SHSMD Connection Bytes Virtual Conference – key “tidbytes” and takeaways

Julia Mastropaolo 10/29/20 - 3:16 pm

I’ll be honest. I wasn’t exactly relishing the idea of watching Zoom and WebEx healthcare marketing presentations for 2 days straight. But SHSMD is always worthwhile, so I thought I’d give it a shot. And glad I did as it was high quality, relevant and kind of cool taking it in “byte by byte”, while not getting totally behind on my emails and work. If you were unable to partake, here are my key “tidbytes” and takeaways:

  1. “Consumers want access, service and price,” stated Kaufman Hall VP, Dan Clarin. “Consumerism is the Easy Button – what I want, when and how I want it,” claims colleague, Paul Crnkovich, Managing Director. They should know as their company has surveyed over 40,000 consumers over the last few years. A key finding is that the consumerism bar was rising before COVID, with large gaps between provider priorities vs. capabilities. COVID has greatly intensified the demand for consumer-friendly care. They contend that providers must quickly “reinvent the front door” for 24/7 on demand care via multiple modalities because COVID has “taken 5 years of decision making and consolidated it into 4 or 5 months.”
  2. “Backcast from there to here to get to your ideal future state,” preaches Sarah Poncelet, Mayo Clinic Director of Business Strategy & Planning. Mayo Clinic employs this workshop strategy by brainstorming the organization’s desired future and walking backwards through each step to get there (even physically to drive the point home). To help facilitate the ideation process, their toolkit includes Teams Breakout Rooms,, FunRetro and MURAL.
  3. “Promoting on-line scheduling is a recovery tactic to bring people back,” believes Katie Logan, Piedmont Healthcare Chief Consumer & Strategy Officer. Their approach to transforming the scheduling process (before COVID) involved roadshows in every department to understand the vision, a focus on enhanced access via app, web and patient portal, and the “Your Journey to Online Scheduling – What to Expect Along the Way” handout (my fave), which visually depicts the road and steps along the journey. Results? 697 providers, 50 retail clinics and 4 imaging modalities live with online scheduling. Just in time to nurture delayed appointments.
  4. “We extended our healing ministry of Christ via our strong digital foundation,” professed Anthony Cadieux, AdventHealth Executive Director of Digital Performance Marketing Strategy. Right on mission, and right in time for COVID. How? By consolidating multiple hospital brands, websites and platforms into one unified brand strategy under one CRM. So when the COVID storm hit, the AdventHealth digital marketing infrastructure was in place to weather it. This entailed a COVID marketing “War Room” facilitating real-time data and teamwork, and a web-based Coronavirus Resource Hub, with offshoots for specific targets such as physicians, schools and a Spanish population. In addition, consolidated reputation management, segmentation and hyper-personalized campaigns helped the team outperform benchmarks.
  5. “COVID – 19 and civil unrest after April 25 created the perfect storm for the highest interest in my area of expertise in my entire career,” shared AmMed Health Chief Diversity Officer, Juana Slade. No surprise for this executive who is clearly passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion in healthcare. The organization embraces what she terms, “differentiology”, the science of “different-ness”, which celebrates the dignity and individual difference of all people. She explained how cultural competence helps improve health outcomes and quality of care and can contribute to the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities. Key strategies involve relationship-building among senior leaders and education within the organization involving “Care Talks”, a book club on equity awareness, and a Health Equity Annual Report. She emphasized that to assuage the CFO, you must “bake inclusion into the current processes to make it equitable and efficient”.
  6. “Know me. Show me you know me. Anticipate my needs.” is what it all boils down to for Ochsner Health marketers, Brittany Graffagnini, Assistant VP of Marketing Programs and Chelsea Lockhart, CRM Marketing Manager. They described the “Amazon Challenge” of low visibility in non-clinical touch points, HIPAA concerns, EHR to CRM data delays, and disjointed call centers. And their move from a siloed approach with separate email/direct mail campaigns for areas such as Ortho and Cancer to a holistic patient-centered approach, combining clinical areas into personalized conversations based upon patient milestones (e.g. turning 26, 40, 50). They also witnessed to the significant open rate success of Optimism/Joy email subject lines (e.g. “Get your employee discount at your next visit” at 43%) vs. Sadness/Fear subject lines (e.g. “Getting you ready for an active hurricane season” at 19%). With daily deployment of 50+ personalized email campaigns and a 48% increase in YOY marketing leads, these women really know their CRM stuff.
  7. “I think anyone in a support function feels they need to be Chief Justification Officer 100% of the time,” claimed Cleveland Clinic Marketing & Communication Administrator, Peter Miller. He was joined by Beaumont Health System Marketing Director, Jennifer Carbary, and Intermountain Healthcare Sr. VP, Kevan Mabbutt, on justifying marcom budgets with agility and better data. All concurred that the future will encompass a focus on one piece of content being distributed in multiple ways to many audiences, a digital first approach, collaboration across functions, and staffing that is digitally savvy, adaptable, and comfortable in ambiguity. Hyper-accountability and transparency along with digital tools, surveys and CRM are on the forefront of accountability.

Sure, I missed the networking, the dinners out, the entertainment and excitement of the live event. But there’s a lot I miss this year, and at least attending the annual SHSMD conference was not one of them!

Blog Category: Healthcare

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