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Matt Gove is speaking at the upcoming Health IT Leadership Summit, and we had the opportunity to catch up with him for an interview. His background is dynamic, and it’s most notable for the fact that he didn't start out in healthcare. Matt's focus on patient experience and innovation are exactly what healthcare needs to dig out of the financial hole it’s in and self-correct. His unique approach to healthcare is shaking things up and making an impact where it matters.
Matt Gove Focuses on Patient Experience and Innovation
Matt Gove is the Chief Consumer Officer for Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare. It’s an interesting title to see in a healthcare organization. Matt is proud to have a title that is a “little strange” because the focus at Piedmont extends beyond marketing. He is deeply involved in patient experience and innovation, among other consumer-facing areas of the organization.
What value does the Health IT Leadership Summit provide to health systems?
You get lots of like-minded speakers who throw lots of facts and trends about where the future of healthcare is headed. They are very well information on how to get to there because they are the people who are actually doing it.
Tell me a little bit about the topic you are speaking about. Why are you passionate about it?
I will be talking about healthcare consumerism, patient experience, and innovation.
Historically healthcare has been focused on healthcare first. The business of a hospital is focused around what doctors and hospitals want. Healthcare is the only business that does this.
There are very few businesses that every single consumer needs, right? There aren’t that many places, not many organizations, that can literally appeal to consumers of all ages. There is some point in your life, you are going to need health care, you are going to consume our services. So we are in my mind, the ultimate consumer business but we don’t act like it.
I do a fair amount of speaking about this topic and what health systems should be thinking about and doing to rise to the challenge. Healthcare systems are big, lumbering, and slow-moving. Healthcare is changing very rapidly around us while we are still in the sort of king of the castle mentality. Everything in healthcare built around a hospital, the doctors, and the business owners. We don’t give patients the tools, access, or really anything that the consumer is looking for, but we still own the market. How do we adjust before the CVS, Walmart, Target, or other retailers of the world, outflank us on fast, affordable care and even virtual visits. Whatever it is that provide this next level of access is important. How can health systems provide the tools and experience that the consumers want from us?
I’m passionate because I want healthcare to work like Starbucks. I can pull out the Starbucks app and order my favorite beverage, pay for it right on my device, and then walk into the store where it will be ready and waiting for me on the counter. How can we get healthcare to that point?
What advice do you have for healthcare companies that are struggling with their image and marketing plans?
The biggest mistake that the most healthcare systems make is spending tons of money on advertising and not on strategic marketing plans built around the business goals of the organization. In most organizations, marketing’s job is to drive revenue. Unfortunately in healthcare, mass media has limited ability to move drive revenue in the traditional fashion most retailers employ. Instead, focusing on the business goals of the organization is the important thing to do.
If you want to change your image with consumers, there is an advertising element to that. It can drive awareness to the market. But if you want to make a long-lasting impact on consumers, focused on delivering to them a unique experience and that means you need to become more integrated into the operation of the systems that you are right now.
That’s easier said than done but experience reports to me here, and that’s intentional. We know is that I can use mass media in limited form on a limited basis rather in more strategic lead acquisition focused marketing campaigns to get people in the door. But what’s going to keep them coming back is the experience.
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