About This Blog


Sherri Dorfman, CEO, Stepping Stone Partners, Connected & Digital Health Innovation Specialist

My blog is designed to spotlight healthcare organizations with innovative uses of technology & data to drive Care Coordination, Collaboration & Patient Engagement.

These new approaches may influence your product & service roadmap, experiences, partnerships and marketing strategies.


While consulting, I leverage my extensive experience, knowledge and professional network to help companies make the right strategic product and marketing decisions. Services include:

> Strategic Planning Market Review: Competitive Assessments, Partnership Evaluations. Workshop facilitation. Insight drives product, partnership and marketing strategies

> Product Roadmap & Consumer Experience Planning: Conceptualizes, defines and validates solutions/experiences through Marketing Research and journey mapping.  Utilizes new innovative online and mobile research tools to co-create with target buyers and users, gathering input while understanding context to guide the development of personalized solutions & experiences.

> Strategic Product Marketing: Differentiated value proposition story incorporated into marketing & sales assets

Find out how I can help you. Call me at 508-655-6585. Email me at SDorfman@Stepping-Stone.net to set up an exploratory discussion.

Follow me on Twitter @SherriDorfman





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    Recent Posts

    Entries in consumer generated health and wellness content (22)

    Employee Engagement Series: Employee Social Online Community, Mobile & Employee Wellness Advisory Council 

    “My participation in online communities (within BHive) provides me with a platform to engage & converse with my peers and build camaraderie based on shared interests. Through ‘Tastebuds’, our online community for foodies within Brocade, I have engaged like-minded individuals to discuss recipes, exchange restaurant reviews and promote healthy eating, resulting in a sense of belonging centered around a common interest.”

    BHive is a private online employee social community. BHive is leveraged to help promote many wellness initiatives which helped make Brocade one of the top 100 companies to work for, making Fortune’s 2011 & 2010 list.

    Within BHive, employees friend and follow each other as well as earn points for posting and answering questions and contributing to discussions. The most popular topics that Brocadians are discussing online are WellFit (includes ViveCoach challenges, Sports Groups), WIN (Women in Networking), BInvolved (volunteerism & community involvement) and San Jose Campus (employees posting photos from various work events like the annual Chili Cookoff). Brocade uses BHive to gather information from employees through polls and discussions and generate engagement in offline company and community events. During May, employees worldwide participated in “Bike to Work” and posted their photos online. 

    With the ViveCoach platform, Brocade engages employees through their mobile phones. During social challenges, employees receive mobile messages about additional challenge points needed by their team, team work-out reminders, healthy nutrition or fitness tips, reminders (“drink lots of water” or “take the stairs”), team banter and leader board status.  Brocade had a team of remote employees join a recent challenge and they are planning a competition that includes spouses and family members. “We believe that it is important to include employee’s family members so these lifestyle changes become more sustainable”, explains Lisa McGill, VP, Worldwide Human Resources at Brocade.

    What is the secret for being on the leading edge of employee engagement?  In June 2010, Brocade launched their WellFit Council with 15 representatives from all departments and geographies. These employee advisory Council members are divided into four work teams (Health & Wellness, Fitness, Education & Communities) and meet once per month to provide input and guidance on wellness related events, education, communication channels/content and metrics to motivate and measure engagement at Brocade. Each employee member leverages their own employee network to bring additional ideas and feedback to the Council meetings and into the dedicated online WellFit Council discussion area within BHive. “Being part of the Council has been a great experience and for me it has really affected how I manage my health, wellbeing and work-life balance.  Some of the ideas are even rubbing off on my husband”, shares one WellFit Council member.

    Learn more about Brocade’s successful initiatives to drive employee engagement at the Healthcare Unbound conference panel, "New Directions in Employee Engagement: Competition, Coaching, Community and Compensation".

    Listening Online, the First Step to Consumer eHealth Engagement

    In a recent post on “Blazing Your Social Media Engagement Path”, I touched on the value of listening to your target consumers. Their words can bring tremendous insight to your organization about their needs and frustrations around managing their health and the health of loved ones, young and old.

    Start Thinking about the Value of Listening Online

    Consumers are talking in discussion forums, on Facebook, through tweets and blogs. They have the power to impact their social network while sharing their thoughts, experiences and ideas. To tap into this insight and influence, companies are using an online listening platform which gathers, filters and reports on these consumer conversations. Companies are acting on this new information strategically and tactically through their product, program, marketing and customer service groups.

    In addition to these very public venues, companies are investing in private online communities and inviting consumers to share their health experiences using words, photos and videos. Not all online community platforms are the same. There are only a few platforms that enable the consumers to brainstorm, vote and prioritize ideas for new products, services and programs. Companies are leveraging this cost effective online research space by describing new concepts, presenting product screen shots and prototypes and even mocked up marketing materials to ensure that their offering is properly positioned and messaged. And they are getting this input and feedback within hours instead of days for immediate response to meet market needs.

    Although businesses are often tempted to get started and figure it out from there, they can significantly benefit from beginning with an online listening plan which can be refined every step of the way.  Once their goals are identified, it is easier to evaluate public and private online venues, potential technology platforms, determine resource requirements and define success metrics and measurements.

    Online Listening Goals

    Part of the planning process entails understanding best practices. While defining your online listening plan, consider these ‘use case’ goals:

    • Increase Consumer/Patient Satisfaction. Listen to the words and the tone that these consumers are using. What are they complaining about? Is there a misunderstanding that you can clarify? Are they having difficulty finding resources that you already offer? Can their stories be shared internally for training purposes?
    • Improve Consumer/Patient Education. People are actively discussing their health issues online. Many industry experts recognize the anxiety that they feel trying to understand their health problems or interpret their options. Which health issues cause the most confusion, concern and cost? Which patients are having the most “risky” problems (e.g. medications, treatments)? What are their biggest challenges? Are there more effective treatments, less costly options that consumers need to consider?
    • Co-Create with Consumers through an Online Advisory Board to Design Offerings for Engagement
      • Enhance Online Products.  Within a private online community, your target customers can provide input and feedback on your proposed offerings. Which features are “need to haves” versus “nice to haves”? How can you identify and define the functionality that is missing such as mobile? Within the context of their life, how can your product be enhanced to help them maintain control over their health?
      • Develop and Market Compelling Programs. The online private community can also be leveraged to “capture the words” of your target audience, shaping both your program design and the marketing of that program. How are these consumers articulating the value they see in the program? What changes would they make if they were creating the program?

    Benefits of Listening Extends Throughout your Company

    As you devise your own list social media goals, think about which departments within your company will benefit. One best practice is to assemble a cross- functional team to participate in the planning and realize the gains of your online listening efforts.

    It all begins with the first step of listening. Engaging consumers is the next step.


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