There is something rather romantic about string carnival lights adorning the main street of an American city at sunset but as much as I love a good writing muse what brought me to Denver last week had less to do with old-school Americana and more to do about lowering barriers in healthcare and innovating towards better patient engagement. On a last minute whim, I was invited to attend the Millennium Alliance: Digital Healthcare Transformation Assembly. This was a bit different than a typical physician conference as it was more of an intimate mindshare amongst some of the top U.S. CMOs and thought leaders gathering around a table talking pain points, sharing ideas and ways to improve their efforts.
In healthcare marketing, we preach about the patient journey — the various different ways and tactics that can be used to market to a potential new patient during their search and surf life on the web. Rarely do we ever discuss what the patient care journey looks like once they finally decide to call and essentially book an appointment at their hospital as if the journey ends there? As healthcare marketers and tech gurus, we love to get caught up in the latest buzzwords: A.I., centralized marketing, business intelligence, disruption, personalization, attribution. But, what does it all mean in the bigger scheme of things? I am a firm believer that health care begins and ends with human engagement. Out of the 25 plus CMOs present, there was one who took the time to meet everyone who would have a hand/voice in the marketing campaigns she launched. From patient care to booking the appointment, she took the time to learn their names and their stories. The results, a 30 percent lift in new patient appointment conversions and reputation sentiment simply because she took the time to be well…, human and took a step back from the data sets for a moment.
Trend 13: Human Mode – As automation increases, people hungry for more personal and authentic experiences begin to put a premium on advice, services and interaction involving actual humans. —From the book Non-Obvious New trends 2018 by Rohit Bhargava
So here were some key takeaways from the day:
- To engage with a healthcare brand is scary for most new patients anything that can be done to make the process more seamless is a plus.
- The lines between healthcare marketing and patient care are blurring…where there was once silos now exists a bridge to a more holistic view of the entire eco-system.
- Healthcare organizations seem to assume that a patient needs to come to them but there is plenty of innovation that can come from organizations serving potential new patients on their platform.
- Connecting with innovators outside of the healthcare sector could provide for some valuable insights and approaches to a more “human-centered” designed practice approach.
My favorite story came from Chris Waugh, VP of Innovation for Sutter Health, who stated that he was at a recent event with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos who openly admitted that a lot of the times he will side on the anecdotal stories/evidence over hardcore datasets in some of his decisions for new products and services. Bringing us to the next buzzword you will start to hear in the very near future…Data pollution.
Until next time my marketing lovelies.