Viewpoint: Strategies for Success

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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Robbie Schneider oversees social media strategy for Franciscan Health’s 12 hospitals in Indiana and Illinois. Franciscan Health was discussing COVID-19 in social media as early as January, though it wasn’t until six or seven weeks later that a critical number of cases emerged in their service area. Schneider pointed out that “while we’ve always known that social media is flexible, but now with folks being at home at all hours and having different needs, you're not beholden to the old rules out there. And so I think this is a great time for experimentation and trying out new ideas.” She notes two important challenges. The first is to stay on message and ...
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Even while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals and health systems must also plan for a return to non-emergent care. This calls for coordination among clinical, planning and marketing teams, as hospitals or health systems must not only be safe but communicate that to community members who are still actively concerned about contracting COVID-19. Timing Reopening Knowing where your organization and community is on this path from COVID-19 response and recovery will help you strategize for the present and prepare for the future. In reality, there will be many markets where response and recovery will ebb and flow over many months, requiring strategists ...
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Rush University System for Health combined preparation and adaptation to remain resilient throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Ryan Nagdeman, AVP of marketing strategy, Rush University System for Health and Julia Brady, president of Envision Brand Advisors LLC took the time to share their thoughts on resilience, adapting preparation designed to respond to terrorist attacks and the importance of leadership during crisis. The full podcast is available online . Rush’s preparation started back in 2012, when Rush constructed its hospital tower , the first in Chicago designed for a mass outbreak of a highly infectious disease. The tower has 40 negative pressure rooms; ...
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Lisa Crockett, executive director, strategy and planning at Providence St. Joseph Health in Tumwater, Washington, shared insights in a podcast interview on how the planning function and organizational roles of planners have changed during this crisis. Reaching out and Connecting with People Like Never Before Crockett pointed out that as well as unprecedented challenges, the pandemic creates unequalled opportunities. “Eyes are on us in health care right now and we have a chance to tell our stories, to explain what it is like on the front lines…to form strong working relationships with other partners in the community, with our patients, with their families. ...
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SHSMD recently hosted a webinar featuring Alan Shoebridge, director of marketing at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System in Monterey, California, and Ryan Nagdeman, associate vice president of marketing at Rush University System for Health. They introduced the COVID-19 Communications Resources collection and during the webinar, asked participants to describe some of their communications successes. We’ve collected a few of the responses and grouped them by theme below. Branding Tiffany Conover, director of marketing and communications at Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Indiana, shared that they “just produced a ‘ Faces of Good Samaritan ’ ...
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Holly Sullivan, senior director of marketing at Spectrum Health and SHSMD’s board president, took the time to describe how the System Marketing & Communication team responded to COVID-19.  Spectrum Health, a health system with 14 hospitals across West Michigan, was not as immediately challenged by a surge of patients with COVID-19 as the larger metropolitan areas were, but it still lost no time in preparing.  This team has many responsibilities as it relates to communicating critically important information internally and externally, more specifically: Creating PSA messages distributed throughout all channels to communicate critical information/updates ...
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Revere Health is a network of clinics located in Utah that provide primary and specialty care. They do not offer inpatient services. Lexi McCausland, the communications manager for Revere Health, took the time for an interview with SHSMD to discuss the resources she and her team of three have created to support internal communications during COVID-19. Lexi and Revere Health kindly agreed to share their resources with the SHSMD community.  Revere Health created a SharePoint site with resources such as: Updates and resources (printables, signage, community resources). Protocols such as referrals for testing and scripts for talking with patients. ...
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Individuals and organizations alike are reaching out to their local hospitals, offering financial donations as well as gifts of meals, homemade masks and banners thanking health care workers for their heroic work. However, there are some potential complications with these gifts, and in a discussion on MySHSMD, several members shared their strategies. Meals for Staff At Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk, Ohio, Alexandria Cruey, director of marketing and communications, shared that many local businesses have reached out with offers of meals for health care staff. The donors are not allowed in the building, which, due to COVID-19 restrictions, ...
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During this health care crisis, hospitals and health systems are looking for ways to thank their staff for rising to the challenge. In a discussion on MySHSMD, several hospitals and health systems described how they are recognizing their staff. Signage and Notes T. J. Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow, Kentucky, “has created signs with words of encouragement to hang at employee entrances, in breakrooms, etc. We are delivering these to each of our locations along with a thank you note…Also, our CEO is sending out a daily email update to all employees and he is very genuine each day in thanking them for caring for our patients and for being Superheroes,” ...
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When building marketing strategy, it’s easy to get comfortable with the way things have always been done within your specific industry or sector. Staying in that bubble may be effective to a degree, but looking outside your industry opens up unique opportunities you may not have considered. It’s what Kristen Plunkett, senior consultant at Fahrenheit 212, and Adam Ruben, associate partner and head of idea development at Fahrenheit 212, referred to as “out-of-sector innovations” during their presentation at SHSMD Connections 2019. “What we find is that in the realm of innovation, it is often most helpful to study those things outside of your direct domain. ...
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By: Holly Sullivan Everyone eventually becomes a patient. Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and endured a complex 12-hour surgery. While recovering in the ICU at one of the best academic medical centers in the country, the nurse encouraged me to use the restroom, which was out in the open so patients could be monitored carefully. A few minutes later, I found myself surrounded by six male doctors and residents who were rounding. They came into the room without regard to my privacy and started discussing my case. I was at my most vulnerable and there was no regard to my basic human dignities. This kind of dehumanizing is all too common in ...
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By The SHSMD Team Social media is becoming a key component of health care marketing. According to Claire Simmons, director of clinical communications at Atrium Health, 40 percent of individuals choose their physician based on social media influence. Yet, many providers and those in senior leadership are reluctant to participate in this type of marketing strategy. “When it comes to health care in particular, to our beloved doctors, it still feels a little bit new and it's not quite as prestigious as some of the other things they have been asked to train and implement,” stated Simmons. “And, let's be real, a lot of times they think, ‘this is something my ...
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