Geisinger, Renown and more share patient communication strategies for 2022

In 2022, hospitals' patient communication strategies will focus on carefully considered COVID-19 guidance and digital engagement efforts, according to four health system marketing executives who shared their strategies with Becker's.

Note: Responses have been edited for clarity and style.

Don Stanziano. Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Geisinger Health (Danville, Pa.): At Geisinger, as with healthcare providers and payers across the country, we anticipate continued patient communication will be needed to support our efforts to manage through the COVID-19 pandemic. From vaccines and variants to visitation policies and access challenges related to surges in our communities, unfortunately we have to remain focused on COVID-related communications for the foreseeable future. Beyond the pandemic, we are focused on promoting "right site of care' messaging to our patients, health plan members and the broader community. We need to shift low-acuity ER volume to more appropriate care settings, such as our ConvenientCare walk-in clinics, our orthopedic urgent care centers, walk-in eye-care clinics and same-day primary care offices, while continuing to encourage and expand the use of telemedicine and virtual care options. 

Suzanne Bharati Hendery. Chief Marketing and Customer Officer at Renown Health (Reno, Nev.): The focus of Renown Health's patient communication strategy in 2022 is for our team to be more conscious and purposeful communicators. This means pausing to consider what we hope to accomplish before we communicate, choosing words and taking actions that reduce anxiety and enable people to grasp the message we intend, and clearly leading people to the desired action to help improve health and well-being for 2022 and beyond.

Alexandra Morehouse. Chief Marketing Officer at Banner Health (Phoenix): For 2022, our patient communication strategy will focus on using technology to get timely, highly personalized messages to our patients. We'll be extending our text messaging, email and outbound call capabilities for things such as appointment reminders, screening reminders and feedback surveys. We'll be launching a 'text the CEO' program and we already have a chat capability that allows patients to check symptoms they're experiencing. Finally, we'll be using natural language programming to analyze the millions of phone calls we receive each year and then build scripts for our service agents based on this feedback.

Gulden Mesara. Senior Vice President and Chief Communications and Marketing Officer at City of Hope (Duarte, Calif.): As a world-renowned cancer research and treatment organization, City of Hope uses a multifaceted, often digital-first approach to communicate with patients and their families. Some of the methods we use include apps, websites, email, phone and text messaging, and of course face-to-face provider communications (whether in person or on-screen). We will continue to evolve and enhance our patient communication strategy in 2022, leveraging the top technology to the fullest, like our electronic medical record, digital marketing automation and analytics. Today, more than ever, it is important to keep patients up-to-date with the latest information about their care and to educate them about the latest public health guidance related to the pandemic.


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