the Health Care System We Need,” will feature Kaplan, Julie Peterson, CEO of Kittitas Valley Healthcare in Ellensburg, Washington, and Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan. These diverse organizations are effectively planning to facilitate financial recovery with a strategic focus, including capital strategy, expense management and growth and investment ...
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Amid the volatility and uncertainty that COVID-19 has created, a few new certainties are emerging including the acceleration of digital strategies for health systems (e.g., the use of remote care and telehealth). Some previous certainties, like the importance of trust in health care providers and the need for collaboration, are receiving more attention than before the pandemic. The Providence Digital Innovation Group – a team of strategists, software engineers, marketers and investors with Providence Health and Services in Renton, Washington – has identified the major trends driving the evolution of the industry toward the next normal. The group makes their ...
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COVID-19, like most pandemics, features all the elements for a horror novel or movie. It is fundamentally unfair in who it strikes, including the most vulnerable and the heroic workers on the front lines. As fast as we are learning, there are still so many unknowns. It infects invisibly. Things that people do on any normal day, like touching a door handle, are now risky. It brings people together but it also divides them – it damages not just bodies but communities. People, including those with serious health conditions, are avoiding hospitals. While the reasons include fear of contracting COVID-19 and fear of unmanageable costs, some are afraid of being ...
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Beaumont Health in Southfield, Michigan, designed a multi-channel campaign to inform the public and its patients that it is safe to return to the hospital for routine services and vital not to postpone needed care. To ensure that the health system reached as many people as possible and communicated trustworthiness and safety, the marketing team included: Television and radio advertising that has a public service announcement-like feel. Social media pushes. Outreach to patients who had used its emergency centers. Direct mailings, which Beaumont hadn’t used for a long time. Head of marketing Jennifer Carbary described the campaign: ...
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Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) in Monterey, California. SVMHS is dealing with a spike in cases that started around Memorial Day and has not let up since,” said Alan Shoebridge, the director of marketing and communication. “Every week since Memorial Day we’ve set a new high in COVID-19 patient admissions. A big part of it is the holidays. We saw a spike after Mother’s Day, after Memorial Day and now after July 4. We’ve completely filled our initial dedicated COVID-19 space and opened up our overflow area, which is close to capacity.” SVMHS has already prepared additional overflow space. “I have a feeling we’re going to be on this roller ...
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During a SHSMD podcast , Jennifer Horton, vice president of strategy at Ten Adams Healthcare Branding, Marketing and Advertising, relayed her post-COVID strategy advice: “Health care marketers need to remember that your consumers have changed. You are now almost working in a completely different industry; you have to relearn a lot of the new behaviors and the new expectations.” For decades, health care marketers have been working hard to improve consumer perception. When the COVID pandemic hit, community perceptions shifted. They started to understand the real commitment of the health care workers, the sacrifices they’re making and all that they’re doing ...
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LCMC Health is based in New Orleans, Louisiana, which has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Greg Feirn, the CEO of LCMC Health, and Christine Albert, senior vice president of marketing, shared their insights into branding during a time of crisis and how to convey empathy and leadership.  Feirn and Albert shared two rapid insights: Think of ways to break through the clutter and reassure your consumer, your staff and your community alike that they have an emotional connection to a trusted brand. During times of crisis, you have to put the voice of the consumer first. So know who they are and what they want and speak to them specifically ...
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Resiliency. Flexibility. Data literacy. Open collaboration. During the COVID-19 upheaval, these are among the qualities that hospitals and health systems look for in their strategists and will continue to seek as the field of health care evolves into the new normal. Bridging Worlds: The Future Role of the Health Care Strategist is SHSMD’s framework for preparing health care strategists for an environment of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). While it was developed long before the COVID-19 pandemic, its five implications for health care strategists could have been written specifically for navigating COVID-19. The Five Implications ...
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As part of the Advanced Social Media & Digital Marketing in Health Care Live Virtual Conference hosted by SHSMD and Mayo Clinic, Paul Roetzer. founder and CEO of PR 20/20 | Marketing AI Institute, shared perspectives on artificial intelligence and what it can do for marketers. Artificial intelligence (AI) is forecasted to have trillions of dollars in annual impact, yet most marketers still struggle to understand what AI is and how they can actually use it in their organizations, according to Roetzer.Artificial intelligence (AI) is forecasted to have trillions of dollars in annual impact, yet most marketers still struggle to understand what AI is ...
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Frank Lococo, vice president of marketing and communications at Nebraska Medicine, the primary hospital network affiliated with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, shared his insights in a SHSMD podcast on successful communications during COVID-19 and how Nebraska Medicine acted as a trusted information source.  Truth, Transparency and Timeliness The primary piece of advice Lococo shared was to develop a plan and practice constantly. The more an organization practices, the easier and better the execution and the outcome. The other factor that made Nebraska Medicine so ready to respond was that they dedicated considerable time and effort in building ...
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) already had a popular patient portal in place, long before the coronavirus crisis started. But once the public health emergency reared its head in Nashville, use of the system grew faster than they could have imagined. On an average week, the institution might see 3,000 sign-ups for My Health at Vanderbilt; by mid-March, that number nearly tripled to almost 8,100. In the pediatrics population, enrollment increased more than sevenfold in one week to 1,500. There are two major reasons for the recent surge, leaders believe. One is they’ve used the portal as patients’ entryway into telehealth services after Vanderbilt ...
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During a SHSMD webinar on the new normal , a panel of marketing and communications experts from Michigan Medicine shared their experiences on hospital marketing and communications during COVID-19 and what they expect the next normal to look like. The expert panel featured: Rose M. Glenn, chief communications & marketing officer. Denise Beaudoin, senior director of digital strategy and engagement. Sally Liaw, senior director for executive communications. Mary Masson, senior director of public relations. Rebecca Priest, senior director of marketing. COVID-19 Microsites Attendees shared thoughts on how they created ...
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