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Voice search, data stories and other musings from #HMPS19

Including one big AHA moment that could change the way you engage with two key audiences

A record number of more than 850 healthcare strategists, marketers and communicators gathered in the Windy City to take in the bounty the Healthcare Marketing & Physician Strategies Summit had to offer this week. Bounty is the operative word.

Here are some of the things I’ll take away with me as I head back home.

Is this thing on?

Mitch Joel, visionary, digital expert and self-described “Brand Hacker”, explained what most of us know, but few of us have acted upon: Voice search is here to stay. In fact, according to research released by Publicis Media in January 2019, voice search is replacing keyword data. Some people even believe it will replace text search as the primary means of searching. Food for thought as healthcare marketers consider the future of their search engine marketing.

The big AHA!

I go to conferences with the expectation that one thing (just one thing!) will inspire me to think in a different way. That happened during “Reaching the Senior Market,” presented by Suzanne Hendry, chief marketing officer and vice president of Renown Health and Dan Ansel, founder and CEO of Active Daily Living.

Here it is: For most health systems, Medicare is the largest payer and yet, there is often no clearly defined strategy for reaching those over the age of 65. It’s not just about reaching the senior market, it’s about reaching this market’s caregivers. According to Dan, an estimated 30% to 40% of caregivers are responding to HCAHPS surveys on behalf of the patient. And, these caregivers – many of whom are Millennials and Gen Xers – are forming opinions about health system preference through the experience of caring for others.

Dan and I will explore this big AHA further during a future Core Exchange podcast.

Data is useless.

OK, so data isn’t useless. But, it is useless unless you are able to able to tell a meaningful story surrounding the data. This is what we learned from Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte. Forget the fancy charts and graphs. Instead, stick to a simple bar chart, pie chart and line graph to keep things simple. Use comparisons that make sense to people (e.g. “That’s the size of 15 football fields!”). And, remember that when you present data, you’re asking people to sacrifice their time or money in order to act upon data insights. Finally, true leaders don’t just present data in story form, they combine data plus intuition.

Breathe new life into health risk assessments.

During “A Proactive HRC Strategy,” Tiffany Nguyen and Jay Ketner with AdvocateAurora Health showcased the remarkable results they’ve received since implementing health risk assessments. Since 2014, the health system’s heart health risk assessment has had 37,000 completions. Of those, 50% were from new patients. And, the system saw that, of those who completed the survey, an astounding 10% of participants had a heart-related procedure. Fantastic results.

Day three of #HMPS19 continues Thursday. What sessions caught your imagination?


Stephanie Burton, APR is the Director of Healthcare Marketing at Core Health.

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