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    Andy Stonehouse, MA

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    This episode of the MGMA Insights podcast features Mike Seyfer, chief executive officer with Hailey Sault, a digital performance marketing firm, and the Institute for Healthcare Excellence. Seyfer is the co-founder of the company’s Belief in Better Project, an annual workshop bringing healthcare visionaries together to help in the continued transformation of a system in crisis.    

    As technology such as artificial intelligence takes a greater day-to-day role in communications and decision-making, healthcare marketers need to embrace those tools and consider ways of providing a more personal experience for patients. Seyfer spoke to MGMA Sr. Editor Daniel Williams about AI and taking a more human-centered design approach to dealing with patients’ needs and desires.

    Editor’s note: The following Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.

    Q: What do we mean by brand performance? And how is brand performance for healthcare changing in this digital age?

    A: Brand performance looks like the growth of engagement and activation of patients that you can measure and quantify across digital platforms. Are we eliciting real actions from those ideal patient populations? So the work that we’re doing now is this: Are we seeing the growth of affinity actions, likes, shares, comments, going to the website, looking at that traffic, getting to the right landing pages or searching for the right context? If a healthcare brand is doing that, then that brand is highly relevant and engaged. That’s become far more indicative of brand success and performance than it was five or six years ago.

    Q: What is human-centered design?

    A: It’s a way to solve complex issues that puts people at the center of that overall process, and lets us create different marketing strategies that are tailored to those needs. We start by creating a sense of empathy for understanding the challenge or the issue and the person on the other side of that. We like to tell the world that we’ve got robotic surgery so you can have a quicker, less painful surgery that’s easier to heal from. But when we really think about the person on the other end, why does that matter? What are they looking for? What kind of conditions are they living with that would require them to need robotic surgery? So it’s really putting ourselves in their shoes and understanding what those drivers are.

    Q: How can healthcare marketers use AI to drive organizational goals like brand performance, patient engagement and patient acquisition? How do you use AI as a tool to do your job better?

    A:  You can start with a strategy based on the five most important things that cancer patients want to know, right now. You could really use AI to take a very big topic, narrow it and narrow it. That’s been one of the most successful methods that we’ve been using to get finer points and even sort of segmenting that content for different parts of the patient journey. For our teams, the way that we’ve thought about AI is that it may make some tasks shorter. AI is awesome at understanding and creating relevant search content that takes hours, if not days, off our current tasks. So I asked out staff to lean into that, embrace it, that’s not a risk to your job. That frees up your mind to think about the more strategic elements, the more real human centeredness of our work. Let it do all the foundational lifting, then craft what it has given us and make it human. And, let’s move onto the next thing. It’s a time saver, and it’s obviously a lot more than that. In our early days of using it, I’m suggesting we embrace it for the tool that it is, and recognize that it really takes a human to connect with that person on the other side.

    Our recommendation is just be human. Start with that. If you put yourself in the mind of the people that your practice is serving, then whatever you’re doing from a content-generation, marketing or branding initiative, you’re gonna have a head start.


    Hailey Sault


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    Written By

    Andy Stonehouse, MA

    Andy Stonehouse, MA, is a Colorado-based freelance writer and educator. His professional credits include serving as editor of Employee Benefit News and a variety of financial and insurance publications, in addition to work in the recreation and transportation fields.  

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