Huntington Hospital's solution to the challenge of measuring outreach impact? A DIY analytics platform

All too often, healthcare organizations' marketing and other outreach efforts go to waste due to the difficulties of assessing their progress and impact.

Not so at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, Calif., which overcame that obstacle by building a proprietary analytics platform. According to Eileen Neuwirth, Huntington's executive director of communications and brand strategy, the platform allows for continuous tweaks to the hospital's outreach strategy — which are "critical" for the nonprofit, 619-bed facility.

Here, Ms. Neuwirth discusses her priorities and goals, and the effect that meaningful outreach efforts can have on improving health outcomes.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Question: What is your No. 1 priority today?

Eileen Neuwirth: My biggest priority is to ensure the creation of relevant content that meets people where they are in their health journey and helps them make decisions about their care. This is especially important as Huntington evolves from an independent hospital to an enterprise model offering a continuum of care. I want to ensure we are poised to make our interactions as effective as possible for patients — whether they are seeking primary care, looking to find a specialist or exploring treatment options following a diagnosis.

Q: What is the biggest obstacle keeping you from achieving your goals for your role? What are you doing to overcome it? 

EN: Ensuring sophisticated analysis of our outreach to measure impact is always a challenge, as it requires integration with multiple areas across the enterprise. We've built a custom analytics platform that allows us to assess opportunities against performance in real-time so we can quickly course-correct our spend for each campaign, which, as a nonprofit, independent hospital, is critical.

Further, for specialty acute care, we need to make it easier for people to access services, so we've created unique conversion opportunities that can help deepen our connection to potential patients as they work through a process of insurance approvals or specialist selection. We are constantly evolving the methods and tools we use to understand what is working well and how we can improve in support of our goals and community well-being.

Q: What initiative are you most excited about today? How will it affect the future of healthcare delivery? 

EN: Decisions around healthcare can be overwhelming — I'm excited to be part of making it easier for a patient to take the next right step. Connecting outreach efforts across the continuum supports utilization and minimizes delays in care. Using data and digital outreach to efficiently guide people to the care they need supports appropriate access, which is a future-state goal everyone shares.

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