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Instagram has been crowned the most effective social marketing tool, overtaking Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The site delivers more sales and consumer actions than other other social platform, according to a study which documented the 15 biggest biggest influencers on consumer behaviour.
Top 15 Biggest Influencers on Consumer Behaviour
4. Customer reviews
8. An advert
10. Newspapers & magazines
Millennials were found to be the group most responsive to posts on the image sharing app, with 68 per cent of 18-24 year-olds saying they more likely to purchase an item if someone they followed on Instagram shared it. 54 per cent of respondents said they bought products after spotting them on the channel....
Via Jeff Domansky
His quest to educate doctors about the importance of social media started with an innocuous incident a few years ago. Dr. Ali Jalali (pictured), a professor at the University of Ottawa’s medical school, sent an e-mail out to his students asking for feedback about a topic. No one responded. “They said, ’Oh, we don’t check e-mail – we use texting and Facebook,’” recounts Jalali. “So we have a problem. E-mail is our main form of communication with them, but the next generation is already moving on to social media.”
This trend has larger ramifications for doctors attempting to communicate information about medical issues to the public. To address this emerging issue, Jalali researched social media and recently launched a course to train doctors to use it properly.
Young people are moving to social media because they have better control over the flood of information coursing into their inbox, he explains. “E-mail is push technology. Once your e-mail is out there, you have no control over the spam that’s sent to it. By contrast, social media is pull technology, because there are filters you can use to control what gets in. You can’t just text anybody, you need their phone number, which people tend to guard closely. You can’t get information into newsfeeds on Twitter and Facebook unless you establish connections with people first. People can decide what information they want pulled in.”
In addition, social media networks are developing sophisticated algorithms that allow their systems to ‘learn’ what people do or don’t want to see, he says. Twitter categorizes and ranks every piece of information that’s sent into a topic’s hashtag, much like Google does, ranking and displaying the ones that get the most views. “Facebook does almost the same thing, and it’s getting very good at it. If you click on something, Facebook offers three more similar articles for you to view. They have algorithms that adapt to how you use them.”
But as Jalali dove deeper in his research on social media, he noticed there were many privacy pitfalls that students didn’t seem to be aware of. “Facebook is not private. Everybody can look at your stuff, unless you use the right settings to make it private. Facebook is very bad with that, because it changes its privacy settings all the time. And people may not be aware that even things that are marked private can be shared. For example, if your friend is ‘tagged’ in a photo on your site you marked private, all of his friends can see it.”
But Jalali didn’t feel the right response was to tell his students to avoid social media, since it’s already too deeply entrenched in the next generation’s communications – and it brings so many benefits to those who use it properly.
To address this, Jalali persuaded faculty leaders that students needed a course to educate them, not pointless advice to avoid social media altogether. “Students are using the tools but they don’t know how to use them professionally. By ‘professionally’ I don’t just mean behaving properly – I mean learning how to get information that’s important for them to know as doctors. But if we don’t teach them, they may get into trouble.”
Beyond medical students, doctors in practice need to start using social media to pinpoint the most useful articles and information and to tap into global networks. Many doctors believe that social media is a time-waster, but they need to rethink this and learn how to use it to their advantage, says Jalali.
“I use it not just to communicate with students, but to expand my own knowledge base. There are huge communities of medical educators on these networks. I know people who can help me in my field across the globe because we’re all chatting in these networks about the same article or disease. If you’re on Twitter, the hashtag ‘meded’ is very popular and a good place to start.”
Used properly, social media can actually save doctors time if they act as curators to help lead patients to the best places to learn about back pain, headaches and other common ailments. They can easily set up Facebook pages for free for their practices and refer patients to the best links. “When you educate people, they don’t show up in your office or the ER as often.”
Doctors also need to use Twitter to counter bogus medical advice that’s often presented by misguided celebrities. “Celebrities may have 50 million followers, and they often post advice about measles vaccines, cleanses and whatnot. It’s up to the physicians to counter misinformation, and that’s where the whole social accountability comes into place. By being on social media, by educating people, you as an expert can talk intelligently about that medical issue instead of letting others do it.”
Social media is also emerging as a powerful political force, and many Canadian medical leaders such as Chris Simpson, president of the CMA are using it to inform and sway public opinion. “He built a nice agenda for the election. He didn’t endorse anybody, but he told Canadians, ‘These are the problems your healthcare system has and that you need to consider in this election.’”
Doctors can’t continue to ignore this huge new digital space and concentrate on the old ways of communicating with people, says Jalali. “It’s a new communication tool. Doctors should give it a chance. It’s not for everybody, but we need more doctors adding their voices on social media.”
The best infographics of 2015 are some of content marketing’s finest examples of visually engaging content. As platforms for content continue to proliferate, it’s important to test new content types while also continuing to utilize those that have served you well in the past. Infographics might not be as sexy as vines or videos, but they are solid, tried-and-true options.
Since 90% of the information we take into our brains is visual, it makes sense that these are among the best content types to deploy. As Adobe’s Social Intelligence report noted, posts that have images are 600x more likely to be shared on social media and to receive engagement elsewhere.
Here are the brands and publications that provided us with the best infographics of 2015....
Via Jeff Domansky
The holiday season is once again upon us and this year marketers have an unprecedented opportunity to blow their sales out of the water. For the first time in history, consumers over 50 make up the majority — 51 percent — of all of consumer spending according to just-released data from the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey.
Via Jeff Domansky
A strong social media presence is a great way for many hospitals and healthcare systems to connect with those they serve, and keep them up to date on the issues and services happening in and around their treatment facilities. Through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, hospitals can easily inform people in their respective communities when new doctors join the staff, when new medical services or technologies are being implemented, and other vital information for the health of the community.
Social media can be used to keep people informed by sharing new discoveries in the healthcare industry by linking to relevant articles and discussions. Also, many hospitals encourage the public to ask general questions via social media which allows the community to connect with communications directors or other hospital representatives in a simple and efficient manner.
However, a strong social media presence represents much more than just communication. It’s also about building credibility and trust within a community. When a hospital is quick to answer a question on its Facebook page, posts a link to an article on a new medical technology, or makes an announcement about a CPR class it is offering to the public, it is seen by those in the community as being a hospital that truly cares about those it serves.
A hospital builds its reputation one person at a time. And when community members see a hospital actively engaging those it serves, people are comfortable believing: “that’s the hospital for me and my family if we ever need medical care.” A strong social media presence is now a critical component of any hospital’s operating strategy, and as each year passes, more hospitals are using social media to become an even more integrated part of their communities.
We evaluated many of the top hospitals in the country to see which ones had the strongest social media engagement, below is our list of the top 25 most “socially active” hospitals of 2015.
Cleveland ClinicCleveland, OH
Quite often, I find myself publishing instinctively and sometimes failing to consider all the necessary questions and guidelines for what makes a wildly successful, viral—and valuable!—social media update.
Via Jeff Domansky
So you clicked? Yes! The good news is that unlike 99% of articles that share a title like the one above, this one is actually going to be worth your precious click. I’m here to teach you a Twitter trick that almost no one knows.
Here’s a hint, it has to do with something that was formerly only available via paid Twitter products and is now FREE. Not a typo — Free.What is this magical free trick? Twitter cards: Specialized content cards that do everything from encourage app downloads, to collect email addresses. Probably one of the most underrated and most useful pieces of functionality on the platform. Now free in a tweet near you....
Via Jeff Domansky
There are an extensive number of resources for web design inspiration, including industry leaders like Smashing Magazine and Web Designer Depot. However, to encompass a variety of viewpoints, it's important to dig beyond these sources. If you’re looking to expand beyond the obvious go-to's, check out some of the best sources for creative web design inspiration below....
Via Jeff Domansky
Are you a good listener?
These days, you better be for one simple reason. Given the amount of information aesthetic consumers now have access to, doctors who don’t listen to what patients have to say about their care may find their surgical schedules a lot quieter than they’d like.
As this infographic suggests, patients are not only bringing their own research into their meetings with their doctors, they’re actively seeking out providers who are willing and interested in discussing what they’ve found.
As healthcare advocate Katherine Hoffman, who created the infographic notes, the results came from a small sample of online respondents so they’re best considered a snapshot rather than a statistically significant study. Nevertheless, the following pair of respondent comments put the picture into exceedingly clear focus:
That dichotomy takes on even more significance when you consider that more and more people are chronicling their aesthetic journeys from start to finish. At RealSelf, we see it all the time as patients extol doctors who listen to them, reject ones who don’t, and share the details with millions of other potential patients.
As the say in the movie theater: The audience is listening. Are you?
Via Plus91, Ray Beauchamp
Ray Beauchamp's insight:
Today patients are better informed and have far more access to educating themselves - With the new healthcare system in place - What do you think?
Could digital marketing help cure the health-care industry?
Before the recession, nonprofit hospitals were posting revenue growth of 7% or more, but that slid to 3.9% last year, the smallest increase during the 23 years Moody's Investors Service has collected the data. Hospitals brought in an average of $11,299 in net revenue per adjusted patient admission in 2012, up 7.6% from $10,497 the previous year, according to the American Hospital Association. But admissions are falling as higher insurance rates prompt patients to seek more affordable care outside of hospitals and crimp the demand for elective procedures.
That's left hospitals, clinicals and medical centers -- which Kantar Media said spent about $1.8 billion on U.S. measured media last year -- scrambling for ways to attract revenue-generating patients while also controlling spending.
Many are turning to search, mobile and social for cost-effective marketing that reaches the growing number of consumers who look online for health-care information. Paired with advice from referring physicians, the internet is helping patients make more informed hospital choices. "The consumer-to-patient journey is largely a digital journey at their moment of need," said John Weston, CMO at Mayo Clinic. "If I were diagnosed with something tomorrow, one of the first things I would do is go online."
Search is key
Health-care chief marketing officers say digital's measurability helps them defend their budgets. "Return on investment is on the top of everybody's agenda," said Paul Matsen, CMO of Cleveland Clinic, which uses an aggressive digital strategy built around search that includes banners, patient testimonials, health guides and service-line-specific ads. He says about 80% of patients who are diagnosed with an illness go on the web to find information about their condition. The clinic works with Boathouse, based in Boston, for its digital creative and the Cleveland-basedAdcom Group handles its media buys.
Telemedicine, in which patients receive treatment via video calls, also has a growing presence in the industry (see story below). Smartphones with advanced video capabilities, like high-definition cameras, make it increasingly possible for patients to connect with quality doctors outside of their region and receive diagnoses. Telemedicine also cuts costs for hospitals and patients, which is why more health-care companies are offering this type of support.
Boston Children's Hospital's annual marketing budget has been flat at about $5 million for the past few years, said Ms. Coughlin. But its net patient services revenue grew from $1 billion in 2011 to $1.4 billion in 2012, according to annual reports. Ms. Coughlin said the hospital's integrated marketing approach, which includes TV, print, digital, earned media, social and other types of direct marketing, contributed to the growth.
...Social media, mobile, real-time, each has contributed to the digital lifestyle that everyday people, your consumers AND your employees, embrace as second nature. It’s not just a Millennial or a Generation Z thing…it’s everyone who uses a smartphone, a tablet, or any smart device. It’s someone who takes selfiesand takes pictures and videos at every live event. It’s also that person who checks Twitter and Facebook each morning before email for mentions of their name and see what they might have missed. It is for all intents and purposes, you and me.
This isn’t about age; this is about a connected generation (Generation-C) and it represents a significant share of consumerism. Simply said, this category of consumers is different from the traditional customers and employees around which many organizations are modeled.
To reach them requires a different approach. To see them and the value they represent to an organization takes vision and a different philosophy. Instead however, most executives or decision-makers employ an “us vs. them” mentality. They see the world as they know it rather than seeing the world for what it is or what it’s becoming.
Via Jeff Domansky
For us, Twitter is so far the best tool to make new connections, market product and keep up to date with industry news. But to take all the benefits you need to invest time and effort. That’s why people created so many tools to help you with Twitter management. And I am sure you tried many of them. But there are always some undiscovered tools that exists and potentially can solve your time-eating problems.
And this is not a list where I want to surprise you with quantity and the endless list of all-the-tools-I-could-find. Below you can see some Twitter Tools that are not yet very popular, but does the work and saves me some time. Hope it can be useful for you too....
Via Jeff Domansky
A majority of marketing campaigns (or at least the most successful ones) are based on a thorough understanding of the principles of human behavior.
If you are looking for some information about what makes us choose one product over another, for instance, I have a real treat for you.In this post, I’ll show you what influences our decisions and how you can use it to improve the effectiveness of your online marketing activities....
Via Jeff Domansky
I spend a tremendous amount of time coaching young people and others who are new to the marketing scene. It occurred to me that some of the advice I’m spreading around might be helpful to a broader audience … well … you, in fact! So here are some perspectives on digital marketing, content creation, and social media that might connect with you in a helpful way....
Via Jeff Domansky
What you see has the biggest influence on the way you perceive the world.
What you see first is color. But to use color effectively, you have to understand what works, and what doesn’t.
Here’s a quick and easy guide to color theory and using the color wheel when you’re painting your home....
Via Jeff Domansky
Many people may be willing to link their social media accounts to their medical records, a US study suggests, a shift with the potential to improve care by giving doctors more insight into what makes patients tick.
Facebook and Twitter have more than 1.5 billion users worldwide, many of whom share information daily, leaving digital breadcrumbs that might offer clues into the attitudes and activities that influence their health, researchers note in the medical journal BMJ Quality and Safety.
More than half of patients may be Facebook or Twitters users, based on the study of people treated at one busy urban emergency department. Among those Facebook and Twitter users who agreed to join the study, 71% let doctors access their social media accounts.
What happens after that is still to be determined, but the potential exists for social media to reveal important things about how disease begins, how patients manage medical conditions, and what things happening in patients’ lives might be linked to disease progression or complications, said senior study author Dr Raina Merchant, director of the Penn Medicine Social Media and Health Innovation Lab in Philadelphia.
“Increasingly, individuals are sharing lots of information on social media every day,” Merchant said by e-mail. “This information is in the form of posts, check-ins, photos and other data. Because much of this data is about day-to-day activities and general thoughts and feelings, it is also about health.”
To assess the feasibility of linking social media accounts to medical records, Merchant and colleagues asked more than 5,000 adult patients in the emergency department if they used Facebook and Twitter, and, if so, whether researchers could see their accounts.
Patients were more likely to grant access if they were younger, heavy social media users, and insured through private rather than government health plans, the study found.
Most often, patients who didn’t share their social media accounts cited privacy concerns. Some patients also feared sharing the data might affect their employment.
For the accounts researchers did review, they estimated about 7.5% of Facebook posts were contextually related to health.
Patients with common diseases and symptoms in their medical records were also more likely to use terms related to these conditions on Facebook than people without diagnoses.
Limitations of the study include its focus on a single emergency department, and the possibility that the results might be different for people with less serious or urgent health problems, the authors acknowledge.
A lot of logistical and ethical issues also need to be worked out before patients start signing away access to social media accounts to doctors, noted Dr Elissa Weitzman, a researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Among other things, privacy and the accuracy of this information need to be considered, Weitzman, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by e-mail.
But particularly in emergencies, giving doctors social media access might save lives.
“Social media data could provide descriptive information about health histories and behaviours that are helpful for building out the `digital health phenotype’ for patients,” Weitzman said.
“In a perfect, creative and well worked through digitally enabled world, real-time mining of social media content could be revealing allergies, medications or health problems that are otherwise unknown which could alter treatment decisions in an emergency situation and be life-saving.”
For instance, take a look at how these two elements play out:
Via Jeff Domansky
The biggest trend over the last 12 months has been the move from earned marketing attention (sometimes called free) to “pay to play”. Another is the impact of social messaging platforms such as Snapchat and Whatsapp that have become “quasi social networks” in their own right.
Via Jeff Domansky
Wisdom of the Crowd – I’ve published lists of content marketing tools here in the past but these sorts of resources warrant regular updates. In addition to the near-daily pitches I receive and my own research, I reached out to my network on Facebook for new content marketing tool suggestions.
The result? An A to Z list (and then some, 45 tools in all) of new and many not so new but highly useful content marketing tools to help you solve content planning, creation, promotion and measurement challenges. This is by no means a comprehensive list but it is a collection of the content marketing software companies that are top of mind amongst my own social network....
Via Jeff Domansky
A review of the top four physician-only social media networks that promote online communication and career development among doctors.
The social media boom that has grown increasingly popular for over a decade now continues to consume millions of people all over the world. If you still haven’t accepted that it’s here to stay, it’s about time to do so. This isn’t just a fad; it’s a trend. And as long as society continues to shift towards a digitally dependent culture, that’s not going to change.
What is changing, however, is how social networks are being used. Originally, the vast majority of social media outlets were designed to attract individuals to use the platform for personal reasons. While these websites still dominate the social media space, we’ve seen a recent influx of social networks that cater to specific careers. For doctors, physician-only social networks are quickly becoming an invaluable resource.
Photo by: CareCloud
These online communities give doctors a resource to turn to for a number of professional purposes. The most obvious, of course, is the ability to communicate and collaborate with other physicians in an environment that is more secure than other social networks. Additionally, there are features that can do wonders for your career. From receiving CME credits, to competing against peers for various rewards, the benefits go far beyond sending and receiving messages.
These features differ from site to site, and knowing what each one has to offer is crucial. This can be challenging without any background information on each platform, which makes it difficult to distinguish which options are right for you. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case for you – here are the top social networks available for doctors, and the factors that set them apart.
When it comes to physician-only social networks, Doximity is the best of the best. Over 50% of U.S. physicians are verified Doximity members, making it the single largest community of doctors in the country. And when you consider the services and functionality this premier network offers, it’s easy to see why. Doximity is perhaps the most mobile-friendly physician platform available, giving doctors the ability to instantly connect with their peers in an efficient, convenient manner that is both HIPAA-compliant and entirely secure. Members are also provided with their own fax number, which allows for digital faxes to be included in the roughly 15,000 thousand messages sent between members from on a daily basis. This is also responsible for the astonishing 10 million physician-to-physician connections made possible through the Doximity network. On top of a fully functional social network, Doximity also offers the opportunity to receive CME credits for reading medical journals provided by the site.
All in all, it’s easy to see why so many doctors have joined this social network. On their website, Doximity defines their vision as, “a future where medical communication is effortless – fast, simple, seamless, and secure.” Not even 4 years old, Doximity is well on its way towards turning their vision into a reality.
The biggest threat to dethrone Doximity’s status as the largest digital community for doctors comes from the social network SERMO. Exclusively for licensed physicians, SERMO is another outlet that allows doctors to communicate and collaborate with others in the industry. The main distinction that separates SERMO from Doximity is the level of anonymity available, as the majority of SERMO members choose to be anonymous when posting on the site. This degree of ambiguity certainly comes with its advantages, including the likelihood for physicians to be more open and honest when participating in the clinical discussion forums. Unlike Doximity, however, SERMO is not HIPAA-compliant; so while the anonymity aspect offers added comfort when posting, physicians do need to avoid identifying patients when posting on the network.
Regardless, there’s no denying the fact that SERMO is among the very best social networks geared exclusively for physicians in the U.S. – and soon to be worldwide, as they plan to open their doors to doctors across the globe to add to their already impressive member base that exceeds 300,000 doctors.
In simple terms, Figure 1 is Instagram for doctors. While other social networks for physicians focus on sending and receiving written messages, images and illustrations are the cornerstone of Figure 1. However, don’t let this contrasting approach fool you – despite its differences, the photo-sharing app has rapidly gained traction since it’s launch in May of 2013. In just 2 short years, Figure 1 is now available in 19 countries, with over 150,000 users (as of summer 2014), and an average of 1.5 million views per day. Figure 1 is especially popular among medical students, where 30% of U.S. med students are now members of the Figure 1 community.
The image-based social network not only allows physicians to share pictures, but also provide users with another channel to exchange valuable medical information with their peers. Communication between members is made easier by giving users the ability to create profiles for themselves and join groups pertaining to certain interests or institutions. While sharing and discussing images seems like a risky move, Figure 1 understands that patient privacy is a top priority for physicians and designed the platform accordingly. By and large, considering the visual-driven nature of the medical industry, it’s easy to see the value in joining a photo-sharing network like Figure 1.
The oldest of the social networks mentioned in this list (launched in 2006), QuantiaMD has used its experience and innovative mindset to produce one of the best online resources doctors can utilize for collaboration and career development. According to their website, 1-in-3 U.S. physicians visit QuantiaMD to keep up with new medical information and learn from their colleagues. While some physician-only social networks offer anonymity, that is not the case with QuantiaMD, as members use their real names and institutions. That having been said, you are able to privately communicate with other users in secure discussions.
QuantiaMD also has several creative features that reward users with CME credits or “Q-Points” that can be redeemed for Amazon Gift Cards. For example, members can compete against their peers in the Monthly General Medicine Puzzle, the Monthly Cartoon Caption Contest, and by solving weekly clinical cases and image contests. If you’re looking for an online community that offers doctors a healthy dose of valuable information mixed with friendly competition and entertainment, then QuantiaMD is the way to go.
In yesterday’s blog on social media measurement we alluded to the notion of influence in social media. Influence can be measured in many ways and means many different things to different people. How you define it and what criteria you use ultimately stems from the business need to measure influence.
At Precise we have done a lot of work around the theme of influence, more specifically in the pharmaceutical sector.
As pharmaceutical companies become more patient-centric there is a growing business need to understand who the influential e-patients are, what they think and how large pharma companies can integrate their voice into their organisations. Our previous blog around this (Are empowered patients influencing doctors today), demonstrated how the internet and more recently social media had empowered patients, transforming them into a customer, who has the power to influence doctors’ actions, therefore justifying the need to truly understand them.
An example of this was our work to identify the most influential e-patients for a particular chronic condition. Our client, from the Patient Advocacy team, wanted to develop a symbiotic relationship with a small group of highly influential individuals. Prior to identifying these influencers it was very important to get buy in from the client on our criteria and methodology. Our criteria focused on Reach, Relevance, Resonance and Activity. By looking across a wide range of platforms, and applying a variety of research techniques including qualitative, desk, network and engagement research, we were able to identify 40 influential e-patients. We prepared a detailed biog for each patient for the client to get to know these individuals, recommending that our client engage with the top 10. Identifying individuals, and being able to follow their activity thereafter, makes measuring the success for any future campaign easier and more tangible, for instance you will know whether they have engaged with your content by sharing or commenting on it.
The criteria and methods used for the healthcare sector can be adapted for other sectors. The key is to agree upfront on the ‘how’, the ‘how many’, the ‘why’ you need to know influencers and what you are going to do once you know who they are. Remember, the closer social media researchers are to business needs, the more actionable the research and measurement becomes.
Growing a healthcare business today is quite different than it was ten or even five years ago. Traditional marketing, such as TV, radio and print are no longer the primary focus of successful businesses. Cost effectivemedical marketing strategies are mainstream with digital marketing at the helm.
According to a survey by Wolters Kluwer Health, 80 percent of physicians are using general browsers, such as Google and Yahoo, to gain information in the diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care of patients. This survey also found that 95 percent of healthcare organizations allow nurses to consult websites and other online resources to access clinical information while at work.
With the need for clinical information at such a high level, savvy businesses have realized that in order to remain competitive, they must reach their patients online. Here are three tips to boost digital marketing in healthcare.
In order to build brand awareness and reach consumers, medical practices must first be found. The best way to achieve this is through Internet marketing, which includes a variety of digital strategies such as search engine optimization, blog writing, paid search and social media.
According to a Think with Google study, 77 percent of patients used search prior to booking an appointment. Successful practices have found it necessary to create as many online “paths” to their practice as possible. This increases the likelihood of getting found by prospective patients online dramatically.
According to the same Think with Google study, approximately one-third of patients use mobile devices daily for research or to book appointments. When patients look for quick information on a mobile device they do not want to have to zoom in to see what is on the page. A responsive website is the perfect tool to eliminate the frustration many experience when performing mobile research. A responsive website is designed to adjust the page content size based upon the device that is being used. Having a responsive website provides a positive viewing experience on any device.
The Internet is a place to reach and engage both existing and potential patients. Social media provides a powerful tool for connecting consumers by way of their story. People surround themselves with like-minded people. When searching for medical providers, patients want to know about the experiences that others have had. These experiences help fuel brand and provider recognition and build consumer loyalty.
Social media also provides a place where both providers and their brands can connect with patients. This connection goes beyond the exam room and can deepen the relationship a patient has with the practice.
Digital marketing in healthcare is here to stay. By embracing all that it has to offer, medical providers and their brands create a strong foundation that not only grows the bottom line, but also enhances the patient experience. That’s a win-win we all aspire to achieve.