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Clarity Case: Intelligence Meets Need to Know

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, May 27, 2011

I don't usually do a lot of public speaking, but recently, I had the pleasure of being the luncheon keynote speaker for about 180 healthcare M&A experts at the Southwest Healthcare Transactions Conference in Dallas. I also don't write promotional material in this space--and I hope even this column doesn't come off like that--but I hope you'll indulge me a little as I tell you about something we're doing here that might interest you.

As I mentioned, I'm not a frequent public speaker. As an editor and reporter on a nationwide healthcare leadership beat, most of my speaking goes on behind a keyboard or, more often, a phone headset. I arrange interviews, ask my specific questions about a healthcare trend or strategy with an expert or top healthcare executive, and--within a half hour, usually--that's that.

One conversation reaches one, maybe two, other people. I glean the interesting bits of these conversations, tie a bunch of these interviews together, and "make the sausage," in industry parlance. Of course, the story that results is (hopefully) read by thousands, but I don't get to see them read it or hear what they liked or didn't like about the story.

Prior to going to Dallas last month, I was feeling a little intimidated. I was thinking to myself, "I'm no expert compared to the people who will be in that room. What can I tell them that they don't already know?"

Plenty, as it turns out.

Have you ever experienced one of those moments of clarity when you realize how helpful a service your company offers is to the people who use it?

Maybe not, but I had one of those with our HealthLeaders Media Intelligence division, which we started about 18 months ago. Let me back up a minute. In late 2009, we decided to take a big leap as a company and form a research and intelligence division.

While my colleagues and I spend a lot of time working our various beats: Leadership, Technology, Finance, and several others, we realized that there's only so much outreach a single editor, or even a group of single editors, can do to develop the dual roles of increasing our knowledge while establishing trusting relationships with the senior executives in healthcare whom we depend on.

Those folks, and their candid responses to our questions, are essential to telling the stories about strategy and solutions in this complex world of the business of healthcare. But we needed a way to touch many more executives on many more topics, in a shorter amount of time. 

Since then, the intelligence division has really ramped up. We offer the results—and analysis--of at least 12 surveys a year. Best of all for us, it helps identify where you stand on certain issues and trends, as well as what you're interested in learning about. Best of all for you, access to the surveys and the analysis is free.

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