• By: Kriss Barlow, RN, MBA | kbarlow@barlowmccarthy.com Right wrong or otherwise, we all make snap judgments when we meet new people. Last week I needed help from an airline gate agent and here’s what happened: I approached the counter ready to beg, cajole and flaunt my frequent flyer status as I wanted to get home on an earlier flight. As I approached the counter, the gate agent looked up immediately, smiled and asked how she could help in a warm and engaging way. She listened fully to my request and then said, “Let’s see what we can do to make that happen.” The interaction was all of three minutes and yet, it left me feeling positive, I know her name

    Feb 01,
  • By: Jeff Cowart, MAH | jcowart@barlowmccarthy.com The beginning of a new year, the launch of a new goal, a significant change in direction – all of these are opportunities for reflection on where we’ve been and where we’re going. Usually, this reflection is accompanied by resolutions, declarations of new direction, and a burst of new energy. Too often, however, this process quickly devolves into disruption at the hands of the mundane, the heavy tug of the status quo, and the loss of traction toward our new goals. Then the malaise and disappointment of failure starts to hover and nag. Why is this cycle so familiar? The truth is, the cycle has nothing to do with our good intentions nor our

    Jan 25,
  • It is an interesting time in the market. With so much attention to the potential changes in how we are paid, how we work with doctors and how we determine the right value and the right volumes, do programs launch and/or do existing programs attempt to enhance their position in the market?  Sometimes it is healthy to go back to the basics- to reconsider those elements that are essential to frame a successful program. Here are five questions to ask internally to determine whether you are ready to invest in the development or re-tooling of a physician relations program: Is there top-down commitment? Many programs work beautifully as grassroots efforts.  This one will fail if senior leadership is not on

    Feb 26,
  • By: Jeff Cowart, MAH Uncertainty reigns for both patients and physicians in the current healthcare environment. For patients, uncertainty arrives by virtue of just becoming a patient – which suggests we’ve got medical concerns that need resolution. But, today’s environment only adds to the uncertainty as patients deal with new care continuum choices, narrowing networks, insurance and co-pay changes, ACOs, and more. For the past 10 years, Harris Interactive has asked consumers nationwide which industries they most trust. From 2012 to 2013, hospitals dropped 8 percentage points among that audience, settling in at a 28% trust rating. Health insurance companies lost 4 percentage points year over year, landing at a 7% trust rating for 2013. For physicians, the uncertainty is

    Feb 17,
  • By: Kriss Barlow, RN, MBA Regardless of your education, training or love of data, let’s face facts: Organizations are making decisions about the value of the field staff based on data. A solid, data-driven plan is essential. Whether planning for market research, business strategy, a call center, service line or customer-specific program, they all rely on some basics: A plan for the plan: Know the purpose for the plan before you start pulling and analyzing the data. Develop a focus for the analysis, the key questions you want answered and the sources of information you will access. In other words, create an outline, then a data list; evaluate what’s available, then begin. Consistency: The plan must look at trends over

    Feb 04,