GenY to the Xpower

Print isn’t dead and other things I learned in Tucson by Valerie Hoven
April 11, 2010, 4:03 am
Filed under: HIT, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , ,

At the marketing conference for the Association of Academic Medical Centers, we heard from accountability consultant  Linda Galindo.

Linda was the first speaker at our conference. Generally, I don’t like conference speakers. They say the same crap. “Be the change you want to see in the world!” Yeah, thanks, never heard that before. Linda started out like that, but she ended up really good. She was funny and motivational, but she really inspired me to stop blaming other people for things at work and start holding myself accountable.   I sit there and point fingers and act like a crabby patty, when I should act like a grown up and take ownership. And Linda totally called me out on it. Brace yourselves co-workers because Monday I come in a new woman!

The other thing I learned: Print isn’t dead. I’m GenY as ever (clearly), but print isn’t dead. If used correctly, you can have strong ROI. Use Web 2.0 tools to your benefit, but don’t give up on trying for media placements in NYT or WSJ. People still read newspapers and magazines. If your hospital has its own magazine, make the articles something they want to read. Stop putting in what your CEO tells you to and put in what readers want.

Hopkins Medicine, an award winner, receives more than 200 additional subscription requests each year from the community and grateful patients because they started giving readers more straight-forward information on broader and tougher topics.

Talk about a tough topic, University of Florida – College of Medicine received a writing award for one of their stories about a 3-year-old boy who died because of a medical error. They made a mistake and told the world how they would fix it. Here’s an excerpt.

“How One Boy Changed the College of Medicine”
By Karen Dooley
University of Florida College of Medicine

It was a tragic mistake. A routine diagnostic test administered at a UF outpatient clinic went terribly wrong, and after a string of additional errors at UF and Shands HealthCare facilities over the next 48 hours, three-year-old Sebastian Ferrero was dead.

“Our investigation to date has identified a series of errors that collectively caused this tragic outcome, and the family has been made aware of our findings,” said UF pediatrics Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs Donald Novak, M.D., during a somber press conference held just 15 days after the boy’s death. “Words cannot describe our profound regret for these events.”

Although the university, the college of medicine, and Shands HealthCare took full responsibility for Sebastian’s death and a settlement was quickly reached with the boy’s parents, the story does not end there.

What happened next changed the college of medicine forever.

I’ll continue to live inside my computer and create and post content for the Web, but I must climb out every so often and remember the real world. There are real patients, and they want to hear real stories. While that story might be on a Facebook page, we can also build our reputation by having the Wall Street Journal tell our story instead. And sometimes that story comes from a pretty magazine, too.

Print isn’t dead. We just have more opportunities to tell a story now, just you have to know how to do it right.


First speaking gig by Valerie Hoven
April 7, 2010, 4:18 pm
Filed under: HIT, Intranet | Tags: , , ,

Time to change my blog and LinkedIn profile. I put that I want to relaunch two intranets before I turn 26. Well, my birthday is Friday and I have nothing to show for it.

But I do get to add that some consider me an expert in my field, as I will present at a marketing conference about communicating and promoting technology systems in healthcare internally. Sounds pretty esoteric. It is.

At hospitals, almost everything is going online. We all know about electronic medical records by now. In addition to those, most employee processes are being automated, and someone has to break that news to employees. It’s me. Nothing like telling 70-year-old doctors that they have to switch from paper to a computer.

My hospital isn’t the only one with this issue, so I submitted a presentation to the Association of Academic Medical Centers marketing conference called “Geek Is Chic: Communicating and Promoting Technology in a Changing Healthcare World.” The conference called me and said they didn’t even get past the title before they selected it. They accepted about a quarter of all presentations submitted.

As a matter of fact, so many people signed up for my presentation that I was moved to a bigger room and asked to present twice.

Now the presentation isn’t until tomorrow. So I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m quite nervous. It’s my last day as a 25-year-old, and I’m not really an expert in anything. But I brought goodies for everyone, including “Geek Speak” lunch bags filled with Nerds candy and a couple of our publications that outline our IT systems in simple terms. People love examples of what worked. Plus, who doesn’t love free candy?! That will distract them as I say “um” and “errr” 100 times.

And “free” is arbitrary. It cost me $360 to check five bags on American Airlines. Four of my bags are hopefully not coming back with me, as they are all presentation give aways.

On my birthday on Friday, I will be accepting an award. I submitting my “Geek Speak” internal marketing campaign to the conference, and it won an honorable mention. So perhaps I am sort of an expert. As with all award winners, “I wouldn’t be here today without my parents, my boss and my co-workers.” Seriously though, my boss pitched me an idea about hosting a Geek Fair, and I ran with it and turned it into a full-blown, year-long, marketing campaign. And now it’s an “honorable mention,” competing against all other marketing campaigns (mostly external I imagine) for academic medical centers nationwide. My little geeky campaign – a winner! So on my first day of being 26, I will be a seasoned presenter and award-winning internal communicator.

OK, I’ll get off my high horse now.

Yes, I will share my slides by end-of-day tomorrow hopefully. I might have a podcast, too.