3 Things To Look Forward To At #SHSMD17

This week I will be heading to the AHA’s Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development annual conference (#SHSMD17) being held in Orlando September 24-27.

SHSMD is targeted at PR, communication and marketing professionals that work on the provider side of healthcare. About half of the attendees are from hospitals and large health systems. The balance are from agencies, marketing service providers and MarTech companies. In 2016, there were over 1,800 attendees along with 140 exhibitors.

As a marketer from the vendor side of healthcare, SHSMD gives me a unique opportunity to get a glimpse of what life is like for marketers inside hospitals. The terminology is the same: acquisition, impressions, conversions, and content, but the context is completely different. Most of us in the HITMC community are ultimately measured in terms of revenues and deals won. At SHSMD the measures of success are patient volume, appointment density and HCAHPS scores.

This will be my third time attending SHSMD and I’m really looking forward to it. I will be live-tweeting the event using the hashtag #SHSMD17 and blogging daily about the latest news from the conference. NOTE: If you use any sort of Twitter utility like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, I would strongly suggest adding “-booth” to your search parameters to filter out the numerous booth cattle-call tweets…which is really ironic if you think about it.

Here are the top 3 things I’m looking forward to at this year’s event:

  1. Ed Bennett @EdBennett and Cynthia Floyd Manley @CynthiaManley session Improve Patient Satisfaction with Hospital-Sponsored Online Support Groups – Monday September 25th at 11:30am. I met Ed many years ago at a #hcsmca meetup in Toronto organized by my good friend Colleen Young. Ed gave a talk about the challenge of proving the value of social media to hospitalists. His insights were spot-on and I’ve been following him ever since. Similarly I have heard Cynthia speak about her experiences at @VUMCHealth and came away with new appreciation of how hard it is to get content approved for marketing purposes inside a hospital.
  2. SHSMD Exhibit Hall. The SHSMD exhibit hall is fascinating. There is no better way to get a sense of what will be trending next year than to see what the agency vendors are displaying in their booths. In 2015 a lot of signage was centered around patient acquisition. In 2016 it was physician referral directories and matching patients to physicians within the network. As well, there is nothing more fun than to watch vendors try to attract the attention of fellow marketers. Let’s be honest, marketers are jaded when it comes to exhibit halls. We’ve all been there and done that. SHSMD exhibitors, therefore, have to work doubly hard to be noticed. If you watch carefully you can pick up useful ideas that you can use to improve your own booth experience.
  3. Connecting with great people. To me there is nothing better than connecting with people at conferences. I love catching up with old friends (like @DanDunlop and @kate_gillmer from Jennings Healthcare Marketing as well as @SarahBennight from Stericycle Communication Solutions) and trading exploits from the past year. I also enjoy meeting people in-person who I have gotten to know online. However, my favorite is meeting new people and learning their personal stories – especially how they landed in healthcare marketing.

With regard to #3, if you are heading to SHSMD or know someone who is, please let them know about the #HITMC, #HITsm and #hcldr meetup happening on Monday evening 5:30 – 6:30pm at the High Velocity Sports Bar in the conference hotel. The meetup is being sponsored by our good friends at dotHealth. We’ve set up an Eventbrite registration for the meetup – so we can get the right number of tables. It should be a fun event!

Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Local Meetups this Fall 2017

Last fall we did a massive tour across the country doing a wide variety of local meetups (I believe 10 in total). It was an incredible experience to have a casual meetup with so many members of the HITMC (Health IT Marketing and PR Community) community including many who weren’t able to make it to the Health IT Marketing and PR Annual conference.

While we won’t be traveling quite as much this year, we are still excited to announce a number of HITMC Meetups that will be happening across the country this fall. Many of the events will coincide with other Healthcare IT conferences, so we’ll hopefully get a good mix of locals and HITMC members from around the country attending the meetups.

Plus, for the events we’ve already scheduled dotHealth has gotten on board to sponsor the local meetups and provide everyone who attends free drinks. Thanks dotHealth!

Here are the local meetups we have on the schedule so far:

Orlando – Monday, 9/25 – 5:30 PM ET
(During the SHSMD Conference)
High Velocity Sports Bar in the Marriott
8701 World Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32821
Register for the Orlando HITMC Meetup

Anaheim (Southern California) – Monday, 10/9 – 7:00 PM PT
(During the MGMA Annual Conference and AHIMA Annual Convention)
McFadden’s Anaheim
400 Disney Way, Anaheim, CA 92802
Register for the Anaheim (So Cal) HITMC Meetup

About Our Meetup Sponsor – dotHealth

dotHealth is the organization behind the launch of the .health domain extension. Just as education has .edu and organizations have .org, now the health industry has .health. .health domains are for brands, organizations, and people advancing health! Interested in learning more? Connect with a dotHealth team member at the upcoming HITMC meet up or reach out at hello@get.health!

If you’re in San Antonio or New York City, we’re considering Fall meetups there as well.  Let us know if you’re interested and we’ll be sure to send out more details.

See everyone at these local meetups and please share them with your friends and colleagues that might be interested in being part of the Health IT Marketing and PR community.

Healthcare Tradeshow Marketing and PR Twitter Chat Summary

We’re a little slow in getting this posted, but this month’s #HITMC Twitter chat on Healthcare Tradeshow Marketing and PR was too good. Plus, the great people at KNB Communications put together this nice slideshow summary of the Twitter chat. I thought it was a great way to capture some of the insights offered during the #HITMC chat.

See what I mean below (I suggest clicking to make it full screen):

In case you want to dive into the topic of healthcare tradeshow marketing in more detail, you can read through the full #HITMC Twitter chat transcript here.

Note: KNB Communications is a sponsor of the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference.

Healthcare Tradeshow Marketing and PR – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

This month’s #HITMC Twitter chat is hosted by Colin Hung.

Can you believe it’s already August? Where has the year gone?

For me, August has always been “prep & planning month”. It is the last month of calm before the craziness of the fall conference season hits. Symplur is already tracking 182 healthcare conferences scheduled between September 1st and October 31st of this year. That’s about 4 conferences for each business day over those two months! (Note: You might find Healthcare Scene’s take on some of the top Healthcare IT Conferences useful)

If you assume that on average there are 20 exhibitors at each conference and that the cost to exhibit is approximately $10,000 (exhibit fee, travel, accommodations, marketing materials, etc) that means $36.4M will be spent conferences this fall. The actual number is likely much higher, especially when you consider that one of the fall conferences is the mega-sized RSNA (with over 2,000 exhibitors filling the entire McCormick Center in Chicago IL) and that Symplur does not track every single healthcare conference that is happening.

With this amount of spending, it is clear that conferences are still an important part of the marketing mix for healthcare vendors. But should they be? It is well documented that email marketing, content marketing and SEO/SEM have much lower cost of acquisition compared with conferences, so should marketers not be investing more in these channels? Is this already happening with fewer and fewer new companies exhibiting?

Over the past couple of years, I have noticed a growing trend of companies attending conferences rather than exhibiting at them. When I ask, it seems there are two primary reasons driving this choice. First, is cost. Attending a conference means no booth costs (shipping, setup, staffing, giveaways) which can be as much as 50% of the cost of a conference. Second is ease of networking. At most conferences, exhibitors get a special colored badge. Unfortunately, when attendees see someone approaching with a badge of that color, they usually run the other way out of fear of getting a sales pitch. Many company representatives find it much easier to have conversations when you are seen as a fellow attendee.

On this month’s #HITMC tweetchat we will be discussing healthcare tradeshows and conferences. Are they still worth it? Is it better to go as an attendee?  When does it make since to sponsor and exhibit? How can marketers get more value from conferences?

Join us Tuesday, August 8th at Noon ET (9AM PT) for the hour-long TweetChat.  These questions will serve as the framework for the chat.

T1. Do you think healthcare conferences still hold value as a marketing investment?

T2. Exhibit Hall? or Attendee only? Which offers the better return for each dollar invested?

T3. What tactics have you used to increase the value of attending/exhibiting at healthcare conferences?

T4. What is the worst mistake you have seen an exhibitor make at a healthcare conference?

T5. As an attendee, what, if anything, would attract you to a vendor’s booth? What would turn you away?

BONUS What is the best and worst giveaway that you have seen at a healthcare conference?

Just hop on Twitter and search for #HITMC on Tuesday, August 8th at Noon ET (9AM PT) and you can join in.  We look forward to connecting with you and hearing your thoughts on this important subject!

Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:

10/3 – Webinars or No Webinars – Which Path Is the Right One for You
Hosted by Lea Chatham (@LeaChatham)

Choosing the Best CMS for Healthcare Marketers

The following is a guest blog post by Eric Martin, Vice President of Web Solutions at Influence Health.

As healthcare provider organizations quickly transition to more retail-like businesses, marketing leaders are under pressure to create seamless, personalized multichannel consumer experiences – spanning responsive websites, mobile apps, social channels and other digital touchpoints. To achieve this, marketers need to be honest in their assessment of the capabilities of their current content management system.

Traditional web content management systems (WCMS) lack intelligent solutions for sharing content across channels and devices, limit design choices and make it difficult for marketers to tailor their messages to individual consumer preferences. Contemporary decoupled content management systems, on the other hand, allow content to be created, stored and managed in a dedicated environment, independent of where it may ultimately be published. This creates unlimited design freedom, while standards-based APIs make it easy to integrate the CMS with other marketing systems.

In order to completely own the front-end presentation and consumer experience that today’s healthcare landscape demands, healthcare marketers need to pursue a decoupled CMS solution that provides their teams with the following five must haves.

  1. CONTENT MANAGEMENT AND PUBLISHING

The first step in evaluating a CMS platform is to ensure marketers and content editors find the solution’s content authoring, editing and publishing interface intuitive, helpful and highly efficient. If non-technical users can’t create and publish original content independently, in minutes without HTML, marketing leaders should move on. An elegant inline editing feature to help users visualize how content appears in the mobile or desktop environment should also be included. Finally, marketers should be able to create custom content approval and publishing workflows that go through the stages of ideation, authoring, editing and publishing very rapidly, without any IT intervention, to a variety of devices and channels including web, mobile apps, and digital displays.

  1. DIGITAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT

In today’s dynamic digital environment, content is being displayed and published to more devices and across more systems than ever before. In fact, every minute Google receives over 4 million search queries, blog writers publish 1,400 new posts and Facebook users share over 2.4 million pieces of content. This puts healthcare marketers under huge pressure to produce more and more content to a consistently high standard. Therefore, they need a system that automates key content governance processes, making identifying and fixing errors and inconsistencies simple for content authors and editors.

When vetting a solution, marketing leaders should ask if validation rules and tooltips are built directly into the authoring experience. This ensures content is compliant with standards such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Section 508 accessibility requirements, as well as SEO and mobile best practices and the organization’s own brand standards. Strong preference should be given to a system that notifies users of misspelled words, broken links, or forbidden terms, before and after the content is published. By ensuring that these post-publishing auditing capabilities and workflow tools are included in the digital quality management system, users can identify and correct errors and quickly find instances of outdated content that need to be updated or removed.

  1. DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT

As digital marketing teams work feverishly to feed each consumer’s ravenous appetite for digital content, a CMS solution with an integrated Digital Asset Management is now a necessity. This ‘must have’ helps teams maintain brand consistency by streamlining
and simplifying the way they manage digital assets in a central, secure way across the enterprise. This feature should track and organize digital assets with native platform integration to best-of-breed data and content sources where image files, audio and video are stored. It should also allow users to filter and classify digital assets by tagging attributes such as file type and meta-data tags (e.g. “Ortho photos”) or by creating named collections (e.g. “Oct. 16 breast cancer awareness campaign”). Further, based on their permissions, teams should be able to browse, search, move and manipulate assets across the entire digital experience portfolio from a single interface – eliminating asset redundancy.

  1. HEALTHCARE CONTENT AND INTERACTIONS

Great digital experiences enable consumers to quickly find information related to products and services and make it easy for them to complete their desired transaction. In healthcare, that means finding a physician that matches exact criteria, scheduling an appointment, getting driving directions or a phone number for a preferred location, registering for classes or events, applying for a clinical trial, and so on, easily! If not, today’s consumers are just as likely to switch providers as they are hotels.

Healthcare marketers therefore, need to seek a CMS solution that contains a robust set of healthcare-specific applications that will allow these user experience requirements to be fulfilled without expensive, time-consuming custom development. They should also ensure these solutions integrate with third-party data sources, such as physician credentialing systems and contact center applications, and are built to allow marketers, not developers, to modify the front-end presentation.

  1. DASHBOARDS AND ANALYTICS

Subtle adjustments to an organization’s content and conversion strategy can make all the difference in marketing performance. Healthcare organizations need to implement a CMS platform that displays key analytics in the same interface where their users manage content, to ensure that important insights are always front and center. They should also confirm that a solution integrates with all major analytics platforms and allows their team members to measure site traffic, A/B test results and social engagement in real-time. Further, dashboards, reports and widgets need to be fully customizable to meet each team member’s unique needs.

Ultimately, by selecting a decoupled content management system designed for healthcare, marketers are equipped with the ability to test new campaign ideas, experiment with new delivery methods such as mobile, and nimbly respond to changes and challenges in the marketplace without requiring IT handholding at each step.

Patient Marketing – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at Noon ET (9 AM PT)! To participate, use the #HITMC hashtag to follow along on Twitter and add #HITMC to your tweets to add to the conversation.

While all of our past #HITMC Twitter chats have been around some form of healthcare B2B marketing and PR, we decided for this month’s chat to expand our horizons a bit and talk about patient marketing. Dare we say, healthcare B2C marketing?

We’ve always had a number of members of the community from the healthcare B2C marketing world that were focused on marketing to patients. Many of them came from hospital marketing groups and they provided some amazing perspectives and insights into healthcare marketing. It seemed like time to really welcome the healthcare B2C (patient) marketing crowd to the community by hosting a Twitter chat focused on marketing to patients.

Join us on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at Noon ET (9 AM PT) for the hour long Twitter chat. Here are the topics that will serve as the framework for our discussion:

T1. What are the keys to effective patient marketing? #HITMC

T2. How is marketing to patients (B2C) different than B2B healthcare marketing? #HITMC

T3. What are some examples of amazing patient marketing? #HITMC

T4. What should you never do when marketing to patients? #HITMC

T5. Should we include more B2C patient marketing at the #HITMC 2018 conference?

BONUS. When was the last time you were marketed to as a patient? Did you love it or hate it? #HITMC

We look forward to connecting with you!

Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:

8/8 – Tradeshow Marketing and PR
Hosted by Colin Hung (@Colin_Hung)

9/5 – TBD
TBD

10/3 – TBD
TBD

Summer #HITMC Chat Schedule

Summer is always a busy time for the #HITMC community, so we change up the schedule of our regular Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chats. This summer we’ll be holding the following two Health IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter chats:

6/27 – Noon ET (9 AM PT) – Patient Marketing

8/8 – Noon ET (9 AM PT) – TBD

Check back about a week before the #HITMC Twitter chats to find the detailed questions and topics.  We hope you’ll all put this on your calendar to attend both #HITMC chats this summer.

Until then, be sure to share ideas, ask questions, get advice, etc on the #HITMC hashtag on Twitter and the HITMC Community on LinkedIn.

A Little HITMC Workshop – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at Noon ET (9 AM PT)! To participate, use the #HITMC hashtag to follow along on Twitter and add #HITMC to your tweets to add to the conversation.

On this chat, StudioNorth will lead the discussion on a wide variety of healthcare IT marketing and PR topics.  There’s a little bit for everyone and a number of unique takes on a Twitter chat that we’ve never seen before.  It should be a great time to interact with your fellow HITMC community members and spend time thinking about your own healthcare marketing and PR efforts.

Here are the topics that will serve as the framework for our discussion:

T1. What were your #HITMC-ahas? (Truths that changed you, the way you think or what you do.) #HITMC?

T2. What rising expectations are you seeing from patients/providers in your world? #HITMC

T3. WORKSHOP TIME: What is your company’s offer? Now, tell it from the provider’s point of view. Then the patient’s. #HITMC

T4. No BS. What do we need to eliminate from our marketing strategies? #HITMC

T5. What is valuable about the #HITMC community for you? #HITMC

BONUS. What should be the next #HITMC parody song?

We look forward to connecting with you!

Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:

6/27 – TBD
TBD

8/8 – TBD
TBD

Why Patient Experience Needs To Be More Than A Catchphrase


The following is a guest blog post by Yolanda Hernandez, Senior Marketing Strategist at StudioNorth.

How are Amazon and Yelp conditioning consumers to expect the same experience when they become patients?

People don’t stop acting like customers when they need medical treatment. They expect the same comfort, speed, accuracy and satisfaction they get from their favorite stores and online vendors.

But healthcare isn’t a new pair of shoes. The stakes are much higher. Patients may want the same experience as retail customers, but their expectations for security, privacy and outcomes are much higher.

That’s why patient experience (PX) is more than just a catchphrase—it’s the critical factor healthcare marketers must embrace to succeed.

Patient Expectations Forged by Customer Experience

How demanding will our patients/customers become? Today, even in a strange city, you can easily find the exact restaurant you want based on price, style and peer reviews. Why can’t patients expect the same when they’re looking for healthcare?

Most healthcare providers offer no great navigation tools, no price transparency, and no tools to answer the question, “Where do I go for what?”

The difference between what patients wish they could have and what they expect to get could narrow in the next few years. Consider these comparisons patients may soon make between the retail and the healthcare consumer experiences:

Retail Consumer Expectations Potential Patient Expectations
Easy comparison shopping Easy healthcare provider comparison
Easily accessible peer reviews Easily accessible patient reviews
Easy store website navigation Easy provider website navigation
Complete product selection Complete selection of services and specialties
Online purchases Online appointments, scheduling and test results
Instant access to billing data and automatic payments EHR and on-line billing
Interfaces that predict next purchases Predictive analytics
Cost transparency and predictability Insurance and co-pay transparency and predictability
Credit card chip readers Inpatient barcode wrist bands

For some patients, a great experience is being able to access and transfer health records online, schedule appointments with doctors quickly and easily, or check in to the hospital as if they’re checking in to a hotel with concierge services.

For others, it may involve real-time biofeedback data helping them regulate medications, for improved quality of life with fewer doctor’s visits.

For healthcare providers, all of the above will mean giant upgrades in how they gather, store, process and share data. Superior PX will require superior IT.

Winning PX Requires a 360-Degree View

When consumers shop for health services like they do for other products and services, they’ll grow to expect a high level of personalization from the companies they solicit. Providers need to have a 360-degree view of all their healthcare touchpoints and needs to win, serve, and retain them.

Forrester: Vendor Landscape: Healthcare Analytics, Q1 2017.

Yet most healthcare providers are focused on predictable outcomes, not on patient experience. That’s understandable—without predictable outcomes, it’s hard to have a product to sell—but patients aren’t interested in predictable outcomes. They’re interested in individual outcomes that affect themselves and their families.

This is where healthcare IT marketers have an opportunity to create PX breakthroughs.

The Needle a Patient Needs

Take wearables. Consumers already trust wearable fitness devices, and many healthcare organizations have made mobile monitoring a useful reality. From providing IoT data for medical supplies to monitoring how often homecare patients are taking their meds, the use cases are nearly endless.

Will patients figure all this data out before providers do?  They may have to—because there’s still a big gap within many providers’ systems.

Doctors already feel like they have too much data to deal with, and without a data strategy, most healthcare organizations simply can’t process all of their data. Finding value in all that data is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack—but if that’s the needle a patient needs, delivering it is a huge PX victory.

Healthcare IT marketers who can translate haystacks of data into needles of PX insight will dominate the new landscape of consumer-based patient expectations.

About StudioNorth
Whether it’s influencing a purchase decision, supporting your cause or building a brand people care about, StudioNorth has the depth of experience—and the resources—to make it happen.

Our campaigns integrate a strategic mix that includes traditional print advertising and marketing collateral, video production, integrated social media campaigns, digital advertising strategies, and advanced website/app development to help our clients grow and realize their goals.

How to Make the Most of the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference – #HITMC Twitter Chat Topics

It’s time for our next Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (HITMC) Twitter chat. The chat will be held on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, at Noon ET (9 AM PT) – just ahead of the live conference gathering in Las Vegas, Aril 5 – 7! To participate, use the #HITMC hashtag to follow along on Twitter and add #HITMC to your tweets to add to the conversation.

On this chat, Agency Ten22 will lead the discussion on ways to make the most of HITMC – both at the conference and for those following along virtually. HITMC offers health IT marketing and PR professionals an opportunity for immersion in the HIT marketing tribe. Session offerings at the up-coming conference cover everything from storytelling in content to branding and experiential marketing. As you build your HITMC session “must” list, what are you looking to personally gain from the sessions you attend?

Those of you not attending HITMC in the flesh are encouraged to share your thoughts on the chat as well!  Let us know which sessions and topics interest you most so we can try and live tweet those sessions for you.  There’s always a lot of great content from the conference shared on the #HITMC hashtag so you can participate virtually.

Here are the topics that will serve as the framework for our discussion:

T1. What is the #1 takeaway you hope to gain, learn or accomplish by attending or tuning in to #HITMC?

T2. How do you plan to make the most of your #HITMC experience, in person and/or virtually?

T3. What 2-3 #HITMC sessions or topics of conversation hold the most interest for you?

T4. If you’ve participated in person or online, what is one of your most memorable take-aways from past #HITMC events?

T5. If you’ve attended past #HITMC conferences, meetups or Twitter chats, what helpful advice can you offer to newbies?

BONUS. Bragging Rights: What’s been your greatest marketing success in the past year? #HITMC

We look forward to connecting with you!

The #HITMC Twitter chats happen the 1st Tuesday of every month, so put them on your calendar and join us each month. Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule of Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community Twitter Chats:
5/2 – TBD
Hosted by Studio North

6/6 – TBD
TBD

Welcome to HITMC!

We're glad you found the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community (or as we affectionately call it...HITMC). This blog is a place for healthcare IT marketing and PR professionals to come together and share their insights, skills, expertise with other people trying to make healthcare better through the use of technology. This blog grew out of the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference which is held annually. We look forward to connecting and learning from you. Please feel free to reach out to us on our contact us page if you have any questions.

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