Much has changed since the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology(ONC) was established nearly a decade ago to support the broad adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care. As the following infographic demonstrates, we are making progress toward the goal of patient-centered, information-driven healthcare, but there is more work to be done.
Numbers tell the story. A study jointly commissioned by Telenor and Boston Consulting Group titled “Socio-Economic Impact of mHealth,” reveals two interesting points:
One, 30% of smartphone users is expected to use “wellness apps” by 2015 and secondly smartphone is the most popular device among doctors since the stethoscope.
There are many such studies done by various groups with each underpinning the larger role played by mobile technology in patient care and healthcare administration.
Healthcare Mobility is Getting Pervasive
Healthcare mobile solutions have evolved a lot in the recent years. From self-help apps on fitness & wellness in the beginning, we now have serious and real medical solutions that are playing impactful roles in diagnosis, emergency care, treatment and are improving outcomes.
Today healthcare organizations are making great use of smartphones, scanners, radars, two-way radios and other wireless solutions at every stage in healthcare:
Patient care: Mobile apps and devices are enabling patient monitoring, medication administration, specimen collection & testing and transfusion verification etc.
Community care: Mobile solutions are being used to collect and share data from the field to monitor and manage infectious diseases.
Emergency care: Patients are always connected with emergency care teams through mobile apps and can call for help from anywhere and anytime. The care team can then co-ordinate, as they take patient to hospital, with the staff to provide quickest possible aid to patients.
Clinical collaboration: Physicians and nurses can consult and share critical information at the time of need.
Workforce management: Hospitals and other healthcare organizations are using mobile solutions for workforce scheduling, mobile dispatches and time logging etc.
Hospital administration: Healthcare mobility is being used in areas like patient admission/discharge process, billing, insurance claim processing, asset and facility management etc.
Whether you already have an effort underway, or are contemplating dipping your toe into the social media pond, here are Manifeste Medical’s 7 “Need to Knows” for this dynamic and growing channel.
1 It matters who’s posting
Doctors, nurses and hospitals are respected most for being impartial and only sharing information for the sake of benefiting patients. if your medical personnel are too busy to post (not unusual), work with content providers or your agency to develop themes to help them get started, or even finished written posts for them to approve.
2 Start with Facebook
Your patients are on Facebook. It’s where they talk about their health issues and reach out to others with their thoughts and concerns. The infographic below shows that 84% of hospitals with a social media presence use Facebook.
3 Get the word out for a cause
People love spreading the word on a good cause using social media. If you’re spearheading fund raising activity or your institution is supporting a local or national cause, social media is a great way to spread the word. We’ve gotten some great viral action offering $1 for each new Like for a good cause.
4 Make a plan
“Let’s do a Facebook page” is not a plan. Pick your platforms, define who will run your effort, establish a content schedule, map out approval processes and posting permissions, and decide who will monitor and respond to comments. Social media is, well, social! It’s an ongoing conversation with your patients. Plan it as as an ongoing project. No, not even a project. Rather, a process.
5 Think patient utility
Simply put, provide your followers with information they find useful. You gain valuable traction by sponsoring varied and appropriate messaging, not by talking about yourself. Think about it this way, you are competing for attention not just within your category, but against every other post on your patient’s Facebook page.
6 Think visual
Photos, infographics, charts and now video. We are a visual information society so include visuals in your posts. Pinterest continues to grow fast and it is only visual.
7 Here comes video
Healthcare is stories. Healthcare is emotional. Video does both of these better than any other form of communications. Post videos and you will see immediate increases in engagement times on your site, your blog and any social media platform. Facebook now lets you post videos quickly to your pages so what are you waiting for?
Social media can sound intimidating to the uninitiated, so it makes sense to engage an expert if you don’t have in-house resources. Once your plan is set you’ll find it’s like any other business process; ongoing and easily managed. Who’s doing it well? The Mayo Clinic has a phenomenal effort worth emulating. Keep in mind their program has been years in the making. Check out healthcare institutions in your area and see what they’re doing to get some ideas.
Three ways in which big data is “revolutionizing” healthcare:
“Big data is increasingly being used by healthcare providers to identify patients at high-risk for certain medical conditions before major problems occur.” Providers can use big data to use predictive analytics to identify people and populations who are at risk. For example, the article references a health care system in Texas that is using data from clinical records and insurance claims to offer preventative services to people at risk for particular ailments
“Big data is also being used to increase the quality of care received by patients.”Providers are using big data to create clinical decision support systems that help them identify errors before they are made and evaluate their own decisions.
“[Big data is] helping reduce the mounting costs of healthcare.” According to theSalon.com article, in one instance big data was used to find out which doctors were generating the highest costs for procedures. After reviewing actions which these doctors took, the provider was able to lower costs by reducing duplicative and unnecessary testing.
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