Each year, the Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC) brings all of the top digital health innovators together in one place. The 2022 edition, held in Miami, included over 75 speakers and more than 170 presenters.
I’ve had the privilege of attending this conference, both as a leader serving within hospitals and health systems, and now as a partner and consultant to those driving the same meaningful consumer-focused work. I’m always so impressed with the folks from Greystone, including Kathy Divis and many others, for continuing to attract talent from around the country and industry for close to 30 years now! (Next fall in Los Angeles will be 27 years.)
HCIC serves as a means of validation for aspiring marketers, communicators, and other professionals in the field who continue to move forward and innovate at a time when we need it most, by highlighting the accomplishments and lessons learned of so many. I always leave feeling empowered, energized, and ready to pay it forward.
To that end, my colleague Deb Voss and I met with 6 digital health innovators we met at HCIC 2022, asked them three key questions, and recorded the answers. Then we put them all together in Episode 5 of our Healthcare: Simplified Podcast. We hope you’ll find their insights helpful as you plan your own digital health strategies in 2023.
“How do we break down the barriers?”
Mike McEvilly, Director of Patient Solutions for Emmi Solutions and its parent company, Wolters Kluwer Health, meets lots of health system leaders in his line of work. Many of them, he says, face similar challenges, including siloed functions. The question now, he says: “Where can we find some consolidation to get some quick wins,” he says.
One potential answer is to look into how a Digital Front Door can create a unified experience for patients and bring together internal departments, too. “Everybody has a digital front door, and it’s defined a little bit differently,” he says. “I’d like to walk away from here [with] the top five things that I and our business can do to help health systems define and solve for their digital front door.”
“I think the big buzzword this year is personalization.”
The more people that Val Lopez ran into at HCIC, the more he kept hearing one issue come to the forefront. “We’re hearing what everybody’s doing and how they’re executing on a personalization strategy,” says Lopez, the Assistant Vice President of Digital Marketing and Marketing Operations at Baptist Health South Florida.
One of the keys to achieving personalization in healthcare, Val says, is to integrate existing technologies. “Optimizing the marketing tech stack—whether you use a CDP, a CRM—whatever those pieces of technology may be, how do you execute that on web, even within a call center, an email, text message, so far and so forth,” he says.
As healthcare organizations begin to map out customer journeys and create patient experiences with less friction, Val says it’s marketing’s job to take the leadership role, since they know better than anyone how to talk with healthcare consumers and patients.
“Incremental change becomes that tidal change.”
Jessica Walker, Founder and CEO of Care Sherpa, identified another common thread among HCIC attendees: Breaking down the barriers between patient access challenges, operational challenges, and marketing success. “The strategic marketer has amazing, wonderful things they want to do,” she says. “However, they have fear about the ability for the patients to actually get that access to care and operational partnerships that may get in the way.”
How can healthcare marketers get off the starting block? By focusing on areas that drive the most margin and growth. “My philosophy is, if I can help fix this one area—help you supercharge your revenue, supercharge your patient experience—there’s lessons that can be learned that you can apply to the macro issue as well.”
What else happened at HCIC 2022?
More than you could ever imagine. Listen to all of Episode 5 and hear what’s keeping Taylor Howard, Senior Marketing Coordinator at Tampa General Hospital, up at night. Find out why Becky Allen, Vice President of Product Development at HealthGrades, says that the way consumers shop for healthcare is different than the way they shop for anything else. And discover why Breck Yakulis, Senior Manager of Marketing Services at Texas Oncology, says that the structure of your healthcare organization has a direct impact on your overarching strategy.