Introducing: Healthcare Idea Email from Hammock | Like Hammock Inc.’s popular Idea Email, the new Healthcare Idea Email briefly explores one topic, every other week. Learn more about the new Healthcare Idea Email at the bottom of the page.

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Idea: Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Healthcare IT Marketing

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

For reasons I can’t exactly recall, when I was a kid, I was fascinated by shipwrecks; especially those that occurred along the coast of North Carolina. I even had a map called “Ghost Fleet of the Outer Banks” that I hung over my bed. I can remember the map explaining that the Atlantic Coast—between Cape Henry, Va., and Cape Lookout, N.C.—had more than 600 shipwrecked vessels offshore due to fierce storms, shifting currents and pirates.

Recently, I thought about that map after several conversations surfaced about a recurring healthcare marketing challenge facing healthcare information technology (IT) companies. IT companies offering healthcare solutions often see their sales and marketing efforts crash upon the rocks, just short of their intended destination, when they try to directly engage health information management (HIM) directors and CIOs who work for providers.

Government-mandated expenditures in technology made by providers were already expensive. Now that providers are fully footing the bill for those investments, many healthcare systems and their technologists are reluctant to spend new dollars or even entertain marketing or sales efforts from worthy technology solutions.

So how do healthcare technology companies engage providers when the likeliest routes (selling to the HIM professionals and CIOs) look as treacherous as a mid-Atlantic coastal hurricane approaching the spot where many a technology solution has sunk before?

Fortunately, healthcare IT has become more than just a technology issue—and decision—in recent years. Clinical and administrative professions in a hospital are sitting at the table when needs are articulated and decisions are approved. Building the case for how a technology addresses the delivery of high-value care—improving everything from clinical outcomes to increased reimbursement, patient satisfaction to physician adoption—engages professionals who must partner with IT leadership.

This is why successful healthcare marketing—for healthcare IT companies, in particular—must move beyond talking about successful features, and, rather, show how the technology solves problems.

I’m not suggesting that sales can be made without the involvement of IT leadership, but your marketing and sales efforts don’t have to end up floundering instead of making it to shore.

Here are four tips for navigating these waters, when this is an issue:

  1. Develop, brand and market IT solutions that don’t require technologists to be the only party in the room who understands the value of the solution.
  2. In marketing healthcare technology, focus on its role in the delivery of care, not just the way it works.
  3. Create conversations with stakeholders who care deeply about the success driven by your solutions.
  4. Place a priority on creating media and content that supports the rollout, training and adoption of the technology solution.







About the new Healthcare Idea Email |
As our popular Idea Email has a large number of healthcare marketers who subscribe, it did not surprise us that the No. 1 request we’ve received is to “offer more ideas about healthcare.” So we have. In addition to Idea Email, on other weeks you can receive the Healthcare Idea Email that is focused exclusively on healthcare-related marketing, media and content trends and topics. You can visit the Healthcare Idea Email archive and subscribe for your own copy here.