Episode 31: Taylor Hamilton: Leveraging Technology to Connect with Patients

Taylor Hamilton, Senior Vice President and Chief Consumer Officer at Ballad Health, explains how they’ve kept patients at the center as they implement new technologies. 

Taylor Hamilton believes technology can either increase consumer engagement or make it harder for consumers to connect with a company; it all depends on how it’s implemented.

Hamilton is the senior vice president and chief consumer officer at Ballad Health, a health system in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. Ballad is also the winner of Virsys12’s 2021 Customer Success Award for collaboration.

In this episode of How I Transformed This, Virsys12 founder and CEO Tammy Hawes and her co-host Clark Buckner talk with Taylor Hamilton about her passion for engaging patients at every step along the consumer journey. She also shares her experience with implementing Salesforce in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Innovating During a Pandemic

The Ballad team started working with Virsys12 in 2019 to implement Salesforce, but when the pandemic started, they knew it was more important than ever to connect with patients digitally.

“The majority of people have a smartphone. How do we leverage the technology that’s already available but apply it to the extremely complicated industry that is healthcare?” Hamilton asked. “As we all know, healthcare is not as easy as ‘I’m just going to go on an app and make a reservation for a four-top for dinner tonight.'”

Fortunately, because they had already started the work of digital transformation, Ballad was more agile and able to adapt to the unexpected challenges of COVID-19.

“We were able to really create something that laid the foundation that we were looking for,” Hamilton said.

Prioritizing the Consumer Experience 

As much as she believe in the power of technology to improve healthcare for both patients and providers, Hamilton doesn’t want technological advancement to come at the expense of personal interactions.

Because of this, she and the team at Ballad have worked hard to map out every touchpoint in the consumer journey and make sure that patients are able to get the information and direct interactions they need.

“No matter how advanced we get in healthcare, this is still a high-touch industry. There’s going to be a point where more and more things are automated, there’s more efficiencies, more and more things we’re driving towards, but we’re still in the industry of taking care of people,” she explained.

Hamilton is also dedicated to making sure that patients can access personalized solutions, whether that’s by providing clinicians with up-to-date, digitized medical records or by giving people options to book appointments in different ways based on their preferences.

“Transformation is a journey. I truly don’t believe it’s ever perfect, and it’s never complete,” she shared. “This is not a one-person job, it’s not a one-department job. It is a cultural transformation of the entire organization to come up with solutions and to implement them.”

“If it wasn’t for having the relationships and partnerships like we do with Virsys12, this wouldn’t be successful.”

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