Viewpoint: Strategies for Success

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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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 your ...
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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 few months ...
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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 a ...
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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 about ...
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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, the ...
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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 that ...
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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 towards ...
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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 alone ...
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