Mass General Brigham, Tufts, CHOP marketing chiefs on how they work with IT, digital teams

As hospital and health system marketing has, in effect, become digital marketing, its executives are increasingly turning to other C-suite leaders such as CIOs and chief digital officers to collaborate on campaigns.

Here are six marketing chiefs on how they partner with their IT and digital counterparts for the betterment of the organization's messaging, as told to Becker's:

Mark Bohen. Chief Marketing Officer of Mass General Brigham (Somerville, Mass.). As digital continues to transform both healthcare and consumer expectations at a rapid pace, we continue to place an emphasis on the role digital experience plays in marketing. As a result, our marketing and IT teams at Mass General Brigham work very closely together to develop audience-aligned strategies and tactical delivery plans.

Through this ongoing collaboration, we are able to deliver on our shared vision for a modern patient journey — particularly on setting the strategy for the consumer journey before selecting a doctor or hospital. This important work spans both web and mobile digital experiences, encompassing care-finding tools to choose a provider or location, virtual urgent care, online scheduling, marketing automation, and more.

Stephanie Hogarth. Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The pandemic changed so many things: where we work, how we work, how we engage with our consumers. Through this change came an even deeper dependency on digital solutions, creating new opportunities for cross-functional collaboration across our organization.

Bringing together the complementary — yet distinct — skill sets of marketing, information systems and operations has enabled us to support digital transformation more nimbly and more holistically. We make more data-informed decisions. And, most importantly, the collaboration has enabled us to better meet the evolving needs of our consumers, discover new ways to engage, improve the customer experience and eliminate friction where possible.

Over the last few years, we've worked together with our information systems team to enhance our marketing technology infrastructure to support initiatives in customer relationship management, marketing automation and multistep personalized journeys, as examples.

One of these collaborations, which was informed by consumer insights and designed to improve the patient experience, led to automated journeys for patients of one of our leading service lines. To ease the wait time between appointment scheduling and the appointment itself, we were able to deliver customized content to specific patients, related to their care team, their condition, and the location details of their appointment.

While these tools support day-to-day communications, they've also provided significant value during recent periods of high capacity, allowing us to communicate more quickly and effectively with our patient families. With consumer engagement via digital channels accelerating, many more exciting opportunities for collaboration between information systems and marketing lie ahead.

Lori Howley. Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Director of Communications at Tufts Medicine Melrose (Mass.) Wakefield Healthcare. Digital transformation is at the forefront of healthcare, and we are working closely with our colleagues across all disciplines, especially in IT, to create resources that support excellence in patient and consumer experiences. We are seeing the creation of digital applications that support our patients in managing their healthcare needs and keeping them healthy, including creating pathways for healthcare education and information sharing with consumers.

Examples include the work we do with customer relationship management and digital response campaigns that help us meet consumers where they are and allow us to understand the personalized healthcare needs and interests of patients.

Sue Jablonski. Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of OhioHealth (Columbus). The ability to drive results is absolutely connected to the connection between marketing and IT. That starts with the senior leaders and extends to the entire team working in an agile environment focused on ideating and iterating to deliver value to our customers.

There are meetings where it's sometimes hard to tell if it's an IT associate or a marketing associate sharing information, asking questions or driving a discussion.

It's key that both teams own the business from all angles. We've seen the benefits of this in everything from our A/B testing of campaigns to making sure we're focused on the most effective marketing tech stack to drive efficiency and effectiveness.

Janice Lamy. Chief Marketing Officer of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (Baton Rouge, La.). We collaborate on an ongoing basis with our information systems and digital health teams at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.

As we continue to expand upon our digital offerings to meet the evolving needs of our patients, these partnerships have become even more important. In recent years, we have been able to successfully grow our digital footprint and reach more patients and consumers through our telehealth offerings, health risk assessment campaigns, a proprietary symptom checker, and a spiritual well-being virtual coaching app.

Reaching more patients where they are is a continued opportunity for growth and innovation in healthcare and our partners in information services are key to helping us realize that potential.

Jim Nuckols. Chief Marketing Officer of Sharp HealthCare (San Diego). We work constantly with our CIO and other IT and digital executives. We are, in essence, one team. Over the last three years, we have jointly developed and executed a consumer digital transformation at Sharp. It could not have been done as well, or as quickly, without our teams being completely in lockstep.

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