Viewpoint: Strategies for Success

Making the business case for a brand can be a tall task, particularly when competing with other organization priorities such as electronic health record upgrades and hospital acquisitions. Yet, marketing leaders at LCMC Health in New Orleans found a way by connecting the dots between brand experience data from consumers and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) patient scores to speak the C-suite’s language. A few years ago, leadership at LCMC Health was looking to the future and its path to growth. The brand and the experience were fragmented as the result of five different hospitals, each with unique histories and cultures, ...
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For over three decades, the health care industry has faced rapid change and operational, financial and market challenges. But at no time in recent memory have the demands on health care leaders been more exhausting and protracted than in 2020. Even the most seasoned leaders and frontline professionals have struggled given the uncertainty, stress, and personal safety and security issues associated with COVID-19. And concerns surrounding racial disparities and political division have only exacerbated the problem. So, what are leaders to do, both to boost their own resiliency and to better support their teams? Burl Stamp, former health system CEO and authority ...
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In the year since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, health care organizations have faced innumerable challenges and navigated through uncharted territory. Internal and external communications have never been more important, and organizations have used a variety of strategies to acknowledge both the victories and the losses during these difficult times. The following are examples from SHSMD member organizations and the AHA — remembrance events, public recognition of milestones and stories from the front lines. They highlight an array of creative approaches for acknowledging the impacts of the pandemic on staff and communities ...
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When crises hit in health care, typically well-laid marketing plans are pushed aside in favor of addressing the most pressing strategies and communications. An organizational North Star, however, can help guide health care organizations through challenging and unfamiliar territory. Oftentimes, hospital leaders fall back on rigid rules when confronted with chaos, notes Carol Koenecke-Grant, principle, CKG Consulting and former vice president of strategy and marketing for Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She urges her peers to instill a defined set of principles that can carry a marketing and communications team through difficult times while ...
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing almost every industry and area of life today and transforming the work of health care marketers — from how they segment and target customers to how they purchase and manage digital media platforms to how they engage with patients and deliver value. In a recent episode of SHSMD’s Rapid Insights podcast, Daniel Fell, senior strategist in Optum’s Market Solutions group, discusses ways this technology is set to fundamentally change marketing and the principles and applications of AI that health care marketers should understand as they prepare for the future. The Power of Machine Learning AI and machine learning ...
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By Elizabeth Kenefick, Nancy A. Myers, and Robin Hacke Place-based investment, otherwise known as community investment, helps create the social and physical environments that support community health over the long term. We have already seen this “anchor mission” strategy used by hospitals and health systems to address housing insecurity and other social determinants of health. As communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, community investment will be an innovative yet useful strategy for reimagining and rebuilding a more equitable society at a scale that grants alone cannot achieve. A Tool for Demystifying Place-based Investment A new resource, “ ...
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The latest trends in consumerism are the primary reason that health economist and author Jane Sarasohn-Kahn believes hospitals and health systems need to rethink their current models of service delivery. “Health care needs to become more like the hospitality or consumer packaged-goods industries,” she says. “To engage and retain loyal customers, we need to design services and experiences similar to what they encounter every day in the real world. It is no longer about the patient’s medical journey — it’s about the whole consumer experience.” The Consumer Health Care Landscape in the Wake of the Pandemic Although Sarasohn-Kahn says hospitals and health systems ...
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Addressing the major challenges facing hospitals and health systems now and in the future will require significant culture change, according to one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the subject. Health care leaders will need to create a culture that embraces change, innovation, employee and physician engagement, and quality care, according to Nancy M. Schlichting, FACHE(R), the former president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System. Schlichting shares her ideology for change driven by innovative leadership during difficult times. “Employees and the medical staff are central to the success of any hospital or health system,” she emphasizes. “They frequently ...
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By Ryan Nagdeman Associate Vice President, Marketing Communications Rush University Medical Center Hope has come in the form of the COVID-19 vaccine, but we are at the beginning of a long journey. Many frontline workers have been vaccinated, and nearly one million people in Illinois, where Rush is located, had scheduled their appointments for their first COVID-19 vaccinations by the end of January. At the same time, many people are waiting to be vaccinated, and some are not sure if they want to receive the vaccine . Guidelines within the state vary by county, causing frustration and confusion. As health care providers, it is our responsibility to reach everyone ...
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Food, housing, employment and other insecurities have swelled during the coronavirus pandemic. Hospitals and health systems across the country are implementing creative strategies to address these issues, and planners and marketers can play an important role in advancing this work in their organizations. Addressing Housing and Food Insecurities The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the social and economic circumstances that make some people more likely than others to become ill or have poor health. It has grown ever more urgent for hospitals to take steps to address the societal factors that lead to health inequities. Health care organizations are helping ...
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Hospital and health system digital front doors have become more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis. For two critical access hospitals, the pandemic was a catalyst that made them move quickly to strengthen their digital front doors. The ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ Opportunities At Lexington Regional Health Center in Nebraska, strategy leaders acted quickly when the pandemic hit, educating their diverse patient base about the coronavirus and adopting a telehealth platform focused on behavioral health. A nurse practitioner specializing in mental health had been active in using telehealth to reach out to the communities Lexington Regional serves, which ...
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In 2018, Emory Healthcare acquired a local health care system and formed an ambitious partnership with Kaiser Permanente to be the primary hospital for its members. Following this period of rapid expansion, the organization developed an integrated strategic and financial roadmap to achieve greater “systemness” across its many entities. The expansions added three hospitals, 38 ambulatory care locations and 800 physicians during a time of heightened competition and consolidation in the market. With this quick growth, Emory leaders felt their annual planning processes needed a jolt to bring these disparate parts into alignment. The health system started crafting ...
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As part of the AHA/SHSMD 2020 Navigating a New Reality conference , participants in the panel “Using the Road to Recovery to Build the Health Care System We Need” discussed how to learn from COVID-19 and apply the lessons learned. Panelists included: Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO, Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, Mich. Dr. Alan S. Kaplan, CEO, UW Health, Madison, Wis. Julie Petersen, CEO, Kittitas Valley Healthcare, Ellensburg, Wash. Ryan Gish (moderator), managing director of Kaufman Hall Three Principles for Building the Health Care System We Need Freese Decker pointed out three principles for all health care providers ...
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Looking to 2021

By Jennifer Wilkerson Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Sheppard Pratt Health System As we bring 2020 to a close, there is so much to remember when we consider the devastation that COVID-19 brought to the world. The unprecedented and unrelenting pressures it has put on health care and other essential workers. The families and friends mourning losses. The way it highlighted existing health and socioeconomic disparities. We remember these and other sources of pain. But we also have ample reasons to remember with a spirit of thankfulness. Reasons for Thankfulness We saw how scientists all over the globe pooled information and collaborated on developing ...
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Juana Spears Slade is the chief diversity officer and director of language services for AnMed Health, based in Anderson, South Carolina. In a recent podcast for SHSMD , she discussed how equity, diversity and inclusion are the cornerstone for AnMed’s strategy of ensuring every employee has an opportunity to succeed and contribute, every patient has a positive experience in every encounter, and health care begins long before and continues long after any patient’s actual visit. Slade says that understanding patients is fundamental. “We've got to know who our patients are. We've got to know what their preferences are. We've got to know how they communicate. ...
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By Dan Miers Chief Strategy Officer SPM Marketing and Communications A negligence case against a care provider took an interesting turn. The plaintiff included in their claim the allegation that the provider deliberately made false representations to the public by using phrases such as ‘best’ or ‘life-changing medicine’ in advertisements. The suit alleges that this kind of claim is fraud and the plaintiff should be compensated. To compound this story further, the provider’s lawyers rebuked the fraud claim arguing, “the phrases used in ads are ‘puffery,’ or exaggerated commendation used for promotional purposes.” These broad exaggerations do not represent ...
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After a decade of expansion, UNC Health, based in North Carolina, needed to unify its 11 hospitals and 33,000 staff. It also needed to be ready for marketplace disruption. “We wanted to disrupt ourselves before someone else came in and did it,” said Chief Transformation and Experience Officer Amy Higgins. It began this process in 2019, as a 100-day transformation process, and showed its worth during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Throughout COVID, people have continued talking about our values. They really did become what people gravitate toward as we were going through difficult times,” said Lisa Schiller, chief communications and marketing officer. Building Change ...
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“Attention spans are shorter than ever,” noted Sarah Scroggins, director of social media for 28-hospital system Advocate Aurora Health. However, she and fellow marketers at Illinois- and Wisconsin-based Advocate Aurora Health have figured out how to cut through the noise and build engagement through the user-generated content (UGC) their own patients and providers create and share. They’ve seen a 185 percent increase in social media engagement since the start of the COVID-19 health crisis. The surge is coming primarily through UGC that has seen three times more interaction than heavily produced marketing pieces created by Scroggins’ team. This content also has ...
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Ochsner Health System is using an enterprise-wide CRM to bring real-time marketing strategies to life across all touch points. The system, based in Jefferson, Louisiana, not far from New Orleans, relies on the CRM and expertise of its marketing team to deliver not just the right message, but the right personalized message at the right time. Brittany Graffagnini, assistant vice president of marketing, and Chelsea Lockhart, marketing supervisor at Ochsner Health System, shared their story and learnings during SHSMD Bytes. Consumers today are used to real-time marketing that actually saves them time and effort. Amazon, Netflix and Twitter, for example, deliver ...
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Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, economic turmoil and social and political divisiveness of 2020, the SHSMD community came together to share tools and approaches, lessons learned and visions of the future in two days of virtual meetings. In formal sessions and informal networking, this conference gave members the chance to connect, to validate and inform their thinking and to build on the victories won against COVID-19 so far and ensure more victories in the future. The conference opened with the keynote “Winning the Modern Health Care Consumer: Candid Insights and Clear Action Steps,” presented by Paul Crnkovich, managing director, and Dan Clarin, senior ...
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