Learning objectives: Accelerate from strategy to execution in 2 weeks.
- Ambulatory Appointments Recapture
- Surgical Volume Recapture
- Automated Consumer Engagement
- Access Center Channel Orchestration
- Joe Wilkins, MBA, FACHE: Healthcare transformation strategist and former CTO Atlantic Health System
- Brandon Klar, MSHA: Managing Director, GE Healthcare
- Terry Tuznik, RN: VP Clinical Platforms, SymphonyRM
- Joe Schmid: CTO, SymphonyRM
Managing scarce resources across the health enterprise and prioritizing patients for engagement will require data driven planning, flawless execution, and relentless communication. Learn from healthcare leaders at GE Healthcare and others who’ve led major initiatives at Atlantic Health System, St. Joseph Hoag Health (of Providence St. Joseph Health System), CharterCARE Health Partners, and many more.
Topics In This Webinar:
- 00:00 Introduction
- 02:18 Where do you start on re-engaging consumers, patients and our neighbors?
- 03:43 Where do you start on the data conversation inside your organization?
- 05:00 What are some of the biggest themes or questions that you’ve picked up on the front lines?
- 06:55 Can you share with us some good news, some hope and opportunity that will come out of this?
- 10:29 Joe Wilkins – Key Points Around Guidance For Aiding Organizations To Accelerate To The New Normal
- 15:42 Brandon Klar – Accelerating To The New Normal Within The Procedural And Surgical Services Areas
- 27:06 Joe Schmid – How We Use Behavioral Analytics To Bridge The Worlds Of Operations With Our Patient Population
- 38:18 Personas That We Use For Campaigns
- 49:17 What do the panelists think successful organizations will need to do for their providers as they emerge into a new healthcare arena post pandemic?
- 51:46 What about outreach to our referring community clinics that have been asked to hold off non-emergent and elective patient referrals? What kind of plan makes sense to communicate to them?
- 52:50 From your experience sitting on the board of a health system, how do you balance brand marketing and messaging versus specific service line? What is more important? Marketing the brand or the individual services?
All right. Good afternoon, everyone. Well, thank you for coming to our first webinar in a series of sessions that we’re presenting as we accelerate to the new normal. Before we start, just wanted to share some quick logistics on today’s call. Everyone has been muted by default just to reduce some of the background noise. There’s a question and answer panel at the bottom of the zoom webinar, you can see a little screenshot there on how to submit questions. If we have time at the end of this webinar, we will be projecting the questions to the panelists today. And then we’ll also be sharing the recording after this presentation as well.
With that, let me share a little bit about today’s webinar. Today’s webinar is a first in a series of sessions that we are presenting to help health systems face the new normal. The series reflects the struggle that every healthcare organization is experiencing today. From the catastrophic revenue gaps, to provider fatigue and burnout, and engaging an anxious consumer base.
With today’s struggle, we do think comes opportunity, because this new normal in many ways will transform the way we as healthcare organizations work, engage and serve our communities. In today’s session, we will connect strategy, operations and consumer engagement to start recovering revenue. With that, I’d like to introduce our speakers today, and I’ll kick it off with a question for each or an icebreaker.
First, it’s Terry Tuznik. Terry is the Vice President of client development at SymphonyRM. She’s been a technology executive focused on patient engagement for a decade plus and prior to that served in our country’s Navy as a nurse Corps officer. And I’ve personally found what she shared about resiliency to be actually really inspiring in the time that we’re in. So Terry, just a quick icebreaker, how we work, socialize, eat, learn, shop, everything seems to have changed quick. So from a healthcare perspective, patients and caregivers are anxious. And in many cases, we will see that there’s a hesitancy, for example, for consumers to reschedule or have a provider visit. So where do you start on re-engaging consumers, patients and our neighbors?
Sheetal that’s a great question. I think I’m going to take some principles that I learned while I was a Navy nurse Corps officer, there were really 11 leadership principles. But I think the first two are really the most important, which are, know your people and your people are not just your staff, they’re your patients. They’re your community. So know what their concerns are. And I’m going to talk a lot about engaging the community through my presentation, and look out for their welfare.
With everything you do that needs to be the first thing that you’re concerned about. The second is keep your people informed, communicate, communicate, communicate. I think those are really, look for the welfare and communicate your plans. And I think that’s the best way to re-engage.
Thank you, Terry. Second up is Joe Schmid. Joe leads a team of data scientists at SymphonyRM his team has been focused on helping healthcare organizations execute on precision marketing to drive growth. Joe, obviously, you’ve shared with me your, you live, eat and breathe data. And we know how data has a potential to have a huge impact in setting direction and engaging consumers. Joe my question is, it feels like we’re grappling here with an urgency to drive revenue recovery in these uncertain times. Where do you start on the data conversation inside your organization?
Yeah, thanks Sheetal, for the folks on the line thanks for joining us today. We’ve been focused in our work with clients under these challenging conditions on really keeping things simple. And we split the world into two phases that the challenging times that we’re in, we’re really focused on schedule restoration. And we’ll talk a bunch about that today. And then once we get through that, we can talk about schedule optimization, but those phases are really different. And the way you approach data in those two different scenarios is really different, of course.
And the first we’re talking about limiting data sets, keeping things basic, less focused on probabilistic models and machine learning, and much more focused on simple prioritization rules. We can get campaigns running fast. We’ll get to schedule optimization over time, but right now we need to crawl, walk before we run.
Thank you, Joe. Third up is Brandon. Brandon Klar. Brandon’s the managing director at GE Healthcare Partners Consulting. He specializes in designing and activating solutions for providers most complex problems. He’s also been a vice president of planning and business development at a 500 plus bed health system in the northeast. Brandon, I know over the last few weeks you’ve shared with us your conversations that you’re having with teams at the front line. Just curious, what are some of the biggest themes or questions that you’ve picked up?
Sheetal and thanks for everybody on the line today. I think the biggest question is what now? So coming out of COVID-19 when the world has been disrupted, I think three big things that organizations need to be focused in on one is stress testing and reprioritizing their own organizations. We all recognize that the basic assumptions and some of their plans have changed. What are they going to be going forward? And how do your plans change accordingly to respond to needs? I think the second piece is really restabilizing and reconfiguring with urgency. How do you respond quickly to those evolving needs and changing patient behaviors?
And then the third one is re-engaging and realigning. And I think this is very appropriate not only for your own teams, but also for your patients and your referral sources and the other providers.
Perfect. Thank you, Brandon. Finally, but not least, Joe Wilkins. Joe has been a healthcare industry veteran for 30 plus years. Joe, you’ve sat on the board of a health system. You’ve led transformation at another. You worked on EMR deployments to very massive digital transformation projects to serve providers and patients. My question is, as we segue into the content of this webinar, can you share with us some good news, some hope and opportunity that will come out of this?
Joe, I think you’re muted.
It’s like we’re… there you go Joe.
Can you hear me? Okay. Sorry about that. Okay, so let me start back then. Your question I think it’s really important Sheetal to understand the importance of having hope and keeping hope alive through these challenging times. And so when I think about that, I think about three areas of hope. One is innovation, the second is the breakdown of barriers and the friction of the politics that we see today. And also, the fact that care delivery will never be the same. And so, when you go back to innovation, I could tell you looking at history, most of the most highest performing companies were founded during recessions and economic crisis.
So Disney, Marriott, Adobe, Microsoft, all these companies were found the Uber, Airbnb found during difficult challenging times. And so, as we look towards the future, what healthcare organizations or enterprises will come out of this stronger and better for meeting true community needs. Clearly is heartwarming when we see how quickly CMS and Congress have reduced the barriers and friction to providing care to our communities. And so that’s positive and then clearly healthcare delivery, the fact is will not be the same and so that it will be better.
That’s good news when we think about the new opportunities before us to really improve care in future. Sheetal, I really do think that innovation breakdown and barriers, and the politics and the fact that care delivery will not be the same is all positive movements to the future.
Thank you, Joe. Joe will have you kick it off.
Okay, as some of you probably have heard, the song that we opened up this session with, the song is called, What It Is, ain’t exactly clear. Those words resonate so well with the times that we’re living in today. And we felt that this melody of uncertainty and the loss that so many are occurring through the extreme challenge of circumstances that we really wanted to respectfully respect everyone in the healthcare field and all of our family members that have been so supportive to the needs of this massive challenge. We thought that that expression of that song would be a wonderful opening for this dialogue here today as we look at our challenges.
We look at this slide we see the heroes throughout the day are being called out and we’re so grateful for that. We often think of doctors and nurses. But when you look at the next slide, you see that there are many, many more others that are part of the healthcare team, and we don’t want to forget about them as well. I specifically want to call out respiratory therapists in my world of clinical laboratory scientists, which I’ve dedicated most of my career to, radiologists, our IT teams, even on the call here we have a data scientist with us, so critical part of the team of care, infectitous controls.
And last but not least, to call out the housekeeping staff. All these folks are on the front line of the recovery in the crisis that before us today. We do want to express our thank you, and our gratefulness and empathy for everyone above in the effort and challenges ahead.
I just wanted to provide a few key points around guidance, some broad guidance for aiding organizations for recovering and restarting growth. Or what we call the effort to accelerate to the new normal. And so the three points that I want to highlight on is focus on your people, patients and castes in this order. And then the third point is CEOs, leaders of organization must stay visible and vocal and be out in front of their plans for communication and planning. And then finally, but not least start your recovery planning efforts now, and that’s the purpose of why we’re on call today with everyone today.
And so just going back over a few points. When we think about our people and our patients and our value in terms of our cast, we must show extraordinary efforts to protect and serve our doctors, nurses and all employees at our enterprises, we must have to get creative. In the area, we see it in our communities, we see restaurants and organizations stepping up and providing PPE equipment and food. And so we need to do the same as leaders in terms of really reaching out to our providers and our nurses and employees to make sure that we’re in touch with them and connected with them.
And then the other important step is can’t really take care of patients unless we have our staff and our nurses and doctors in orders in good health. That’s a critical piece of our guidance. The second part of our point here is that when it comes to castes, it’s probably time to preserve your castes, having strategies, some applied the strategy of reducing their vendors one way to preserve castes also just really looking hard at redeploying any non-essential activities or functions within enterprises important as well.
CEOs again, and leaders of healthcare organizations must stay vocal and visible and provide updates and communication plans and planning updates. This is critical because the community really needs your leadership and look into your voice to help reinforce important messages and help provide updates so use all means of media, LinkedIn, website, emails, EMR, messages, CMR tools, any way that you can reach out to the community is critically important at this particular time of our challenges.
And then finally, we want to emphasize the need to start your recovery planning now. Start this thinking about how to move to the next step with planning, understanding that it is difficult to move in the middle of this crisis with all hands on deck but it is critical to start thinking and planning now your recovery roadmap. It’s a must in order to make sure that the recovery is effective and successful. Some of the factors to consider when you’re doing this thinking is thinking about the future. We know the organizations that embrace remote work will replace organizations that do not.
So telemedicine barriers have been completely removed. And so we know that that’s an area of focus. We also know there’s going to be renewed area focus between public health, population health, community and help models to help really drive the importance of community health going forward. And then finally, finding creative ways to support your physicians, your providers, your nurses, your caregivers, their resiliency that they need to stay on task for the tremendous challenge that are here for everyone in the area of healthcare delivery. So in closing, clearly, healthcare delivery will not be the same, and that’s good news. It’s going to be better. It’s got to be better.
And so with that in mind, we are hopeful that today’s resources from SymphonyRM will help you in your recovery plan, it will help you regarding really proving our care delivery systems down the line. And so how do we operationalize this guidance around people, patience and value? How do we move forward? How do we make this recovery vision a reality? Well, let’s turn our attention to down Brandon Klar, as we share his expertise in this matter.
Thank you, Joe. And thank you again, for everybody on the call today. I know many of you are on the frontlines of handling this COVID crisis right now and just want to extend our heartfelt thank you to you day in and day out. So recognizing that COVID is the crisis of the day and one that we’ve never before experienced. It’s important to not only focus on caring for patients today but also have that eye towards the future and more importantly what’s going to happen in the first 90 to 120 days immediately following this crisis when the nation opens up again.
And rather than look at the industry at broad, one of the areas where I thought we could focus a little bit of our attention today and continue through additional speakers, is in the procedural and surgical services areas, ones that have been most predominantly hit as a result of COVID and canceling of elective surgeries. Most organizations have excessive patient backlogs that they’re going to have to work through over the course of the next eight to 12 to 20 weeks. As we’re looking at this, I’m going to spend a little bit of my time today talking about how do we optimize surgical operations with the real objective of enhancing patient access to reduce these backlogs.
And I think it’s important to leverage some of what Joe just highlighted here, and it’s really going to be about prioritizing patients, prioritizing your people and prioritizing value on everything that we do. And as we start to work through this specifically focused in on Perry up, I want to focus in on a few areas, in particular, but it is important to recognize many of these complications that we’ll talk about are not just specifically related to surgical services, but can be applied to operations throughout your entity.
Joe, if you can advance one here. Perfect. As we’re starting to talk about governance, I think it’s very appropriate to say we’re going to have a lot of voices coming to the operators, both internal and external about what they should and what they shouldn’t do. And while many organizations have operating structures, governance oversight of their perioperative areas, it’ll be important to reassess the effectiveness of those functions of those governance bodies during this rapid phase of working down your excessive patient backlogs. Do you have the right authorities in place? Do you have the right guiding principles and decision making to make expeditious decisions? And do you have the right people in place to help enforce some of those decisions?
The second big category here is capacity and scheduling criteria. We all recognize that you’re not going to have enough capacity or likely won’t have enough capacity in your existing operating model to be able to handle that excess patient backlog. So very much leveraging simulation, modeling, scenario planning, so that you can make the most strategic decisions will be of paramount importance to you. Scheduling criteria will also be important, you’re going to have a lot of patient backlog. Some organizations we’re talking to you already have six to eight weeks. By the time the doors open up again, it might be 12 to 16. So having clear prioritization criteria that was brought into fruition by a multidisciplinary team with clinicians involved will be very important.
The next function is really focused in on operations. And while focusing on operational efficiency within the OR is going to be paramount. It’s also important to look from a multidisciplinary perspective and all of the other factors that impact your operations from staffing. Many of the folks that are operating perioperative Suites have either furloughed a lot of their staff or redeployed staff to COVID areas. In many cases, their full complement of staff is either weakened or been stretched. Now you’re going to put them right back into the ORs where the demand is going to be even higher. So how do you build coordinated staffing plans and allow people work to the top of their capacity into the top of their license, recognizing that some either may be sick, or some may get sick during this recovery period.
Other critical dependencies or misalignment of departments and challenges that are faced with that it’s important to recognize the entire patient journey, the upstream and downstream from the surgical space so that you’re involving folks from the lab, your nursing units, PAT imaging housekeeping as just as critical. As you’re looking at procedural and surgical services areas, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. If you’re looking to extend operations into the evenings, and you’ve got the OR nurses and the texts and the surgeons and the physiologist, you don’t have somebody to clean that room, you’re not going to be able to do the case, taking a holistic approach will be important.
The last element here is really focused in on communication. And as we’re looking at this, it’s not only communication with your own stakeholders, but it’s with your patients as well. Because we’re talking about the communication cascade. It’s taking those macro messages at an organizational level and beginning to translate them into actionable steps that frontline workers can take to navigate this challenging situation. And while Terry is going to talk a lot about patient engagement, I think it is exceptionally important from an operational perspective to just highlight it here briefly in the fact that organizations need to be proactively engaging with their patients now to nurture those relationships to ensure that they know when patients come back that they’re going to be safe and that they’re going to have the appropriate resources necessary to get quality care.
And then once those doors begin to reopen, what they can expect in terms of rescheduling and an experience from that point forward can advance Joe. So as we’re looking, one of the most critical challenges organizations are going to face within the ORs and any other testing areas are really balancing resource capacity and patient’s schedule and it’s going to force organizations to reassess their existing operating models, whether the existing model works effectively or whether it won’t be working effectively with an influx of patient volume. You’re really going to be forced to ask yourself two questions, how much capacity do you need? And how do we schedule to expedite the patient backlog reduction? Let’s focus on the first question first. How much capacity do you need?
Four critical elements here. One, the backlog. It’s not just imperative to know the count within your backlog. It’s imperative to know the mix because not all cases are the same. Understanding how many you have today and how many you’re anticipating by the time you open your doors is going to be very important to understanding the demand on your system. Did you then look at facility capacity data? You’re going to look at your ORs and different resources, equipment teams, supplies, specialty services as well to support those cases. Understanding the demand from the patient perspective and how much capacity you have is going to be paramount of finding where that gap is.
From a procedural based perspective, not all cases are the same. If you’re handling an open heart procedure or a lithotripsy procedure, one’s going to take hours and take 10 to 20 resources. The other is going to take a half an hour and two or three resources and some equipment. Recognizing the resource draws for those different types of cases is going to be important as well. And then the downstream impact. It’s wonderful to folks think that they’re going to bring in all of their inpatient cases in the first week and prioritize all of them first. But if you don’t have the subsequent beds downstream, you’re just going to log into your PACU and subsequently [inaudible 00:23:08] your preop here. As we look at capacity modeling, it’s all about understanding the total time required for your existing patient backlog and where your existing capacity is today to understand that Delta.
If we start to look then at the simulation modeling and the patient scheduling, there’s really two major components here. And what we’re recommending is engaging your surgeons at this point so that if you’re looking at the criticality of your patients, you can understand which ones you need to prioritize. So focusing in on prioritizing those cases that are most urgent or emergent and deprioritizing some of your electives is going to be essential, but engaging the clinician then allows you as you start to roll into simulation modeling that builds different scenarios to test.
If you look at the case of DOR, what’s your best solution? Maintain existing blocks, extended hours of operation, days of week. We keep the blocks, not keep the blocks. As you’re looking at this, it’ll be important to understand those different criteria that you’re using or criticality of patients and also the operational resources. To Joe’s last point that he made there related to value. It will be important to engage your finance team during this time. As you’re looking to expedite your surgical backlog, it’s all about bringing revenue in, but if you’re not conscious on the cost, you’re only going to be degrading the margin on that backlog.
Once you start to understand that simulation modeling and narrow in on a scenario that’s effective that you can then start to build, they should schedule a report. Then the last lot I want to talk about just briefly is designing a customized plan. Everybody, every organization is going to be in a different boat. As you’re using simulation modeling, you really want to understand the unique variables that we’ll talk about in terms of prioritizing. Assuming an organization shut down their peri-op for seven weeks and have roughly a thousand cases in their backlog, scenario one is really looking at it and saying, we’re keeping our existing blocks. Maybe we’re 50% utilized now. So we’ll just expand our utilization percentage up close to max, maybe a few extra hours here and there. Take the organization about seven weeks to catch up on prioritize.
Scenario two starts to look at what if we extend our times into the evenings and the weekends, right? Prioritizing our cases again, we begin to reduce that backlog because you’re adding capacity to the game above and beyond what latent capacity you already had in the system. So you see what the extension of hours and capacity you’re able to streamline that down. The last scenario takes a little dramatic perspective and says we’re eliminating blocks for a period of time. You’re eliminating the inefficiencies at the end of blocks for those individuals that may only use their blocks 50, 60, 70 80% of the time, and you’re streamlining to get maximum efficiency. While these three elements denote three of potentially 100 of different scenarios, it might be more wise to run with a scenario one because it might be more fiscally responsible.
Because you have to balance your staffing resources, the costs associated with your capacity and find that happy balance. But just similar to Joe’s final point here is we’re talking about scenario modeling. It’s important to recognize the full array of variables that exist. So using the motto of, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. Understand where your challenge exists. Explore that and figure out ways to mitigate those challenges and bolster those capabilities in a way to really enable you to pick the best option that’s best for your patient, your people as well as your financial model. And with that, I will hand it over to Joe to take us into a little bit more detail from the data side.
Great. Thanks Brandon. In this next section I want to talk a little bit about how we use behavioral analytics to bridge these worlds of operations with your patient population. Before I do that, let me just take a quick minute to echo the sentiments of gratitude that Joe Wilkins expressed so well upfront. Joe, I really appreciate your leadership on that as I thought it was especially wise to highlight not just the contributions of doctors and nurses, but all those folks that contribute to the whole effort is really important these days. And I know for the folks on the line, a number of you are playing supporting roles. So we thank you all for your service with this.
With that, let me jump in and what I want to do first is give you a big picture view of bridging these two worlds and we’ll think about three really simple phases on the left from patient selection in the middle, applying analytics and doing outreach and really achieving the objective on the right of getting patients rescheduled to hit capacity targets. And to do that we’ll work backwards from a lot of the aspects that Brandon just talked about. It’s one of the reasons why GE healthcare is such a natural partner for us is that they address those areas like capacity modeling, prioritizations, scenario simulations, and we can think about things like they’re really giving us targets that we want to hit more from an outreach and analytics perspective as we run campaigns.
With those targets in mind, we can then jump to the left and start to pick up patients through that backlog. And like I mentioned up front, we recommend keeping things really simple to start working through that backlog. No need for fancy probabilistic models at this point. Let’s just work through that backlog and prioritize it. We can apply our analytics to help do that prioritization, and we’ll drill into some details around what that really means in the middle. But for this big picture view, we can think about the output being prioritize sets of patients ready to engage to reschedule.
And one more note on this slide. Once you’ve worked through that backlog, you can think about things like applying machine learning models to recommend patients who might be good candidates for various service lines like orthopedics or bariatrics. But really that’s more of a schedule optimization mode. First, you want to do some really simple things that are just very tactical to work through that backlog. Now let’s drill into some more detail around analytics and outreach. And so let me give you all a framework of how we think about engagement and dialogue in healthcare.
This is independent of schedule restoration and it’s important to note this applies both for patient populations, provider populations to do outreach and messaging to support your providers as well as do patient acquisition. And the way we think about these things are, there’s a really simple framework that we apply and whether you happen to work with SymphonyRM or you don’t, I hope you can take away some valuable aspects of using this framework.
So on the left we think about connecting data and bringing those data sources together. We all know in healthcare we have a very challenging data environment. And again, no need to make that overly complicated to start. We can limit the data sets that we look at initially when we’re in schedule restoration mode. From there we think about assigning actions and prioritizing them. For SymphonyRM, this is the heart of much of what we do. Our data science team spends a lot of time this area to really queue up those actions and prioritize them and in ways that make sense for our health system clients. And then we move into outreach. We’re applying the appropriate channels to reach out to patients and very important is to throttle that outreach for capacity. If you don’t do that, you’re going to have two really negative consequences.
One, you might flood or overwhelm some of your operational aspects like your call centers or some of your office staff and then second you’re going to have a bad patient experience. You don’t want to be doing outreach with a call to action of, “Hey, we’d love to see you,” Only for them to realize that there are appointments available for six to eight weeks out, and then of course you want to track that activity and make sure you’re meeting objectives and it’s subtle in this diagram, but this little dash line represents the feedback of bringing those results of campaigns and outreach. We use that to retrain models and make our predictions and forecast more accurate, but you definitely want to be taking advantage of that feedback loop.
Next what we’re going to do is we’re going to take this framework and specifically apply it for schedule restoration so we can map the steps of schedule restoration on top of this. And if we just walk again left to right through those steps on the bottom, we’re going to be first finding those patient candidates primarily in deterministic methods, working through the backlog like Brandon talked about. We’re going to map those to what we call operational segments. That’s really critical because certain patients either see a specific surgeon or PCP, others could see a group of surgeons within a service line or specialty. And you need to take advantage of that because it’s going to have downstream consequences for how you think about capacity.
Next we’re going to apply rules for prioritization. It could be things like tiering from some of your surgeons, it could be things like guidelines from the American College of Surgeons. We also work in factors like value if you want to take advantage of it. And we do a lot in the areas of personalized offer prediction so that you have a sense for what your yield is going to be so you can then throttle your capacity. That’s really our next step is to do your outreach with that dynamic throttling so you’re not overwhelming your operational staff. And then lastly, of course, you need that insight to track your progress. You want to be updating your campaign capacity daily so that you’re making adjustments as we go based on the capacity filling up. And again, that feedback loop is so critical.
For the last step in the process, I want to drill in one more time to give you more detail around assignment and prioritization especially. And so what we recommend as you think about restoring schedules to use factors like criticality, value and probability. And if we take a simple example, maybe we’re talking about a service line like orthopedics, you’re going to be selecting your patients from that backlog. You want to be applying some kind of tiering. This might come from your surgeons doing reviews, it might come from American college of surgeons recommendations, but you want to tier those patients.
And then within those tiers you can start to apply other factors like value and probability to optimize your outreach so that you can fill up your capacity in prioritized order. Next, what we’re going to do is do a couple of quick demos. I’m excited to show you. And the context of this is we’re big believers in, it’s not just machine learning and data science on its own, but it’s that in combination with human judgment and creativity. And so a couple of things I’m going to show, I’m going to talk about how we finalize our cohorts of patients to engage as we queue up campaigns. We’re going to look at a really cool visualization. Our data science team has done regarding rebuilding schedules with campaign activity. And then we’re going to talk about that in the context of really doing this at scale.
Unfortunately under the conditions these days, we don’t have time to queue up a campaign over a month and let that play out. We need to be working really fast to get multiple campaigns running really quickly on the order of a week. With that, let me bring up our demo. I’m just going to drag over and what you see as I’m logged into our application here. You’re looking at our audience builder page. And so our analytics has processed a cohort of patients that we’ve queued up and now we’re doing human review of that audience to finalize a specific set of patients for our campaign. I get some summary stats along the top. I can see my audience size, some age breakdown. This one skews a bit older. I see a healthy chunk of it has a high likelihood to respond to email and now I can start to play with this and do some experimentation.
I might want to do some location filtering. This one happens to be the Vancouver Washington area. I can update the location. I have to go to Vancouver city proper size is a little bit small so maybe I want to actually go back out to the Metro area. But this interactivity of trying filters and making adjustments and seeing the results is really critical to forming up your audience. We’ve done some recent work on categories at the CDC recommends. You be cautious about high risk patients who might get severe illness if exposed to COVID and we could flip on filters like eliminating patients who are diabetic to exclude those from the audience and see that update.
These are quick filters that are configurable on the right side. If I want the full power of our analytical tool, I can go to a lower level power level, power user view, and I can have access to a whole bunch of fields within our database to select my audience. When I’m ready, I can go publish that out to marketing automation systems. I can sync it on a recurring basis so that it updates to pull people out of the audience over time. And note that this is not just for patients, this applies for providers. I might want to form up an audience that’ll target our ER docs, that are so under the gun these days, with messages of support and information. I can also do this for a new patient acquisition maybe for leads that are lists of consumers and I can do that on a geographic basis.
I might want to target certain specific areas. Maybe we just opened a new clinic in a certain location and I can look at the size of consumers. Maybe that’s a little too small and I can play with that. But the point is that you get this interactivity to form your audience before you push go on your campaigns. Next I want to switch gears really quick and I want to talk about simulation modeling just like it applies in the capacity and operational world that Brandon talked about, simulation modeling applies in the campaign and outreach world. So what you’re going to see here, this is an animation where we simulate a campaign to drive rescheduling activity, along the bottom we have your available capacity along with maybe some organically scheduled appointments.
In this particular scenario, you’ve got lots of available capacity, but maybe for you that capacity is a little bit more full and then in this pain you’re going to see campaign activity driving that rescheduling process and really critical in the outreach and campaign worlds is this factor of time. As much as you’d like to get everybody in right away, that just doesn’t happen. If you send emails, it’s going to take a bit for them to open them and reschedule and plan their time to come in, and so it’s really critical that we be able to assimilate that. Along the top you’ll see some summary stats. I’ll narrate this as we go, I’ll play it. And this little slider along the bottom just indicates where in the process we are. So it’s going to advance as if the days are continuing. That campaign is playing out over time.
And so when we let this run, we see that the system recommends a large group of emails to go out. Initially we start to fill up capacity, it’s going to scale back emails every day, making a new forecast on how much campaign activity we need to drive to fill up our schedule. So I can, of course, drag this back and replay it and I can also play with some other scenarios in other views we can adjust parameters, but I can get a sense for how that might play out. And of course when we engage with clients, this would be driven by real data, not just simulated data. With that, let me stop the demo and that wraps up my section. What I want to do now is hand it over to Terry to talk about some of the personas that we use for campaigns.
Thanks Joe. And I’m going to build a little bit upon what Joe Wilkins and Brandon also spoke about, which is communicating throughout the process and not just with your patients. It’s also important that you continue to communicate with your providers because as we go through each phase of this outbreak, the messaging will be different. And especially when you start coming in and changing processes and procedures and block schedules, it’ll be important to be able to interact with your providers again in the method that they prefer to be communicated with, but in a timely manner.
So we’re going to have another webinar next week, which is all about provider engagement and some of the messaging that you want to give to your providers. Now as they face burnout, some of the challenges that they’re having and also the types of tools that are important to use now. And as we start to reengage them for scheduling. It is really important as we look at the four different stages of this COVID-19 outbreak, that we look at the fact that our personas will have to change. We may have built them as marketing departments and not really looked at them recently. You had your pre outbreak communication, which unfortunately now we’re all more in a community outbreak, hopefully to move into containment and then full recovery.
And for each of those phases there is a new normal for all of us. If you look at the fact that now we’re in this community outbreak and the new normal and the vernacular is stay at home, locked down, social distancing, and I can tell you that four or five weeks ago, I didn’t know what that meant. And a lot of our patients are really struggling with that. So that drives the message that we send out to both our patients and our providers. And it’s not just messaging. It also drives new technological changes that facilitate remote patient care now, so you should be sending out messaging now during this outbreak, emphasizing things that help your patients, things that reduce the risk that they may have if they interact with you, if they suspect they have COVID-19. Also, how do they interact with you for their normal appointments?
And we’re going to talk a little bit about telemedicine shortly, to talk about how you might be doing some activities now. But you want to reduce their anxiety and promote an affiliation and sense of belonging with you as their healthcare provider. During this containment phase, you’re going to have to balance the personas and the outreach to assure customers that the hospital is a safe place to come back and have their procedures and their surgery. But it really is a balance, because you also want to start to develop new marketing plans to recover some of the service lines. And you’re going to have to take a look at what’s going to help you drive your financial recovery in the most effective way.
You may have to relook at your marketing plans that you developed earlier this year to look at what’s going to help you drive the most revenue and volume and help you stay viable as a health system. Marketing is going to play such a critical role in recovery. When we get to that market recovery phase that we all pray comes as quickly as possible, you’re going to have a new normal, which is a savvy consumer who now expects a consumer centric experience with you because they’ve been using remote care options, self-diagnostic tools, tele-health and this is going to open the door for even more expansion from disruptive competitors who now aren’t limited by distance.
It’s a lot to think of as far as marketing, but it is important that you look at how you approach your patient with each phase and that you relook at the previous plans that you had prior to COVID-19. Okay. Nope, there we go. I really want to emphasize, you need to take that multichannel approach even now, you need to be messaging through social media, email and communicate with the patient and your providers in the way that they would like for you to communicate with them. We know that right now consumers are being bombarded from many organizations with false information. So they trust you and they want to you to give them the information that’s trustworthy and so now is your opportunity to do that and help them through this new normal.
As you adjust those personas, just remember that you want to be able to help not just your patients but your providers as they struggle right now with burnout and also with the plans that you have for recovery it’s going to be a constant communication loop. Oops, went too far. Sorry. Okay. Really want to emphasize that there are things that you can be doing now to reach out to your patients who have canceled appointments and you want to get them back in for telehealth. But as we start to reschedule appointments, when we get into a containment phase, it’s important to think about how are you going to reschedule with your highest urgency appointments? You may want do that through your customer call center and prioritize there, but you need to continue to nurture through digital channels and other methods.
Patients that will be in a longer waiting cubes. You want them to come back to you, with all things being equal, sometimes patients are not as sticky to your organization. So you want to nurture them and you want to continue to give them reassurance that you’re going to get to them. That we know we have a backlog, continue with positive messaging, that it’s safe for them to come back to you. And that way you’re facilitating a patient who wants to come and trust your health system. Nope. There we go. We mentioned personas earlier, I’m just actually bringing up one that we’ve heard a lot of our clients talk about. We have a lot of… I don’t want to bother anybody, patients, they feel like their providers are really busy, they have medical issues that make them need to see their PCP and potentially a specialist and they’ve canceled those appointments because perhaps they’re concerned about bothering.
Perhaps there’s some concern about being in the office with COVID-19 cases and it’s important now to get a little more demographic information, not just their email address, but do they have the ability to do video telehealth sessions at home? And so you want to… there we go. You want to target your messages for a patient like Karen who says, I don’t want to bother anyone and you want to acknowledge, we know you’ve postponed your appointment, it’s important that you see these providers and you want to promote your telehealth services and get Karen to come back because that’s revenue that the health system can be generating right now by providing some of those services via the tele-health mechanism.
I’m bringing up this slide for the reason we’re still having conversations with clients who really are confused about what they can fill and how services can be provided. CMS just announced it’s been, what, a week and a half ago, 80 additional services that can be furnished at full billable rate for telehealth. And that includes video visits, phone calls, et cetera. So, just take a look at that. Because again, this is a way to keep the patient engaged with you to keep their regular appointments so that on the other end of this, when we hit recovery, you don’t have huge gaps of care that drive a huge population health issues and care management issues so that your patients are feeling comfortable interacting with you.
And it’s important also to note, I know a lot of health systems have great efforts to get this telemedicine and solutions out there very quickly. And this has been a time coming, but with the sudden rush to get these solutions in place, it’s also really important to take some time when you hit a stage where we’re in more of a recovery effort to look at, have I diminished quality? Am I doing anything violating privacy and going back and putting in a solid infrastructure to cover this so that, God forbid any other epidemics hit in our lifetime, you have the right infrastructure and that’s safe and compliant.
I’m going to close with just a summary and I think there’s a lot of bullets on this slide, but I think the key main points are start planning now. It is not too soon to start planning for recovery, putting the right committees in place to prioritize which patients are going to be seen. Planning for how your marketing is going to evolve, communicate relentlessly as much as you think you’re maybe over communicating. You probably aren’t. You want to make sure they’re getting the right source of information from their trusted healthcare provider and you want to make sure they understand you care about them, and that you’re going to get to them as far as rescheduling and listen to your patients, look at the data, adjust your outreach based on what you’re hearing from your patients and the data. And if you do those things, we really think that’ll put you on a great path for recovery. Sheetal.
Perfect. Thank you, Terry. Joe, Joe and Brandon. Just a quick followup, we will be sending an email with information on future webinar from this series, uh, including the ones that the panelists mentioned today, we’ll make a PDF and video of this presentation available as well. And then we’ve put together a checklist for the revenue recovery that will be a PDF that will follow in this email. With that, we do have a number of questions that come through the question and answer panel. So I’m going to go ahead and throw the first one out.
This question comes from a physician who’s viewing, my question is what do the panelists think successful organizations will need to do for their providers as they emerge into a new healthcare arena post pandemic? Maybe I’ll throw that out to the panel and we’ll start perhaps with Mr. Joe Wilkins.
Yeah, I just want to quickly respond that clearly to be ready for change and to be adaptable. I do think that for those providers that are more comfortable with technology, there’ll be value there and then empathy with patients, communicating with a diverse group of patients, all of those communication. And personality skills is going to be critical in the future when we look at how care is going to be more effective in the communities going forward.
We can do Terry.
That’s a great question and I think that as we look at our providers right now, I think the statistics are maybe between three and 5% are going to hang it up after this. So we need to make sure that we’re taking care of our providers now, that we help them embrace the new technology with telemedicine. And again, remember they’re out there doing televisits and things that they really haven’t had a lot of training. And I know there’s some great training from some of the different medical associations, but we need to make sure that we reinforce that and continue to help them adapt to this new normal where again, they may be interacting differently with their patients in the future.
Brandon, any thoughts that you have?
Yeah, I think two pieces of advice. One, keep it open mind. Nobody’s been through this before, so there’s no standard, playbook to be able to rock off of. I think the second big piece here is I challenge everybody to think beyond the incremental, start to think for transformational challenges because the new normal will not be like it was before. So challenge yourselves, listen to your providers, clinicians are some of the most innovative individuals I’ve ever met in my life, my mother included. So always being able to step back, take an open perspective and designed to transformational solution should be in focus.
Perfect. Thank you, Brendan. This question comes about related in many ways. The question is what about outreach to our referring community clinics that have been asked to hold off non-emergent and elective patient referrals? What kind of plan makes sense to communicate to them. So it’s engaging community providers here. Anyone want to take the first crack at that?
Sure, I will. I think we’d go back to where I started, which is communicate frequently. Even now when they can’t reschedule their procedures, number one, include them in some of your planning. Understand their capacity and their willingness to do some of their procedures off hours and on weekends. And continue to do that outreach. I think we’re going to address a lot of this. So that’s a great question and a good setup for a webinar next week where we talk about provider engagement, not just your employed providers but providers in the community.
Perfect. The next question comes from an individual who asked, and maybe this is Joe Wilkins, this might be a great one from you. From your experience sitting on the board of a health system, how do you balance brand marketing and messaging versus specific service line? What is more important? Marketing the brand or the individual services?
Yeah, I think that’s a very profound question. I think it has to do with what the new normal will look like. I think that we probably want to consider how to focus first and foremost on more of a population health, public health brand based on what’s going on right now. And I think that the next step of huge activity will be how do we gauge the health of the community around this virus and then slowly get back to normalcy. And so I think that’s the me got to be a key part of the marketing new branding going forward. And then hopefully over time we’ll get back to the usual service line focus that we are so good at and excellent with promoting.
Perfect. Thank you Joe. With that, let’s go ahead and it looks like we’ve answered the questions that have come through and there’s been a few that have been requested as follow up post this webinars. So we’ll definitely get to that. With that, a sincere thank you for all the attendees today. Thank you from the SymphonyRM team and the GE healthcare partners teams. Thank you for attending and look forward to engaging with you all soon. And again a sincere thank you for those that are supporting the frontline teams out there today. Stay safe.
Thank you everyone.