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How Health Leaders Can Take a Customer Service Approach to Grow and Scale Their Business and Practice with Katie Atwood, Vice President of Operations and Events at Becker’s Healthcare

Katie Atwood, Vice President of Operations and Events at Becker’s Healthcare

How Health Leaders Can Take a Customer Service Approach to Grow and Scale Their Business and Practice

Bringing together leaders to disseminate information which creates discussion on how to improve healthcare

How Health Leaders Can Take a Customer Service Approach to Grow and Scale Their Business and Practice with Katie Atwood, Vice President of Operations and Events at Becker’s Healthcare

How Health Leaders Can Take a Customer Service Approach to Grow and Scale Their Business and Practice with Katie Atwood, Vice President of Operations and Events at Becker’s Healthcare

Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we inspire collaborative thinking, improved outcomes and business success with today’s most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders and influencers. And now your host, Saul Marquez

Welcome back once again to the outcomes rocket podcast where we chat with today’s most successful and inspiring health leaders. I really thank you for tuning in to the podcast again and I welcome you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews where you could rate and review today’s guest because she’s an amazing contributor in health care and an outstanding leader. Her name is Katie Atwood. She is the Vice President of Operations and Events at Beckers healthcare. She’s been in healthcare for over eight years contributing to the success of not only providers but also healthcare companies that are looking to make a strong impact in the healthcare industry. And so I was really excited when I was able to connect with Katie and set up this time for us so I’m super pumped to be able to dive into some of the hot topics that she has on her mind and what she’s seeing and so without further ado want to introduce Katie. Welcome to the podcast.

Thanks so much for having me. Good to be here.

It’s so exciting to have you here Katie. And just curious did I leave anything out in that intro about you that you wanted to share with the audience.

No. That was great. Thank you so much.

No problem. Absolutely. So let’s talk about this. What is it that got you in the health care.

Great question. Leave it or not. It was completely chance. I joined Becker’s health care not with the specific intent to get into healthcare but instead really I was looking to join a phenominal team and learn from exciting and challenging leaders and have a chance to grow in an organization that really allowed me to jump right in and leave my mark. That just happens to be a very happy coincidence that led me into this exciting industry full of passionate people trying to make a difference.

That’s awesome and find a good team you did had a pleasure to have Scott on the podcast. Emma connected with Jessica you’re part of a really great team and I’m excited to dive into hear what you believe. The hot topic that health leaders need to focus on what is that and how has Beckers healthcare focused on it.

Yeah of course the first thing that really comes to mind in terms of the hot topic here is collaboration with such constantly changing healthcare landscape. It’s so important to have the opportunity to connect and learn from other people. And so our unique approach at Becker’s healthcare is working brings together leaders to disseminate information create discussion especially around how to improve healthcare and it’s challenging but opportunity for all time. And we do that really in a variety of ways. Like you mentioned that amazing team we have. We have an amazing amazing team of writers editors will collaborate day in and out with industry experts creating content for our publications or Web sites like Beckers has for you. We also work to bring together some of the best minds in health care for educational discussions nationwide conferences which I love to touch on more and then additionally we work with a number of healthcare companies like you mentioned in the intro and ways to help them network reach their goals and grow their businesses in a variety of different ways.

I love that. And Katie there’s no doubt that you guys are. I would say one of the super connectors of the industry and the efforts that you guys are focused on collaboration really resonate with the outcomes rocket. We’re very focused on knocking down silos so that leaders can learn from each other. You guys are doing that 10 X and it’s exciting. So give us an example of how you guys have created results through your meetings and through these collaborations.

Yeah absolutely. The one thing that when I saw I had some examples but I want to start out by kind of interesting why we really focus on here at Beckers healthcare that I think is really creating those results in those examples that I’ll get to. But it all comes back to helping people. So that’s really a simple concept but that’s what we bring it back to Becker’s healthcare how are we helping our readers. Our guests at our event are partners. How are we aligning ourselves with our partners and collaborators to help them achieve greatness. Whether it be in their hospital or their business so we do that as I mentioned in a variety of ways. And so whether that be through focused content that’s going to help someone make a more informed and better decision or facilitate relationships that lead to growth or efficiency or what have you. And so in terms of results like to give an example how I know this whole bean is going somewhere for us. Just this month. Top review USA has the highest amount of read articles and visitors. And what that all comes back to is really creating content that’s all interesting and helpful to our readers. Another example that came to mind here is our annual meeting is going to be a record breaking event this year and that’s contributed largely to keeping a constant finger on the pulse of what leaders like your listeners want to learn and who organizations want to connect with and how we can help facilitate and help make things happen. So simple but powerful if you can bring in and back to that decision. How do we help our clients. How do we advocate for customer patience that really allows you to make empowered decisions and drive exciting results.

Katie that’s so great and congratulations on those most recent accomplishments.

Thanks so much we’re so excited.

That’s so cool and listeners I’ve been to many of the meetings there here in Chicago. Good excuse to get out here. But I’m talking about total worth of your time and investment because every time I go there I connect with somebody new. I learned something new. And this concept of giving that Katie shared I mean you guys have heard of being a go getter. I think it’s time to push that to the side and be a go giver. And what Katie and the Becker’s company is doing is it’s just amazing there. Go givers. And I think that’s why they have experienced so much success. So Katie I love if you could tell me a little bit about a time that you made a mistake or a setback and what you learned from that.

Absolutely. One of the I would say the biggest mistake that I’ve made and learned from and that you’re really making me question is that if I’m not getting back enough. That was a great point that you just made. But the other thing that comes to mind is not asking more questions and not really taking advantage of learning from others. When we have the opportunity to do so. So I would say I’ve made this mistake early on in my career probably more than once when I just might take questions or conversations that add face value and so that really meant missing opportunities and chances to learn and grow and enhance relationships and help others. And so I just think there’s so much to be learned by asking questions understanding motivations and desires and putting yourself in other people’s shoes and giving. Like you said that taking the time to ask why and I understand more about where other people are coming from really allows you to not only help serve patients better clients or whatever it is but it helps you work more efficiently. Understand customer needs before they even ask and anticipate and solve problems for their seeing. So asking questions and giving. For sure. Those are probably the two biggest things that I’ve I’ve learned through mistakes of failing to do so.

Katie beautifully sad and we’re all guilty of this. Everybody listening to this you’re all guilty of this too. Just be honest with yourself. If you say you’re not then look deeper then you’ll find it.


Right Katie. So tell us a little bit about that. Right. Let’s dive a layer deeper like when you are in a situation where you could potentially find yourself not asking the why. How do you recenter yourself. And how do you get yourself to ask that question. Why.

That’s a great question. I think the more that you can kind of stop yourself and realize when you’re depending on your preconceived notions and hold yourself accountable and say wait a second. I know when I know but I don’t know what happens. No I don’t know. The knowledge that they have to share. So how can I pull that back and focus on 70 30 where I’m really just talking 30 percent of the time I’m sure people are familiar with that concept and the person that I’m conversing with is is really dominating the conversation that’s going to allow me to learn so much more and then always realizing that there’s an underlying motive. So sometimes it may take asking the question three times to peel back the onion and get to the bottom of what the true motivation or desire is so challenging yourself to not give up until you get there and you feel like you understand the person’s pain or goals or whatever it is that you’re working on together. I hope that answers your question.

It really does Katy and listeners it’s that 70 30 right. Let’s take a note from what Katie has shared with us. And remember that you’ve got to let the customer your patient, the person on the other side of the table talk and you listen. There’s two ears one mouth and I love this. The share Katie because it’s always good to be reminded of it. Let’s look at the other side of the coin here and I’d like to ask you went to that spot you were vulnerable telling us about that one area you need to improve. Tell us what you’re most proud of today.

Sure yeah. This is so difficult to pick just one but two things come to mind and I’ll try to be brief. One is working alongside an amazing team. I know I kind of opened with this I see something that I really was seeking at the beginning of my career was joining a phenomenal team a challenging team and I feel so privileged to learn from amazing leaders like the people you mentioned at the beginning of the podcast, Scott backer Jessica Cole. I’m a good man Molly gamble as well and as well as being able to mentor a team of extremely bright and hardworking individuals. They make me proud every single day. So if I can give any tip that surround yourself with people who make you a better person. So that’s definitely one. The second one is that you mentioned Becker’s healthcare conferences and events and I cannot take a fraction of the credit. But I will say that so so proud of some of our mediums especially our Becker’s hospital annual meeting. Our team really worked endlessly to create a world class events and give every single attendee a unique experience an amazing opportunity to learn and network and that show has grown so much in my mind and hopefully others will come and it has created a lot of value within the healthcare industry. That’s another huge point of pride. So again it is an army of people working on making that great. So I can’t take nearly any of the credit.

That’s awesome and the humility is fantastic as well. Katie no doubt a great leader there at Beckers and that’s why we wanted to have you on the podcast so let’s dive deep.

Thank you. So nice.

All My pleasure. My pleasure. And so let’s dive deep into the meeting maybe this is a chance for you to put in a blog like tell us a little bit more about who’s going the keynotes you’ve got some exciting people. I’ll let you unravel that.

Yeah absolutely. So we have that sixth conference of the year. So this specific one Beckers Hospital Review annual meeting. This year it’s coming up in April so it’s coming up quick here. And we are going to have around 4000 people and some of the keynote that we’re really excited to have all past presidents Bill Clinton George W. Bush but we all have really really great hospital and health system providers speaking. We have Bernard Tyson. We have John Noseworthy Mayo Clinic. Lloyd bean from Dignity Health. I could probably list them all day long. It’s really amazing. And so we’re really looking forward to across this event bringing together not only these great speakers but really great attendees who can bring a lot to the table in terms of discussion and as well as we have great healthcare companies coming to network and kind of share what they’re doing differently in the industry as well. So our biggest goal there is how do we ring together. All right bright people to change healthcare for the better provide education and hopefully provide networking and collaboration. So we’re really excited about that event coming up here shortly.

And Katie thanks for the synopsis. Obviously some big names some amazing topics listeners just go to outcomesrocket.health/beckers. And that link will take you straight to the Beckers website where you could sign up and learn some more. So tell me about a little bit exciting project that you’re working on today.

Absolutely not totally beat a dead horse but I would have to say that we are in the back of our event. So that event definitely. We also have it’s going to be a record year. Like I mentioned. But along with that we have four other annual event and then we are launching a new event this year that’s been helping clinical leadership. Yeah that one’s coming up in May as well. Coming up quick. And again the goal of these not unlike outcomes rocket is to foster discussion collaboration. And so that is so top of mind right now for us and we’re really excited about bringing people together in these different events to really make a difference.

That’s outstanding. I will definitely plan on being at those. Katie and and thanks for sharing that. So we’re getting close to the end here and it’s been a lot of fun. This is the part of the podcast where you and I are going to put together a course on health care leadership the 101 of Katie Atwood. So we’re going to write a syllabus for questions lightning round style followed by a book that you recommend to the listeners you ready.

I’m ready.

All right. How do you improve health care outcomes.

I would say put the patient first and focus on helping others.

What’s the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid.

Overcomplicating usually in my opinion the simplest solution is the best solution.

Love it. How do you stay relevant as an organization. Despite all the change.

Never stop learning never stop listening always ask why to go back to that and always be giving for sure.

What’s one area of focus that should drive everything in your company.

Well here is the one area focus that definitely drives everything a phenomenal customer service. So put the customer first put the patient first and grow with them.

Beautiful. Katie what book would you recommend to the listeners as part of the syllabus.

The books that I would recommend is really brilliant leadership book and it’s called take the stairs by Rory Vaden and as you might be able to infer from the title paints a message. Oh sure of course. The message of the book really successful people do what others don’t want to do and they do it every day so they take the stairs versus that escalator or what have you. And there are no shortcuts on the road to success and I will feel powerful. They really love it and it successes rented and the rent is due everyday.

Boom. Ah. Well said Katié.

I cannot describe it as all Rory.

You shared it with us. The credit goes to you here on the outcomes rocket success is rented every day ladies and gentlemen and so make a payment every single day. Take the stairs. Katie what a wonderful book. What a great recommendation on this syllabus. Listeners don’t worry about writing any of this down. Just go to outcomesrocket.health/atwood. And you going to find all of the transcript things that we talked about. Links to the book. Links to Becker’s healthcare of the meeting everything is going to be right there so don’t worry about writing anything down. Katie before we conclude I love if you could just share a closing thought and then the best place where the listeners could get a hold of you or follow you.

Yeah absolutely. So healthcare leaders are listening if you haven’t yet. Make sure you check out beckershospitalreview.com and network with the brightest in the industry at one of our events. We would love to have you and then you can always reach me anytime. My email is katwood@beckershealthcare.com

Outstanding Katie. This has been a blast. Again, really thank you on behalf of all of us for your words of wisdom and looking forward to staying in touch.

Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.

Thanks for listening to the outcomes rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.health for the show notes, resources, inspiration and so much more.

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Recommended Book:

Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success

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