Propelling Healthcare Innovation through Community Collaboration

The idea that event planners are not only experience-makers but also community designers is the cornerstone of Beyond The Room – The Four Phases of Community.

Photo credit: Surescripts

Komita Primalani-Nanan - Director of Event Marketing at Surescripts

As the Director of Event Marketing at Surescripts, Komita Primalani-Nanan brings a wealth of

experience in orchestrating international meetings. Surescripts stands at the forefront of delivering innovative solutions for healthcare professionals, and Komita is at the helm of their event strategies, driving community and engagement. We had the privilege of sitting down with her to discuss her insights on driving community in the healthcare sector.

How are you integrating community engagement initiatives into your event strategy? Are these considerations new to your planning process? 

At the heart of Surescripts lies a commitment to community—a foundational element intrinsic to our identity and success as a network company. Our strength lies in our capacity to gather diverse healthcare stakeholders within the Surescripts Network Alliance, fostering connection, collaboration, and collective problem-solving for the industry’s most significant challenges.

Our events transcend traditional networking, bringing together market-specific communities—pharmacists, healthcare system leaders, electronic health record companies, and health plan executives—to not only engage with peers but also to unify efforts and innovate solutions for challenges that span the entire healthcare ecosystem.

How do you adapt your community engagement strategies to diverse types of events or audiences? 

Recognizing and nurturing the unique nature of individual communities is vital at Surescripts. Each community brings a wealth of diverse perspectives, priorities, and solutions to the table—essential for addressing the multifaceted challenges we face. While certain topics may be highly pertinent to one group, others resonate across the entire spectrum of our stakeholders. Maintaining a delicate balance is paramount and a constant focus of our efforts.

Throughout the year, Surescripts actively engages distinct segments of the healthcare market in ongoing dialogue, fostering innovation and collaboration. These strategic, year-round discussions culminate at the Network Alliance Forum in the fall, where the insights and solutions from various communities are unified and advanced.

How do you leverage technology to foster connections among attendees and between attendees and your brand? 

At Surescripts, technology is not just a tool; it’s the lifeline that connects our communities, ensuring information flows precisely when it matters most. 

Amid the pandemic, we embraced the shift to digital with a dash of creativity, transforming our approach to keep our customers engaged. Virtual events went beyond mere meetings to include interactive experiences, such as baking sessions, wine tastings, and charcuterie board creations, akin to “Building bonds over bites,” as shared by an industry peer and colleague. We didn’t stop there; our virtual offerings expanded to world tours, comedy nights, and live music, ensuring that the essence of our community remained strong, regardless of the distance.

Today, many members of our communities, particularly those in the hospital-health system segment, aren’t always able to attend in-person events – either due to time or budget constraints. More than ever, these groups are staying connected through virtual events for continuing education and crucial updates on regulatory policies. Many of our virtual events are also co-sponsored thought-leadership opportunities with leading healthcare organizations and media to share and highlight Surescripts’ efforts.

From your perspective, how does nurturing a community around your events amplify their value? 

We’ve all experienced fatigue in some shape or form, right? Nurturing community members by placing importance on how they experience Surescripts is what we do.

At Surescripts, we’re intentional about crafting an experience that stands out. When my team and I begin planning for an event we first determine why this event’s experience will be different than other similar events we’ve designed.  We start by pinpointing the unique purpose of each event—what objectives it must fulfill, and which stakeholders need to be present to spark meaningful dialogue and collaboration. Then the exercise begins to find that magic formula of main stage, networking moments and workshops to engineer moments that resonate and provide real value for our attendees. Voice of the Customer sessions are also a cornerstone of our strategy, granting us invaluable insights from our network that guide us in becoming more effective, collaborative partners.

Quick Tips to Enhance Event Engagement:

  • Streamline your content: We’ve optimized our webinars to a concise 25-31 minutes to respect attendees’ time and maintain engagement.
  • Enhance Facilitation: Expert facilitation results in richer, more productive interactions. We train every member of our team to be facilitators and notetakers, ensuring every session is an opportunity for substantial interaction and shared growth. 

Can you share a standout example where community engagement had a transformative impact on an event outcome? 

A transformative moment for Surescripts came with the return of in-person events in 2022. Our Network Alliance, long nurtured into a vibrant community, truly became a touchstone of value and culture for our customers. Responding to our community’s feedback, we evolved our Spring Forum to meet the diverse needs of our customers, making it more interactive with a focus on workshops. The Fall Forum was concurrently tailored to address the insights of senior leaders, exemplifying our commitment to adapt and serve the evolving dynamics of our community.

We also have our #FaxlessFuture campaign, which played a pivotal role in rallying the Surescripts Network Alliance around a common cause. Recently promoted at the HIMSS Conference, the campaign seeks to modernize and streamline healthcare communication, eliminating outdated fax technology. The enthusiastic response and active participation from our community not only signified alignment with the campaign’s goals but also catalyzed a cultural shift at our events. This initiative is a testament to the transformative power of community engagement, turning a vision into actionable change.