No More Excuses: A Conversation with Jean Hitchcock

November 3, 2022 |
Debra Voss
 | Solutions Consultant, Patient Experience
November 3, 2022
Debra Voss
Solutions Consultant, Patient Experience

How many times have you felt the rush of positive energy at a healthcare industry conference, only to return to your desk days later and struggle to remember all those wonderful things you swore you’d never forget?

Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a way to record the most enlightening side conversations you had at that conference and replay them later for motivation?

If so, then today is your day! We’ve taken the best tidbits we heard at the Society for Health Care Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD) Connections 2022 conference, and we’re transforming them into new episodes of our Healthcare: Simplified Podcast.

Up first, we ask 16 rapid-fire questions about all things marketing and digital health to Jean Hitchcock, President of Hitchcock Marketing and Communications. We love her because she tells it like it is. “You can get into AI, marketing stacks and dashboards,” she says, “But if you don’t understand the patients and their needs, it doesn’t matter.”

 

“We can make the prettiest Digital Front Door ever, but if operations can’t make it happen, it’s not gonna happen.”

 

Jean begins our discussion by talking about how taking a consumer-focused view on digital health starts with getting internal teams fully aligned once and for all. “In the past there was an understanding that IT owned digital,” she says. “But as digital has become the front door for consumers, marketing needs to be involved.” So, too, does operations.

How can you make that happen? Jean recommends forming governance committees that bring together operations, IT, marketing, legal, risk, service line leaders. That way, for example, IT can identify potential digital health solutions, marketing can review them from a consumer standpoint, physicians and service line leaders can review them from a provider standpoint, risk can evaluate them for HIPAA compliance, and operations can get on board to make sure the right solutions get implemented effectively.

 

“How about a Find-a-Doc system that actually works and has all the aspects to it that it should have in it?”

 

What works for each healthcare organization in digital health will be different based on the organization’s patient consumers and their digital maturity. But all hospitals and health systems need to start moving toward driving a good digital experience, and a health system’s Find a Doctor tool, says Jean, is the best place to start.

“Consumers want to know what insurance the provider accepts, what language they speak, and if they’re in two or three locations, can they schedule at that location at that time,” she says. “I can do that with my car. I can do that with my vet. Why can’t I do that with my doctor?”

Some of the most successful find-a-doctor tools, Jean says, are mobile-friendly and include intuitive search functions that know, for example, that a search for “ENT” is the same as a search for “otolaryngology.”

 

“I’ve found people in healthcare to be the most generous people in the world.”

 

As I write this, we’re looking forward to another upcoming event—the 26th annual Greystone.net Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC) in Miami. Jean’s attended HCIC multiple times, and she makes great connections there. But sometimes she gets her best insight into digital health by just picking up the phone.

“What I’ve found to be most effective is that I will call a colleague with a similar system and say, ‘Tell me what you’re using and why,’” she says. “They are more than willing to share their lessons learned.”

When investigating digital health solutions, Jean stresses the importance of performing your due diligence. “What flies in Boston and New York doesn’t fly in Omaha and Phoenix,” she says. “You gotta know your market, the size of your market, and know what your competitors are putting out there.”

“What I’ve found to be most effective is that I will call a colleague with a similar system and say, ‘Tell me what you’re using and why,’” she says. “They are more than willing to share their lessons learned.”

When investigating digital health solutions, Jean stresses the importance of performing your due diligence. “What flies in Boston and New York doesn’t fly in Omaha and Phoenix,” she says. “You gotta know your market, the size of your market, and know what your competitors are putting out there.”

 

End the excuses for good

My talk with Jean uncovered so many other incredible tips for advancing digital health. Listen to the full Episode 3 replay and you’ll get Jean’s take on why digital tools can help end the Great Resignation. You’ll discover what healthcare can learn from veterinarians when it comes to enhancing the patient (and dog parent!) experience. And you’ll find out why Jean says myWalgreens delivers a digital experience that hospitals and health systems should emulate.

Listen now, and subscribe today to hear every podcast episode.

And if you want to talk about how DeliverHealth can help you meet patients where they are with leading-edge digital health solutions, look me up at HCIC in Miami! Let’s talk.