As we close in on a decade of inducting innovative individuals and organizations into the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame, patterns have started to emerge that paint a clear picture of what it takes to be an inductee. From a fearlessness to be an early adopter or innovator to a passion for sharing and educating, the nearly 40 inductees all share common traits.

For anyone looking to make their mark within the industry, our inductees have cleared a path any of us can choose to follow.

1) From Small Things, Big Things One Day Come

Bruce Springsteen may have sung those lyrics in 1982, but Ed Bennett (Innovative Individual – 2012) proved them to be true decades later while leading digital strategy at University of Maryland Medical Center. In 2008, he became an early champion of social media in the healthcare space and, thanks to a simple list he began keeping of which organizations were adopting various social media platforms, soon found himself at the center of the #hcsm conversation.

The Hospital Social Networking List (HSNL) continued to grow as a manual labor of love before finding a new home in 2012 with the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media as the Health Care Social Media List (HCSML), where it lives on to this day.

2) Have Something to Say? Don’t Be Afraid to Build Your Own Soap Box

Beginning with his time at HealthGrades and Inova Health System, Chris Boyer (Innovative Individual – 2018) quickly became a fixture at healthcare marketing and digital conferences, where he spoke on an array of topics. Even when unable to attend a conference in person and had to present remotely, his concurrent sessions would also be one of the most attended of the week. But, why just talk to 50 or 100 people at a time when you can reach hundreds a week?

In 2017, he co-founded the touchpoint podcast along with Reed Smith. Fast forward two years and 130+ episodes later and touchpoint has grown into a full-fledged podcast network, with 14 hosts producing 11 shows covering the healthcare provider space.

3) Trust In Your Data to Make Yourself a Better Marketer

Sure, customer relationship management is a core component of every good marketing tech stack in 2019, but do you remember just a decade ago? Believe it or not, we’re living in the future of ever-present data and customized nurture streams that seemed like science fiction not so long ago.

It was back in 2010, as Chief Marketing Officer at Penn Medicine, that Suzanne Sawyer (Innovative Individual – 2017) took the seemingly bold step to invest significantly in precision marketing with the goal of being more accountable with marketing dollars. The approach was being leveraged heavily in other industries, but it had yet to take root in healthcare, where the bulk of advertising dollars were still spent on print, broadcast and outdoor. Suzanne quickly became a fixture at healthcare marketing conferences, speaking about the benefits of data-driven marketing. As her organization invested further, Penn continued as a leader in the CRM space by offering personalized experiences within their call center, optimizing patient flow and operations and, ultimately, measuring marketing’s impact in a way most healthcare organizations have yet to replicate.

4) Successful Technology Adoption Isn’t Just About the Technology

At one time or another, we’ve all had amazing new products, platforms and designs which our teams have spent months developing, testing and prepping before rolling them out to our customers, and the world, at large. And, in many cases, our rollouts have been met with slow adoption rates or, worse yet, indifference.

Ochsner Health System (Innovative Organization – 2015) has taken a hands-on approach to ensure their patients, caregivers and employees are comfortable with the organization’s array of tech tools designed to guide them to better health. Dubbed the “O Bar,” it is the country’s first “genius bar” in a health setting serving up “good-for-you technology that helps keep patients out of the doctor’s office.”

Modeled after the Apple Genius Bar found in an Apple Store, the O Bar is staffed by an IT specialist who helps patients choose appropriate health apps and tools from the thousands available and also offers support and tutorials to familiarize patients with apps. Patients leave the O Bar armed and comfortable with tech tools designed to guide them to better health.

The results speak for themselves. In a study published in The American Journal of Medicine, Ochsner found that 71 percent of patients enrolled in a digital-focused hypertension management program achieved target blood pressure control. Those who received non-digital care protocols? Just over 30% compliance.

5) Customer Expectations Should Be Your Organization’s Expectations, Too

Matt Gove (Innovative Individual – 2017), Chief Consumer Officer at Piedmont Healthcare in Georgia, has been at the forefront of the healthcare consumerism movement since joining the organization in 2011. During that time, he has helped the organization expand the concept of “patient experience” to an entirely different level, across every customer interaction, in every setting. From expanding transparency beyond just star ratings and online scheduling for more than 1,600 providers to being an early adopter of chat bots and the rollout of their Piedmont Now app, which provides one of the most seamless experiences available at a major health system, the organization is setting the bar for customer experience and consumer-centric healthcare transformation as a whole.

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