Posts Tagged ‘patient relations

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.

16
Jun
11

Health Care Marketing: Taking the Social Media Hippocratic Oath

Three key tips for physician-based social media

All physicians have a stake in their public perception; overlooking or minimizing the impact of social media in maintaining that presence is a recipe for disaster. With HIPAA regulations to consider, physicians are in a unique situation regarding their online persona. Here are a few tips designed to help physicians maintain a professional online presence and preserve the integrity of their relationship with patients. These tips are consistent with the American Medical Association social media policy released in November that highlight some of the things physicians should consider when focusing on their online presence.

Regularly monitor privacy settingsFacebook recently came under extreme scrutiny for unleashing face recognition software that provides identity suggestions for tagging people in photographs. A Los Angeles Times story describes the concerns which are part privacy and part the decision of Facebook to release the facial-recognition feature as an ‘opt-out’ feature. Massachusetts Rep. Edward J. Markey, co-chairman of the Congressional Privacy Caucus expressed his frustration, “Requiring users to disable this feature after they’ve already been included by Facebook is no substitute for an opt-in process.”  The only way to disable the feature is to update privacy settings.

Positioning information from a qualified source – The public needs information from the health care community. Providing information from a trusted, qualified health care professional will balance the misinformation gathered from outside sources including the Internet. The best way to do that is to be informative about medical conditions, research, and treatment options in general terms. It is much better to say ‘Adults with the ____ syndrome typically display ____ symptoms, ’ than it is to say, ‘I saw a patient today with _____ syndrome and he/she displayed ____symptoms.’ Even inadvertent disclosure of patient’s health information can be a violation of HIPAA.

Maintain separate personal and professional social media accounts – This tactic has the benefit of allowing for more candor in a personal account and information sharing that is more relevant to that specific account. The professional account will have more work-related messages, inquiries and information. One of the challenges is managing multiple accounts. The solution is to use a social media tool like TweetDeck or HootSuite. Just be sure you know which account you are using to send information at all times.

Most importantly, recognize that online actions and posted content can negatively affect physicians’ reputations and may have career consequences.

Tell us if you’ve implemented policies to guide physicians in their online reputation. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

22
Jun
09

breaking through the clutter: reaching potential patients

stroke-happens-e-card1

Breaking through the clutter. This is exactly what the Baptist Health System did in San Antonio recently in a promotional campaign to raise awareness of expanded services. More specifically, the hospital system recently introduced the Brain & Stroke Network, which according to their website, “brings together all the necessary components to treat patients presenting with stroke.” The network provides services at each of the system’s five hospitals.

Baptist Health System’s marketing team set out to raise both awareness about their expanded services and educate the population about strokes in general. They did this by hiring actors to visit locations around the city and stage fake strokes.  Afterward, the actors handed out “Stroke Happens” cards. These cards had educational information about strokes and their symptoms. Baptist Health Systems also used 80 mannequins, all dressed in “Stroke Happens” t-shirts to represent the number of San Antonian’s that die from stroke each year.

HPIM1265-1

I think Baptist Health System did a good job creating a memorable event and informing San Antonian’s that they do not need to go outside of San Antonio to receive treatment for a stroke.

It seems the hospital system’s marketing team was influenced by the “Truth” advertisements about smoking and tobacco companies from a couple of years ago.

Do you think this takes anything away from the campaign or do you like the attention grabbing nature?

15
Jun
09

How Sarasota Memorial Hospital is leveraging social media to build better relationships. Q&A with Shawn Halls.

sarasotamemhospital

Recently, Weise Communications sat down with Shawn Halls of Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) to discuss social media’s impact on SMH and the way in which they communicate with the community. Below is our Q & A session.

Weise: How long has Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) been using Twitter?

SMH: We registered the site in November 2008 and promoted a $49 cardiac disease assessment special we were offering in December. But we didn’t start actively posting or following anyone until March 2009.

Weise: How has SMH’s Twitter account been able to add value to your patients’ experience?

SMH: When we first started we were like a lot of organizations, just trying to figure out how, or even if, Twitter could be part of our larger communications strategy. We tweeted our hospital promotions and a few stories from patients who had called to praise our care.

Then in April we were contacted through Twitter by a former patient. She had a somewhat negative experience while in our care, but actually had more of a negative experience trying to figure out who she should contact to discuss the issue.

Suddenly, Twitter, and social media in general, became not just a platform to communicate to patients, but a tangible way for our community to communicate directly with us as well.

Since that first patient contact, we have been Direct Messaged through Twitter by other patients with various questions. In our experience, more often than not a patient’s frustration is not about the care they received but the challenges associated with navigating healthcare.

Many people still prefer to call us directly, but increasingly customers are using Twitter and other social media platforms to initiate contact. It’s an interesting dynamic.

Most recently we had a patient’s family member find us on Twitter and ask for the name of a local florist so they could send flowers and ensure delivery prior to the patient’s surgery. This was a really easy one to handle, and we were able to communicate back to him within 10 minutes of his initial contact.

(SMH’s Twitter account)

Weise: Were there any reservations about using Twitter to communicate with the general public? If so, how did you overcome/justify establishing an online presence?

SMH: We did encounter resistance, because there are still a lot of unknowns about Twitter and other social media platforms as they relate to business. All social media platforms are blocked in our healthcare system, so we had to petition the chief information officer to allow our team access to Twitter. There is a valid concern that spending too much time online may distract employees, but we believed a balance could be struck. An organization with quality managers who engage their employees on a daily basis greatly reduce the risk of distraction. Certainly there are some who might abuse the privilege, but there are ways to prevent abuse that do not include a blanket policy to block access for all. Remember the era of codes to access copy machines? The idea was companies would lose too much money if employees had free access. Copy codes seem absurd in 2009, but we’re facing a similar issue with social media access today.

Weise: Do you think all healthcare providers should establish an online presence via social media? Why?

SMH: We do believe it’s important to have a social media presence. While social media won’t replace other avenues of communication, it’s important for providers to encourage communication through avenues people are using. With 200 million people on Facebook and nearly 10 million on Twitter, healthcare providers are missing an opportunity if they do not have a social media presence. Increasingly, healthcare is about building relationships with our customers. In this era of choice, patients choose which doctor to see, which outpatient lab to use, and certainly which hospital they choose. Social media helps us foster relationships with our customers by humanizing the healthcare system. We’re not just Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, we are 4,000 individuals who are part of our larger communities, and we enjoy communicating with our customers because they’re also our neighbors and friends. Certainly there are challenges for healthcare providers in establishing their social media presence, but we believe the benefits outweigh the challenges.

The one caveat, I’d say, is don’t create a social media presence if someone is not directly responsible for maintaining that presence. As effective as social media can be, an unanswered contact or an infrequently updated Facebook page could have n opposite effect, leaving prospective customers wondering if other aspects of their care would be hit or miss as well. At a fundamental level, social media is an extension of your healthcare brand, so it’s important to treat it with the same level of attention as other communication strategies.

Weise: SMH also has a Facebook fan page. What value is your page creating for the hospital and your community?

SMH: Hospitals and healthcare providers are brands people typically prefer not to interact with. Most of the time, people only use our services when they are sick or otherwise vulnerable, and healthcare is one of the few brands that can literally have life and death implications.

As I mentioned above, increasingly healthcare is about fostering relationships, and while Twitter is excellent for communication, Facebook allows for a more intimate interaction with our community. We are able to post photos of community events and share information that may not necessarily be hospital business but impacts the community in which we live and operate.

We recently posted information about eight students who received educational scholarships from us because they are going into the healthcare field. There isn’t really another format where we could have communicated that information, but it’s perfect for Facebook.

(SMH’s Facebook page)

Weise: Does SMH have any plans to adopt more social media into their marketing strategy? Perhaps, creating a YouTube channel to show video testimonials, events, interviews with doctors etc.?

SMH: Each market is unique, and Sarasota is no different. What’s splashed across the media today may not be the same next year. Since social media is so dynamic, we let our customers dictate which platforms to use based on their adoption of it. We are in the process of coordinating our first Twitter surgery broadcast – an amazing brain mapping procedure where the patient is awake during the entire procedure – and we’ll use YouTube to archive it. We’re also actively developing our Flikr, MySpace, and Delicious accounts and believe there are tremendous opportunities in those applications to help with patient education.

Weise: If you had one piece of advice for someone new to Twitter, what would you offer?
SMH: Don’t be afraid to bring a little personality into your tweets. It’s a lot more engaging for your followers and a lot more fun for you. ☺

About Shawn:

Sarasota Memorial’s Twitter feed is managed by Shawn Halls. Shawn is the market research manager at Sarasota Memorial and is responsible for measuring and communicating consumer insights throughout the organization. Before joining Sarasota Memorial, Shawn knocked ‘em dead at the University of South Florida as a senior statistician who had the unusual skill of being able to communicate complex statistical findings to statisticians and non-statisticians alike. Shawn holds a master’s degree in applied sociology from the University of Central Florida, proving you can actually get a job with a sociology degree.

01
Jun
09

why do hospitals need to attack their competition to gain market share?

Gienna Shaw recently authored a story for HealthLeaders Magazine that has brought to light a recent dispute between to competing hospitals in New Jersey.

Shaw begins his story by focusing on environmental factors that are causing healthcare providers to turn-in traditionally passive advertising campaigns for those that aggressively aim to steal market share from their competitors.

Shaw cites some of the cutthroat activities hospitals are engaging in by stating:

“A smattering of hospitals put up billboards within view of other hospitals’ front doors. Hospitals started creeping into new territory—opening freestanding clinics and critical care units within spitting distance of their competitors’ facilities and expanding their referral share by gobbling up physician practices. Hospital CEOs started arguing in the local press about quality claims and awards, telling reporters that the data was meaningless, flawed, or bought and paid for.”

Furthermore, Shaw discusses a recent legal dispute between Virtua Health and Cooper Health System. In short, Virtua claimed that the most “Top Docs” are at their hospital. Cooper took them to court and won an injunction that required Virtua to pull the advertising.

Ultimately, both organizations created a lot of buzz online, but not the kind they wanted. According to Shaw, “Online comments on news sites and blogs were uniformly negative—bordering on nasty—toward both organizations.”

I think that Cooper did the right thing by challenging Virtua’s advertising. However, I don’t believe they needed to take Virtua to court. Cooper obviously had the data to back up their position on Virtua’s claim, and I think that a well-crafted campaign could have saved Cooper from the negative comments about their organization.

Cooper should have focused their time identifying and creating a dynamic campaign centered around their strengths/unique selling point.

Has your hospital encountered a situation like this? How did you handle competitor attacks and what was the end result?

Please share your thoughts with us.

11
May
09

healthcare and social media (part 2.)

As promised, Part 2 of Healthcare and Social Media will focus on two hospitals we think are doing a magnificent job integrating social media into their marketing strategy.

#1 The Mayo Clinic

Last month, the Star Tribune’s Chen May Yee reported on the Mayo Clinic’s communications manager, Lee Aase. Aase is essentially responsible for the hospitals social media marketing programs. He currently keeps the community up to date on the Mayo Clinic’s latest news and events via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Blog accounts.

Aase explains that many patients say they chose the Mayo Clinic for treatment after watching video content on the hospitals YouTube channel. Most notably, “Aase found a six-month-old YouTube video of an exuberant white-haired couple playing the piano in the clinic atrium, to the surprise and pleasure of onlookers. He posted it on Sharing Mayo Clinic. In two weeks, the number of views soared from 1,000 to over 68,000.”

#2 The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton

Dayton Children’s Web site recently posted a media release that detailed their social media marketing implementation strategy. Some of the high-level points include:

-Created a Facebook page in December 2008. The page now has over 500 fans.
-Started the campaign internally, asking employees to become fans of the page first.
-Facebook “Cause” page enables fans (over 800) to donate to Dayton Children’s.
-Marketing communications and development departments are sharing maintienence responsibilities.
-Twitter account was launched in March 2009. They now have over 650 followers.
-Dayton Children’s launched their YouTube page over a year ago.
-Video content includes TV commercials, new stories and patient stories.

Both the Mayo Clinic and Dayton Children’s are doing a great job incorporating social media into their overall marketing campaigns. It’s very interesting that the Mayo has a blog and Dayton’s Children does not. In the same token Dayton’s Children is networking via a localized social media channel (937moms.com) and the Mayo is not.

We hope today’s second installment is very helpful and, we would like to know how your healthcare organization is using social media to reach your employees, patients and families. Please share your story here.

11
May
09

healthcare and social media (part 1.)

Last week we announced that The Side Note would focus more on current PR and marketing strategy in the healthcare, B2B and franchise industries. Katie Williams was kind enough to leave a comment and request that we report on “ how healthcare organizations (from nonprofit to pharma) are utilizing social media.”

We have plenty of information on this topic, but we’ll start today by addressing hospitals that are using social media to connect with the community. Ed Bennett recently posted a comprehensive list of US hospitals that are using social media. The following is a statistical breakdown of the 250 hospitals on the list:

* 160 on Twitter
* 131 on YouTube
* 94 on Facebook
* 24 using Blogs

Obviously, hospitals are beginning to recognize the importance of implementing social media programs into their marketing plan. However, only five of the 250 hospitals are using each of the four social media tools tracked by Ed’s list. This could very well mean that hospitals have just begun to incorporate social media and are doing so in phases.  We’ll be sure to check back in a few months to see how the list changes.

Stay tuned. Later today I will talk specifically about two hospitals that have implemented social media campaigns.




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