In this conversation for our Healthcare Insight for Marketers podcast, HCA Vice President of Digital Strategy and Development Kelly Nye offers an insider’s view on digital transformation in healthcare.
In her role at HCA, Kelly Nye works with marketing, IT and other disciplines to “interweave digital into everything we’re doing and thinking about” across the system’s 180+ hospitals and 2,000+ sites of care.
Even in a typical year, managing digital strategy for the largest U.S. health system isn’t a walk in the park. In 2020, Kelly Nye’s job got a lot more interesting.
In this conversation for our healthcare marketing podcast, she offers an insider’s view of digital transformation in healthcare—including the system’s technological acceleration in 2020, her vision for the evolution of CRM and other insights.
What’s been fascinating about 2020 is the acceleration of digital adoption. One of the most exciting things that I’ve witnessed is how quickly we’ve stood things up. We did not have virtual care in all of our practices or within our urgent care centers, and now we have virtual access points across 6,000 care settings. We also set up chatbot functionality on our websites to let people get quick answers about COVID and other healthcare concerns so we’re maximizing our time spent on the phone while building confidence and comfort in getting them the right level of information versus using Dr. Google.
It’s been fun to see our shift in the marketing space. We’ve had to get really creative this year when we had budget cuts including a lot of our paid media. Seeing how creative our teams got in social media has been really fun, using our channels of email and web to engage our audiences and help them build confidence in the healthcare system and get the information they need quickly.
We set up a chatbot after the CDC put up a bot around COVID [symptoms/risk], and we felt we were doing a disservice to our patients by not offering a level of comfort and information there as well. We also were finding our operations were getting slammed by phone calls. We had this two-fold challenge and we wanted to ease the burden on our contact centers so we created a simple, branch-logic triage bot following CDC guidelines to help navigate patients through their level of risk and guide them to the next, most logical place.
Our communication and the amount of interaction I’ve had with certain team members has grown [during COVID]. Relationships have actually been built through this, which has been unexpected. I’ve enjoyed using technology to our advantage and love that people have taken down the barriers a little bit and are willing to get on Zoom—even if they have a ballcap on. We’ve had an opportunity to literally see into people’s homes and into their lives in a way that we don’t necessarily get in the office. While I miss going into the office and sitting across from my colleagues, this has been an interesting time for us to test out technology and feel really comfortable with it. We’re all anxious to get back to a level of normalcy but hopefully, we’ll carry forward some of this engagement through technology even after we’re back in the office every day.
We got really focused [when the pandemic started]. That was the biggest change for us as an organization. Instead of saying we’re going to work on 50 projects, we said these are the three we need to focus on, we need everybody on them, and we’re going to get them done in a week. That was a massive shift for us. We simply said “What’s most meaningful to our patients and our business?” and it was all-hands-on-deck. Without that focus, we wouldn’t have gotten these major initiatives out the way we did. If we maintain this level of focus and continue to pressure test that we are in fact doing the right things, we will accelerate our own digital transformation light years ahead of where we would have been.
I was in sales for 10 years and I still have to use my sales tactics every day. [When launching new initiatives], it’s going out there and essentially pitching something that corporate is going to do and explaining why it matters to the local market. Why should you care about this? Why should you distribute this throughout your organization? We spend a lot of time socializing that and crafting that story to be meaningful for them.
I would love to see CRM evolve to be more centered around messaging—right message, right person, right time—across a lot more environments. This means not just target marketing but how are we sending push notifications through our app in a more personalized and timely manner, how are we leveraging emails and text better. When is the right time to place a phone call? This means getting more pinpointed and nuanced with our CRM capabilities and frankly broadening the scope and the definition behind it. We tend to get a little too narrow with our definition [of CRM], which means we end up focusing just on our contact centers or targeted marketing versus thinking about it at the 30,000-foot level, which is where I believe the opportunity really exists.
Listen to the full interview with Kelly Nye on digital transformation in healthcare:
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