This past month, several thousand healthcare strategy professionals met at the Orlando World Center Marriott for the annual SHSMD conference to discuss strategies in healthcare including best practices and emerging trends. Although we couldn’t attend every session, the 3-day conference was a valuable opportunity to hear from our industry colleagues on what’s working and what’s not.
Below we share the four most essential SHSMD conference takeaways and why they are crucial to your practice.
The Importance of the Patient Journey and Digital Media
So much of the patient journey is taking place outside of your office, and in many cases, outside of the care you provide. Patient experience is driven more and more by the data and information readily available to consumers online, coupled with how they are finding information and sharing their healthcare journey via social channels.
For providers, this means the patient journey isn’t just about the care provided, but also about how patients find you, what they did to schedule an appointment and even how they research treatment options to share with friends and family (and don’t forget about how they provide feedback following the visit).
According to a 2016 survey by ROCK Health, 46% of Americans are now considered digital health adopters, having used three or more digital health tools. For your office, this means if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy, the train has left the station and it’s time for you to put the wheels in motion and play catch-up.
Social Media Never Stops Evolving
Just when you think you have a handle on social for your practice – you don’t.
Social media, and the way you are currently using it for your practice is about to completely change. As patients become more accustomed to everyday digital tools, especially social media, and direct communication channels, they now want (nay, expect) more from their healthcare providers. To date, your social media strategy has been to build a following and to educate patients and potential patients on your brand message.
In the next few years expect social media to evolve into a tool to interact with patients, offering enhanced opportunities for two-way and very transparent communications. As the line blurs between online and offline, this is the next natural progression. Non-healthcare brands are already doing it and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes part of the everyday expectation for your practice to offer it too (HIPAA and PHI guidelines will adjust as needed – trust us). For you, this means giving serious consideration to who on your team is going to be part of these patient interactions.