No matter the role you play in healthcare IT, there was much wisdom to be gained at the 2023 Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference (HITMC). Celebrating ten years since its founding, creator John Lynn set the event’s tone by pushing attendees to connect on a more personal level.
“We have all heard of the expression ‘Be remarkable,’ but how about ‘Be remarkably human,’” says Lynn. “Show the people consuming our content that you care about them and understand their problems. Connect on a more human level.”
John Lynn and collaborator Colin Hung, along with the event’s healthcare marketing presenters, focused on building authentic relationships in the community throughout the three-day conference.
Following are my 3 top takeaways and event highlights that I believe all will appreciate.
Concerned about health equity? Include the rare disease community in your plans
A disease is considered rare when less than 200,000 people in the U.S. have that diagnosis, according to the Orphan Drug Act. While the representation for each rare disease may be small, these individuals are a large and growing community. HITMC panelists shared ways we might overcome challenges that are unique to the rare disease community.
Speaker Effie Parks, an advocate for the rare disease community, created the award winning podcast Once Upon a Gene, after having a son born with a rare genetic condition – CTNNB1 syndrome. Parks chronicles the experience of the long, painful process of finding a diagnosis for her son, which epitomizes the patient experience for many others.
At the HITMC23 conference, Parks shared the frustrations of miscommunications, misdiagnoses, ineffective treatments, as well as the need to travel to seek care elsewhere. Going out of network should be a frictionless experience supported by healthcare infrastructures equipped to share key data. Patients should feel important and listened to.
Parks’ podcast has been an effective outlet for sharing information that might help others. Other useful resources include Global Genes, RARE-X, and the recent proliferation of related Facebook groups.
Additionally, patient advocate and digital influencer Grace Vinton called upon marketers and other influencers to be a positive force for giving voice to these stories. Her powerful insights are available via @HITeaWithGrace – also the name of her HIT Like a Girl Podcast.
Cultivating ‘The Warrior Within’ is the answer to how we move forward
Given today’s challenges in healthcare, whether faced with a pandemic, cost pressures, or labor shortages and burnout–we can all use a little courage and inspiration.
Keynote and bestselling author of The Warrior Within, DJ Vanas drew upon his studies of several tribal communities throughout the world. According to Vanas, being in service to others is the heart of the warrior role. “It’s our highest calling, our deepest need, and the legacy we leave behind,” said Vanas.
The tribes he studies also have an interesting way of viewing resources.
Since you are never going to have all you want to do what you do, it’s a matter of how you look at it. He suggested we ask, “What can I do with what I have now?”
After facing adversity, Vanas says warriors reflect on it and log it as a sort of “courage reservoir” for the future. According to Vanas, “In tribal life, change wasn’t part of life, it was life.”
Patients are waiting for our solutions.
Whether you are a hospital CEO, clinician, business office manager, or vendor, the ultimate customer is the patient. This is true for HIT marketers as well.
“We are doing something that may improve or even save lives,” says Lynn. “It’s not evil to want to have a solution in place that makes a difference for the stakeholders being served.”
He encourages HIT constituents to always work with patients in mind. What is going to be the impact on them?
“Customers don’t care about your product, they care about how you can help them solve their problems,” Lynn concluded. “Patients are waiting for our solutions.”