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ROI in Healthcare: A Common Pain Point at #SHSMD17

Sandra Fancher

packed house roiThis year’s SHSMD did not disappoint. The days were completely packed, yet the schedule offered generous networking time—one of the things I value the most. The keynotes made my brain spin and my heart pound with ways I can help make an impact. It was difficult to select sessions because they were all so intriguing. Many are marked on my “to watch later” list!

At MedTouch, we have recently conducted several client summits discussing ROI solutions. These insightful sessions generated such interesting conversations that we knew our fellow SHSMD colleagues would find the conversation beneficial. And we were right.

This year, I was honored to co-host the panel discussion ROI: If everyone wants it, why is it so hard to get? I was joined by several of our clients:

  • John Berg, Vice President, System Marketing, SCL Health System
  • Daphne Tam, Director of Marketing, UC Irvine Health
  • Dave Tytell, Director of Marketing, MIT Medical

Our session was the highest pre-registered topic at SHSMD. The room was completely full with almost 200 attendees, many of whom stayed long after the session to ask additional questions—a sure sign that achieving and proving ROI is a pain point for a majority of healthcare organizations. I’m thankful for our clients and the broad range of experience they represented, from larger health systems to academic medical centers to stand-alone care facilities. And they were entertaining!

The response to our SHSMD panel was so great that the amazing panelists agreed to deliver a webinar on ROI to allow more time for conversation and questions.

A few hospitals seemed to have solved the ROI puzzle and have been able to use downstream data to justify expanded marketing budgets. But for the majority, hearing the struggles and challenges of our honest conversation was refreshing and reassuring that they were not the only ones not able to clearly identify ROI.

Some of the key themes were:

  • It’s all about the story, not the data.
  • Know your audience and what they need.
  • Look at consumer engagement and how those interactions affect appointments, forms, classes, etc.
  • Use the story to understand what does and doesn’t work.
  • ROI is more than just a conversion—it also includes reputation and overall brand lift.
  • Make sure operations are set up for success before you launch a campaign. Connect with your call center.
  • Automation and real-time reporting will be the focus in the next one to three years.

The Word of The Event: Transformation

If I could summarize the SHSMD 2017 content in only one word, it would be transformation, which also reflects the top-of-mind concerns in our client strategy meetings. The speed of change in healthcare is catching up to the retail world, and healthcare executives are charged to prioritize and manage this change.

But transformation isn’t exclusive to technical solutions. Culture and experience were front-and-center in conference sessions, especially in the keynotes that emphasized transforming:

  • Attitudes
  • Culture
  • How we think about schedules and performance pay
  • Care delivery, and most importantly,
  • Personal health  

At MedTouch, our 2017 theme has been transformation. We’ve scrutinized who and where we are and have identified a refined focus and values that place experience at the center of digital transformation. We are on a transformation voyage, starting with a culture completely focused on our clients’ success and happiness. From that foundation, we provide nimble and effective strategies that improve the lives of our clients’ patients. It feels good to adopt the focus the industry, our clients, and their patients need. I hope this transformative journey never stops!

I can’t walk away from the conference without sharing a heartfelt thank you to our clients. And thank you to everyone who presented or helped plan this great event that allowed us the opportunity to connect with the best people on earth.

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