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Use of an online social networking group plus self-monitoring did not produce greater perceptions of social support or physical activity as compared to education-only controls. Given their promising features and potential reach, efforts to further understand how online social networks can be used in health promotion should be pursued.
Via Giuseppe Fattori
The patient population is at our finger tips. Technology has provided a broader platform to witness their frustrations, build lasting relationships and work collaboratively to improve outcomes. The pharma industry invests billions in the development of new treatments; they are bold, courageous and imaginative in the pursuit of scientific excellence. Yet, with a few exceptions, remain anxious, nervous and paralysed in social media. The changing environment demands industry innovation and outcome based funding. If science will be at the heart of that drive, social must be the catalyst.
Fear of a brand name?
But what if we came across an adverse event?
We’ll be accused of #badpharma and dishonesty!
The approval process takes too long.
As I often discuss, I’m proud to work in pharma. We make a difference, and we improve outcomes. Scientists & their amazing work will be at the heart of that success, but with the necessary courage communications experts can be the key.
Via Plus91, Celine Sportisse
The healthcare industry is rolling in lemons, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of practitioners. The healthcare industry today is closely analogous to the situation in most other industries in the early 1970’s. Companies that survived the turmoil of those gut wrenching days (such as; Toyota, McDonalds and IBM) have severely lowered their costs as well as increased the quality of their products. Clearly, the winners were able to make lemonade out of the lemons. The innovators and visionaries in the healthcare industry will do the same.
One company demonstrating a commitment to the ongoing improvement of their products, is CBIZ Inc (CBZ). On August 25 2014, CBIZ, Inc. appointed John A. Fleischer as their new Chief Information Officer, showing a continued dedication to nurturing technological advancement at CBIZ. With 25 years of experience, Chairman and CEO of CBIZ, Steve Gerard believes he will be “invaluable to the future growth and success of CBIZ.”
Private Equity Investor and Healthcare Industry expert Paul Parmar stated, “The key components required for success in the healthcare industry are all available in raw form. Companies like Constellation Healthcare Technologies are refining the components and providing a seamlessly integrated platform to deliver superior patient care at the lowest cost to the medical practice, while at the same time maximizing collections and minimizing accounts receivable time.” This certainly sounds like the makings of a tasty lemonade for the healthcare industry― but what are the components and what is a seamlessly integrated platform?
The most successful practices will be those that are able to optimize all of their processes using a seamless workflow to ensure that all data is entered only once then controlled and secured to ensure 100% compliance and complete elimination of redundant data entry. The practices that cling to paper and non-integrated processes will continue to see their income decline.
For small and mid-size practices, it makes sense to outsource large portions of their back office processes taking advantage of their technology, processes and expertise, thereby acquiring the benefits of a large organization without the overhead costs. This is where companies like Constellation Healthcare Technologies, and Team Health (TMH) are able to provide consulting services to optimize the internal processes, and the technology, processes, and expertise to support any processes that cannot be done cheaper internally. Other advantages include world class reporting, Business Intelligence tools, and expert on-going advice.
In the next 12 months, medical practice owners and managers will create a trend to outsource billing and all business processes instead of directly interacting with the patient face to face. It is interesting to see that even many large healthcare organizations are choosing to outsource some of their processes to avoid the training and staff turnover complications and associated costs involved with an in-house operation.
About Growing Social Media
Top source for social media news and trends – content marketing, updates on top networks such as Google+ and Facebook, social customer service, mobile apps, analytics and strategies for managing social profiles, and tips!
SOURCE September 11, 2014 A family-medicine doctor recent saw a 13-year-old with a weird, unidentifiable rash. It wasn't itchy or painful, and the teenage boy hadn't traveled anywhere recently. So the the doctor did what any modern physician would do: he took a photo and uploaded it to an Instagram-style app called Figure 1. (Figure 1) "13 y/o M with rash on his knee for 2 months," the doctor with the username inder70 wrote. "it is not itchy, no pain, no travel, no new food no inciting agent, no medications?" The suggestions came piling in. One doctor asked if it was fungal ("no itchiness or raised border," inder70 responded). Most of them quickly landed on the same diagnosis: granuloma annulare, a skin condition that has no known cause and can be treated with certain ointments. "Thanks everyone!!" inder70 responded, the medical mystery solved. Hospital hallway conversations, gone digital Figure 1 is the brainchild of Josh Landy, an internist from Toronto. He did his residency at
Via Celine Sportisse, Emmanuel Capitaine
Social media is becoming an essential tool in public relations. Public relations practitioners use social media every day to publicize their clients and start two-way conversations. Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube are all important channels for social media. As a company or organization in the health industry, it may not seem important to be participating and interacting on social media. All too often healthcare practitioners dismiss social media as not being applicable to their industry. Why would someone want to follow a hospital on Twitter? Or be Facebook friends with a pharmaceutical company? There are in fact many reasons that audiences want to connect with those in the healthcare industry on social media platforms. Therefore, healthcare social media is becoming increasingly vital.
In order to develop healthcare social media strategies, companies and organizations must first be present on social media platforms. This means setting up accounts for Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. There may be some social media platforms that do not seem like the best fit for your company or organization. The best way to be certain is to see what your competitors are doing. If your main competitor has a YouTube channel then so should you. However, you may not want to rule out a platform for healthcare social media use, even if your competitors are not present on it. This could be an opportunity for you to gain a competitive advantage over your competitors. For example, maybe none of the hospitals in the area have a Facebook page. By creating one and using it effectively, you might be able to reach some audiences that are not being reached through other forms of social media.
Once you have created accounts on all relevant social media platforms, your healthcare social media strategies can begin. Start communicating relevant information and your messages to your audiences and converse with other companies, organizations and individuals in the health industry. Social media is best used when it fosters two-way communication and reaches the most individuals. The health industry has various information that is increasingly important to disseminate out. Receiving this information could make a significant difference in someones life. These audiences are already using social media platforms for their daily lives, which is why it makes sense to connect with them on these healthcare social media platforms. Using all social media platforms to their full potential will increase communication and publicity for your company or organization in the health industry.
We’ve written about states’ “right to try” laws, which expand desperate patients’ power to use drugs before the FDA approves them. These laws, gaining bipartisan approval in a growing number of states, open up the question of whether FDA powers that limit the availability of new medicines can be challenged by states.
Social media and healthcare privacy laws: 10 tips to avoid a PHIA violation or getting fired (part 1 of 2)”
Hello! My name is Ryan Persaud, and you’re listening to the first ever Pers J RP podcast. In today’s episode, I’ll give you 10 tips for using social media without invoking the wrath of the healthcare privacy police or your employer. If you’re already tired of listening to my voice, then head on over to Pers J RP to read the script for this podcast. This is information that you need to know if you’re involved with healthcare, you use social media, and you’ve got a pulse.
In order to keep these podcast episodes short and sweet, I’m actually going to split this up into a 2 part series. Today I’m going to give 5 tips, and then two weeks from today I’ll release the next 5 tips. The reason for this is that I’m going to keep a biweekly release schedule, so hopefully that will be enough time for me to produce some content, prepare a script, and then actually produce the podcast and publish it for you to listen to.
Warning: This is not legal advice! Nothing can replace your professional judgement or, if you’re in a bit of a spot, a good lawyer.
Healthcare privacy laws vary from province to province, and country to country. Here in Manitoba, our healthcare privacy law is the Personal Health Information Act, or PHIA. The equivalent law in the United States would be the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. Additionally, every profession has its own Code of Ethics (or equivalent), and every employer has their own health privacy policies. These tips make sense for my situation. Make sure that you understand your’s before delving into social media.
Basics1. Nothing you share online is private
This may sound obvious, but it can be easy to lull yourself into thinking that there are private spaces on the Internet for sharing information with friends. Once you post a status, like a photo, or even send an instant message or email, you’re no longer in control of the information you’ve sent. If someone else can see it, they can take a screenshot or copy and paste it. Even if the application could somehow prevent screenshots or copying and pasting from working, someone could just take a photo of their screen using a camera.
Five University of Ottawa students learned this the hard way when their misogynistic comments about the female president of the Student Federation of University of Ottawa (or SFUO) were revealed. Someone screenshotted their conversation, and the screenshots of their disgusting comments were anonymously sent to the SFUO president. The president went public, and was planning on circulating the screenshots to the SFUO board. What happened next is a classic example of what not to do: Some of the five students served her with a cease and desist letter instead of apologizing. The story went national, the screenshots are publicly available, and if you go and Google the names of the five men, the first page of results contains headlines about their less-than-polite comments and their subsequent resignations from student leadership positions.
In the aftermath, people debated about whether publishing those screenshots violated the five men’s privacy, or whether the SFUO president should have pursued legal action against the men for cyberbullying. I didn’t give this example to wade into those debates: I picked this example because it perfectly illustrates that nothing written online can be kept private, and once something gets publicly tied to your name, it never really goes away.
This tip doesn’t just apply to people having questionable conversations online. This applies to benign status updates about your day, selfies taken at work, and anything else that you share online “privately.” It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the most stringent privacy settings set. Before you hit “share,” ask yourself “What would the repercussions be if this became public?”
2. Don’t vent online
Had a bad day? Did a patient take Dr. Oz’s advice over your’s? Maybe you’ve just had a rough couple of days. It can be tempting to fire off a status update at the end of the day telling all of your friends about your frustrations. Your Facebook wall is private, your Tweets are protected, what’s the harm?
Recall tip #1: Nothing you write online is private. All it takes is one well-meaning person copying and pasting your words, and suddenly you’ve lost your job because your complaint about a 5-minute encounter was publicized without your consent.
Hyperbole aside, venting about healthcare-related work online is pretty much never a good idea. Ever.
If you’re feeling energized, don’t vent, do this instead: Figure out why you’re actually mad, and write about that. You’re not actually mad at that patient for taking Dr. Oz’s advice, you’re mad at Dr. Oz! Go write a status update pointing out why he’s wrong. Yeah, if you haven’t clued in yet, I’m not a huge fan of Dr. Oz.
Think about the tone of your post. If it’s too negative, just don’t bother.
Photos3. Don’t post selfies taken at work
Megen Duffy, a practicing nurse who writes in a blog entitled “Not Nurse Ratched,” gave this advice to nursing students on the topic of taking selfies in uniform scrubs: “Don’t do it in school, don’t do it when you have a job, don’t do it ever, at all, under any conditions under the sun.”
I definitely agree that selfies taken at work should not be posted, but my reasoning differs from Duffy’s. Duffy is going with a “security through obscurity” approach, and she suggests that plastering the name of your school, clinical site, or workplace could make it easier for the privacy police to nail you. I suppose this makes sense in the US, where the federal HIPAA considers all subdivisions smaller than a State (such as city or zip code) to be private. In Canada, healthcare privacy laws vary from province to province, so you wouldn’t even be able to discuss a patient’s right to privacy without revealing the relevant province.
I don’t like security through obscurity approaches, because it doesn’t really protect you if someone decides to do a bit of amateur detective work on their own. Anyone who finds my LinkedIn profile or about page can immediately identify my current workplace. Even if I didn’t post any information about myself, it wouldn’t take much work to figure out that I live in Winnipeg (especially if a patient went looking for me).
Between my name and my location figuring out my school and workplace is a cinch. Let’s search Google using the query “Ryan Persaud, Winnipeg.” Well, the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Pharmacy publishes an annual report with the names of academic award winners: I don’t mean to brag, but my name is in that annual report, and it shows up on Google’s first page for “Ryan Persaud, Winnipeg.” On the second page, my name shows up on a Manitoba Institute of Child Health news release. Boom, school and workplace have been revealed in less than 5 minutes using information someone else wrote about me online, information I have no control over.
Here’s my point: Security through obscurity only helps if someone isn’t already looking for you. Once they decide to go looking for you, obscurity stops protecting you. The best protection is ensuring that you don’t violate your school or workplace social media policies, or privacy legislation in your jurisdiction.
Don’t post selfies from work because a picture contains more information than you might realize. Did you check the photo to ensure that no patients are inadvertently photobombing your self-portrait? Worst case scenario: That patient didn’t want anyone to know that they were seeking care for whatever reason, and they somehow manage to find that selfie online.
This scenario actually played out in 2008, in sort of the weirdest way possible, when a nurse posted a photo on Facebook of her topless-self alongside a clothed colleague at a British hospital. In addition to being flagrantly inappropriate, the photo inadvertently captured one patient in the background. The end result was disciplinary action against the two employees, and the hospital blocking access to social networking sites for all of its employees.
Consider another scenario: What if someone left a patient profile open on their computer, and now it’s in the background of that selfie you just took? Once you upload a photo to Instagram, it gets sent to servers across the globe, and can be downloaded by anyone. Even if you wanted to remove the photo, you don’t really get to “delete” photos online. When you hit delete, they basically just hide the photo from your profile.
I’ll talk about this more later, but the photo itself isn’t the only problem: When you post a picture, it gets time-stamped. The photo exists within a certain context, and those details make the photo more than it appears.
4. Just don’t post photos that you took at work
Look, just don’t post photos that you took at school or work. Period. Megen Duffy gave the example of Doyle Byrnes, a well-meaning nursing student who posted a photo of herself holding a human placenta on Facebook. Byrnes even asked for permission from her nursing instructor to share the photo on Facebook.
The end result? Byrnes and three of her fellow students were expelled, but told that they could reapply to the school later. Byrnes wasn’t happy with that, and successfully sued the school to get reinstated. The judge pointed out that she had gotten permission from her instructor, and that there was no way to identify which patient the placenta had come from. Yes, the law was on Byrnes’ side, but she had to go through the courts to get everything sorted out.
If you really must post a picture from work, make sure that you have that patient’s written consent (if applicable), that your workplace social media policies allow you to do so, that you’re not violating any ethics laws, and that the picture doesn’t reveal more than you want it to. Also, if you’re asking for permission, make sure that the person you ask actually has the authority to give you permission. Getting your immediate supervisor’s permission might help you win a court case, but it’s probably better to avoid the court case by ensuring that your employer is actually allowing you to post that photo in the first place.
Patient Vignettes5. If the patient can identify themselves, you’ve got a problem
If you’re a blogger and you want to write about a case that you recently saw, a good patient vignette might seem to be in order. You want to give enough information about the patient that people can understand what you were looking at in a medical sense. Most people recommend the “elevator test” before writing posts: If you wouldn’t say it in an elevator, don’t say it online. It’s a fairly good test because it forces you to think about whether or not you’re violating a patient’s privacy, and whether what you’re saying could be seen as offensive or inappropriate.
In addition to the elevator test, I recommend another more stringent test to protect patient privacy: If the patient could potentially identify themselves from what you’ve written, you’ve got a problem.
Once, I was preparing a poster on antibiotic exposure statistics, and the privacy committee had me supress any cell in my tables representing less than five people. We’re talking about a poster that was going to be presented once in front of other researchers using de-identified statistical data. Basically, the privacy committee wanted to make sure that no research subject could identify themselves on my poster; that no research subject could look at that poster and say “I’m the only patient in this entire study that could fit into that cell.”
If you’ve got explicit permission from the patient and your workplace to write a more detailed patient vignette, go right ahead. If you haven’t, make sure that the patient wouldn’t be able to identify themselves from your post. Of course, this rule doesn’t apply if the patient has soap-opera style amnesia, but it’s the thought that counts.
That wraps it up for today
More and more people are flying to Florida for its hospitals. You may not believe how they're finding out about the cutting edge treatment that Central Florida's doctors are offering.
Conclusions There is an extensive body of literature examining the use of social media in patient and caregiver populations. Much of this work is descriptive; however, with such widespread use, evaluations of effectiveness are required. In studies that have examined effectiveness, positive conclusions are often reported, despite non-significant findings.
Via Giuseppe Fattori
Studies have shown that 60% of Americans turn to the internet for medical advice. It’s obvious how social media naturally seems like another method pharmaceutical companies can quickly and easily advertise to consumers. Are pharmaceutical companies alone in trying to tap into our unconscious? Would you be surprised if I told you that you could be inadvertently perpetuating such behavior?
The U.S. is one of the few countries that permits direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals. We’ve all see the ads that ramble on about all the potential risks and side effects associated with various medications. No doubt you’ve probably been bombarded with flashy sidebars on the internet promoting one medication or another — some creepily relevant to our own medical conditions. As social media became a part of life for many of us, pharmaceutical companies were quick to exploit the medium. Platforms like Twitter are free to operate and far-reaching. Only until recently has there been a greater effort to regulate the content being disseminated to the public.
In this day and age, Big Pharma might not be quite as cavalier as you might expect. A quick search on Twitter says it all. Almost every major drug company has a verified Twitter account. While companies are generous in providing general medical knowledge or the update here or there that says the company is actively researching condition X, seldom do you find anything plugging a specific product.
Direct-to-consumer advertising on social media has revealed many challenges. Sometimes 140 characters simply isn’t enough to convey all the benefits let alone the black box warnings a drug may possess. The “Twitterverse” is an international community, and messages applicable to one population could wrongfully passed on to another. Some medications banned by one country may be promoted by individuals and corporations of another country. In fact, Glaxo Smith-Kline and AstraZeneca reportedly have disclaimers on their Facebook sites saying that information is “intended for US residents/consumers only.”
But how often are pharmaceutical companies really harping on their own products on Twitter? More likely than not, individuals are weighing in with their micro-reviews on Twitter. Some would argue that these posts could impact consumers. Bad experiences often motivate people to say something. What about the positive reviews? Who is really behind the tweets gushing about Medication XYZ?
So far, individuals aren’t being held accountable for claims they make. Should the FDA as individuals to report their disclosures? Should the FDA be verifying all social media posts that mention a drug? Something tells me there no room in the FDA budget for this. Others would go as far as to argue that this violates the first amendment.
In June 2014, the FDA released suggested guidelines to regulate social media posts by drug companies. Essentially for every post claiming benefit of a certain medication, the FDA is demanding equal reporting of risks and a link to more information to go with it. Sounds impossible to squeeze all that into 140 characters, and perhaps it these guidelines were meant to deter drug companies from using social media altogether to promote their products.
Let’s take a step back to ask ourselves a few questions:
Do you think the FDA is being fair to drug companies, or should we be hearing about the risks/benefits of toilet paper or have the nutrition facts be mandated for a tweet promoting candy bars? Do you think such regulations are resulting in adverse effects by deterring some individuals from learning about some medications? As mentioned earlier, should individuals be subjected to the same rules? Should all our tweets be regulated as potential advertisement for whichever product is mentioned?
To read the other posts in Austin Chiang’s Healthcare & Social Media series, click here.
The obesity epidemic has put a strain on health services around the globe. London-based bariatric surgeon Dr. Hutan Ashrafian sees the effects of the disease daily, and his long patient list signals no end in sight. And so he and a team of researchers began a search for digital-age tools that could help physicians effectively manage and track patients remotely. Continue reading →
Via Marie Ennis-O'Connor
Recommendations have been developed for emergency medicine residency programs and leaders on the appropriate use and regulation of social media. The guide can also be a valuable resource for all programs to establish a social media presence.
share content with other users. In addition to social networking websites like Facebook, other technologies continue to penetrate the market, including video and picture sharing sites, forums, blogs, and other tools. The social media boom has reached the healthcare community, with physicians from all backgrounds gravitating towards using these platforms for various purposes.
Recent reports suggest that social media use among emergency medicine (EM) physicians is especially strong, most likely because they tend to embrace the healthcare side of this type of networking in ways not typically seen with other specialists. Some institutions have used social media to develop EM blogs and websites that cover daily practice issues. Others have used it to enhance emergency preparedness efforts. “Social media has become an important method of communication and information sharing in EM,” explains Malford T. Pillow, MD, MEd. “It offers the potential to create an attractive internet presence and brand specific programs, including EM residency programs.”
Considering Risks & Negative Consequences of Social Media
Social media offers tremendous benefits for recruiting, communication, and education, but it also carries legal, ethical, personal, and professional risks. Negative consequences of social media use include violating professional and personal boundaries, among other potential problems. “Even simple actions like ‘friending’ someone or posting something on Facebook can be misinterpreted,” says Dr. Pillow. “There needs to be deliberate, transparent policies in place that are designed to optimize the benefits of social media while minimizing risks.”
Important Recommendations to Guide Social Media Use
Guidance statements for social media use have been released by leaders in various medical fields. These documents are helpful for developing an overall structure to developing policies for using these technologies appropriately. To further these initiatives, Dr. Pillow and colleagues developed recommendations to guide social media use for EM residency programs. Published in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, the guidelines offer recommendations for developing and using a program-specific social media presence. They also offer recommendations for educating residents on how to avoid potentially negative consequences from using social media. These guidelines are applicable to EM programs as well as any type of residency program.
“Our strongest recommendation is that each EM or other residency program should develop a social media policy and education effort,” Dr. Pillow says. Institutional officials should be involved in the development of these materials, and discussions should be held with institutional officers, public affairs, legal or privacy officers, and information technology departments. Involving these constituents allows for institutions to consider any existing policies and procedures and address any subtleties of laws that are relevant to public versus private institutions.
The recommendations also provide guidance on content management, communication plans, and the appropriate use of online information. A content manager should be designated to assume responsibility for maintaining and monitoring posted content, with clearly outlined responsibilities of their position (Table 1). Policies should be created to address potentially unforeseen risks and liability issues. A communications plan and policy should also be developed to proactively address the use of social media and potential issues (Table 2). This includes identifying the purpose of the site and plans for dealing with adverse events. Each program should also decide how online information will be used and consistently apply these standards. Factors such as search limitations, potentially damaging content, and biases (among others) should be considered (Table 3).
Education & Professionalism on Social Media
According to Dr. Pillow, it is important that EM and other residency programs provide guidance and education to residents, fellows, faculty, and other personnel regarding appropriate social media use. “Professionalism and privacy issues are accentuated on social media, and it’s important to pay attention to personal reputation and medical privacy,” he says. “Normal standards may not be sufficient to avoid misperceptions or legal issues. In addition, it should be assumed that any content that is posted is permanent and public. Even if it’s deleted, the post may still exist in archives, databases, or downloadable formats.” The guidelines add that people in a position of power or authority should refrain from initiating personal online relationships with subordinates and from discussing patients and/or specific cases on social media sites.
“Although social media can be a powerful tool, the key to optimizing its use is to develop programs that recognize the potential benefits but are prepared to manage the risks,” says Dr. Pillow. “Technology platforms for social media are continuing to evolve, further highlighting the need to have sound policies in place. Doing so will enable physicians, residents, ED personnel, and other key stakeholders to capitalize on social media’s vast potential and enhance patient care.”
- See more at: http://www.physiciansweekly.com/guidance-social-media-use-emergency-med/#sthash.s4m54NOR.dpuf
Recent data from the CDC has indicated that 50% of Americans are taking one prescription drug, and 10% are on 4 or more prescribed medications as well. Taking into consideration the aging population and the movement towards primary prevention with medications, it is likely a larger shift will occur in the next decade.
Via Pharma Guy, EVELYNE PIERRON, Giuseppe Fattori, Philippe Marchal/Pharma Hub
While some argue that healthcare doesn’t have a place on social media, we beg to differ. If you desire a branded practice with a distinct online voice that represents your true persona as a business, social media is great place to start and encourage a conversation with current and future patients. Though beginning your social media pages can be a bit daunting, McCauley Marketing Services is here to walk you through. Below, find four basic points to touch on when setting up your social media pages and creating a social media marketing strategy with our team.
Target market: Who is it?
Pinpointing your target audience so that you can tailor your content specifically to them can strengthen, streamline, and focus your efforts. Ask yourself questions about your current patient base as well as the ideal patients you want to see more of. Samples: What types of procedures are they most interested in? What is their age range? Where do they live? What websites or social mediapages do they currently like?
Goals: What do you want to achieve, and how long are you giving it?
When you made the decision to jump on the social media train, you had a purpose outside of just existing among competition. Are you selling a product that you’d like to increase the potential amount of buyers for? Do you aim to direct more traffic to your website or blogs? A great thing about social media is that it is very quantifiable, so you are able to see what content works best with concrete numbers to back it up. While creating your goals, establish timelines along the way to ensure you’re getting the results you desire and on the same page as your marketing team.
Budget: How much do you realistically want to put into your social media?
It may be free to set up an account on most social media platforms, but paid advertising is an increasingly popular and often effective way to reach a wider audience. How much do you want to put towards advertising? We recommend trial periods of putting a certain amount of dollars into advertising per month and adjusting your budget until you reach a number that balances your financial ability and marketing goals.
Peers: Who do you admire?
Observe what other businesses like yours are doing online. Which social media platforms do they use and what kind of content do people seem to engage with? What tactics of theirs would you like to emulate, and what would you rather stay away from?
When you meet with us, McCauley Marketing Services, we will cover far more than just the basics of setting up accounts and are happy to help you understand the social media process in an easily comprehendible way. If you’re interested in starting the journey to effectively marketing your healthcare business with us on social media and beyond, contact us today. Be sure to connect with us, McCauley Marketing Services, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Via Plus91, Jérôme Buisson
To qualify for Stage 2 Meaningful Use, 5% of your patients must access their own medical records. Here's how to make sure that happens.
To meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use criteria, hospitals and physicians will most likely implement patient portals. There really are no good alternatives to portals to efficiently meet the requirement to provide electronic access to patient records and lab results within the specified time frames (four days for physician office visits, 36 hours for inpatient hospital stays). Also, portals can help streamline patient registration and appointment setting, which benefits both patients and healthcare providers.
A variety of surveys over the past couple of years indicate that patients like these portals and that they influence patient satisfaction with physicians and hospitals. So portals will likely be a part of your relationship with patients.
The biggest concern for hospitals regarding this metric is the requirement that 5% of patients actually access their records prior to attestation. Given the lack of control inherent in the hospital-patient relationship, how can hospitals meet that standard?
[What's getting in the way? Read EHR Must Fit Into Doctor-Patient Relationship.]
One way is through a combination of a robust patient portal that truly engages patients (and family members) before and during hospitalization and promotion of the portal through social media.
The key is to get patients and family members accustomed to using the portal so that it is a familiar, useful tool, not a new hurdle to jump in the stressful time after hospitalization. If they know in advance how and where to access their records and if they are comfortable with the portal navigation, they will be much more likely to access their records during the 36-hour window. Also, if they see the portal as a tool that works for them, not just for the hospital, they will use it.
Providing educational content on the portal, customized to individual user needs, as well as links to useful groups and websites can give patients a reason to engage with your portal even when they aren't active patients. Research has shown consumers trust the information from their doctors and hospitals more than the information available on unaffiliated websites. If they know they can find health information specific to their needs on your portal, they will probably use it.
For example, if patients with diabetes know your site will link them to current research and information on diabetic therapy and medications, they are likely to use the portal for learning. Social media can help you engage the consumer and promote the educational and consumer-focused content on the portal. To learn more about the role of social media, check out this video:
Make your portal useful to patients and families during their stay
Another possibility is to give patients a place to record their questions and concerns -- things they want to remember to ask the doctor, symptoms they want to be sure to report, information the nurses should know. If they can send a secure email to their physician, that creates another reason to use the portal. All of these examples are ways to help them see the portal as a tool for their benefit, to feel a sense of ownership of the tool akin to their sense of ownership of their Facebook page or email account.
If patients engage with the portal before and during their stays, accessing their records after hospitalization becomes a natural extension of an ongoing relationship. The key is to focus on what information and tools patients and families want and need. If you serve their needs, they'll help you meet the Stage 2 criteria.