Tourism & Health Care’s Similar Challenge: How to Bring People Back

Tourism & Health Care’s Similar Challenge: How to Bring People Back

Every segment of industry has been impacted by the public health and economic consequences of this global pandemic—perhaps none more than health care and tourism. Both of these high-touch industries face the daunting challenge of instilling confidence in consumers that it is safe to come back. What can health care marketers and communicators learn from the struggles of tourism’s marketers and communicators right now?

On 5/22/20, Mike and Stephen were joined by:

  • John Edman, Director, Explore Minnesota; Chair, Brand USA
  • Terry Mattson, President & CEO, Visit Saint Paul and the Saint Paul RiverCentre

Watch our Campfire Session, Travel & Tourism Insight to Help Your COVID Recovery. Or read below for key takeaways from our webinar event!

Our discussion included:

  • As access to services in both industries begins to slowly and carefully open what do consumers need to hear and experience?
  • What will the new normal look like and when will that new normal occur?
  • What strategies can be adopted to put our industries in the best position for whatever comes next? 

Here’s a summary:

  • Like health care, tourism is in a crisis mode right now. 
  • This is a large industry but a fragile one.
  • There is going to be a recovery but it will be very different from what people were thinking about even a couple of months ago.
  • Statistics were shared revealing the impact that tourism has on the economy of Minnesota.
  • The impact the virus has had on the state of tourism in Minnesota as a whole and in St. Paul was also explored. 

Latest survey—research was shared that indicates those in the tourism industry believe:

  • There will not be any improvement in the industry for the next six months or more. 
  • Every state is approaching reopening a little differently so there is a need for consumer education.
  • There is a need to focus on marketing and awareness.

Businesses are anxious

  • Small, medium or large, travel and tourism businesses are very anxious to get back to business again. 
  • They are optimistic that there will be a comeback. However, there is still a lot of angst about how to ramp up.
  • There is no playbook for what is happening now.

The single biggest challenge facing businesses in the reopening period is not knowing when the next phases are going into place and what they will entail.

Consumer confidence

  • Once governors open states, engaging consumer sentiment is of utmost importance.
  • A top priority in ensuring consumer confidence is making sure employees feel safe. If your employees don’t feel safe, you’re going to have a hard time communicating to your guests and consumers that it is safe as well.
  • Following/conducting consumer research is also important because even if consumers are allowed to come back into businesses and participate in travel and tourism, knowing what will make them feel comfortable/safe doing so is critical. 
  • The best way to do that is to develop programs that communicate safety.

Pent-up demand

  • Health care has experienced a pent-up demand for elective surgeries and primary care services.
  • Similarly, tourism and travel are experiencing a pent-up demand, with people wanting to get out and experience the world around them.
  • But the most important point for both industries is—consumers will only return once it is deemed safe.

What other business categories can learn from the plan to promote tourism and travel

  • The marketing strategies that were in place at the beginning of this year are basically obsolete and should be thrown away.
  • A traditional campaign, based on emotion is what is needed right now. 
  • We’ve got to get people to feel confident that they are going to be taken care of.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

1. Our mindset shouldn’t be getting back to where we were. Our mindset right now should be where do we want to be tomorrow and how can we get there through this crisis.

2. Consumer confidence must be nurtured in order to bring people back in the door.

3. Communication, honesty and authenticity are paramount.

We’re in this together

As we think about this time we’re in, now more than ever, we need ideas, insights, and community. We hope our Campfire Sessions are providing the conversations you are craving about the issues and opportunities facing your health care organization and its leaders. 

Make sure to sign up below to receive invitations to future Campfire Sessions and links to past Campfire Session recaps.

Deep Dive: COVID-Era Patient Personas

Deep Dive: COVID-Era Patient Personas

So many of you asked us for a closer look at our COVID-era generational patient personas and the messaging needed to help them feel comfortable returning to you for care. This past week, we were happy to take a deeper dive into our Gen-Z through boomer patients and their mindsets at this time. 

Watch our Campfire Session on Deep Dive: COVID-Era Patient Personas. Or read below for key takeaways from our webinar event!

On 5/15/20, Mike, Marsha, Stephen and Ann dug in, with:

  • our Hailey Sault patient listening research and insights
  • a comprehensive view of Gen-Z through boomer patients
  • an introduction to our COVID Recovery Framework, designed to help your brand successfully navigate through this COVID era  

Here’s a summary of this session:

Thanks to our incredible health care community, we have in many ways flattened the curve, which means now we’re being tasked with saying, “Hey, come on back, get your care,” to patients we cautioned just weeks ago to, “Stay home, be safe.” As communicators that’s a really hard right turn to make. That’s a real challenge point.

There hasn’t been a rush of people coming back to care. What’s needed now is an active and intentional recruitment and re-engagement strategy for patient acquisition. 

Job #1

In looking at all the new data coming out, the New York Times reported that possibly 25 percent of Americans feel like it is probably better for them to stay home for at least the next year. That’s not good if you need medical care.

Our number one job is to make sure people are receiving care. There are reports of people dying at home of heart attacks and stroke because they’re afraid to go to the ER and if that continues it could be our next health care crisis.

Hailey Sault: Fresh out of the field research

We conducted research at the beginning of the lockdown in early March about what people were thinking, where they were getting information, who they trusted, how they wanted that information and how health systems, hospitals and providers could communicate with them. We used that to inform early strategies as our clients began communicating with patients.

As access to in-clinic care began to open, we fielded another study in the last week of April to identify how the information that people were seeking was changing, where their trusted sources of information were now, and what they needed to know in order to feel like they could come back to health care. We also wanted to know if people accessed virtual visits during the early boom of telehealth.

The results of that study revealed: 

  • Consumer demand for information remained consistent.
  • Trust and reliance on information from the CDC and their own health systems remained high.
  • Preference for email communications daily transitioned into a preference for weekly communications.
  • Community updates and testing were the most important subjects.
  • Most people have deferred care, or had it rescheduled for them.
  • Most had not scheduled a virtual visit, but a high percentage said they were likely to do so in the future.
  • People expect to return to health care in 1 to 2 months.
  • Orthopedics and Primary Care appear to be the service lines that most patients are in need of right now.
  • “Safe” and “Safety” were mentioned 216 times. The biggest takeaway: Communicating about safety precautions and preparations in your facilities is critical to bringing patients back.

Verbatim answers to the opened-ended question about what patients need to know to return to health care facilities revealed they want to know:

  • It is sanitary and clean.
  • It is safe for their children.
  • How to enter and exit the facility (especially if they have to go by the ER).
  • How, where and when testing is taking place.

Research-informed personas

For well over a decade we’ve studied the health care consumer by generation. We believe that what happens to people as they live their lives affects their reactions and emotions—and in turn, how we connect with and message to them.

Research-informed personas

For well over a decade we’ve studied the health care consumer by generation. We believe that what happens to people as they live their lives affects their reactions and emotions—and in turn, how we connect with and message to them. 

We introduced four COVID-era generational personas and discussed their current emotions, challenges, triggers and service line needs, as well as what they need to hear from you and how to reach them. Our personas included:

1. Gen Z, Mackenzie, age 23, single

2. Millennial, Tali, age 24–39, married, 2 young children

3. Gen X, Kathy, age 40–54, single mom, 2 teens

4. Boomer, Linda, age 55–74, married, 2 adult children, 3 grandchildren

COVID Recovery Framework

Stephen released the outline for our COVID Recovery Framework, designed to successfully move health care brands forward in the foreseeable future, using tools that involve: 

  • COVID-Era Patient Personas
  • Positioning
  • Competitive Set/Threats
  • Services
  • COVID-Era Patient Journeys
  • Message Platforms

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  1. Understand that your audiences want to be assured. They want to feel that you feel their pain. 
  2. Audiences want the information/messaging they receive about this pandemic to come from their trusted health care provider—you.
  3. Safety is the key message, but must be nuanced with compassion and an acknowledgment as to what your audience personas are experiencing now.

We’re in this together

As we think about this time we’re in, now more than ever, we need ideas, insights, and community. We hope our Campfire Sessions are providing the conversations you are craving about the issues and opportunities facing your health care organization and its leaders. 

Make sure to sign up below to receive invitations to future Campfire Sessions and links to past Campfire Session recaps.

What COVID-Era Patients Want To Know

What COVID-Era Patients Want To Know

As access to in-clinic health care begins to open, service lines begin to accept patients once more, and elective procedures become available to patients, we asked: 

  • Are patients ready to return for care?
  • What do they need to hear from us? 
  • How has this pandemic changed them? 

Watch our Campfire Session on What COVID-Era Patients Want To Know. Or read below for key takeaways from our webinar event!

On 5/08/20, Ann, Stephen and I were joined by guest panelists: 

  • Mike Dame, Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Carilion Clinic, which serves more than 1 million people in Virginia and West Virginia.
  • Carl Maronich, Marketing Director at Riverside Healthcare, a fully-integrated healthcare system based in Kankakee, Illinois.

This week, the fire was stoked for a discussion around:

  • The question on every health care marketing professional’s mind right now: “How do we let patients know we are open and help them feel confident in returning to our facilities for care?”
  • Quick takeaways from Hailey Sault’s newest patient listening research.
  • Four COVID-era patient personas by generation, along with their current emotions, challenges, triggers and how to reach them.

Here’s a summary of this session:

Mike Dame and Carl Maronich shared the “state of their states” in the realm of ramping up testing, opening up elective surgeries, the return to nonessential services, and the protocols in place for patient and provider safety.

Mike described this period as having one foot on the dock (or in the COVID world) and the other in the boat (the ramp-up world). “We are all trying to keep up with that boat that wants to speed off as fast as it can so that we can take care of our patients and restore our financial health.”

Safety inside and out

Carl brought up the keyword in COVID-era patient messaging—safety. He shared what many of us have been hearing: that patients are delaying medical care because of concerns about safety. He reiterated the need to make people feel confident that they are safe in our facilities, as well as the importance of ensuring internal, operational folks are able to inform patients about safety protocols and what to expect at their appointments.

Transparency

Extreme transparency and the need to show rather than tell was discussed. Show patients what it will look like when they pull up, what steps they will take, what steps their provider will take, etc. It is our job to ease the fears of our patients and their family and friends who are bringing them in for these procedures.

The blessing and curse of social media

The need to spread facts not fear was examined, as was having social media conversations that ensure good information is being provided to our communities.

Fresh Hailey Sault research

Verbatim answers were shared from the research Hailey Sault conducted last week on how consumer sentiment has changed since the COVID crisis began and what people need to hear to be ready to come back into the health care system. An invitation to access the research was extended by Ann.

COVID-Era personas

We presented four personas developed by Hailey Sault, specific to meeting health care audiences emotionally and logically right now. The personas were divided generationally to speak to the life stages and characteristics unique to each generation. Because women are the health cares decision makers for their families, each persona presented was a woman. The personas covered Generation-Z through baby boomers, outlining each persona’s:

  • Current emotions
  • Service line needs
  • COVID-19 challenges
  • Triggers
  • What the persona needs to hear from you
  • How to reach her

KEY TAKEAWAYS

1. Safety—We must ensure that the fearful patient (the one who is driving around with the windows rolled up, a mask on and all gloved up) feels safe and confident coming back into the health care system. Effective messaging to each COVID-era persona must be infused with reassurance and empathy and must acknowledge the anxiety people are feeling right now.

2. Communication—Patients must be reminded to not put off their health care at this time. The message of safety needs to extend to all of our service lines. “It’s not just a COVID world, it’s a health care world,” says Carl. “So how do we continue to message that at this time.”

3. Transparency—We must show, rather than tell, patients about the safety protocols we have in place. “We must remind patients that we treat infectious diseases all the time,” says Mike. “This is a new virus that is still very mysterious. We are just adding this to the couple hundred other infectious disease states that we treat on a regular basis. Yes, we are isolating in different ways now and we’re gearing up PPE-wise in different ways, but those patients are still isolated. So if you are coming in, you are going to be physically distanced quite a bit. It is getting back to showing. Showing that and what the experience is going to be like.”

A parting thought: the good will of our communities

Right now we as health care marketers find ourselves in a position like no other. 

“All of us as health care professionals have built so much good will,” says Mike. “If we’ve done our jobs well, we’ve built a lot of good will and a lot of trust and we have the ear of our communities more than ever. That is one of the opportunities that is going to come out of this, is the ability to really advance public health in new ways by being able to engage with our communities in ways that we didn’t before.”

We must be extremely vigilant and careful with that trust and good will.

We’re in this together

As we think about this time we’re in, now more than ever, we need ideas, insights, and community. We hope our Campfire Sessions are providing the conversations you are craving about the issues and opportunities facing your health care organization and its leaders. 

Make sure to sign up below to receive invitations to future Campfire Sessions and links to past Campfire Session recaps.

Your Post-Pandemic Health Care Marketing Strategy

Your Post-Pandemic Health Care Marketing Strategy

What does health care marketing and communications look and feel like as: 

  • Governors begin to ease up on stay at home orders in their states?
  • Emergency rooms and ICUs become less crowded?
  • Health systems begin the process of putting protocols in place to expand access, reintroduce service lines and open up to more elective procedures? 

Watch our Campfire Session on Your Post-Pandemic Marketing Strategy. Or read below for key takeaways from our webinar event!

On 5/1/20 three health care marketing leaders from across the country joined Mike and Stephen to discuss: 

  • Communications strategies during the COVID crisis. 
  • Strategies they are putting in place as access expands.
  • What post-COVID planning looks like.  

Guest panelists included: 

  • Annette Calteaux, director of marketing at Winona Health, a health system based in Winona, Minnesota. 
  • Lisa McCluskey, MBA, vice president, marketing communications at CHI Memorial Health Care System in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 
  • Kelly Meigs, MBA, vice president of marketing strategy and planning for Tanner Health System, providing care across west Georgia and east Alabama.

Here is a summary of this session:

With Georgia in the news for being one of the first states to open restrictions, Tennessee lifting restrictions, and Minnesota facing two additional weeks of stay at home orders, the discussion began with a “State of Your State” review. Each panelist shared the number of cases they’ve seen so far, the number of deaths experienced, the stabilization of cases in their systems and testing in their respective states or systems.

Our panel discussed: 

  • The establishment of their command centers, its role in daily meaningful communications to staff, as well as the public, and the role the command center will take moving forward.
  • The data being used to determine the procedures and protocols that will be put in place to protect providers and patients as access to in-office care is restored.
  • Triaging patients through a central call line and using telehealth paired with in-office access for care needs.

Patient fear:

People are afraid to use the ED. They are putting off seeking care until they are sicker. They are also putting off seeking care because they may have lost their job and their health insurance. Lisa McCluskey said that her ED has seen a 40 percent increase in STEMI in the past few weeks. Many cases are due to people not taking medications because they can no longer afford them.

Interestingly, there is a fear of the actual COVID test among patients. Many have seen what can be a painful process on the news. When those seeking higher risk elective procedures were told that they would have to be tested, many elected to wait. 

Provider/Colleague fear:

Some staff are eager to see patients again, while other staff are worried about their safety, the safety of their families and the safety of their patients. The need to prepare staff so that they feel confident about reopening and the cadence of reopening was discussed.

Need for scripting messages:

The importance of scripting messages for staff and preparing physicians (with scripted messaging) to talk to their patients about safety and protocols was discussed.

Biggest challenges

As our panelists’ systems transition from talking about staying home to “we’re still here” messages and then into opening up more service lines, they talked about facing these challenges:

  • Making sure timing is correct
  • Making sure backlogs of patients have been served and access is available for new patients
  • Making sure everyone in the system is on the same page
  • Remaining fluid
  • Listening to what patients and the community are saying
  • Engaging in meaningful ways with patients and helping them get through this new normal

KEY TAKEAWAYS

1. Careful messaging must be practiced in all COVID communications. Scripting is critical and our internal and external audiences’ fears and concerns must be thoughtfully addressed.

2. Right time messaging is key.

3. As we move through the crisis period of this pandemic into a new normal, we must transition from a constant stream of communication with staff and our communities to an intentional and consistent mode of communicating. 

We’re in this together

As we think about this time we’re in, now more than ever, we need ideas, insights, and community. We hope our weekly Campfire Sessions are providing the conversations you are craving about the issues and opportunities facing your health care organization and its leaders. 

Make sure to sign up below to receive invitations to future Campfire Sessions and links to past Campfire Session recaps.

Healing our Healers, Now and After COVID-19

Healing our Healers, Now and After COVID-19


Watch our Campfire Session on Healing Caregiver Burnout to Thrive Beyond COVID-19. Or read below for key takeaways from our webinar event!

In a study of 1,000+ health care providers, conducted by The Institute for Healthcare Excellence (IHE), 34.5 percent of providers reported symptoms and feelings of burnout going into the COVID-19 crisis. In the midst of this crisis, 75.5 percent of those same providers reported feeling burned out.

On 4/24/20 William Maples, MD, a founder of IHE and Jennifer Krippner, Chief Experience Officer at IHE, joined Mike and Stephen to discuss fighting burnout now and post-COVID. 

As background, Dr. Maples practiced medical oncology for 25 years at Mayo Clinic and helped lead the Mayo Clinic’s quality, safety, and experience journey. Today, he leads IHE, where he and the faculty work with health care organizations to nurture the relational skills necessary to create a culture that embraces trust, respect, compassion, and teamwork. This, in turn, creates an environment where quality, safety, and efficiency efforts flourish. 

Jennifer Krippner is a leading expert on patient experience and relationship-centered care. She has more than 20 years of expertise in strategic planning, patient experience, physician development, and employee/community engagement. 

This week, we discussed:

  • How teams are showing up and confronting the stress, exhaustion and emotional trauma presented by COVID-19.
  • How realities like lack of supplies, shifting teams and partnerships, poor processes, fear of not being able to provide appropriate care, negative emotions and strained relationships are contributing factors to burnout right now.
  • How providers are dealing with the fear of contracting the virus and the reality of having to care for and even resuscitate colleagues who have contracted the virus.
  • The guilt felt by providers who are not on the frontlines of care.
  • The economic impact of the crisis on health care facilities.
  • The need to furlough those not on the frontlines.
  • How to lead and keep a human centered direction at this time.
  • The solutions to leading health care teams through this crisis being offered by IHE.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • There was a problem with provider burnout before COVID-19. The virus has only intensified the issue.
  • After this pandemic, leadership cannot ask its providers to come back and perform at their peak. Work needs to be done to care for those who have been operating in survival mode.
  • Leaders must have a proactive plan in place—How will you ensure your teams can heal physically and emotionally?  How will you rekindle or create a culture of trust, respect, compassion and teamwork?
  • There is an opportunity to lead your organization through this “noble fight,” as Dr. Maples describes it, with compassion and grace.

Moving forward

As we think about this time we’re in, now more than ever, we need ideas, insights, and community. We hope our weekly Campfire Sessions are providing the conversations you are craving about the issues and opportunities facing your health care organization and its leaders. 

Make sure to sign up below to receive invitations to future Campfire Sessions and links to past Campfire Session recaps.

Being an Emotionally Intelligent Leader Through COVID-19

Being an Emotionally Intelligent Leader Through COVID-19

Watch our Campfire Session on Emotional Intelligence in the Time of COVID-19. Or read below for key takeaways from our webinar event!

On 4/17/20 Marsha and Stephen were joined by Jay Pryor, author, speaker, executive coach, and facilitator of corporate training workshops around the world. Jay is someone who is very special to us. He has guided the personal and professional growth of many of us at Hailey Sault and continues to be “there for us” when we call upon him. We wouldn’t be the same without him. 

As we think about this time we’re in, now more than ever, we need ideas, insights, and community. We hope our weekly Campfire Sessions are providing the conversations you are craving about the issues and opportunities facing your health care organizations and its marketing leaders. 

This week, we discussed:

  • Emotional intelligence: What it is and how to practice it
  • Managing fear
  • How to be present for your staff when you aren’t present physically 
  • Sharing bad news with your staff
  • Working from home and shoring ourselves up to safely return to work

Here’s a summary of this session:

  • There are certain parts of our brain that handle emotions and when everything is working as it should a dance occurs in our head that produces the mastery and flow that create aha moments. 
  • Stress destroys or washes out that dance and blocks those aha moments from happening.
  • Our goal is to keep our stress level down and include things in our day that bring us joy.
  • We can do that by being mindful. By being emotionally “response–able.”
  • The key is knowing when our stress level is high and determining what we can do for ourselves.
  • Right now there are two pandemics gripping us—COVID-19 and fear.
  • Jay described F.E.A.R. as false events appearing real. We create scenarios in our heads that lead to fear. We worry.
  • Fear and worry keep our stress hormones active. 
  • We can’t dismiss the fear we are feeling right now. We have to do extra duty to stay in the moment, to give ourselves grace and to manage our thoughts.
  • As leaders, our jobs are to support our team. Every person in lockdown is experiencing some kind of stress. We need to be realistic about productivity and the extra stressors in people’s lives—especially those people home with young children.
  • Sharing bad news with staff is difficult. We need to reconcile within ourselves what to share and when the time is right—being forthright, transparent and authentic.
  • It’s okay to be vulnerable as a leader and to allow others to lead for a while.
  • Health care leaders must be thinking about how they are going to help their staff through the trauma each is experiencing treating patients with COVID-19.
  • What will work look like after this pandemic? Will we be more willing to work at home? What will we all need to do to feel safe?

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Emotional intelligence is a practice that allows leaders to keep their stress level down and be emotionally “response–able.”
  • Fear should not be discounted right now, but it can be managed.
  • Be present with your team and also give yourself permission to be vulnerable.
  • Give yourself and your team a break, you are not going to be as productive as you were before this outbreak and that’s okay.
  • Find joy.

Make sure to sign up below to receive invitations to future Campfire Sessions and links to past campfire session recaps.