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Using Your Data to Tell Your Story

By Mark Riordan

Managing Director, Healthcare

Every picture tells a story. In healthcare, however, it’s the data that tell the most important stories about your practice, hospital, or health system.

In the age of increasing transparency and scrutiny in healthcare, do you know the story your data tells about your organization? Oftentimes in healthcare, we dig into our data to understand what’s happening from a strategic or operations perspective. We consider how regulators will look at our data. We package it into pro forma presentations for our leadership teams. We tease out elements for our brand campaigns and marketing efforts.

As price transparency regulations mature and become clearer, the data you post about yourself will become more useful to patients, consumers, payors, competitors, and the media. Once they understand better and more fully the prices you’re charging for services, they will need help understanding what that means to them.

Lest you think transparency ends with pricing, consider that empowered consumers only want more data about quality, safety, and patient experience. Have no fear, empowered consumers never buy less of anything of value, but they will stop paying high prices for lower quality, expensive care.

As unruly as the rollout of pricing data has been, it will be even harder for consumers to make sense of quality and safety data. All this data will need context. It needs to be wrapped in a narrative that provides insights and understanding. Since anything you post can and will be used against you in the court of payer and competitor opinion, the narrative must be clear and supportive of your mission and goals. Most importantly, it must be irrefutable.

There are proven processes of narrative development that can help you tell the right story. These techniques can be applied beyond price transparency. These techniques can be used to build and boost your brand in concert with your advertising and marketing efforts. They can be used to help you make your case to local planning and zoning commissions. They can be used to sharpen your responses to media concerning difficult situations that arise. They can blunt and redirect negative assertions from competitors and payers looking to weaken your market position.

At Summit Strategy Group, we’ve developed the skills and processes to position your brand in the right light at the right time and in front of the right audiences. We’ve done it for large health systems, government agencies at all levels, big-name consumer and B2B brands, and large public and private universities. We can do it for you.


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