Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit: Chicago, 2019

The annual Summit on Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies (also known as HMPS) is one of the most anticipated events for healthcare marketers across the country. The three-day summit provides a wealth of information about strategic healthcare marketing, physician relations and digital strategies.

I recently attended the 2019 summit in Chicago, which had nearly 900 attendees — the largest group in the event’s 24-year history. It was a great way to network and hear about what is top of mind for healthcare influencers. Across several sessions and keynote speakers, I heard healthcare marketers talk about exploring new strategies to drive growth, learning to collaborate with operations, and the pros and cons of new technologies that are all the rage.

Exploring Strategies to Drive Growth

In an age where information and technology are always at our fingertips, healthcare marketers are exploring new ways to engage consumers and drive growth for their system.

The marketing team at Advocate Aurora Health, the largest health system in Wisconsin, has rolled out a series of health risk assessments (HRAs) to generate leads. After a consumer takes the online assessment, they are asked whether they want to be emailed the results. If the individual responds ‘yes’, their contact information is added to the customer relationship management (CRM) and the marketing team can begin outreach and nurturing campaigns with those new leads.

Cleveland Clinic’s Patient Reactivation Program sends 10,000 mailers per month to patients who haven’t been seen by their healthcare provider in a year and a half, which has resulted in a 3% lift in patient activation. Hearing about this program, I saw many similarities to Envera Health’s proactive outreach campaigns which use text messages and IVR messages to re-engage patients and drive them back into the care system for appropriate utilization of services. However, we’ve found that using these digital communication channels is not only more cost effective, but greatly increases conversion rates.

As an advocate for improving patient access to care, I was excited to learn how Baylor Scott & White is focusing their marketing efforts on a simple message: how to access their services, based on what is most convenient for the consumer. Their marketing campaigns encourage customers to “call in, walk in, click in,” promoting a general appointment phone number, walk-in clinics and online scheduling. A connected, convenient and personalized experience is essential to patient satisfaction and loyalty, so it was encouraging to see marketers applying their resources to promote a multi-channel patient experience.

Collaboration Between Marketing & Operations

Connecting the dots between marketing & operations is a challenge. Teams from Franciscan Health, Penn Medicine and UCLA Health discussed how they’ve connected digital marketing campaigns with call center operations using a CRM tool, which helps track campaign data and ROI for their digital marketing campaigns.

While CRM platforms have opened the door for stronger connections between marketing and operations, I couldn’t help but notice the presentations overlooked a crucial step: the patient experience. Was the lead able to get scheduled for an appointment, or did they sit on hold, get frustrated and hang up? This important moment in the patient journey is where marketing can lose sight of conversion and the true impact of their campaigns. Often, health system call centers are struggling with finding the right employees and keeping them — making it even more difficult for them to prioritize calls coming in from marketing campaigns. People are the true heart and soul of the healthcare industry, and without the right people to represent your brand, patient experience, loyalty, and provider productivity will suffer.

At Envera Health, we bring teams together and apply our expertise to standardize workflows and find the ‘sweet spot’ between marketing’s goals and operational necessities.  Not only can we serve as a marketing call center, but when leads come in, we get them scheduled – converting them from a lead to a patient in one seamless touch. In addition, we focus on finding, training, and retaining a team of diversely skilled customer service individuals – so the health system can focus on what they do best.  Our customer-service driven employees approach each consumer interaction with compassion and empathy, helping to connect care and improve access for thousands of patients every day.

People Enabled by Technology

Several health systems have started to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) on a small scale in order to test and refine the services, while trying to gauge the effectiveness and benefits for their consumers. For example, Orlando Health (In partnership with Loyal Health) has developed an integrated chat bot-AI experience where users can start a conversation with a chat bot to answer basic questions, with an option to be transferred to a live chat representative. They’ve found that this process has helped save time for call-center agents and helped improved their patient experience.

It was interesting to hear that despite their popularity throughout several other industries, chat bots are still not considered the preferred communication channel for most healthcare consumers, and call centers remain a crucial part of patient access and communication. Especially when personal information is involved, it appeared that consumers prefer a one-touch resolution enabled by technology but facilitated by compassionate, caring people.

Overall, I had a great time learning and connecting with other industry thought leaders at the 24th Annual Healthcare Marketing & Physicians Strategy Summit. See you next year in Las Vegas!

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