Mark Hagland, Healthcare Informatics, discusses future of healthcare IT communication and insights about working with Dodge

Mark Hagland, Healthcare Informatics, discusses future of healthcare IT communication and insights about working with Dodge

By Brad Dodge on August 9th, 2011

Dodge Communications will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Oct. 11, 2011. To help celebrate the anniversary and share our successes, we’ve interviewed some employees, clients and respected members of the media to discuss their experiences with Dodge over the years. Each Tuesday, for ten weeks, we’ll post one of the interviews for you to listen to or watch. We’re looking forward to sharing our celebration of 10 years of service with you!

Our first interview is with Mark Hagland. Mark is editor-in-chief at Healthcare Informatics.  He says that working with Dodge has been delightful because Dodge Communications is one agency that “gets it.” Click on the picture below to listen to the interview or view the transcript below. Mark Hagland has served as editor-in-chief at Healthcare Informatics since January 2010. Prior to this, he was a contributing editor at the publication for 12 years.

Dodge: How has the healthcare IT publishing industry evolved over the past decade in terms of developing new content?
Mark Hagland headshotHagland: Well, I think it has evolved in a number of different ways on a number of different levels. On a really basic level there are more publications now, and they are producing more content. There is just more volume-wise. I believe that the industry has matured and that the level of coverage is deeper and broader than it used to be. There are so many complex topics, and the fact that there are a number of competitor publications that I think will inevitably lead to improvements in quality of coverage.  I would say both the quantity and quality of coverage have grown in the last several years.

Dodge: In your opinion, how can agencies best serve the current needs of your editorial staff and readers?
Hagland: The simple answer is: know us. We reach a very specific audience, and we have a very specific editorial concept and mission.  Our core audience at Healthcare Informatics is CIOs—chief information officers—of hospitals, health systems and medical groups along with, I would also say now becoming co-equal, are CMIOs—chief medical informatics officers—and all the people who report to and work with those titles. This includes clinician leaders such as CMOs, CNOs—chief medical and nursing officers—certainly all members of the c-suite, and of course all the members of the IT team in a patient care organization. It’s about understanding what they would like to read about and of course what we’re trying to provide. We’re very, very focused on individuals with those titles talking to each other and also learning from experts such as government experts, policy experts, industry experts and so on, in terms of finding out what’s going on and learning their perspective. It’s very much a peer-to-peer magazine. If those in PR and media relations can understand that, that’s very important. We’re very focused away from vendor prospective and toward provider and industry expert perspective.

Dodge: How do you anticipate that the agency-publishing relationship may change in the next decade?
Hagland: I think there will be some continuity, but I also think there will be some changes. One of the things happening, as you know, is that the publishing world is changing. Our magazine is changing and evolving forward in self-concept.  Like many publications until recently, we saw ourselves as a print magazine that happened to have a website. We’re really rapidly evolving away from that and toward thinking of ourselves as a multi-platform publication with multi-platforms—several platforms—and that includes the website and print magazine. I think one of the ways in which the interaction might change is the understanding that there are many opportunities for coverage and interaction with our publication, and many of them are going to be online. I think that will change, and I also think given that there are so many important policy-related things to change right now, that’s changing too. Because of the HITECH Act and healthcare reform—federal legislative healthcare reform—policy has become a very important component of what we’re doing. The other thing that’s happening content-wise  is that more and more is focused on clinical informatics, not that the other types informatics don’t matter anymore, but the emphasis right now is on implementation of core and advanced clinical information systems that will lead to clinical transformation and move the healthcare system forward. Understanding those changes in transit development will be very important for PR and media relations and others who work with us.

Dodge: What have you enjoyed about working with the Dodge team over the years?
Hagland: It’s been delightful working with the people at Dodge. As I’ve told your senior executives, working with Dodge Communications is one agency that really gets it. I love the fact that when representatives of Dodge pitch me or my team on story ideas, they know what they’re talking about. They’ve researched the subject; they understand what our needs are; they understand who our audience is; they understand what our production and processing needs are in terms of time frame and deadlines; they understand the industry. It’s a pleasure for me to get a good pitch that helps me from a PR or media relations person. It’s of course less than a pleasure when I get a pitch from someone who doesn’t seem to understand what our publication is, but I’ve never had an experience with anyone from Dodge not understanding what our publication is or what our needs are. So, it’s delightful to interact with Dodge people.

Dodge: That’s all the questions we have. Is there anything else you like to share or add? Do you have a good memory of working with Dodge?
Hagland: I’ll just add one thing. Brad Dodge and I did a webinar together several months ago that I thought was wonderful and mutually beneficial. We’re always looking for opportunities to interact with stakeholders, and certainly PR agencies are stakeholders in our world that bring mutual benefit. I look forward to similar and other opportunities in the future. I wish Dodge Communications and everyone at Dodge great congratulations on your anniversary, and I hope things are wonderful and prosperous for you going forward.