2020 Trends from SHSMD: Metrics and Analytics in Health Care Strategy

By The SHSMD Team posted 13 days ago

  
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Hospital and health care strategists, whatever their discipline, are increasingly expected to mine and leverage data to derive insights for decision making. Counting likes on a Facebook post, average time spent on a contact center call, number of people who saw a television ad or even the number of new patients in a year are examples of easy but incomplete metrics. Instead, strategists are looking for metrics that evaluate the true impact of their efforts.Hospital and health care strategists, whatever their discipline, are increasingly expected to mine and leverage data to derive insights for decision making. Counting likes on a Facebook post, average time spent on a contact center call, number of people who saw a television ad or even the number of new patients in a year are examples of easy but incomplete metrics. Instead, strategists are looking for metrics that evaluate the true impact of their efforts.

While 95 percent of hospitals and physician group executives have access to data analytics tools, 80 percent of these executives describe their use of these analytics as “limited or minimal.” Staff are skeptical as well, with almost 80 percent saying that most leaders use analytics “to retroactively justify decisions they have already made." What lies behind this limited use? Cited reasons include the lack of:

  • Strategic direction.
  • Financial resources.
  • Training.
  • Internal data scientists.

How can organizations make data and analytics important and useful, justifying their use in strategy and investment in data and analytics? 

Building Key Performance Indicators

Amy Stevens, vice president of marketing and communications, Tidelands Health says, “Our marketing philosophy relative to measurement is simple. If we can’t measure an initiative’s results in a meaningful way, it’s probably not something in which we need to invest our time and resources. 

“Health care is a science-driven field, and health care marketing is no exception. Through sound measurement techniques, such as A/B testing, control groups, etc., we can measure the impact of marketing intervention on a consumer’s journey and show tangible return to our organization.”

Data on marketing ROI makes it easier for the C-suite to invest in both analytics and marketing. For example, the marketing team at Lehigh Valley Health Network can look their CFO in the eye and say for every dollar invested in marketing, the system receives nearly eight dollars back in payments.

Some powerful key performance indicators that Kim Reynolds, vice president at Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Inc./Quorum Health uses include:

  • New patient acquisition (using data to identify patients who touch our system for the first time - haven't touched in 3 years - counted as new patient acquisition).
  • Conversion rates (consumers who hit one of our engagement events, tools or ads, access gated content/provide personal identifying information, then show up as a patient or participant in our EMRs within 120 days in one of the various service lines).
  • Service line-specific metrics (such as annual wellness visits, diabetes management or PCP-to-sleep-center referrals).
  • No show patients.
  • CRM/nurturing campaign metrics on service lines that take time to move from awareness to action (such as bariatrics or joint replacement).
  • A/B campaign messages - effectiveness testing.
  • New movers.
  • Provider-to-provider referral metrics.

Gregory Hudson, FACHE, network chief strategy officer at St. Luke's Hospital/St. Luke's Des Peres Hospital notes, “I think one of the newest metrics that we, planners, have been using is wallet share in addition to traditional market share. I have seen ‘wallet share’ calculated in different ways but it is an understanding of how much of each healthcare dollar spend from a patient is captured by your hospital/health system. The rapid advance of consumerism in healthcare is forcing us in strategy to reevaluate exactly how we measure the success of our strategy and marketing efforts.”

Ideally, metrics should be STATS:

  • Strategic, with a clear causal tie to the organization’s overall goals.
  • Trustworthy, that is, unbiased and difficult or impossible to game.
  • Actionable, within an organization’s, team’s or individual’s control.
  • Timely, collected and disseminated often enough that they can be acted on as needed.
  • Standardized, with clear and shared definitions and ways of measurement.

SHSMD Members in Analytical Action

Data augments but doesn’t replace the need for developing relationships. The strategic planning team at Kish/Northwestern combines data with personalized outreach to build relationships with local employers. 

Predictive analytics are another growth area. The SHSMD webinar, Target, Measure, and Prove Success: Using Analytics to Transform Your Marketing, describes how a large health system uses analytics to determine which consumers to target in service-line specific marketing campaigns, measure results quickly enough to be able to modify tactics in the middle of a campaign, and determine best practices for moving the needle, faster.

Demographics and local search data are valuable to guide location strategy, as are predictive analytics. Most hospitals and health systems have customer relations management (CRM) software in place, but it takes planning to get the best insights out of a CRM system. 

Courses and Resources

SHSMD’s Annual Conference includes sessions on data and analytics each year and recordings from last year’s conference are available online as a virtual conference. Popular sessions included Using Analytics, Data Visualization and Propensity Models to Personalize Health Care Marketing, Voices Behind the Data, Carpe Datum - Using Web Analytics and Consumer Research to Shape Your Digital Strategy and Marketing Measurement 101: Everything You Need to Get Your Marketing Metrics Working for You. SHSMD Skill Builder also has additional resources on data and analytics, including data literacy and financial modeling. 

Coursera has an extensive collection of free online courses, including courses on data and analytics. EdX also provides free programs on data, including programs from Microsoft. The Data Literacy Project has a collection of short (40 minutes or less) videos on various data topics

Want to ask colleagues about who’s doing what, validate your thinking with peers or share your perspectives? Please join the discussions on MySHSMD, a lively members-only discussion list.
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