2020 Rewind: AI Applications in Healthcare Marketing

Welcome to 2020 Rewind! In this series, we’re taking a look at the year that was and the wonderful shows and podcasts that had me on as a guest this past year. A fair amount of the time, I’d rather read than listen, but podcasts, live streams, webinars, and videos were how we made media this year. So let’s get the best of both worlds; 2020 Rewind will share the original episode and show it aired on, and provide you with a machine-generated transcript from the episode.

2020 Rewind: AI Applications in Healthcare Marketing with Chris Hemphill and the SymphonyRM Live Show

Summary: How data plays a role guiding decisions. How marketers should consolidate their data. Defining KPIs. Actionable intelligence from data. Attribution modeling. A look at AI technologies in the field now. Statistical computing. What lies ahead for marketing and AI.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for listening to the episode.

Chris Hemphill 0:00
For those that are loyal listeners know that last last week’s TPS five talked a lot about working from home. There are some of those scenarios that haven’t worked out so well for folks. I think everybody knows about the or maybe has seen the video the BBC guy interrupt device kid working mother

Alan Tam 0:17
calm actually has other hilarious work from home fails, like one that says that their daughter picked a great time to have her one and only tantrum while on the phone with a new client laid down in the middle of the street. The light was changing.

Chris Hemphill 0:31
There’s several ones on here about you know, being on conference calls and kids start throwing up.

Alan Tam 0:37
I actually was interviewing someone for for the podcast once read and her child right in the middle of the interview, decide to throw a temper tantrum, recorded the whole thing and promised to blackmail her about her parenting styles afterwards, she had this goal to discipline the child and

Chris Hemphill 0:52
their example here mom talks about do you think it’s easier as the kids get older? It’s not because then it’s like they’re like full on fighting and like cussing each other in the background and stuff.

Alan Tam 1:01
I just think that this is the day and age where we just have to accept that kids are there right.

Unknown Speaker 1:11
Welcome to touch point, a podcast dedicated to discussions on digital marketing and patient engagement strategies for hospitals, health systems, and physician practices. In this podcast, we’ll dive deep into digital tools, solutions and strategies that are impacting our industry today. We hope to share a lot of great information with you and have fun along the way. Thanks for joining us.

Chris Hemphill 1:34
Now here are your hosts. And welcome back to a special edition not really a special edition. But I am back working from home for Episode Number 164 which we’ll get into the topic and whatnot. But after last week’s TPS five is fitting, but much like many of you listening I have now been in the rest of our office not me specifically, have been sent to the house. So I did probably the first 140 of these 130 of these from home, maybe you can say right now I’m back after a brief hiatus of doing them not from home.

Alan Tam 2:11
I’ve always recorded these from home. It’s interesting that you only did about half of them from home. But yeah, it’s just now my wife’s working remotely with me. And so we’re doing a lot of the dancing around like who’s gonna take the office for the first half of the day, it’s gonna take for the second half of the day kind of things.

Chris Hemphill 2:26
That is Chris Boyer. I’m Reed Smith. Thanks again for tuning in and for telling a friend. Matter of fact, now that you’re working from home, just put these on in the background, just listen to all of them. This is 164 maybe jump in around 100 and see if he was kidding. But seriously, if you want to let us know, we can make some good recommendations or you can listen to our best app shows and hear the what we felt were the best episodes from those previous years if you so choose, again touchpoint dot health is the website rate review, subscribe. You can also go out to the website and see what else is on the touchpoint network of shows we got some really cool episodes in the exam room that have come out over the last couple weeks quick lessons, 345 minutes long that you should definitely tune in for so before we jump into today’s shows, take a brief pause and we’ll be right back. Consumers can delay health care forever, and they’re not. They are searching for providers at the same or increased levels and they want Ease of Access and convenience is your health care system ready to engage them are what they find here somewhere else. healthgrades delivers qualified traffic and patient encounters to your system for both in person and telehealth services. Join top health systems and attracting commercially insured patients and adding millions in contribution margin. breakeven occurs in just months with guaranteed results. Make sure you capture consumer demand from someone else will discover your markets full potential with a free assessment from healthgrades go to h g dot tips slash forecast as hg dot tips slash forecast.

Alan Tam 4:24
top of mind for all of us listening in is what’s happening in the world today with the pandemic. And for particularly for those of us in the marketing and communication space. We know that the current state of affairs in marketing and comms for hospitals and health systems is a lot different than it was not even a month ago.

Chris Hemphill 4:44
Oh for sure. You know, you might think well okay, well there’s probably some content I’m going to have to produce some infographics you know, things like that, that may be coming down the down the track but nothing to what we’re now in the middle of I wouldn’t think

Alan Tam 4:58
obviously this is not just impacting hospital. In health systems, for sure, I’ve seen some really good examples of organizations outside of healthcare, that are actually marketing and communicating differently in this day and age. I mean, obviously, we’re all getting to lose by those emails, from all the various different brands about the response to covid 19. I remember those starting up about a month ago. And now I know all the lists, and I’m subscribed to you, because I’m getting an email from everybody about what they’re doing. But have you seen any good examples read that are not healthcare related of ways that organizations are communicating?

Chris Hemphill 5:33
No, I delete them all immediately. Because now I’ve heard from every CEO of every company, like you’re saying, of every list I’ve ever given my email address to

Alan Tam 5:45
one example that pops up for me is a local grocery store chain, and actually a pretty big one, that sort of sort of the Midwest area, they put a commercial out that really kind of position, the fact that they’re there for us, they they put a message of like, we’re in this with you, we’re going to continue to be there, we’re going to continue to deliver groceries to you, they kind of reinforce that the supply chain is strong. And that, you know, the safety measures that they’re doing all within the context of a 32nd spot, which I thought was really powerful, and kind of reframed their role, and how they’re helping us to address this, you know, national pandemic that we’re dealing with. But now let’s talk about hospitals and health systems because we work with them. And they’re doing a lot of different things now, too, right? What are you seeing read?

Chris Hemphill 6:31
Yeah, we’re seeing a number of different things. The fact that I work for an organization that specifically does a lot of crisis communication work, certainly we’re Some of us are more involved in this than others. A couple things that I’m seeing is obviously, there’s a lot more content going out on social because that’s the easiest way to try to update people specifically around things like changing visitor policies, or putting on hold education events, tours, like labor and delivery tours, things like that. They’re specifically having to have conversations and communicate around the visitor policy page, I think has been the most interesting one to watch people’s reaction to

Alan Tam 7:10
the social media is an interesting tool in the way that it can do some real time communications. I mean, it’s obviously cascading also to websites and content and blog posts, and even like positioning your experts as being available to be part of the Media Communications and help to kind of shape the narrative about how our communities are responding to this public health crisis that we’re undergoing right now, that’s very comforting to me. But when I think about marketing, and healthcare marketing in this space, things have dramatically changed for people that have been traditionally in charge of quote, unquote, marketing, no one’s advertising anymore, at least they shouldn’t be advertising anymore.

Chris Hemphill 7:49
Yeah, they shouldn’t be, I still see a fair amount of hospitals that have ads running, you know, that were running previously. So they’re not launching new campaigns, necessarily. But I think people have gotten so busy in there in the trenches, if you will, is becoming harder to remember all the things that are out there floating around, you know, we monitor and respond on behalf of hospitals and things like that. And so we’re seeing people ask questions about is this still happening, I’m expecting in June in need to come take a tour, you know, and things like that. And so, you know, that’s one tip would be to go back and audit all your ads that are running online and make sure that they make sense to still be running turn off stuff, like the things that we advertise educational events a lot, well, chances are, you’ve probably put those on hold slash cancelled. So make sure that there’s not still promotional ads, RSVP type stuff is running for those types of things. You know, there’s some things that kind of fall in the middle somewhere like health risk assessments, you know, it’s probably not the worst thing in the world that they’re running. But do we have time to respond to the people that are high risk in a timely fashion and things like that, just think through some of those things. And if you do great, you know, keep them run, but just think about, you know, kind of that promotional message that’s out there.

Alan Tam 9:08
You know, and I also hear that Google is is preventing organizations from purchasing keywords and things like that around the COVID or Coronavirus, or what have you. And the reason why is they don’t want any of this kind of exploiting of those terms and directing traffic certain ways and I know some health systems that are trying to share and even promote critical information to their communities about what to do to respond to this crisis there are now struggling with the best ways to structure their those keyword ad buys and how did they get that information to the right people because I mean, just google Coronavirus, and you’ll see there’s so much information that’s out there and and luckily, one of the articles that we’re going to link to in the show notes talks about what big tech companies are doing to try to prevent Coronavirus misinformation and, you know, they’re doing the standard things. They’re trying to prioritize authoritative content to the top Have the search results they even have like little using. Taking advantage of the Google Knowledge Graph. Google is starting to put information out there that’s relevant and timely. That’s important. That’s a first step. But it just lays out the fact that in within maybe a month, the role of a healthcare marketer has completely changed their day to day jobs have completely changed. And today, I think we should talk about what is the role of marketing in a public health crisis. We want to start first with blog posts that our friend Dan Dunlop posted. That’s actually a repost of Kelly David, who works within healthcare, and she posted it on Facebook. And she talked about what her life is like now.

Chris Hemphill 10:42
So a lot of people obviously know Kelly, and probably follow her and maybe even read this on Facebook or on Dan’s blog, if you haven’t, obviously, we’ll link to it in the show notes. You know, she was posting is kind of a response to everybody that was asking her probably mostly through Facebook, how are things going, how can I help you know that that type thing, her response is really about is not that I’m being rude or don’t want to respond or you know, things like that, but here’s my reality. So she talks about, I’m not working from home, you know, I’m up at the hospital, and I’m actually staying there son nuts, I don’t disturb my family, leaving early coming home late, you know, I’m working seven days a week. And, you know, putting in all these extra hours is part of our kind of administrative team,

Alan Tam 11:32
she even created an outlook folder that’s actually called follow up after COVID. A lot of these initiatives, a lot of work with vendors, other contacts, she just can’t get to them right now. And my heart goes out to her and others like her, because the what they’re doing now is they’re focusing on the things that are very critical, important, and marketing has shifted to being more of a communications support platform now, particularly to help amplify the relevant messages to to people in their communities, we have to keep that in mind as professionals. Yeah, this is not the time to consider a new like CRM initiative, or, you know, doing a big digital transformation effort. Obviously, you have to make sure your website’s up to date. But even huge website transformation efforts are probably put on hold, at least for the short term, until we can get through this this public health crisis,

Chris Hemphill 12:27
anything that’s taking a lot of time away from communicating with employees, with physicians with the general public, you know, etc, is probably not time well spent right now, you know, because you’re needing to get set up on the website, on social, do internal communication tools, etc. We’re in an interesting place. Not that we didn’t have people asking questions on Facebook or writing reviews that we needed to respond to, but they were at a cadence, we had kind of gotten used to probably within our organization, there were little spikes here and there, if an employee gets something they should have done, you know, or posted somewhere, they shouldn’t have posted it. And you kind of get a little influx of folks that are upset or mad about that, or something in the community happens, you know, that kind of thing. But from for a sustained period of time, like we’re seeing now, we probably have not seen this, you think about Okay, we changed the visitor policies in most of our hospitals, I would assume that this at this point, cancelled elective procedures or different things. So anyway, the point being is there’s information you’ve put up online, and people have different reactions to that, as I’ve noticed, you know, a lot of people are like, thanks for protecting us. Thanks for the update makes total sense. And then some people, which I mean, I give I don’t get you put the restricted visitor policy up and people are like, you can’t tell me that I’ve had a loved one in the ICU, that we can’t come see them as well. your loved one, the ICU is exactly who we’re trying to protect. But we’ve gotten to a place I think, as a society that our initial responses, it’s about me, right? Like, how does this affect me? And I get it, you’ve got this loved one, maybe I don’t get it. Maybe I don’t get it. But there’s a loved one in the hospital, you want to go see them. It’s just not that simple. It’s not that black and white anymore, at least for a period of time. And so you’ve got this whole world where you’re trying to respond and reflect and get stuff approved from people that are already busy because every questions a little bit different coming in to have a baby as a doula considered a healthcare professional or a visitor. Yeah, you just all these things that you don’t think about right?

Alan Tam 14:39
And it causes us to really genuflect on the role of marketing and what what marketing’s purpose in healthcare really means and it actually springs to mind something that I’d like to define as big M marketing. Let’s talk about that concept of big marketing and also kind of drill into the role of marketing during a public health crisis right after this break.

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Chris Hemphill 15:37
Let’s jump into a couple things here. First, let’s level set I you found a essentially, I mean, I guess it’s an article with a standard good journal entry looks like called the impact of marketing strategies in healthcare from the Journal of Medicine and life. Again, we’ll link to that in the show notes. But it’s talking specifically about health care marketing,

Alan Tam 16:00
the Journal of Medicine in life actually comes from the National Institute of Health. So this is a government website we’re referring to, they kind of talk about, again, this concept that I’m colloquially terming, which is big in marketing. And they start off by saying the as the philosophy and marketing techniques and other fields are having trouble finding applicability in healthcare services, healthcare needed to find a different approach to market themselves. This approach was an interdisciplinary approach to using concepts, methods and techniques that are both classical and social marketing techniques. So when I say that read, what do you think about that? I mean, this is kind of like a very lofty way of talking about how we market in health care, but it’s talking about, you

Chris Hemphill 16:45
know, the applicability of in health care from like traditional marketing techniques. It makes me think of like conversations I’ve had with people over the course of my career when they say, what do you do, you know, like at church, or some social setting or something like that. And I used to, say, market hospitals, or in the marketing gap, or hospitals or whatever, something like that. And I would always get this quizzical like, Huh, hospitals market themselves? Like it didn’t even dawn on people that like, that would be a thing? And I’d say, Well, yeah, I mean, we they have services they offer that are not episodic, because most people I ran into were probably young professionals or younger, they’re in there, they probably haven’t had a lot of dealings with the health care system outside of maybe having a baby. And so they sit there and they think, well, like, what would you mark it?

Alan Tam 17:36
Right? It’s and in this journal article actually says, an effective approach for marketing really should involve an in depth investigation of the patient’s needs. Okay, now, we’ve talked about that before. And identifying some of those latent needs and offering health services that can support those needs may be ones that patients themselves have not explicitly requested. That to me, when when we describe it that way, that is a way of actually saying what we’re trying to do is understand our customers better, and help them find the right levels of care at particular times. Now, to me when I describe it that way, it That doesn’t sound like marketing at all,

Chris Hemphill 18:20
but in effect, it is marketing, the idea that it differs, because of the demand, right? So we got there, like I just talked about the episodic piece. So like, do we not market things like the ER, is that a bad idea? I am another one answer that question. Right. The second I get my own opinions on some of that. So it’s like, well, no, you should market the ER, I mean, people are going to come there regardless. Well, but what about like trauma services and the level of trauma care and some of those types of things? Or, you know, if you’re having a baby, like, you know, this is coming, and maybe you’re high risk, right? You’re in advanced age, maybe you’re having multiples? I don’t know, whatever the scenario is, what do you need to be looking for what hospital should be telling you? It’s just not a transaction, like the email I get from Cole Haan about there’s 30% off at the outlet, click here. That’s pretty straight for health care in hospitals, specifically, I think it’s just it’s a strange place to be because I don’t know what I might need yet, or in the future.

Alan Tam 19:26
And again, it centers on understanding that customer this article, they outline, actually a number of trends, but six trends here that healthcare marketing has adopted to over the last decade. They sound very familiar to us, right, from a mass marketing approach to a more specific approach going from broadcast to targeted, right, does that translate it in our language that was that means it’s less

Chris Hemphill 19:50
brand campaigns and is the super highly specific things to certain personas that you know that they’re going to be interested in?

Alan Tam 19:57
Sure. Okay, from image marks. Getting to service marketing. I would argue image marketing may still be there through branding. Right, but really about service and utility is a big part of this. Right?

Chris Hemphill 20:10
It is I think there still is a place for brand marketing, especially in certain mark, highly competitive markets. Obviously, that varies a little bit on the intensity based on, you know, who we’re talking about where they are, who they serve, that kind of thing, but it’s still there.

Alan Tam 20:25
Okay, how about this one, from a one measure for all approach to personalization? No disagreements there, from an emphasis emphasis on a health episode to a long lasting relationship?

Chris Hemphill 20:37
Well, that goes right back to what I just said, like, I don’t know what I’m going to need

Alan Tam 20:41
from ignoring the market to developing in depth market intelligence. Right now, we’ve talked about data and analytics. And in fact, the interview later on in this episode, actually will go into how to use data to drive intelligent, you know, decisions, to help guide customers to the right places. And then the last trend they say is going from low tech to high tech. In this particular case, I think they’re talking about marketing tactics. Right? They’re not talking about like promoting high tech options. Obviously, technology is a big piece of this, but it’s going from billboards print ads to more high tech touchpoints. Yeah. No, that

Chris Hemphill 21:20
makes total sense. Hold before we get to that interview. Let’s let’s jump into one more article maybe that you found in this is that healthy people.gov note shuffling government websites today.

Alan Tam 21:34
I know Well, I interesting. And this is actually from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion or the ODP, HP, wow. And it’s called health communication and health information technology. This particular article health communication, health information technology, they say the goal of article was to use health information strategies and health information technology to improve population health outcomes, and health care quality into achieve health, equity. And effectively using those techniques together, it can bring about a patient and public centered health information and services. And really, there’s a huge potential here that they talk about, which sounds like you’re either talking about marketing, or you’re talking about communications, or you’re talking about population health, or maybe we’re talking about all of these things together, right? improving health care, quality, and safety,

Chris Hemphill 22:26
increase the efficiency of health care and public health service delivery. So again, quality and safety, and now actually the delivery of service. Here’s another one that’s

Alan Tam 22:37
a little bit different. But it can relate improve the public health information, infrastructure, if anything, today’s day and age, that’s what a lot of health systems are doing. They’re communicating about public health information,

Chris Hemphill 22:50
what we’re going through right now is a great indication of like, Well, where do you get your information? Like, how do you know what you’re getting is true? I can’t tell you text messages I’ve got at this point that I go, okay, where do they copy and paste this from? This is not happening when I’m doing this, you know, anyway, support care in the community and at home. So again, kind of an interesting thought process of, you know, how does that that care to you not just you go to the care if you will,

Alan Tam 23:21
and facilitate clinical and consumer decision making, okay, now, communications is supposed to help them with deciding the right places to go, should I go to a telehealth initiative to to my my screening to determine if I actually am symptomatic of COVID, for example, this is exactly in alignment with what we’re doing.

Chris Hemphill 23:41
And then finally, they point out that there’s a potential to build health skills and knowledge, which again, kind of goes back to that decision making piece,

Alan Tam 23:51
the article goes on to point out that there’s like this, there’s a lot of health information, technology that’s available, and that it’s made the relationship with the consumer or the patient, so to speak, and the health system that much more complex. And part of what we’re trying to do is use communication and marketing as a way to reduce that complexity and allow people to navigate through a very complex landscape. that resonates with me a lot.

Chris Hemphill 24:21
And we’ve talked a lot about previous shows, and I know like the intersection is covered a lot with the social determinants of health. Because they talking here about the disparities and access to health information services technology that can you know, obviously it results in lower utilization of preventative services, obviously, people from a knowledge standpoint or even diseased chronic disease management. If you don’t have access to this stuff, well then, of course, you don’t have the right information. You can’t make the right decisions, everything that we talked about those bullets, right. So that leads to what higher rates of hospitalization and you know, we just don’t know how People are viewing.

Alan Tam 25:01
The article then goes on to outline for emerging trends that they’re seeing in the space. A big part of this is they’re saying that the internet and other technologies will help to streamline the delivery of health information and services. But we also have to keep in mind that many of our patients may have limited literacy skills, literacy skills, or experience using the internet. And what we have to do is we really have to apply user centered design, in alignment with application evidence based practices to kind of support that because some of the trends that we’re seeing that they outline here, we all kind of know about it. But we have to keep those in mind as we’re designing the solutions. So think so list out some of the emerging trends that we’re seeing read

Chris Hemphill 25:45
a speed, scope and scale of the adoption of health, it will only increase I mean, obviously, we’re seeing the need for telemedicine as we stand right now

Alan Tam 25:55
makes it more complex. Here’s another one, right? Social media and other emerging technologies promised to blur the line between expert and pure health information. And if you want any example of that, just go to Facebook right now and see how many of our experts that were experts on government a couple months ago are now experts on public health, right?

Chris Hemphill 26:16
Yeah, there were huge policy walks a couple of weeks ago, and now they’re apparently really tight with CDC, I guess. The other one here, they list monitoring accessing the impact of new media, including mobile health, on public health, will be challenging. I don’t know the impact of some of this. Because it’s just coming at us so fast, it will be a challenge to really understand what that’s meant to us.

Alan Tam 26:48
Again, new technologies can potentially make it more complex. Lastly, they say there’s a increased trend of helping health professionals and public adapt to the changes in health care quality and efficiency, due to the creative use of communication and health IT and I think that this speaks to the fact that we’re getting now more access to a lot of information about our health, that probably makes us hypersensitive to our health. And we have to now adopt our approaches to marketing communications to help people make sense of it all. Maybe that cough that you’re having is not COVID-19. Maybe it is just seasonal allergies, we have a responsibility as healthcare professionals to kind of address that right and be in front of that conversation. Struggling to drive service line patient growth with your digital campaigns, overwhelmed by running campaigns internally, are frustrated with your digital agency that’s not providing you the results you need. A ruptor is the leading industry expert in search and social marketing, risk assessments and patient conversion solutions. They work exclusively with hospitals across the country, developing and executing digital campaigns that increase patient acquisition and awareness. And their team is comprised of former hospital digital marketers, so they understand your needs and how to get the results you want. If you’re looking at to find measurable, actionable KPIs, and optimize your digital marketing outcomes, choose a rupture is your digital agency partner, visit them online at a rupture.com that’s er up tr.com. So with that, I think that this might be a good point for us to kind of turn it over to one of our experts that Chris Hemphill who’s been listening to the show for a very long time. And he’s with Symphony RM, a company that uses data and analytics, to help organizations healthcare organizations make really good decisions. He and I had a chance to talk just this week about some of the work that he’s been doing recently over the last couple of weeks, using data and analytics to help organizations make the right choices when they’re communicating to their audiences to guide them to the right care, particularly in this day and age of the pandemic response. So let’s jump to that.

Alan Tam 29:15
Welcome back to the SEO experts section of the podcast. And today, I am talking with a good dear friend of mine. I had Chris you and I’ve gotten to know each other over the years. And I know that you also are a fan of our show. So I’m so excited to have you here today. Chris Hempel Welcome to the show.

Unknown Speaker 29:31
Thank you very much, Chris. I hope it doesn’t get confused with us having the same name.

Alan Tam 29:34
well managed through it, I think so I think it’ll be fine. So Chris, I like I said, I’ve known you for a number of years now. And I’m very excited about some of your background in history, but for people to see and may not know about that. Would you mind sharing a little bit about your experience in this space?

Unknown Speaker 29:50
My background started in sales and operations at a healthcare analytics firm in that time, the questions as they became more and more complex, and I have been Of course, was interested in all the stuff that I’d studied in economics and things like that. Back in college, it required some additional expertise. So at the same time, as we were trying to identify which hospitals were most likely to make, which types of movements and things like that, it required deeper analytics into things like decision trees and random forests and things like that. So ultimately ended up going down at data science path working with currently with Symphony RM as the director of AI and analytics on the client facing side. So the background and focus is now on helping health systems to evaluate data products and understand how to make good decisions with data products. And also performing data science analytics on things like what’s the value of physician outreach meetings, to referrals, other patterns that we might want to see from physicians, or learn from our from physicians in our market? Or what are the implications of certain types of appointments or different social determinants in terms of people’s likelihood to not show up for appointments and things like that. So I went from an internal sales and operation side to more client facing data science. And

Alan Tam 31:12
I think that’s awesome. And that’s another reason why I think you and I connect, because we’re both data nerds at heart, right, we, we like data and analytics to drive decision making. I think that’s awesome. And I think that, you know, in many cases is you and I know, working with hospitals and health systems over the years, that is sometimes a little bit of a challenge, because most people that are in the marketing or in communications, or even population health or wherever they may be, that may not be their first leaning, right? They might not lean towards analytics or data. Yet, in this day and age data and analytics is so proliferates, right? We have so much information that’s out there. It’s just really making sense of what to do with that data. Is that fair to say?

Unknown Speaker 31:57
That’s 1,000,000,000%. fair to say. The the way that I see it is we’ve basically gotten a deluge of data starting in 2009. With with meaningful use. And the issue is, we’re acquiring all these different data sources, it lives in a bunch of different places. And even when we unite the unite everything in terms of Ew, that still hundreds of 1000s of patients and, and hundreds of characteristics that need to be compared and considered to determine who’s the most likely candidate to need this type of communication, or Who’s most likely to no show for an appointment. Even though we have the data at our fingertips when we get to the issue of combining it from the multiple sources that it might be from our marketing automation systems, or EMRs, or data that comes in through claims or other third party sources. When it comes to making sense of all that data, we’re completely at a loss if we’re going to ask marketers to wear an additional hat as a data scientist slash data engineer. So completely agree that we we’ve been deluged by data. And even having that data over these years, it’s been extremely hard for most organizations to make sense of it and use of it for the value of the patient.

Alan Tam 33:08
You actually had an interesting point how healthcare marketers don’t necessarily have to become data scientists, you actually refer to them as data enthusiasts. So I’m interested in exploring that with you today. In today’s conversation, I reached out to you because I read this really interesting article that you posted on LinkedIn, you also have it on the blog at Symphony Rn, that’s called hospital marketing with algorithms aim higher than Netflix. Can you start off and maybe share a little bit of your thoughts of what what what inspired you to write this blog post? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 33:40
yeah, let’s go into that. And it really ties into the whole data enthusiast concept. To train to become a data scientist. It requires picking up a lot of skills, in terms of statistics in terms of programming, and being able to use those to extract value from a bunch of different data sources to be called artificial intelligence is a very hands on process, what marketers are being asked to do across multiple data sources, it’s simply not tenable to take somebody whose expertise is in fostering communications, to then say, okay, learn Python, R, SaaS, all these other other platforms and learn all these various packages that are related to data science, and start extracting meaning from them. The time spent, there would be better spent understanding, fostering relationships and managing managing content, but it’s still necessary because because of the analytics component with all these requirements around data, becoming a data enthusiast means not necessarily picking up a programming language and going into detail and learning all these things. But really, as a decision maker or as a leader in healthcare, understand that the role of data is extremely important in health care in terms of like when I said aim higher than Netflix, not a slight on Netflix or anything like that. But what Netflix optimizing for is for you to watch as much content as possible for as long as possible. So it’s optimizing for you to click and to click as much as you can and stay watching as much as you can, so they can maximize their revenue. In healthcare, especially with the proliferation of value based care, the idea isn’t necessarily to get as much content as possible. But to aim patients at the care that is going to give them the best outcomes. That’s not saying we want people to have as many repeats visits as possible and things like that, that that would be that like the the older way of thinking, but the newer way of thinking is getting the right care to the right people. And in the right amounts.

Alan Tam 35:42
Yeah, and that point, right of getting the right care to the right people in the right time, right ways, right amounts, as you said, that really speaks to the fact that now, the role of marketing is kind of shifting within a hospital and health system. And I know read, and I’ve been talking about this for a long time, we as marketers have to kind of evolve from the little end marketing, which is more promotional, to what I like to call the big marketing, which is more towards a holistic sense of trying to drive those interactions in the right way, understanding our customers better, so that we can actually deliver them the information that they need.

Unknown Speaker 36:15
I like the way that you worded it, especially understand our customers better, because I kind of missed that in the previous comment. What I really wanted to focus on as a data enthusiast is how do I know whether or not I am understanding my patients that my customers better? Let’s say that I invest in CRM or an EMR? And it tells me that these people have risk for this particular illness? There’s a risk to sending out communications that are based on what that model is telling me about that patient. So let’s say that some there’s a model that identifies who is likely to be at risk for or or need breast cancer services in a particular market. Well, the question then, is okay, so well, how accurately does that model perform? And honestly, in all the evaluations that have been a part of, I have not really seen the right questions being asked to tease out how effectively models perform some things that like, as data enthusiasts and healthcare market, marketers might be able to start considering or to ask the tougher questions around how well does this model perform in terms of false positives? Like there’s a statistical term type one error, false positive, whatever. But really, when when you get down to it, when you ask me what my false positive rate is, it’s really saying, How often is this model flagging people as needing this service, but they didn’t actually need the service because there’s a chain of events that happens, after you’ve decided to communicate with somebody on that, like with the expectation that they’ll need a service, if it is a false positive, like, excellent, excellent if you’re if your model is finding people that have clinical need, and getting that getting the right information and getting the right people in for the right services, but if you don’t, if you’re if you’re telling the wrong people to come in, then they might come in for a screening that might also lead to another false positive, that might need to lead to unnecessary procedures, and lack of trust in the health care organization, and then the communications that are coming from that organization, and all this talk about false positives, etc. I

Alan Tam 38:28
mean, I can’t help but kind of parallel it against our current day, day and age. Right, Chris, where we’re dealing with COVID responses, and we’re and communication is becoming very critical with our audiences. Is that resonating with you as well?

Unknown Speaker 38:42
Yeah, 100%, Chris, that really hits on a really close topic. Because the amount of testing that we’re able to do in our current state of our healthcare, like, Ideally, we’d be like, we’d be able to test test everyone like South Korea, but current state is their limitations. We were talking a little bit beforehand, and you were talking about a limitation that certain healthcare entity, they could only test for 500 a day. So the question then is which 500 people should receive tests? Because if we’re targeting the entire market, like basically, we have a much more demand than test available. So it becomes a question of we don’t want to target the wrong people to have these tests, because then there’s a cost that if we’re lucky, we’ll actually get into another topic, false negatives, which are people who have a clinical need that miss out on those communications.

Alan Tam 39:35
So when you say that, what do you mean exactly?

Unknown Speaker 39:37
Just as contrast, a false positive is saying, hey, you need this thing. And it turns out, you didn’t need this thing. false negative is saying, this person doesn’t need this communication. So we’re not even going to send out any we’re not going to send anything to them anyway, but then it turns out that they actually did need the communication, part of the modeling process and part part of the data science aspect. is to run tests that identify the like, based on all the parameters, everything that somebody’s setting up to identify patients, whether it be simply like taking some, like slicing and dicing based on based on some clinical information, or creating an AI model that scores millions of patients and and does the calculation that way. At the end of the day, you still need to still need to have an understanding of how often does this model falsely flag the people that people that don’t need the services? And how much is the opportunity cost with the high false negative rate? What’s what the cost there is, is that you’re not communicating to people that have a specific clinical need. So in that case, there are people that have need or opportunity or market opportunity that the model is missing. So it’s important to understand in an evaluation of a model of an AI approach to reach patients, what the false positive and what the false negative rate is.

Alan Tam 41:02
So I think that that concept of false positives and false negatives is critical and important. And it also kind of outlines the fact that now marketing is extending to like things like population health and other other segments. But before we get into that, in this blog post, you actually outlined some other questions that we need to ask of the data, which I like the way you phrased that right, with the questions we need to ask of the data. One of the things is you went the outline was about right consumption, right

Unknown Speaker 41:27
clinical unnecessary Prevention’s and interventions. And I think that that that speaks to understanding also, not only if they there was a need, but the right type of consumption of that service or that need that a hospital provides. That’s where the modeling and, like the use of algorithms and AI stands in stark contrast to what we see from quote unquote, consumer type industries, when we’re talking about encouraging the right consumption. We’re not trying to get people to get the most constantly like healthcare is not, especially with the move to value based care health, healthcare is not about getting people to consume absolutely as much as possible. It’s about understanding what people’s specific clinical needs are, what they’re most likely at risk for. And taking that like understanding that far enough ahead of time, so that preventive measures such as education, or such as particular types of screenings, or early interventions can occur before this ends up being something that is more costly to the patient, and more costly to the health system over time. So we’re not trying to sell the most we’re not trying to put the most out there in healthcare, the stark difference, the one thing that you’d want to take from that article is that it’s not about optimizing for clicks or anything like that. It’s about delivering very specific interventions to specific populations. And I

Alan Tam 42:53
think that’s really important. And then one last point that you also brought up is about bias and data. And I know reading, I’ve kind of hit on that before. But talk to me about your perspective about how do we make sure that our data is not biased based on socio economic factors? What are some some examples that you’ve had doing that

Unknown Speaker 43:12
there’s a couple of biases that could come into play? The three that I would focus on in terms of bias? Are cherry picking, survivorship bias, and the McNamara fallacy? cherry picking? Is the tendency to go into the data with the question already answered in our mind. And we use the data to look for the answer that we want. There’s a lot of cases where people will miss trust numbers, especially like if you’re presenting to somebody who’s in finance, or has a has a highly data driven background, they’ll start asking questions that uncover the fact that maybe cherry picking may have occurred. And if if they don’t ask those questions, then the harm his decisions are made off of, you know, something where we brought our own confirmation bias, like we looked look through data and brought our own confirmation bias to the table. survivorship bias is the idea. I like to bring up this analogy. In World War Two, someone was asked to inspect British airplanes that had come back and identify where the bullet holes were so they could so they could identify where to place additional armor so that you know that those planes that came back with those bullet holes, they knew like they were basically using data to say, Okay, well, we’ll protect against those places. So the problem with that approach is if they’re looking at the planes that came back, this is survivorship bias. By the way, if they’re looking at the planes that came back and looking at where to put those bullet holes, where to put the armor and they’re using where they were shot to determine where to put the armor, then they’re missing out on the whole population of planes that didn’t come back, that didn’t make it through the process, the challenge, like ultimately, the data you get within healthcare is going to be biased towards the people that were in able to make it in for a particular illness, if whatever social factors keep you from thinking that it’s acceptable to go to go to go to hospital or you don’t think that you can afford it, then that takes you out of the analysis that that’s that’s being performed, it leads to some very powerful ethical questions for what what happens in data driven marketing. And as marketers, the biggest piece of advice is to understand their why looked at is to understand the social and socio economic factors that lead to people coming in for care, and identify like, basically, like when modeling, the focus is to only is to like develop models that are based specifically on clinical factors, but then do outreach that’s based on socio economic factors.

Alan Tam 45:51
I love the analogy, Chris, that you’re that you’re bringing up. And it really, you know, that leads to a big point here that you have that is sort of an underlying theme, I think that you’re kind of presenting here is that, as you highlighted in the article, you said technology should make complex hospital marketing demand simple. That kind of leads to this topic that you and I have talked about, too, which is simplexity, a kind of a little buzz term there. But what are your thoughts on that? Like? How do we how do we take such a complex data model that you’re outlining? and really make it to simplify it, so to speak?

Unknown Speaker 46:25
Also, it also really good question, because we started out by saying that a marketer should not go and will should not be expected to go and get a PhD in data science. So that’s point number one is that there’s a ton of complexity there. If every marketer was spending all their time doing those tasks, then they don’t have the time to forge relationships, manage content strategy, and all the other things that are important to making an outreach strategy work. When it comes to that. Basically, there’s I think the easiest way to say it is that there are three overarching types of analytics. There’s the the descriptive analytics, which say, this is the average number of patients that we see per day. And this is the their average age range deployment that that’s basically saying, This is what is, then there’s predictive analytics, which predictive analytics is saying, okay, so based on the demographics of this area, we expect these people will come in, at this rate to these particular centers, okay, so we’re making predictions. But the value, the value really comes from not just like describing and understanding the market and knowing what’s going to happen. But the next phase is prescriptive analytics. That’s where actions come in, is understanding, given all these criteria, given this complex information that we have on the contracts that we’re serving the value based fee for fee for service balance that we’re trying to walk, and the characteristics of the patients in this particular market, their risk factors for particular illnesses, or their likelihood to respond to email versus text, given all that information given given, given everything that we have? What’s the most critical point that if we had 30 seconds to make a decision on what somebody should do next, what the what’s the most critical point that should be positioned for that patient? So it’s an understanding of taking all that complexity, all those risk factors, anything like that, and turning it into next steps and actions, direct this person to this webinar, or send this person this email or defer this appointment to a time that would be safer for them based on the volume of patients that we’re getting that might have COVID risk, like it’s taking all those complex factors and turning them into simple steps that marketers population health, physician outreach should be positioning for their constituents.

Alan Tam 48:42
That kind of underscores the entire conversation that we’ve been having here right about how we can use this rich sets of data and this better understanding of our customers to help them guide them to the right the right types of care, right, and this isn’t, this isn’t about like salesy marketing now what we’re talking about is actually using data AI etc to to align them to where the right kind of care options and that sets that premise of what we started this conversation with Chris, I think this is really really fascinating. I really enjoyed this conversation. I know a lot of people listening in may want to learn a little bit more about you and and also about the company that you work for, what are some ways that they can reach out to you online,

Unknown Speaker 49:27
there’s LinkedIn, Chris Hemphill on on LinkedIn, and if you want a little bit of the snarky er side, on Twitter as Luke underscore trail runner,

Alan Tam 49:35
it’s always good to have that and then your your website’s Symphony RM for sure we’ll link to including the blog post that we’ve been talking about, Chris, this has been a really interesting conversation and really fascinating, and I’m so glad that we had a chance to sit down today and talk about it.

Unknown Speaker 49:51
I really appreciate it ever since posting that blog. And so some of the comments that I got the passion here is, if we’re if we get to where we’re rooted Seeing those false positives, the outreach that we really shouldn’t be doing and reducing those false negatives. Like, I think that by focusing on those, those metrics that can help marketing regain trust in the community.

Alan Tam 50:12
And that’s such a timely topic in, you know, in this crazy times that we live in, we can’t abandon that, that look, we’re living in a whole new era now where that becomes super critical. Chris, thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate it. And let’s have you back on. Okay. All right, thank you.

Unknown Speaker 50:33
Binary fountains transparency solution, binary star ratings, helps healthcare organizations increase online consumer engagement, and become a more trusted voice in the physician selection process. by publishing trusted ratings and reviews of patient experience surveys, to their provider webpages, customers value credible, honest online reviews that provide the entire picture on a physician. To learn more, or schedule a demo, visit them online at binary fountain calm, that is binary fountain calm.

Chris Hemphill 51:22
Especially thanks to Chris Hemphill from Symphony REM for coming on and sharing a bit of knowledge. Fascinating what you can do with data, it’s always cool to see have other great examples. This is usually the part of the show where we talk about all the conferences, most of which at this point are on hold or in some state of moving to a virtual delivery mechanism slash dates later to be determined. So anyway, keep an eye out for that. If you want, we would encourage you to subscribe to the TPS reports weekly email that comes out when we you know, obviously will list all conferences and things like that. The one that we do have a date for because it’s been virtual all along is the Mayo Clinic conference in June. And I think Chris, you

Alan Tam 52:08
got all the information on that, right? Sure. Yeah. So June 2, June 3 is when the conference is there is a link out there on the website. We’ll link to it in the show notes. It is a virtual conference. And it’s about social media and digital and in fact, I will be doing a keynote presentation virtual presentation. That’s called Beyond posting using social to boost marketing strengthen the consumer customer journey and break down silos. So you can go out to the the link in the show notes. And you can register for this. It’s a joint virtual conference between the Mayo Clinic and Fishman and promises to be interesting. There’s a couple other speakers here that are lined up, but more speakers are going to be announced. And looking forward to it.

Chris Hemphill 52:47
Very cool. Test when I help is the website, be sure to go out there and check out the other shows. And then before we get out of here, let’s send you a couple of recommendations we have that

Alan Tam 52:59
because we are kind of all stuck at home and we are kind of forced to entertain ourselves online. I am going to recommend something that we just recently introduced to our household because we were going we’re going cable free, which is a Roku device, we decided we’re going to cut the cable and got a Roku device. We love it. It plugs into the HDMI port on our TV. And it streams from the internet a variety of different things, you could set up a variety of different channels, they have a number of free channels that are there. We also kind of a sub recommendation, we decided to get real time TV, we decided to subscribe to youtube tv as our option is this real sport real time sports as well as news and a lot of other great channels that we didn’t expect, right that came along with it. So that coupled with our Hulu and our Netflix and our amazon prime and a variety of other free sources that has become now our viewing hub here in the boiler household and going to recommend it strongly for people you know, maybe Now’s not the time to change but if you are looking to cut the cord, get a Roku device I recommend it highly

Chris Hemphill 54:04
very nice. Yeah, we’re youtube tv subscribers have been really pleased with that. And so to recommendation I’m going to recommend something a little bit different it is wash your lyrics calm. So everybody seemed to wash your hands poster, you know with the like the different little infographic with the different little descriptions and diagrams on how to wash your hands. Well, you can go here and add your favorite song lyrics to set a poster and then save it. So it’s it’s pretty awesome. And all you have to do is know the song title and the artist and it will auto generate it for you. With those we’ve been doing that as an office because everybody’s virtual. So this is one of our stay connected things one day was like Hey everybody, go do this and share your you know, wash your hand poster, which were a lot of them are really funny. So anyway So you went wrong wash your hands poster, wash your lyrics calm.

Alan Tam 55:07
I love that site. What is what is the one song you use to wash your hands with read?

Chris Hemphill 55:11
I have used. This is how you do it by montell Jordan things what I plugged it

Alan Tam 55:18
for me it was todos Africa and it works out really well. So I have that along every time I wash my hands. That’s awesome.

Chris Hemphill 55:25
And so there is. Well thanks for tuning in. Thanks for telling a friend. Thanks for being a supporter of the network. We certainly appreciate you look for all the great content coming on the network. All different show hosts are working hard to put out. Obviously timely content as it relates to COVID-19. Right now we’ve got some really cool episodes on the network. You can go check out certainly every website support as well as lawyer Smith.

Chris Hemphill 55:56
This has been a touchpoint media production. To learn more about this show and others like it, please visit us online at touchpoint dot health


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