SHSMD Connections is the leading annual conference for healthcare strategists hosted by the Society of Healthcare Strategy & Market Development. The conference connects leading innovators in marketing, planning, business development, communications, and public relations across the healthcare industry.
While many flock to Nashville for the country music, night life, and world-famous barbeque, I came for a different reason: the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development’s (SHSMD) annual Connections Conference. This signature event brings together more than 1,600 health care professionals for three days of informational sessions to prepare for and shape the future of healthcare.
As a first-time attendee, I wasn’t sure what to expect as I strolled up to the conference at Nashville’s Music City Center, but almost immediately, it became clear I had entered a health care professional’s wonderland.
With more than 70 informational sessions on topics ranging from public relations and communications to strategic planning and business development, as well as over 100 exhibiting companies to learn about, I was suddenly hit with the urge to clone myself – how else would I be able to fully soak up all SHSMD had to offer?
Luckily, SHSMD offers all conference attendees recordings of each session, so I didn’t have to worry too much about how I would split my time. Knowing this made planning out my schedule a lot easier, and so I spent the next three days making the most of the experience: I heard amazing keynote speakers, participated in compelling informational sessions, and connected with peers in the industry from all over the country.
Here are some highlights:
Adopt a Consumer-Oriented “Marketing Mindset"
Why Medicine Must Adopt a Consumer-Oriented “Marketing Mindset” (Keynote with Dr. Zeev Neuwirth, Senior Medical Director of Population Health for Atrium)
To solve the dire dilemma health care has been stuck in for decades, Dr. Neuwirth recommends we “reframe” the system – reorient our thinking, redefine the challenges and redirect our strategies, tactics and resources. In his speech, he presented a “Reframe Roadmap” outlining how to better connect with people, identify and meet their needs through customized value propositions, and develop meaningful relationships and create sustained behavior change.
The Five Zones of Change
Health Care – Future State Imperatives and Challenges (Keynote with Paul Keckley, Health Care Strategic Advisor & Managing Editor of The Keckley Report):
In this keynote, Paul Keckley described the industry’s tendencies of “radical incrementalism” and self-protection…that is that it’s slow to change. Keckley says the future of health care will be defined by changes in five zones: clinical innovations, technologic capabilities, regulatory and policy shifts, capital deployment and consumer attitudes and behaviors.
Transgender Care – Creating Communications and Engagement Guidelines (Informational Session with University of Virginia Health System):
In this session, members of University of Virginia Health System’s Communications team outlined the path they took to educate themselves on the unique needs of the transgender community. We discussed general transgender terminology and demographics, barriers that inform transgender health and health care experience, and best practices related to patient engagement, training, policies, communications and clinical care.
Despite the diverse range of topics covered at the conference, there was one overarching theme: innovation. Every conversation, every presentation, and every session encouraged participants to think differently about the future of health care, and to challenge ideas and perceptions that have long been accepted norms. I’m proud to have been a part of this event, and I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned to our clients in the health care industry.
On average, 1,600 health care strategy professionals attend each year.
Exciting week discussing the future of healthcare strategy.
We work hard, but we play hard too! We put on our dancing shoes for some line dancing at Wildhorse Saloon.