Adam Fischmer, Margaret Mary Health
Giving Back to the Community: How Healthcare Communication Makes a Difference
Margaret Mary Health
Since the healthcare industry is constantly held to some of the highest standards of any industry, I feel that communication is of the utmost importance.
Adam is a Marketing Specialist at Margaret Mary Health, a critical access hospital in Southeastern Indiana, where he develops content for team members as well as the community through videos, print materials, and through their app. Adam has worked with entertainment companies such as the INDYCAR Series and Cedar Fair Entertainment, but he always wanted the chance to give back to his hometown community and now has that opportunity at his community’s hospital. Adam is a proud husband and father of two boys, enjoys watching sports (Go Reds and Bengals!), and loves to cook, explore new places, and watch a good movie or two.
Get to know Adam
What is your communications high and low?
This would be one and the same. The COVID-19 pandemic hit right as we were about to do a slow rollout of theEMPLOYEEapp. We had a great multi-tiered plan to release the app to our team members, providers, and the senior management team; however, those plans quickly went out the window and we had to move at a rapid pace to roll out the app to everyone right away to get the constantly changing information out. This was at a time when everyone was needing accurate information on how the hospital was handling the pandemic. There were a few hiccups along the way, but a large portion of our team members quickly embraced the app.
We quickly worked with our senior management team to create daily video updates and got those out to everyone to stay up-to-date and know the hospital’s status. Normally, the marketing team only hears about things that need changed, but during the pandemic, we had team members come up to us randomly and tell us how much they appreciated all the communication they were receiving and that it was something they looked forward to each day. That was definitely something that made us all feel proud as a marketing team.
What led you to work in the healthcare industry, and how has this career made an impact on you?
I was looking to get back to the community I grew up in and wanted to give back somehow; the stars aligned and there was an opening at Margaret Mary. Since joining the healthcare industry, I have felt more fulfilled in my career. While I may not be the one offering the healthcare that my fellow team members are, I am still giving back to the community in the form of information and education through our videos. Video has been something new for our hospital and has proven to be an intricate part of getting the information to the public and our team members.
Why do you feel that internal communications is so vital in healthcare?
Since the healthcare industry is constantly held to some of the highest standards of any industry, I feel that communication is of the utmost importance. Keeping everyone up-to-date and on the same page, especially during a pandemic when things are changing day-to-day is critical.
As a healthcare professional, what are your best practices for communicating with employees through a pandemic?
Be open, be honest, and be timely. Our marketing team and senior management team knew that team members wanted to hear from the leaders. So, our management team made time each day to address issues, questions, and concerns of team members and share any new developments. This led to a cohesive message that our team members could share with friends and family who would be asking them questions as well.
Your internal communication strategy focuses a lot on employee engagement. Why is engagement so important, and what are some examples of successful engagement campaigns you’ve done?
Employee engagement is really important because you want your team members constantly checking in on new information because they want to, not because they have to. Along with our standard hospital news and updates we have included team member service anniversaries and team member birth announcements. But something that really gained engagement was an employee recognition program called ‘Cheers to Peers’ where team members were allowed to recognize their fellow team members. This recognition could be anything from ‘this team member went above and beyond with a patient’ to simply ‘this team member always brings a positive attitude to work, and I appreciate it.’ During the month of May, team members that were nominated as well as the person who did the nominating were both entered into a drawing for prizes that were awarded throughout the month. This was a very successful campaign that still continues today, and it really helped boost morale while the effects of the pandemic were still weighing on people.
Adam and his team at Margaret Mary Health.