Bringing the Sparq to HealthSparq Product Summit

Each summer, we gather our health plan clients to discuss hot health care industry topics and collaborate on long-term product roadmap development during our annual HealthSparq Product Summit. Usually this happens at our headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Like many organizations this year, despite some nervousness, we moved our event online. I’m happy to report that our first virtual summit exceeded our expectations and our clients gave it high marks – a great sign that we can keep driving toward our shared goals in this new normal we are living in.

The health care system is under a lot of pressure right now dealing with the pandemic, approaching interoperability compliance deadlines, readying for pending price transparency rules and managing continued market pressures. Product Summit 2020 gave us a chance to focus and collaborate on new approaches. Here are the highlights:

Innovation. Each year we focus on key themes to craft new innovative solutions, based on our clients’ pressing business needs. This year included foundational topics that we discuss regularly with clients, such as personalization, as well as timely developments, such as price transparency. No matter the topic, the ability to bring together people from all over the country to brainstorm is a powerful way to ensure you’re innovating not repeating what else is being done out there. It is all about thinking differently about problems and honing in on what success really looks like for health plans, their groups and their members/enrollees.

Community. While we often talk about our strategic partnerships with clients, the secret sauce is the community of health plans we’ve created through HealthSparq Product Summit and our other client events. It provides a unique forum for clients to share, learn and collaborate. A number of clients commented about the value of the diverse group they get exposed to at HealthSparq events. They find it educational and challenging, in a good way. They learn by hearing which issues and opportunities other health plans are dealing with and relating to those they deal with internally at their organizations.

Opportunity. What’s happening this year with COVID-19 presents a huge challenge for health plans. At the same time, never before has health care experienced such an opportunity to drive meaningful change, and do it at an accelerated pace. This year, we collaborated with experts from McKinsey to help clients take advantage of this unique point in health care and arm them with tools to help drive positive change in their organizations. Through helpful frameworks and exercises, we switched from brainstorms and prioritization to inspiration and sparking new energy and purpose for clients when they returned to work.

Fun. I think we’ve all experiences our fair share of Zoom fatigue. While our team and our clients love the opportunity to get together, being on camera for hours and doing the hard work of effective planning is taxing. One aspect of our in-person events I was frankly concerned we might lose by taking this online was the element of fun. Our team at HealthSparq works hard, but we believe in having fun. We infuse all our client events with that same feeling—and made it translate for a virtual event. Our efforts included breaks with cooking demonstrations and celebrations, to sessions that challenged others to sing in front of the group for laughs, learning and team building, we managed to infuse that special HealthSparq sparq into the event.

I look forward to the time when we can get together in person again, but am excited we could deliver the insights, inspiration, engagement and fun usually reserved for face-to-face events to our clients this year. Our work is not done until this time next year. This collaboration is an ongoing effort and we’ll be continuing to up our game.