The Art of Patient Engagement: 2022 Symposium Highlights

October 20, 2022 | Stericycle Communication Solutions

The Stericycle Communication Solutions 2022 Client Symposium, “The Art of Patient Engagement,” was held in San Diego in late September. Many great minds in healthcare, including hospital and health system executives, gathered to share insights after what have been some of the most challenging years for the industry.

The three-day event kicked off with a reception at a local art gallery, followed by presentations and Q&A sessions. Discussions around the current state of healthcare honed in on aspects of patient experience and opportunities for improvement, with plenty of time for questions and observations from attendees’ own experiences. Below are some of the key highlights and takeaways.

Sneak Preview of Stericycle’s Third Annual Patient Engagement Survey

Symposium attendees learned about key healthcare consumer preferences from the third annual U.S. Consumer Trends in Patient Engagement Survey from Matt Dickson, Stericycle Communication Solutions’ senior vice president of product and strategy. The survey report, soon to be released, aims to better understand patients’ needs for access and convenience in today’s world.

Jared Johnson on Marketing the Digital Patient Experience

The keynote speech was delivered by Jared Johnson, founder of the content network Shift.Health and author of a new book, Marketing Forward: A Vision for Marketers to Play a Leading Role in the Consumer Transformation of Healthcare. Johnson also co-hosts the popular podcast “Healthcare Rap,” and began his presentation with an original short rap by way of introduction, prompting laughter and elevating the energy of the room.  

Johnson explored how emerging competitors are generating a narrative that paints traditional healthcare systems as transactional, uncaring, and inattentive. Organizations that fail to respond through a thoughtful marketing strategy run the risk of confirming that narrative by way of silence. However, this new wave of competition also presents an opportunity to prioritize improvements to the digital patient experience.

“If all we do is focus on making healthcare easier, if all we do is focus on making it a little less scary to encounter, a little more okay to ask more questions… the business side takes care of itself,” Johnson said.

Marketers can play a leading role in this transformation, helping to reposition branding for organizations and attract consumers with evolving expectations for their healthcare experience.

Navigating the Transition to Patient-Centered Care

A series of experts took to the stage following the keynote to contribute ideas for fostering a better patient experience. Several themes arose, including the importance of providing a streamlined experience for booking appointments and the challenges presented by retail and non-traditional players disrupting the healthcare space. Speakers also addressed the issues of delayed care and burnout in the medical industry.

Adam Cherrington, vice president of digital health at KLAS Research, focused on the discrepancy between patient expectations and provider priorities in his presentation, “Are We Really Listening to Patients? It’s Time to Get Serious About Consumerism in Healthcare.” KLAS Research interviews providers and patients to identify areas for improvement in the healthcare industry, and Cherrington’s presentation used data to highlight how businesses within the “on demand” consumer economy, including fast food chains, often do a better job of providing a satisfying experience for their customers than healthcare systems do for patients.

Participants also heard from Chandni Mathur, senior consultant with the digital health team at Frost & Sullivan, who discussed what “patient engagement” really means. Her presentation, “Patient Engagement Trends,” covered the impact of COVID-19 on expectations for healthcare, digital tool kits available for providers, and potential health tech growth opportunities.

Carrie Liken, Stericycle Communication Solutions partner and head of industry for healthcare at Yext  spoke about patients’ higher digital expectations in the post-pandemic world. Liken focused on methods for “putting the consumer at the table” during discussions that shape how they experience healthcare.  

Additional speakers included George Avila, system vice president of change integration at CHRISTUS Health, and Greg Gossett, CEO of HealthAware. Avila’s presentation focused on CHRISTUS Health’s approach to the well-being of clinicians and associates, while Gossett discussed the challenges of delayed care and how health systems can overcome them.

The inaugural Symposium was a great opportunity for diverse professionals within the realm of patient engagement to collaborate on ways to improve the experience of healthcare for consumers. If you couldn’t make it this time, we hope to see you next year! Dates and location will be shared soon.

Learn more about our Patient Engagement Solutions.

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