Last week I attended The Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development’s annual conference, known as SHSMD. With more than 1,000 healthcare strategists and marketers gathered in Philadelphia, there were lively conversations, engaging presentations and more networking than a happy hour on Friday at a downtown bar.

I found the following 10 words repeated in almost every session I was in and even found myself using these words in conversations. When I first made the list of most-used healthcare words, I thought I’d end up blogging about the 10 most overused words at SHSMD.

After digesting the conference over the weekend, I realized these words are critically important to our industry.  So if they’re overused, good. Our conversations around these words impact our industry, our enterprises and how we serve the healthcare consumer.

So here are the most-used healthcare marketing words in order of how often I heard them:

  1. Alignment: Most often when talking about physician/hospital relationships
  2. Barriers: About markets, but also about patients and access
  3. Core competencies: What is important to your hospital’s business and operations?
  4. Strategic planning process: What are you doing to stay ahead or in line with healthcare reform and changing market values?
  5. Fee for service: The “old” model of being paid for providing a service, rather than the new model, “value-based” (see #8). See this Forbes article for more detail.
  6. Pay for performance: Healthcare reform means quality and outcomes will affect payment, a move away from the traditional fee for service model.
  7. Integrated information system: I was thrilled to hear these words mentioned so often, because they drive toward what we all need to work toward, which is an enterprise content strategy for our data, content and EHRs.
  8. Value-based: Will we move toward getting paid because we give the best care? All signs point to yes.
  9. Governance: At the institutional level, not in a content context
  10. Future state: What’s it going to look like?
How about you? Were you at SHSMD? What healthcare marketing words did you hear repeatedly? And do you agree we need to keep having these conversations using this vocabulary?
Or, as healthcare marketers, should we thinking about new words to explain old ideas?

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