Greystone Journal

Digital Marketing Planning at Academic Medical Centers

by Sara Foster | Jun 08, 2017

Academic medical centers (AMCs) are a different breed of healthcare organization. Most AMCs have characteristics that can make planning especially challenging. They have very complicated organizational relationships.  For example, a medical school's organizational network may include:

  • Its parent university
  • The university's other health and science schools
  • Affiliated patient care organizations
  • Affiliated research institutes
  • Affiliated physician practice organizations
  • And more.

The relationships among these organizational units are often poorly defined and highly codependent.

It’s not just the overall network structure, either. The internal organization of an academic medicine organization is no less complex.  Most are flat organizations where each executive has a very large span of control.  To extend the example of the medical school, it’s not unusual for a dean to have 20 or more associate deans and department heads reporting to him or her.  Despite this "flat" organizational form, medical schools can also be very hierarchical.  The chain of command from dean to associate dean to department head to division chief to tenured professor and down through the many faculty and trainee ranks can be rigid.

Greystone has faced many challenges with our AMC clients. We have worked with well over 100 AMC clients over the years. We do the research and data gathering about both the internal and external environments. One of the more important aspects of our process is leading onsite meetings and personalized senior-level service. We have face-to-face meetings with hand-selected committee members, executives and stakeholders to help individuals and groups through processes of discovery as they hone in on where they want to go and how to get there. This approach helps ensure that key decision makers understand what’s working and what’s not. It helps to build a consensus on priorities and strategies across the enterprise.

Greystone’s Academic Medical Center Planning Process includes strategic thinking about the organization’s:

  • Web goals
  • Target audiences
  • Required technologies
  • Funding
  • Staffing needs
  • Web organizational structure
  • Web governance

Once a solid strategy and priorities are in place, then choosing the right tools, partners and solutions to implement the strategy becomes much clearer and is unencumbered by any bias.

If you are interested in finding out more about Greystone’s Academic Medical Center consulting services, please contact us:

  • HealthCare Marketing
  • HealthCare Digital Marketing
  • academic medical centers

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