Posts Tagged ‘healthcare

06
Aug
13

When Healthcare Communication is Tricky: The Business of Physicians and Email

ImageEmail has been a routine communication channel for so long that the majority of us use it on a daily basis without question. Healthcare professionals are among the last of service providers to not utilize email as a form of communication with the people they serve. But in the healthcare field, emailing practices between physicians and patients is a controversial discussion.

It can be argued that utilizing electronic communication is vital in developing relationships between a doctor and his/her patient, while allowing for open communication. Others worry about legalities that may arise with the lack of privacy that often accompanies online emailing.

Those in support of physicians emailing with patients state that it is beneficial when scheduling appointments, eliminating the frustration of phone tag. Using email improves efficiency and allows doctors to make themselves readily available to patients when a visit isn’t necessary, but medical advice or discussions is required.

ImageOpponents dispute the positives of emailing in the healthcare field, stating that emailing has the potential to cause an array of legal issues. Privacy of emails and the possibility of hackers is a major concern among many. Some also insist that electronic communication between doctors and patients is no way to practice medicine. While emailing back and forth, a doctor misses out on necessary body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, etc. that is typically witnessed during an in-person doctor’s consultation; appropriate and accurate care can suffer as a result.

Because an array of legal problems can arise, only engaging in email communication on an extremely limited basis could be a compromise. Sticking purely to scheduling appointments or sending test results, while making sure not to reveal any confidential medical information.

Email seems to be an inevitable part of doing business. Do you think that healthcare should adapt to the extreme popularity of electronic communication to build bonding relationships between doctors and patients or continue to communicate traditionally, avoiding security and legal issues?

Tell us your thoughts in a comment below, and on our Facebook or Twitter.

23
Jul
13

Healthcare Marketing: British Fertility Campaign Controversy: How Old is Too Old to Have a Baby?

The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a baby boy yesterday, continuing the conversation over delayed child rearing in Britain.  Duchess Catherine has now had her first son at 31 years of age.  Her pregnancy demonstrates the recent trend of women in Britain choosing to have children later in life.Image

According to First Response, a UK pregnancy testing company, women in Britain are postponing child rearing too late in life, which is why the company invested in a new fertility advertising campaign. The campaign, dubbed “Get Fertile Britain,” aims to shock, provoke, and some say shame, women in the UK to think about the consequences of delaying childbirth.

The campaign’s advertisement, receiving the bulk of the criticism, is a portrait of 46-year-old TV personality Kate Garraway, dressed as a heavily pregnant 70-year-old woman.

Relying on the shock value of the advertisement to stir conversations, First Response says the goal of the campaign is to alert women to think about fertility at a younger age, as studies have found that fertility declines with age starting in early thirties and declines rapidly after 37.

Image

First Response is overtly concerned because statistics have shown that women in the UK are choosing to delay childbirth more than women in any other country. The average British woman has her first child around 30 years of age, which is five years later than the average American woman. Many wom

en put off raising children because of student debt, the cost of raising a child, work and other life obstacles.

The campaign is receiving a lot of international attention, stirring up controversy among many women, some stating that “those struggling with infertility don’t need to see a wrinkly old mum” and that “the campaign is wrong, misogynistic, and naïve.” Many women feel the campaign is shaming them for making the choice to prolong childrearing.

According to a recent study, 70 percent of women in Britain want to have children and the majority are planning to have their first child in their early thirties.  75 percent are not concerned about their ability to conceive; however, those women over 40 years of age that needed IVF assistance were “shocked” that they needed fertility treatments in order to conceive.

What are your thoughts on the “Get Britain Fertile” campaign? Do you find it effective or offensive? Tell us in a comment below and at Facebook or Twitter.

25
Sep
12

Top Ten Things We Learned at SHSMD 2012

Attendees of SHSMD2012 are back at their home locations plotting a return to Chicago in 2013, attempting to sync their Poken and wondering if they missed anything from Saturday morning’s keynote, Thomas Goetz (he only spoke to about 20% of the audience Ari Fleisher had on Thursday). While everyone will have their personal take-aways, Tracy Weise, Jay Weise and I developed a top ten list of things we learned in Philadelphia.

1. Hospitals and all medical facilities are overturning every rock for ideas, actionable plans to reduce readmission rates. The most effective tactic so far is educating the family of a patient and allowing the pressure of a loved one to encourage post-hospital stay behavior.

2. Awesome description of the difference between the nuance of healthcare system and service line marketing: The healthcare system branding creates a promise, the service line marketing delivers on the promise created.

3. The overwhelming majority of attendees were unconcerned about outcome of Presidential election as it relates to healthcare reform. Some things are in place and will stay in place; other things will change regardless of who wins.

4. Acceptance of the “must do” strategies in the American Hospital Association report:

    • Increase Hospital-Physician alignment
    • Improve the quality of patient safety
    • Make advancements in hospital efficiency
    • Develop an integrated information system

5. In a session that included an interactive questionnaire, Lack of strategy, lack of time and lack of staff were the biggest reasons offered for not implementing a robust social media plan. However, an argument can be made that there is still a lack of knowledge about social media in the healthcare marketing community.

    • Only 1.1% of the 1,300 SHSMD2012 attendees checked into the SHSMD 2012 Conference using the location based social media platform foursquare
    • Only 6.2% of the attendees tweeted using the hashtag ‘#SHSMD12

This begs the question, why are healthcare marketing experts reluctant to embrace an important ‘patient experience’ tool?

6. Web 2.0 and social media are working for patient acquisition: There were two case studies, Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with tangible results and the programs were replicable.

7. It is massively important to incorporate a disciplined planning approach to service lines prior to budget season, otherwise you’ll budget before you plan and back into the programs you can afford. At the same time you must engage physicians in the planning process and they must see action otherwise you’ll never get buy-in in future years.

8. Nobody really knows what the ACO landscape will look like, if any so called expert tells you otherwise, they don’t know what they are talking about. They may fool you, but don’t let them make a fool out of you.

9. The quantitative data to effectively manage your medical facility is available, be sure to incorporate qualitative data from physicians to complete the story.  Be sure to deep dive into data analysis if the results are contrary to the generally held opinions of hospital leadership, otherwise you have an uphill battle trying to change minds.

10. Best Quotes from SHSMD2012 – if you said any of these, you know who you are:

    • Overheard at the end of concurrent sessions on day 1: “I am ready to nap dangerously.”
    • In a session when the presenter was making a transition from social media to anal reconstruction surgery, “Before we dive into bowel movements…”
    • In a session responding to a question about strategies, objectives and tactics: “People have a harder time with strategies because they are squishy.”
    • In the exhibit hall, “Hospitals are concerned about patient tracking after they leave the hospital, but why has the term out migration been replaced with leakage.”

Want to find out more about what we learned at SHSMD 2012? Give us a call. Want to add to this list, share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

06
Dec
11

Find Blood via Facebook

Most treatments depend on blood. And finding a matching donor can be a problem for many hospitals and clinics around the world.

Now in India, a project called SocialBlood.org is saving lives. The Facebook-powered campaign encourages blood donations and enables potential donors and recipients to make contact with one another through the online forum.

Social Blood connects people who has same blood type. Choose your blood type from the website and join the Facebook group. It’s that easy. After you become a  member of your blood type group, you can invite your friends, post a message in emergency or respond to requests for blood donations.

“A recent post from a man asking for blood for his daughter received 74 responses in 24 hours,” said 22-year-old Social Blood Founder Karthik Naralasetty.

This simple idea of connecting via Facebook is taking social media to the next level. Could your health organization benefit from a similar campaign?

Let us know what you think about Social Blood, we would love to hear your feedback and comments here on The Side Note, or via Twitter @Weise_Ideas or on Facebook.

20
Sep
11

Top Ten Things We Learned at SHSMD2011

Attendees of SHSMD2011 are all dealing with re-entry work, attempting to sync their Poken and evaluating to-do lists based on the SHSMD conference. While everyone will have their personal take-aways, Jay Weise and I developed a top ten list of things we heard and learned in Phoenix.

1. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes provisions about IRS oversight of requirements that nonprofit healthcare providers must meet in order to maintain their tax-exempt status. Nonprofit organizations are seeking assistance to track community benefit programs and keep it in a format approved by the IRS. This is an opportunity for the right company.

2. HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) is a national survey that asks patients about their experiences during a recent hospital stay.  When will the general public adopt HCAHPS as criteria they use to select a hospital? Unfortunately, there is a lot of focus by hospital administration on these scores, but no evidence that a patient is using it in the hospital selection process.

3. The new buzzword, ‘Patient Experience’ Not patient-centered, not patient-centric, not patient-focused…Patient Experience.  This is intended to represent the totality of the interactions and perceptions of interactions between the patient and the health care facility. Patients with a more favorable experience are more likely to adhere to treatment protocol, have a positive outcome and provide favorable recommendations to others.

4. A big question from the conference: is government mandated health care constitutional? When will a ruling that provides certainty occur? How much legislative change will occur to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prior to the large provisions taking effect in 2014?

5. From Michael Sachs’ keynote presentation on Friday, Constitutionality ruling on healthcare reform will not affect the macro trends in the healthcare industry.

6. Hospitals are waiting for someone to figure out a strategy for Accredited Care Organizations (ACO’s) before they adopt it. Right now there is too much uncertainty and confusion. ACO’s are too far away from current Key Performance Indicators.

7. From Jeff Bauer’s keynote presentation on Saturday, “By 2020, there will be more people living in the United States under 18 that were born outside the U.S. than were born inside the U.S.” The impact on medical treatments will be far-reaching. For example, men of Korean descent do not have the genetic enzyme to process the anti-depression drug, serotonin. How will this effect care, drug protocols, pharmaceutical company focus and online information?

8. Marketing strategist in healthcare organizations are the only people in the organization that can bring the customers point of view to strategy. Hospital Administrators are counting on the marketing strategist voice. Marketers need to speak up.

9. Healthcare marketers must consider the system of care is not inside the hospital walls, it is outside of it. Healthcare marketing strategists must take the leadership position and consider all entry points including: the website, community events, referral lines, physician offices, etc.

10. Integration across multiple platforms of data and across functional areas within a medical facility must occur to provide value to patients. The cost-efficiencies will be mandated in health care reform and are essential in a competitive environment.

Maybe we should have called this a top fourteen list because we have to include some of our favorite quotes:

“Patients fear rude doctors and nurses more than death.” – Colleen Sweeney, Director of Innovation, Ambassador, and Customer Services,
Memorial Health System, South Bend, IN

“HIPAA is the mullet of patient safety, your data is not as protected as you think.” – David McDonald, CEO, True North Custom Media, Chattanooga, TN

“Be realistic when setting Facebook goals for any hospital. Who really wants to LIKE a hospital?” – Dean Browell, Executive Vice President, Feedback, Richmond, VA

“The FDA has rejected many new cancer drugs because they were tested on the wrong kinds of cancer.” – Jeffrey C. (Jeff) Bauer, Ph.D. Health Futurist and Medical Economist, Chicago, IL

Want to find out more about what we learned at SHSMD 2011? Give us a call. Want to add to this list, share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

17
Aug
11

Can Mobile Technology Help Create a Better Health Care System?

Mobile technology could help reform health care and change the way illness is treated all over the world.

One of the most important things is how mobile applications could change the health care systems focus on reactive care and treatment to preventative strategies. If health care could focus on prevention, then less time would be spent on immediate treatment in hospitals and doctors’ offices, cutting costs of health care significantly. This is especially important for developing nations, given the ratio of doctors to patients is significantly lower than that of developed nations.

Along with a more preventative approach, mobile technology could help distribute the responsibilities. Allowing people to have help at there figure tips and not have to run the nearest hospital.

Four tips to begin mobile technology focused health care are:

  1. Getting Comfortable with Non-Clinical Sources
    Patients sharing with patients could be a huge untapped community. While doctors and nurses may not feel it is appropriate to share due to potential privacy violations, patients could share with each other.
  2. Build Tools to Support
    Create tools to remind patients of vaccinations dates, appointments, or preventative visits. Build this into your practice now
  3. Find Systems that are Working to Support People, then Build on Them
  4. Start Small and Learn Your Way to the Right Solutions Through a Deep Understanding of Patient and User Context

The biggest hurtle for mobile health care technology is existing regulatory and reimbursement structures in place, especially in the U.S. It may take a while for mobile health care to take off, but being ready for adopting is key since it may be one of the greatest outlets for improving patient care and costs.

How do you think mobile technology will impact health care? We’d love to hear from you.

10
Aug
11

Seven Tips for Health Care Companies on Facebook

Social media is one of the biggest marketing tools for companies all over the world. While many companies have found success in this tool, the health care industry has taken a slower and more cautious approach to using social media. Facebook, the biggest social media platform out there, is a great place to start and a great learning tool if you are new to the social media experience. Mashable created a Facebook Marketing Series that includes lots of great tips and advice to get started. We have taken the 8 Tips for Health Care and Pharmaceutical Companies’ on Facebook and reworked them to reflect our experiences. Below are seven Tips for Health Care Companies on Facebook.

 

Tip 1: Is Your Product Consumer-Facing
Are consumers your target? If so, consumers love to research products online, so having a great Facebook page would be appropriate. On the other hand, if you are marketing to physicians, they do not discuss work on Facebook so it may not be the appropriate.

Tip 2: Provide Useful Information
The whole purpose of Facebook is the socialize, so don’t try to bombard consumers with things they are not going to do, such as asking them to follow several steps or share private information. On Facebook, just be helpful, provide your patients with the information they want to obtain and do not ask much more.

Tip 3: Ask Intelligent and Related Questions
Ask and listen to your consumers, if they are giving your site a chance, then they may be willing to participate.

Tip 4: Have Real Experts Lead Discussions
This is a no brainer; consumers want to speak with people who know the facts. So, if you are using PR or marketing to lead your social media content, make sure they know the facts as well as your experts, and have the experts readily accessible to help answer any questions that PR and marketing cannot.

Tip 5: Create a Publishing Schedule
Create a content schedule of relevant information and questions that can be delivered through your Facebook page. You need to stay relevant with Facebook users and the only way to do this is to continuously put up new content and questions to keep users engaged.

Tip 6: Establish the Right Success Metrics
Make sure you are not just using the “like” button or your number of fans to rate the success of your Facebook page. You also need to be looking at the number of conversations, the number of repeat visits, and pages viewed per visit.

Tip 7:  Make a Social Media Commitment
You need to create a community for your consumers to participate. Continue to grow and feed your community.

With these tips and helpful hints, Facebook should be an easy way to start using social media. It is time for the health care industry to get more involved in this marketing tool and to start using it to benefit consumers and companies alike.




Share The Side Note

Facebook Twitter More...

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,093 other followers

Weise Twitter

Archives


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,093 other followers