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Thank you for joining us in Nashville!

The response to this year’s call to Symposium was overwhelming. For the first time in the event’s 25-year history, it was completely sold out. We’re humbled—and grateful—that more than 500 leaders like you are so eager to share your insight with your peers.

And what better venue than Nashville? From the honky-tonks on Broadway to hot chicken on a breakfast plate (not to mention the chance to brush shoulders with Katie Couric), Music City is an object-lesson in the experiences that enrich our lives.

Against this inspiring backdrop, so many of you had remarkable stories to tell. Your ideas, whether delivered on a dais or during a quick hallway chat, are what push our industry forward, creating the care experiences that patients deserve.

Key insights

As you settle back into your workweek in your home institutions, here are some highlights from the event’s speakers that bear remembering:

Dustin Garis, on #lifeprofit—Garis, renowned branding expert and former Global Innovation Leader at Procter and Gamble, offered advice for leaving a lasting impression. To truly connect with patients and employees, health systems have to create experiences that break through the status quo.

“Authentic connections with customers and employees come from making their lives richer.”

Daniela Lumas, MD, on patients’ “afters”—Dr. Lumas used her own stories from the front lines to illuminate patients’ highly personal care priorities. She stressed how simple human curiosity—a quality sometimes in short supply on the hospital floor—can utterly transform a patient’s experience.

“‘Okay’ is relative. Every patient has a different vision for what their ‘after’ looks like. We need to change how we measure clinical success, to align with patients’ desires. The only way to do that is to ask them what they want.”

Steve Jackson, NRC Health president, on human ingenuity—Jackson took his on-stage opportunity to showcase some excellent work from NRC Health’s partners. He particularly commended organizations that found a way to breach the clinical veil and tend to patients’ humanity, not just their illnesses.

“Truly great care isn’t about asking, ‘What’s the matter?’ It’s about what matters most to you.”

Ron Thieme, EVP and CXO at Community Health Network, on customer obsession—Thieme shared the story of Human Experience 2020, CHN’s remarkable vision for its care. Foundational to this effort is an ethic of customer-obsession, which Thieme believes can only arise from meaningful, reliable, and comprehensive customer data.

“As leaders, we have to organize around our patients’ needs, not what we perceive these needs to be. We’re not the ones who say whether or not our care is great—our customers are.”

Brian Wynne, NRC Health VP and general manager, on Loyalty 2.0—By recounting his family’s encounters with healthcare systems, Wynne demonstrated the importance of achieving 100% visibility into patient journeys. Only then can health brands deepen longitudinal relationships that keep patients coming back.

“What patients want from care is what you want from care. Because you’re a healthcare consumer, too. All of us are.”

Scott Hamilton, Olympic figure skater and cancer survivor, on persistence—Finally, in an electric send-off, Hamilton implored leaders to find their strength, even in the face of overwhelming obstacles.

 “You fall, you’ve got to get up. You’ve got to get up and do what’s next. Because what’s next could be spectacular.”

Until next year

For a quarter-century now, Symposium has been a forum for shaping and sharing a vision for healthcare’s future. But it’s you, healthcare’s leaders, who will make that future a reality.

We hope that the insights shared in Nashville will have a meaningful impact on your work back at home—and that you’ll share what you’ve achieved when the next Symposium comes around.

Until then, we wish you every success in your service to patients. Here’s to 25 more years.

Thank you from all of us at NRC Health.