HEALTHLEADERS: Let's talk about data credibility with physicians. How do you present data so that they actually believe what you're trying to tell them?
HALLICK: We spent the last year and a half working on bringing physician marketing to the same state of the art as consumer marketing. What are the potential data sources? How do we aggregate and align them? Our goal is simple: If you want to build a cardiovascular center, you need to determine not only who are patients out there that you need to talk to, but also who are the doctors who would impact admissions. So we developed a system that would analyze physician data to find key physicians who would impact the business. The system works on a number of devices, including an iPad, so liaisons could use it in the field. Pre-call targeting is critical.
PELLEGRIN: We're doing this through Six Sigma processes on the floors and through physician leadership sharing evidence-based medicine measures. Of course, administration and physicians are reviewing patient satisfaction in many forums. A significant challenge in physician satisfaction and patient satisfaction is a lack of capital. Operating a health system in an economically challenged region means that even if we need more ORs, that issue joins a list of capital needs that have to be accessible within a tight budget.
ISLEY: Fifty percent of our medical staff is employed, but they're driving 85% of our activity. We really rely on our employee doctors, and that number continues to grow. We're going to add another 150 employed physicians in the next 18 months.
PELLEGRIN: We're seeing that trend, as well. In the last few years, we have employed a number of physicians, mainly to support our trauma center. But we continue to see growth, especially in our hospitalist program. We have 600 physicians who are credentialed to practice at CAMC. Do they actually practice at the hospital? That number's dipping much lower.
MATSEN: The demand for the integration of e-medical records in our organizations, malpractice insurance, and lifestyle is a big factor for our doctors. By coming here, they're free to focus on medicine, whether it's clinical, education, or research, and it improves their quality of life. We are also out recruiting. We had physicians who were Cleveland Clinic employee group practice, but we also had physicians who were employed through our regional hospitals. Those are now all being condensed into the one main group. So we'll add another 100, 150 physicians to that group. This simplifies our marketing challenge greatly.
HEALTHLEADERS: How are some of the new data tools changing the way you market your services?
PELLEGRIN: Certainly we do traditional media in our market, being a somewhat contained market in a relatively affordable purchase area. We can do more direct mail, and with better data and more resources, that is our intent. Our primary focus right now is to redesign our website, CAMC.org. This will better position us to focus on search engine optimization and search engine marketing and give us more measureable ROI, as well. And we have recently begun engaging in social media in a more meaningful way.
ISLEY: In the last three years, we have shifted a lot of our dollars from doing traditional media to community relations and community events. Our organization has been Greenville Hospital System: big buildings, somewhat removed from what the community is. So we're trying to change that perception by connecting more with the community through these events and a partnership with the YMCA. We've developed a number of new primary care sites and urgent care sites. We've revamped our website, as well—driving people to the Web is what we want to do. We also are using some social media, with mixed results. We do e-mercials where our A/V department interviews our physicians. Based on our database we target that information to patients who might be interested and referring physicians.
MATSEN: We have a pretty active community outreach program. We do have a separate community outreach group at the Cleveland Clinic. But we do some terrific programs there, probably most notably a minority men's health fair for the community, which does extensive screenings, and then we also do a minority women's health program called Universal Sisters, which is terrific. We run the gamut from traditional to nontraditional. We sponsor the Browns, the Indians, and the Cavaliers and provide sports medicine for them. Beyond that, we are active in social media. We do have a Facebook page; not surprisingly, that's growing at over 100% a year. We had a million page views since we launched it. We are excited about YouTube. We have posted over 300 videos on YouTube, and that's grown over 200% for us this year in views.
HALLICK: We've done some research on all of these initiatives, and overwhelmingly, by a four-to-one margin, people wanted to be contacted, believe it or not, by traditional mail first. This may change in the future, but it's true now. Once they are contacted, people will go to the Internet or the call center. People are typically either assisted-service, through the call center, or they're self-service, through the Internet. There are many communications channels to get your message to the consumer. The key is the ability to maintain the integrity of the conversation while switching from one channel to the other without losing track of the conversation. That's the exciting vision we're working on right now.