Five Physician Insights That Should Matter to Health System Marketers

Overworked. Technology-weary. Burnt out. Understaffed. The research is aligned around the dire state of physician and clinical staff satisfaction. Yet, it can be difficult for health system marketers to connect physician desires and trends with your day-to-day. As more marketers and communicators work to impact the non-point-of-care elements of the patient experience, we believe the marketer-to-clinician relationship becomes even more important. 

The five research-backed insights we explore in this webinar can help frame the way to think about physicians and clinical staff in your health system as a marketer.

Whether it’s in the context of internal communications, physician marketing, or even your brand campaign, marketers must understand the priorities of their organization’s most valuable asset: physicians, nurses, and other clinical staff.



Luke Farkas: Thanks, Chase. Everyone, welcome and thanks for joining. You're likely here because you're interested in insights about what we think we'll be an increasingly important intersection between what physicians and clinical staff care about and what matters to marketers. Marketers and health systems may not interact a lot with physicians and clinical staff on a regular basis, but as they seek to extend their programs into all four P's of marketing and even delve into some patient experience purview, that relationship becomes even more important.

When studies and stories break about physician burnout or the priorities of clinical staff, it's always directed toward care redesign executives or operations executives for good reason in most cases. What does it mean to hospital marketers? That's what we're here to talk about today, to have a frank discussion about what physician and clinical staff priorities mean for you.

So, a quick note about methods. This presentation has a lot of graphs and numbers on it. The key instrument we use for that data is a 50-respondent survey which included a broad swath of different specialties including everything from procedural specialists to social workers. Of course, we use these results directionally and not as gospel. Today, we'll discuss the findings that rang through based on the data, but also our experience and supporting studies as well.

In addition to the insights you'll hear today, this research was used to develop a suite of personas as well, covering many of the most prominent positions on the clinical team. If you stick around to the end of the webinar, we'll show you a sneak peek of that. So without further ado, we can jump into introductions.

My name is Luke Farkas. I manage our business strategy and growth group here at ReviveHealth. I actually designed and fielded the research that we'll explore in this webinar in partnership with our good partners and the good folks at KRC Research. Also, with us today is Jeff Speer. Jeff serves as our primary strategic counselor on many of our clients ranging from provider service to technology companies across the healthcare spectrum. He brings a depth of experience communicating with physicians and to the discussion today paired with a strong track record of helping hospital marketers solve complex problems.

Rounding up the team is Sasha Boghosian leading our strategy group here at ReviveHealth. Sasha has a background advising clients in high stakes situations. He knows how to consider each of the critical stakeholders and strategy development including and most relevant for today's discussion with physicians and clinical staff audience.

So the format of this webinar today includes five key insights and Jeff is going to introduce the first one exploring this audience's confidence and others.

Jeff Speer: Thanks, Luke. Everybody, this is probably not a big shocker to you all that data shows that the confidence from physicians is not that high necessarily in anybody after themselves. So let's get into the numbers real quick and then we'll talk about what it might mean.

First of all, the first graph here, how confident are you that each of the following can help you achieve your top priorities. The good news is they're very confident in other physicians and members of the care team. Obviously, maybe the most important thing that we can say, but there's a steep drop down to health systems in hospital leadership 64%, 60% on vendor solutions, so vendor partners.

That is troubling, but I think what's more troubling is that when it comes to who physicians think can alleviate their pain, which I think right now is probably top of mind for everybody and this is covered incessantly in the news is that the confidence in everybody drops some. So, that tells of their mind right now that they are feeling frustrated, but also they flip flop between vendor solutions and health system, and hospital leadership plummets quite a bit up to 54%. So, I think what this tells us is we've got a challenge ahead of us because physicians are so important.

So for marketers, I think there are three major takeaways. First is that you probably are viewed as part of leadership. So, if you are approaching physicians and working with physicians, which many of you I'm sure are, then you have to understand that they probably aren't confident of you right off the get-go. That you've got to work hard and earn and keep that trust.

Second, is you can't probably count on physicians to be ambassadors for your brand especially in times of controversy, negative publicity. Now, I think they would of course if you just take this data and everything else we know, advocate for themselves and their team members of the quality care. If you think about if your brand, your hospital gets into some type of issue where it's a reputation issue, it's efficiency issue, it's a profit issue, are they going to be able to stand up with confidence and talk about their beliefs and leadership? Maybe not.

Third, getting buy-in really needs to happen methodically on anything that's necessary. So, with the care team and of course the most influential physicians, you've got to work and it takes time. If you believe that physician support and confidence is important, you've really got to make it happen. You got to take the time to do it. So that's easier said than done, but consider a few things in terms of what you should do.

Number one, your marketers and communicators. So, just like you do with consumers and to the rest of the committee, stay on top of what's happening with physicians. Even if physician engagement isn't in purview, if it's someone else's responsibility, they are important constituents, and everyone in marketing should be paying attention.

Right now, there's a lot of tension. The public narrative for docs really over the past five to 10 years is that maybe they're overpaid. They're unwilling to change. They're not good with technology and they don't know how to work as a team, and maybe not even great necessarily with some of the patient care aspects. This is what they're feeling from news, even probably from health system leaders, and "thought and industry leaders."

That's not really what they believe in themselves. So, there is this tension. They actually think that they're some of the brightest people in society. They probably do like technology. They probably have the latest personal technology and use that, but when it comes to obviously with the work, we all know they hate their work computers. They absolutely care about their patients and believe they're doing it all just to do the best work possible. Finally, they do value or respect their colleague's opinion. See, it's pretty clear here as well. So, when it comes to working with others, I think that yes, they'll do it as long as it's competent.

This tension, this divide is something that's so pervasive right now, and it's really coming to a head. So as marketers and communicators, you should enter every single conversation with a physician knowing that. Second takeaway for marketers and communicators, if there isn't a strong physician engagement program at your system when it comes to retention, adapting new clinical practices, but maybe more importantly recruitment effort because of the trend right now and the need to really acquire physician practices, maybe you should get involve and make it better.

There's a lot that can be done in most programs and the opportunities really are abundant. More referrals, better receptivity to some of these clinical and patient experience initiatives that every health system should be looking at and implementing, more loyalty and of course serving as stronger ambassadors for your brand. Finally, figure out who are the physicians that are most influential and care about the things that you know are going to be integral to your success. You can't pick them and use them for everything, but you've got to engage with them directly and bring them along, and really help to see where they're coming from.

So of course, that means being willing to hear their side and sometimes compromising by building a long-term relationship with physicians and just like you would with consumers or influencers in your market. Grassroots programs are absolutely worth it. You may have to put a doctor and a billboard here and there, which were not necessarily huge fans of but sometimes you got to make that sacrifice just for the long term. So, treat them as business partners. It can go a long way.

Bottom line is marketers, communicators are probably in the best position to engage physicians along with your leadership, particularly clinical leadership, but you've got to apply the same approach as you do with consumers and take time to make the effort, understand where they are, meet them there, and invest in that relationship. So, that means knowing what they think.

So, Sasha is now going to talk about physicians and the patient experience and what are some of these results told us about that.

Sasha Boghosian: Great. Thanks very much, Jeff. Good to be with all of you today. Jeff mentioned this notion of this gap between the public narrative around physicians, and some of the questions that they answered for us, really meeting us in a different direction. Part of that same notion drives the second and third insight that I'll go along with you.

The second is that they're really territorial about the patient experience, but only as they define it. The part that's in parenthesis here is probably more interesting and more insightful than the first and we'll get into that right now. The way we formulated the question was by design to really get them to think about this in specific terms. So, we asked how responsible does each of the following healthcare stakeholder groups for providing a good patient experience. So, we use the words responsible and providing to make this a pretty high bar for them to think about as they responded.

As you can see, their response shows us that they believe themselves and nurses are highly responsible for providing a good patient experience. Then, it really just trails off from there all the way down to the bottom where you can see the healthcare finance professionals, healthcare marketing professionals, and even to some extent leadership. They don't see really playing any sort of role in providing a good patient experience.

So, I'll break this down in a couple of ways. One notion that they suggest for us is that physicians might be defining patient experience really narrowly, more like patient's interaction. As they look at the patient experience through that lens, what they're doing is really thinking primarily about when the patient is with them, or in their office, or in their presence, and when they are providing care. Then, the further you get away from that personal interaction, the less patient experience is relevant.

This is a really physician-centered view of patient experience and it has this impact of minimizing the significance of all of the other touchpoints and interactions that the patient has, whether it's before interacting with clinical care or afterward. It might be things like making an appointment or calling a desk, or even finding parking and navigating through an office building to get to where they lead to, all the way to what happens afterward with patient billings, and followups, and transitions to their followup appointments.

It's a pretty difficult challenge that they suggest that we have in terms of how physicians think about patient experience and the role they play in it. About that topic, the role they play in it, their answers to this question really suggests that they see themselves as ultimately responsible for patient experience. So, there is this sense of pressure that they might be putting on themselves to really carry this burden of providing the best experience possible for patients, but really from our perspective or from the broad health systems perspective, we know that they spend relatively little time with patients and that the patient touchpoints that happen with the health system happened all around on both sides before and after the physician interaction.

So, it's really a tough challenge that poses for us here. The last thing I'll mention about this particular question you'll see about halfway down in the numbers where we asked how responsible they think patients are for providing a patient experience. The answer there is fairly surprising too. About 58%, which falls somewhere in the middle. So they really, again they suggest that they're really thinking about the patient's experience as something that happens to the patients within their interaction with the physicians.

It's a very tight box that they're drawn around to this notion of patient experience, while at the same time as you all know, every health system in the country is really leaning into at every initiative possible to improve the patient experience by making that a global priority for their organizations and this has real implications. So, let's talk about that a little bit.

I think from your perspective whether patient experience is in your direct purview or not, you're communicating and you're promoting initiatives and efforts year round that really aims at either improving or creating the notion that your organization is focused on improving patient experience, but it looks to us like you have some work to do to get positions engaged on any issues that you might be involved with that they might not perceive as central to the patient experience.

That's pretty key because as you do your work to try to promote patient experience or they try to suggest that your organization is focused on it. Physician engagement is really important in that, and what this data is telling us is that they see some initiatives that we all might be working on as really secondary or not important at all to the overall patient experience.

So, the implication from our perspective from that is that the work we can do as communicators and marketers to get physicians to draw a straight line from the initiatives we talk about, or the areas that we're focused on straight over to their patient interaction. The more we can get them convinced that one has a significant impact on the other, the more we'll be able to get them to buy in on this notion that, A) That, that initiative is important in nudging patient experience forward, and B) That we as non-clinicians have a pretty significant role to play in moving that initiative forward.

So, I mentioned at the beginning that this finding just is a little bit counter to serve the public narratives or discussion around physicians. It was a surprise for me specifically because in working with physicians and in looking at a lot of research more around the country that touches on other things but it focuses on positions. I had fully expected the prism or window that they're looking at patients' experience for them to be a little bit wider than it is. So this view that they've shared with us poses some specific challenges to us as marketers and communicators.

The next time finding and these sort of dovetail into one another are that their answers to our questions suggest that they're not really looking for new things to get involved in, and this again is not something that sinks with the public narratives around physicians. We know that they should have been at the forefront of a lot of change that has been happening in an around healthcare delivery over the last five or 10 years.

We suspect, and we have a lot of conversation about this internally, we suspect that the outcome of all of that effort that they've been involved in over the last decade might be what's driving or influencing the way they're viewing new things to get involved in. So dive into the question that we asked, the question here is a little bit broader than the last one. We asked them again. That's deliberate. We asked, "Which parts of your organization strategy do you want to influence?"

Again, we use the word influence really deliberately. This is not about being responsible for it. This is the next level dan. We asked what they wanted to influence which means, where do you want to be involved and have a say, and you'll see really quickly that after the first scenario which is around clinical workflow strategy, the numbers just took a nosedive from there. So around clinical workflow, three-quarters of them said, "Yup, that's something that I ought to influence."

The further we got again from that very direct patient's interaction in the process related to it, the further down the number slides. As you look across the bottom, things like internal communication strategy or even something like new models of care with which includes risk-sharing. That one specifically, only 20% of them thought that getting into risk-sharing is an area that they want to get involved in.

This is really significant because as you know, all health system maybe, most if not all health system across the country, are looking at pivoting their entire operational model, getting into risk-bearing contracts with payers, getting into MA arrangements, getting to all sorts of new areas for how they provide the healthcare that is different from the traditional fee-for-service model and what you would anticipate is that the physician would raise his or her hand very quickly and say, "Yup, that's something that I need to be involved with because that impacts the way I think about work and the way I interact with patients."

So, this was a very big surprise for us that they don't really see a role here where they want to play and be able to influence. I don't think that this is something that they're not interested in going back to the top of the conversation where we mentioned their previous experiences on this front. We think that all of the initiatives that they have been involved in over the last 10 years, given that they'd been difficult and that not all of them had been successful, or all of them have probably been much more difficult than they anticipated on.

I'm thinking about initiatives like EMR integration, and standing up MA plans, and figuring out integrated care delivery within their systems. Those have all been really hard to implement and physicians had been front and center, taking traditional leadership has been front and center in all of those initiatives, and we think that there's a little bit of exhaustion coming out of all of that.

So, given their experience in participating in all those initiatives, and the fact that the outcome may be hasn't been as thoroughly successful as they had hoped or they had been promised, that looking forward they're a little bit more pessimistic about what's to come and a little bit more hesitant to get involved in them.

Again, it should have posed a little bit of challenge internally, because we know that physicians have a very big role to play in the ultimate success of the new initiatives. Even existing initiatives like internal communication, you want physicians who really are the heart of healthcare delivery organizations to be bought in, and what the state is telling us is that there's a little bit of resistance and it might be coming from this notion of exhaustion that they've put time into other things that have not delivered results, and they just want to get back to work doing what they've got hired to do, which is to take care of patients, and not get involved in what they feel, what they see as a peripheral activities.

So, the impact that this might have for us as marketers and communications professionals is that if it's not about patience, again we're going to have a lot of difficulties getting a physician's attention. Conversely, if we can get a physician to draw that line between a particular initiative, and its impact on issues that should have revolved around that first circle which is clinical workflow or really patient's interaction, then we might be able to get them bought in on the importance of it, which may help us be able to get them to really engage and participate with us.

Again taking it back to the patient interaction, how is this new initiative, or this new effort that we want to communicate or promote, how does that tie directly back to including patients' interaction? What further educating patients so that they come to your office more ready? How does it take away headaches from your clinical staff so that they have more time to devote to patients?

Those are really the ways in that we have to find as communicators in order to get over this hump of resistance that we're seeing as suggested by the answers to some of these questions.

Jeff Speer: Thanks, Sasha. So, in thinking now through what happens when we try to engage physicians and how are they looking at things. When they talk about what are the barriers to delivering the best most fantastic patient experience, they say it's, "Time and people." If we look at the data here, it represents the vast majority. Its time constraints, staffing limitations.

The time constraints are certainly not a big surprise here, but these are still worth discussing because what this is really telling us is they're saying it's not about their knowledge or the knowledge of their staff. It's not even about patient's expectations maybe being too high or confusion about what they think patients expect or maybe some type of misalignment or disconnection between. What a patient thinks this is a great experience versus what a physician does.

What they're saying at least with this is that this is just about me having more time. Even the clumsy or confusing, or inconvenient interactions of patients half with the health system overall and then Sasha said, that's probably because they don't think those things are part of the patient experience, but let's just think about this for a second.

If we gave physicians more and more time, we think the patient experience would better. That's true to some degree, but I don't think we can assume the physicians would use enough of the extra time listening more carefully and deeply to patients, which a lot of studies have said really do improve the outcomes and absolutely affect the patient experience that the patients want to be heard. Could it help them be more clear and detailed in diagnosis and treatment plans? Possibly, but it also may not because that's also a skill set, a communication emphasis.

So, some of this is definitely a time issue, but some could be a skill and desire issue. I think physicians if they had more time, they would probably first and foremost use that on the increasing the administrative burden that they have. I think at some stat about 40 to 50% of their days are really doing more administrative or something with patients. So, that's something to keep in mind.

Second that, if you do approach them with anything around the patient experience, they're absolutely going to analyze it from this perspective. Are you giving them more time? Are you increasing staff? Then, makes it easier for them to spend more time with patients or do the administrative work. Realistically, it's probably not something that most of the things that you're approaching them will actually accomplish. If you are, then make sure you communicate that first and foremost.

Second, though, you have to come armed with credible evidence to demonstrate why. Whatever it is that you're talking about is worth their time, and they are going to be skeptical because they'd had lots of good reasons to be skeptical and not believe the hype. So if you're involved in physician practice acquisitions, another thing to think about that physicians if they are considering a move, certainly if you can actually make a dent in this and talk about, something that's different about being a part of your system as relates to the time, as relates to staffing limitations, giving them less administrative burden. That's going to immediately get their attention, but it's got to be real.

These are things that well, maybe not surprising are really important to keep at the forefront in all of your engagement with physicians. So, Luke's going to talk a little bit now about credibility and communication channels for physicians.

Luke Farkas: Thanks Jeff. I think as we talk about credibility, it's important to talk about certainly the messages that create credibility, but secondarily and related to this insight, also the channels through which this audience tends to find credible information. So, our fifth insight here is after peers, trade publications are the next most credible sources of information.

So if you look at this graph here, we ask actually which channels are credible and we also ask which channels physicians and clinical staff turn to frequently. For the purpose of this webinar, we're looking at the credibility specifically. In some ways, no surprises here when we look at things like peer network, far and away the number one credible source. We know that this is a tight-knit community of physicians and clinical staff look to their peers for the information that they find credible.

Also, no surprise secondarily at peer network through digital channels like SERMO and Doximity. When you get down to the third line item here, it becomes interesting in the sense that trade publications are right on the heels of things like peer network through digital channels. You can take that at face value that media relations and earned media and PR are very important for winning the credibility of this audience.

In our experience, it's not so much just that ... I mean, no one's going to your modernhealthcare.com and looking for the most recent article that comes out. They're looking at different trade pub articles and studies that are shared with them through their network. If you look at it through that lens, the finding is almost glaring because that applies to industry trade pubs, industry associations, industry events, and LinkedIn. They're all in some ways masked peer network sources.

So, what becomes very true when we're looking at things like that is Jeff spoke earlier about finding influential physicians. If you can find champions inside of your health system who will speak highly of initiative that you have running, or something around understanding the patient experience as a more holistic experience from when you set appointment online to the flavor of mint that you get on the way out of the way hospital, that's going to be very important that there are those champions internally, and finding those folks and letting them speak about it inside of their peer network is oftentimes going to be the most effective way to both respect the boundaries that physicians and clinical staff have put forth, and have a successful initiative.

Jeff Speer: All right. So, what's the common thread here? I think that these findings give you different angles, and we focus a lot on the patient experience, but also really tapping into the mindset of where physicians are, what they're paying attention to, how they will filter any information that comes to them. I think the biggest thing that we feel is that this is a challenge for marketers and communicators and is the best, and marketers and communicators are the best people to tackle this challenge.

It's easy to walk away as people have for probably the last 10 years and saying, "I don't know how to engage physicians. How do we get physicians engaged? It's difficult to talk to them? We can't reach them." The last slide that Luke showed, there's what? I think 15 different channels, and there's no other than a peer network. There's no easy way to reach physicians because they're all over the place.

That's the same with the consumers today. We don't back away from that challenge. The other thing is that physician engagement and communication, we believe is going to be more and more important, not less important. Consider a couple of trends. First of all, physician acquisition is it's so important to health systems now, yet there are signs that physicians are actually opting to become independent again.

That they for the last decade, then going on and on about getting acquired and dropping the entrepreneurial side, but there may be in the case since now that, that could reverse. If that happens, marketers will absolutely need to be in charge of figuring out how to market themselves and engage independent practices. The importance is also trying to acquire more physicians.

Second, something Eric Topol, as many of you probably know who he is. He's a prominent outspoken physician cardiologist, really respected for many years. Interestingly enough for his innovative and using digital technology and incorporating that into practice and really helping to get doctors to see the benefits of technology and digital tools.

He just recently wrote an article that actually said that physicians had organized, meaning maybe formed a union because of what he sees in many physicians like have to go one day, very prominent physician as well. He has almost a breaking point of where physicians can't succeed now. That they can't deliver the patient care and lead balance lives and whatever balance physicians want and meet all the demands from everybody that's putting pressure on them.

That's a pretty big deal because for a physician to call for other physicians to organize is something that is pretty far out there. Granted, this isn't to say that as marketers, there's anything you can do, but it's just something to know that that is out there and if you aren't aware of that, how you market to physicians, how you use them, how you engage them, maybe off target. Many health systems have programs now to address physician burnout and many of you are probably somewhat involved in that. So, keep it in mind in everything that you do.

Luke Farkas: So, as I mentioned at the beginning of the webinar, we wanted to give a sneak peek of some other ways that this research has come to life at ReviveHealth. What we use this for was to create some research backed personas, looking at the different specialties from primary care physician to social worker, the procedural specialist. Looking at, we've talked a lot today about what these folks have in common. There are also some things that set one apart from another, and so there's some interesting insights that have come out of that.

I wanted to walk you all through one of these personas looks like, and at the end of this webinar, there'll be a poll question and you can choose to continue the conversation about personas if you like, and we can share with you the updated findings report as well as maybe hop on the phone and talk through maybe one or so personas that is especially relevant to you. So, I'll go through these really quickly.

So, the first slide of each persona actually is more of a description slide. It looks at who are these folks, what are their common titles. We look at things like effectiveness of collaboration. How well do you think that you collaborate inside of your team? The confidence in others, which we looked at the top line findings of, but there's some variation throughout. Then, why initiatives succeed and why initiatives fail, which we think is one of the more important areas of these personas.

The second slide is a more data-centric clue. We look things like what makes up a great patient experience? Not surprisingly in this case, having excellent physicians and quality of care is the number response there. What limits the ability to have a great patient experience? You see things like staffing limitations popping to the top of the list there. Then, really relevant to many of our listeners today, what types of channels are they most likely to be responsive too from an internal communication standpoint?

On the third one, you can spend some time actually looking into this but this is where we actually cross-reference both frequency and credibility of different channels. When it is relevant and when the respondents listed a certain channel as being highly credible, we ask for examples as well that the specific examples that they find credible. So, we can dig deep into that as well.

So, I wanted to give you a little sneak peek about that. Feel free to check the box on the poll as we go through the Q and A questions. You'll see two things pop up as your prompts for the poll. We can continue the conversation about personas and I gave a sneak peek into that, or you can subscribe to The Weekly Hash, which is our weekly newsletter where we are highly focused on taking the complexity of healthcare and making it simple on a week to week basis. So, we have some of our subject matter expertise and experts internally contribute to some news that's happening in the industry, and we're also sharing whatever is the latest happenings ever by [inaudible 00:37:33]. So, feel free to subscribe there.

We can hop into questions here. The first one, and I'll post this to the whole team and we can talk through some of them. The first one was, what was the most surprising thing from this study and what does it mean to us as health system marketers? Sasha, I think that might be a good one for you to start out with.

Sasha Boghosian: I think, we've all touched on this as a thread throughout the findings. That there is the sense that there is a lack of faith among physicians that others can help them be successful, or others can help them solve the types of problem that they see as most relevant. That's a go within the context of their really tight view around how they defined the patient experience. It's all a pretty high threshold for us to be able to meet to get their buy-in.

That really was a surprise to me. I know that generally speaking, physicians feel like they've been under stress for a long time, but the specific questions we asked here, I totally anticipated the answers to be a little bit less pessimistic. Maybe pessimistic isn't the right word for it, but I actually like their outlook on a way to improve what they're able to do for patients is not necessarily that good. That seemed to be the issue that sort of jumped out of me the most.

Luke Farkas: Great, and I can tee off the next question here. We had a question from the audience, which was on the last slide when physicians were asked about industry trade publications. Can you please clarify what was defined as physician ... How this was defined to physicians, wondering if it's more trade pubs like Modern Healthcare or peer review journals?

I can answer that as having been in the data. We actually didn't specify between the two of those things. I will say when they were highly rated as credible, we ask for examples specifically around which ones they find most credible. Most often, we got examples of trade pubs like more on the Modern Healthcare and HealthLeaders side of things. We got some NEJM responses for sure, but then also some hybrids like NEJM Catalyst. So, they all were bucketed into one group there, but I will say that for the most part, we saw it leaning more on almost business of healthcare side of things than on the clinical journals.

We have one more question which was how do you get physician involvement when they don't have faith in nonclinical staff members particularly leadership? I think this is hearkening back to the first insight that we had. I feel like Jeff spoke through that. Sasha, you probably have some thoughts as well, so how about it?

Jeff Speer: Yeah. It's difficult. I think that more and more we've got more physicians taking over CEO roles and prominent leadership roles in health systems. So, that helps but when it comes to something that the marketing team is doing, communication team, I think it's supremely important to get advocates. Get some physician advocates and supporters even if it's individuals and work your way out from there. Stand up with them, and get their endorsement and take the time to make sure that your understanding where they or their colleagues may come from and really use them.

The other thing I think we've seen some groups organize physician leadership committees and things like that, that by specialty. They've asked physicians to volunteer if they want to be involved. It's a facilitating group between let's say health system leadership and the physicians en masse. So, it's not medical staff, but it might be a group that is more focused on say, representing communication and issues between the frontline physicians and others with the health system leadership. That's a really I know that we've seen work and as a group that marketers and communicators can tap regularly.

Sasha Boghosian: There's a show I've been watching with Jim Carrey in it. It's called Kidding where he plays the host of a children show, sort of like Mr. Rogers. His name is Mr. Pickles. I just thought about that. In the show, they manufacture this doll. You pull the string, and it says stuff. He thinks a lot about how to reach kids the way he thinks that they need to be reached so that they'll also be opened to what comes next. What he ends up programming the doll to say is two words and it's, "I'm listening."

I think that can go a really long way for us as communicators and marketers to try to break down some barriers that might exist between us and physicians because a lot of times from their perspective, we're going to them with things that distract as opposed to things that enable or empower them to do their job better. Yet, these questions that we've asked them clearly suggests also, they have a lot of opinions and they feel very strongly about some things.

So, I think where you have some relationships, or where you can get in and tell a physician, "Look, we've got this goal as an organization. Tell me how you feel about the goal itself? Tell me how you feel about, how we might be able to get there? Tell me how you feel about how we might be able to communicate it in ways that your colleagues might find helpful? How can I help you and tell me your opinions?" I think that starting the conversation there as opposed to, "Yeah, I've got this initiative. We'd love for you to participate, not going to pick up a whole bunch of your time. We think it's going to be great for our market."

I think just taking that different approach and really trying to bake in some relationship building through an approach that allows them to feel like they have a primary voice and you're going to them first to solicit that voice as opposed to try to jam it into what you've already cooked up. I think that might be a good way in. I think that might lead to some of that.

Luke Farkas: Awesome. Thanks, guys. We actually just had one roll in as well, and I'll read the question. I have an initial response to it, but I am curious Jeff and Sasha if you have anything to add. For determining the importance of front of house experience in a patient practice, i.e. calls, appointment scheduling and communications if there's a wait. Do you have any feedback from physicians as to whether they are measuring this?

I can answer this from a research perspective. So, in the instrument that we use here, we did ask questions about where do you think the patient experience occurs. Obviously, for the most part, these folks think that it occurs in the patient room, and you can almost work out geographically from there because also the waiting room experience they see as vaguely part of the patient experience. I think there's a semantics conversation here because I don't think that physicians and clinical staff see everything outside of the patient room as not important. They just might not see it as how they define the patient experience in a more patient interaction perspective.

It doesn't seem like it's a key piece. When we're talking about things like appointment scheduling and communications if there's a wait. It doesn't seem top of mind for them, or maybe not their responsibility, but I'm curious Jeff and Sasha if you have anything to add there.

Jeff Speer: No, not really. I mean, I think it's a really good question. Interesting one, but I don't believe that I've heard this really in any of our clients or anything I've read about a priority for physicians. In part, I think because probably just so thinking about how much time they have to get from one appointment to the next and the little amount of time that they have with patients that this type of issue probably hits more of the practice manager and not so much a physician, but we haven't heard anything or see anything in our experience at this point.

Luke Farkas: Great. Well, that wraps up the Q and A section of the webinar. As I said, we have a poll open. If you want to do that kind of last-second here, feel free to check a box on that, and we'll be back in touch with you in regards to your response on those polls. I wanted to really thank everyone for joining us today. We've had a good time talking through what matters to physicians and clinical staff, and why it should matter to hospital marketers as well. We appreciate you tuning in, and we will see you next time.