Cutting Edge Outreach: Think Like a Data Scientist

September 24, 2020

// By Jim Samuel //

Data and analytics can help physician outreach teams focus their efforts to achieve more of their objectives and make themselves indispensable to their organizations.

Physician liaison and outreach departments should focus on more than volume growth and instead use data and analytics to help hospitals and health systems achieve their population health objectives. That, in turn, will help make outreach departments indispensable to senior leadership as they work to guide their organizations out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robert Perkins, director of outreach services for Intermountain Healthcare

Robert Perkins, director of outreach services, Intermountain Healthcare

That’s the conclusion of a recent presentation titled “Cutting Edge Outreach: Think Like a Data Scientist” given during the 2020 Healthcare Marketing & Physician Strategies Virtual Summit by Robert Perkins, director of outreach services for Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Chris Hemphill, director, client AI & operations for SymphonyRM in Atlanta, Georgia.

The presentation described how Intermountain Healthcare uses data analytics, including artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP), to identify physician referral patterns and trends, determine the best way to reach out to individual physicians and their staffs, and suggest the next best action (NBA) to take for each provider.

The outreach departments at Intermountain emphasized volume growth, but, warns Perkins, physician outreach departments that focus solely on growing volume could find themselves seen as irrelevant by health system leadership.

“As more of our business moves into a population health environment, volume growth isn’t necessarily the key objective. Volume growth experts can become irrelevant,” Perkins says.


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