he internet has made population health management a breeze in so many ways. Texting appointment reminders, emailing health information, and keeping patients engaged through online portals have become facts of live for the technologically-savvy healthcare provider, and such tactics have resulted in a greater rate of medication adherence, better chronic disease management, and lower overall costs. But with such a wealth of information at hand, there is also a huge potential for misinformation as patients are let loose into an endless maze of disreputable, confusing, and just plain inaccurate information strewn across hundreds of thousands of websites.Research from the IMS Institute forHealthcare Informatics shows just how widespread the use of social media and internet research is becoming among patients, and poses some thorny questions for providers who want to encourage engagement and proactivity among patients, but also promote strong health literacy and competent decision making for those who may have multiple conditions to manage. This new pool ofbig data is becoming unavoidable as patients move online in a massive way.The bane of teachers everywhere, Wikipedia has emerged as one of the top resources for health information. About three quarters of patients regularly search for health information online, and 77% of them start their quest with a search engine like Google or Bing, which often return Wikipedia results first.Despite the availability of wide-ranging content and a general reputation for impartiality, 28% of patients feel frustrated by the experience of browsing the online encyclopedia, and 40% are concerned about the trustworthiness and quality of the information they’re getting. With articles about rarer diseases viewed more often than those about common conditions, patients need to be sure that these specialized topics have attracted competent editors to write and maintain them.Younger patients also turn to entirely unregulated outlets like Facebook and Twitter for information, especially on specific conditions. Forty-two percent of patients have used some sort of social media platform to discuss or research their health. A quarter has voluntarily discussed their health online with members of support groups or friends. In the United Kingdom, Facebook is the fourth most popular source of health information.
Providers are not eschewing online networks, either. Many turn to YouTube for video instructions on medical issues, while others use the video sharing site to help inform patients on diagnoses or conditions. Increasingly, pharmaceutical companies, hospital systems, and individual providers are creating and sharing their own resources to tackle operational issues such as online marketing or to create reputable literature for patients who may be seeking answers in unhelpful places.“Over half of pharmaceutical executives list mastering multichannel marketing and improving digital effectiveness within their top strategic priorities,” the report says. Despite lower investment than many other industries and regulatory hurdles governing what information can be shared, drug companies are among the first to recognize the engagement potential of producing and disseminating their own digital media. “With an increasing ability to listen to patients, pharma companies will be able to have safer products, identify unmet needs and better understand the patients themselves. However, to get to these results they must overcome the hurdle of balancing big data and manual research. This data is of interest for regulators and healthcare payers as well.”Providers may find themselves caught between the potential for reaching a large number of patients through an online posting or mass email and the dark side of internet communication: the viral post. “A Facebook comment that is damaging can turn viral in a matter of days, even hours, and a conventional customer relations approach to the digital landscape is unlikely to be able to keep up,” the study warns. “The growing volume of digital interaction, both through mobile devices and social networks, is creating an ever greater stream of data for companies to access.”Having so much nebulous data to harness and control is both a blessing and a curse. Patients may tweet about significant health events when they happen, but forget to tell their physician when they come in for a visit. They may say something nasty about the way a nurse took their blood pressure, and sap the enthusiasm of potential patients that represent necessary revenue. But online interactions also represent an opportunity for providers to reach out to patients in an innovative and effective way.“Social media is a good opportunity for clinicians to provide some of the ‘pastoral support’ associated with the profession, and answer questions for a large number of people online. Hospitals and provider organizations are an important online stakeholder, with a more structured, better resourced and commercial approach to social media,” the report explains. “For example, the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media is a leading contributor and advocate of social media in healthcare with a presence on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and various blogs. In investing in these channels the group is benefiting patients while growing its brand and better understanding the needs of its clients.”“The entire healthcare information infrastructure is currently in flux, and we will see further changes to the usage of computers, the internet and ways of cooperation between different stakeholders,” IMS predicts. “Additional channels and usages will emerge over the next years, with platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr gaining importance and influence. All of these future trends will bring healthcare stakeholders closer together and need to be utilized to their fullest potential in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients.”
During a 360-degree peer interview, Linda Henman asked the president of large construction company, how the risk officer could improve in general and how he could specifically help with the president's growth objectives. Without hesitation, he answered, “I need for the [risk officer] to take me right to the edge of the cliff without letting me fall over. Right now he’s serving as the business-prevention arm of the business.” Risk and compliance should support the organization, take them as far as ethics and good sense will allow without letting them hurt themselves or the company, but not serve as the business prevention unit.
Taking excessive risks is part of the enterprise strategy - TBTF is too much risk taking when they expect the taxpayers to pay for the sinners (of incompetence). Numerous examples AIG, Societe Generale, Enron, General Motors, Govenements etc
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