Strategic Outreach Blog

When the change initiative changes

I directed communications during the largest single-build implementation of an Epic electronic health record system. We transformed 27 hospitals ranging from small rural facilities to 700-plus-bed medical centers, along with hundreds of clinics, across five states. It was a major upheaval that impacted 70,000 employees/physicians, and we knew it would be challenging – but we […]

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Healthcare System Mission and Vision Statements Sound a Lot Alike. One was Once Different.

Take a look at the mission and vision statements of healthcare systems. One once stood out among them, and I spent a few years as an internal communicator buoyed by the power of it.

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Workin’ the changes, enjoying the ride

I’ve had the privilege of directing external and internal communications “in the trenches” during a number of major industry revolutions over the last several decades. From a communicator’s standpoint, what do they all have in common? The need to win over the hearts and minds of those people whose daily work is most impacted by the […]

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Crack open a good nut graph

Beginning with a shocking statement may be the best way to get a reader’s attention, but there’s yet another story ingredient that helps ensure high readership of an announcement or article. The statement above is called a “nut graph,” and it’s the nut graph for this blog post about nut graphs. Given all the competition […]

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Length Matters

Research shows that if most readers look at a page with 8 or 9 dense paragraphs of type, their willingness to read it at all goes down significantly, compared to a communication of 5 paragraphs. This is especially true when major change is swirling around your organization and people are time-stressed. If you let your CEO […]

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Communication tactics during integration of hospitals and medical groups: Lessons Learned, part II

This is the second installment of my mini-series on what I’ve learned from directing internal communications during integration of hospitals and medical group organizations. My previous post focused on strategy – this one tackles tactical components. As integration of employees begins, I create an initial communication with “What’s changing, what’s not.”  We ask managers to deliver it and discuss it with […]

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Communications during integration of hospitals and medical groups: Lessons Learned

Here’s what I’ve learned from directing internal communications to manager and all-employee levels during integration of their hospital or medical group organization into our large health care system. I’ve done two of each. Develop an over-arching communication plan incorporating all HR, IT and other work streams to ensure consistent messaging to impacted populations (theme, tone, […]

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