Social Media and Healthcare
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Social Media and Healthcare
Articles and Discussions on the intersection of Social Media and Healthcare.
Relevant to Healthcare Practitioners, Pharma', Insurance, Clinicians, Labs, Health IT Vendors, Health Marketeers, Health Policy Makers, Hospital Administrators.
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Using Facebook Ads and Power Editor for Hospital Recruitment

Using Facebook Ads and Power Editor for Hospital Recruitment | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Looking for good help in healthcare can be challenging. Many hospitals use recruiters and other online employment sources to find good talent. Another option is Facebook. With over a billion users, it is one powerful social network and it may just help you find the perfect candidate.


In addition to building your social fan base and get more likes, you can use Facebook to create paid cost-per-click ads for recruitment. You can target who sees your ad by utilizing specific categories and interests. For example, if your hospital is located in Miami and is looking for nurses, you can specify that your ad is only seen by nurses in the South Florida area. The ad can include a call to action such as a landing page URL with more information on the position and a way to apply.


To take it one step further, by utilizing Facebook’s Power Editor Tool, (a free plugin for Chrome browsers) your targeted viewers will see your ads not only on the right sidebar, but within their news feed as a sponsored post. More important, this tool lets you advertise not just on Facebook.com but on mobile devices as well – including smartphones and tablets using the Facebook app.

With more people accessing the web on mobile devices and Facebook, you want to be one of the top destinations they’re looking at and spending the most time on.

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Boosting Facebook Engagement for your Medical Practice

Boosting Facebook Engagement for your Medical Practice | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

When it comes to social media, the name of the game is engagement. After all, what good are all of those fans and followers if they don’t care about or pay attention to what you’re doing?  Just last month, my team and I guided one of our orthopaedic clients into the top ten national “medium-sized” companies competing to win the Social Madness Competition presented by The Business Journals.


Below are some of the strategies we employed to become the “little orthopedic practice that could.”

Identify Your Facebook Target Demographic


Be sure to determine your Facebook page’s demographics before attempting to craft your messaging.

When your office utilizes social media, whom exactly are you trying to reach? If you just say, “Patients,” you haven’t looked into your page insights deep enough. By clicking on the “People” tab you’ll get a top-level overview of who your followers are – gender, age and even location. This information is key when crafting your messaging, as you wouldn’t have the same message for an 18 year-old-male that you would for a 64-year-old female. For this client, we target 35-44 year old females using key imagery and posts that appeal to the mom demographic.

Find Your Most Successful Post Types

Facebook is great for communicating with patients in part because it’s so versatile. You can post a myriad of topics and ideas that appeal to your specific fanbase and Facebook will keep track of how successful each post is for you. For free. Photos, status updates, links, videos – post some of each to find out which ones resonate with your fans. We’ve found that photos generally work best from an engagement standpoint – both in terms of clicks and interactions (“likes”, “comments” and “shares”).  After photos, our most successful results have come with status updates, followed by links and then videos.

Create Interesting Content That Fits Your Successful Post Types

A snapshot of the Facebook reach and engagement levels for one of our clients.

Sounds easy, right? For the most part it is (though it gets a little more difficult when competing against the top companies in the country for months on end, but I digress). If photos work well, be sure to plan ahead and have some fun, creative ones scheduled for the month. Remember, Facebook – and social media as a whole – is supposed to be personal, so not everything has to just be an office photo with a doctor. Those are great and they shouldn’t be ignored; however, don’t feel like you can’t put up a crazy themed photo or a popular meme, too. When updating your status, let people know what’s going on in your office. Having a staff appreciation day? Show your fans your office has some personality. Happy it’s Friday? Tell the world. Odds are, they are, too.

We’ve also found that our followers really enjoy posts that relate to charitable giving and those that ask them questions while presenting facts. For example, come up with a statistic that relates to your practice and have your followers fill in the blank. Or, ask them to answer a true or false question about something you treat in your office. It may sound silly, but simple exercises like this will get people engaged, and it will get them to share the content with their friends and family (i.e. potential new patients).

The End Result

Ultimately, engagement should be your goal with social media, not click through rates to your website. Social media is your way to become more than just a medical practice to your patients. It’s your way to become a part of their lives outside of the office.

As an added benefit, when done correctly, you’ll see benefits within your practice walls as well. For example, just within the contest period alone, we had several patients tell us they scheduled an appointment with the practice because they found them on Facebook or saw a post their friend “Liked”. We were also able to schedule at least one surgery, thanks to someone finding the practice on, you guessed it, Facebook. Thanks to an increase of more than 800 page likes, we were also able to exponentially grow the practice’s organic reach to thousands of potential patients in just a few short months without spending a dollar. It’s all about engagement.

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To Promote Wellness, Public Health Departments Are Launching Apps. Will They Work?

To Promote Wellness, Public Health Departments Are Launching Apps. Will They Work? | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it
The Alabama Department of Public Health is venturing into the mobile universe as the first state with a health app for residents.


“As more and more Americans use their smartphones to gather health information, I think we’ll see a greater number of health departments rolling out their own apps,” says Alexandra Hughes, an account director at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, who wrote an analysis on social media effects entitlted “Using Social Media Platforms to Amplify Public Health Messaging” [PDF]. “Consumers are already flocking to apps to do things like count calories, prepare healthier meals, and track their workouts. As a result, federal and state public health agencies have started moving beyond just a presence on Facebook or Twitter — they recognize that mobile technology is the next big thing in helping people live healthier lives,” she says in an email to TIME.


While Alabama is the first state to develop a public health app, the health department in New York City has been a pioneer in using them to reach specific populations. This month, the department released CalCutter, an app for restaurant chefs and people cooking at home. It allows users to enter in recipes and the number of servings they need to get an estimated calorie count. Users can also ask the app to convert the dish to a lower-calorie version, with ingredients that are lighter, or make it more nutritious. Originally built for independent restaurant cooks as a way to include them in the city’s effort to get more restaurants to list calorie counts, health officials saw an opportunity to help home cooks dish up healthier meals as well.



“We are doing an awful lot on obesity, and some people are trying to use the [calorie count] boards either as a way to lose weight or not gain weight. We thought, how can we make calorie counts more available in other settings?” says Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner, referring to the requirement launched in 2008, that mandated all chain restaurants in the city list the calories of their offerings on their menus. “It’s very difficult for people, at least initially, to identify the number of calories in a given food item. Likewise, it’s very difficult for a restaurant that’s preparing food to know how many calories are in the items they prepare. We thought it would be nice if we made it easy for independent restaurant to calculate how many calories that are in the food they prepare so they can actually lower their calories or maybe post the calorie counts voluntarily.”



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25 things we learned by getting 25,000 Facebook fans

25 things we learned by getting 25,000 Facebook fans | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Gina Czark, director of social media and Jessica Fillinger, community manager at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital share what they learned from building a robust Facebook page.


Getting to 25,000 Facebook fans seemed more like a far off feat than a realistic milestone we’d achieve within 15 months of joining NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, (NYP).


We were new to the organization and our challenge was developing a Facebook page for a hospital spanning six campuses, while at the same time, learning about its rich history.


We valued each new fan that liked NYP’s Facebook page and felt personally connected to each one. We took pride in building a community and searching for great stories and information that not only told NYP’s story, but also encouraged conversation and educated our community.


It was a lot like creating a family. While they might have come from anywhere across the world, they were routed in one commonality, their connection to our hospital. We sometimes have a difference in opinions, but all opinions are valued, positive or negative, and the conversations are plentiful. We rarely have a post with little interaction and in many cases our community begins one-off conversations with one another. We’re just the ones brokering the introduction.

We created the “25K Strong” image as a thank you to our community. After all, it couldn't have happened without them. If you look closely, you’ll see images from our Facebook page that includes our patients, doctors, nurses and staff. We hope you’ll find our 25 tips helpful as you build your own Facebook pages.


1. Content is king.


    2. A picture is worth 1,000 words. Don’t underestimate the need for visuals. 

    3. Be passionate and thoughtful. If you don’t believe in what you’re posting, it will show and your content will suffer. 

    4. Every fan and interaction counts. If a community member leaves a positive comment, thank them or like it. Respond to the negative, as well. 

    5. Be human. Your fans should think real people are responding to them because they are. 

    6. Shares are most important. Likes and comments are wonderful, but shares lead to organic growth. 

    7. Use calls-to-action.

    8. Don’t use medical jargon. 

    9. Use your cover image to convey the story of your brand. Change it often. 

    10. Find the best time during the day to post your content. 

    11. Tagging is important and builds community. 

    12. Get outside the office to find content. 

    13. Think like a reporter and always have your eyes and ears open to a great and compelling story. 

    14. View your Facebook page as a media outlet. It’s a way for you to tell your brand’s story and share exclusive news and announcements. 

    15. Build a team to help you, both internally and externally (this should include your legal team). Even if your social media team is small, find others within your organization to be your advocates and rely on your community for help. 

    16. Partnerships are crucial. Reach out to associations or groups with a connection to your brand and ask them to share your content and return the favor by sharing theirs. 

    17. Treat your brand’s page as you would your own. Interact with other brands by liking, sharing and commenting on their content and create more than just posts. We did this by creating an events calendar. 

    18. Incorporate your brand into larger trends (#tbt), awareness months or timely events. Sometimes a simple status update will do to tastefully get your page involved in the conversation. 

    19. You can make mistakes. It’s not the end of the world, especially if you build a community the right way. In most cases, the mistakes will be forgiven.

    20. Create content aligned with your mission. Ours is to inspire hope through patient stories. We feature many patient stories on a variety of health topics.

    21. Be open to new ideas based on what your community is asking for. At NYP, we receive so many wonderful comments about the patient experience that we created a “Share Your Story” app through Facebook so patients could easily share stories with us. 

    22. Set standards for your page. Not everything you receive should be posted. Create a strategy and be selective of what’s best for your community. No one knows them as well as you. 

    23. Don’t discount your internal audience. Sometimes telling stories about your employees is the way to authentically articulate your brand’s story. 

    24. Have fun. Not everything needs to be serious. Think about the people coming to your page every day during the commute home who are looking for inspiration, a good story or just interesting content to read. 

    25. If you’ve spent your time right, you’ve likely built a great community. Now enjoy watching the communities you’ve created connect with one another.

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    Facebook @ Clevland Clinic: How they went from getting it wrong to getting it RIGHT!

    Case Study: Facebook: Doing it wrong -- and getting it right 
    This case study will show how Cleveland Clinic, one of the largest health systems in the world, is leveraging custom content and flouting conventional wisdom on Facebook to engage healthcare consumers and grow its brand regionally and nationally. 


    Presented by: Scott Linabarger, Senior Director, Digital Marketing & Creative Services, Cleveland Clinic 

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    3 Ways To Increase Your Hospital’s Facebook Engagement

    3 Ways To Increase Your Hospital’s Facebook Engagement | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    The healthcare industry is finally catching up with the rest of the business world in expanding their social media offerings. Many in our industry are worried about social media due to HIPPA and other regulatory concerns. Those fears are slowly subsiding as a recent study published by the Journal of Medical Internet Research said 58% of the physician respondents stated that social media enabled them to care for patients more effectively, and that 60% stated it improved the quality of patient care they delivered. Many physicians and hospitals want to know how they can increase engagement within their Facebook community.  Here are three simple proven tactics that will increase your EdgeRank and engagement on Facebook.


    People love photos, it’s human nature as we’re naturally visual beings. The proof really lies in the pudding of Pinterest which is a photo heavy platform and continues to explode in popularity. HubSpot confirmed this theory in late 2012 showing that Facebook posts with a photo generated 53% more engagement than posts without a photo.


    Fill-in-the-blank posts are a great way to build up your EdgeRank. These posts are easy to engage with and allow your community to show of their creativity. It doesn’t take much thought or context on part of your followers to comment therefore you should see much higher engagement and a higher EdgeRank score for your page. When using this tactic you’ll often see the comments outnumber the likes.


    This basic marketing principle isn’t lost in the social media world. People need clear instruction on what you expect them to do. It still takes great content and a cleverly written post for you to get a conversion, but a call to action has shown to a critical element in increasing post engagement. Below is an example of a great photo of a nurse interacting with a sick infant in a neonatal ICU in Colorado Springs, CO. The photo is cute and heart warming, plus it has a beautiful infant in it. Both are huge pluses when it comes to engaging content! With a clear call to action the post did extremely well.

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    Medical Group Practice Marketing: 5 Common Facebook Pitfalls

    Medical Group Practice Marketing: 5 Common Facebook Pitfalls | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    With marketing efforts increasingly shifting to online activities like blogging and search optimization,
    marketers at medical group practices need to keep up and be able to communicate effectively with their large patient base and future prospective patients. One of the best ways to do this is through social media. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others make it so much easier for you to communicate, connect, and nurture all of your patient leads. This can be especially effective in group practices who have the critical mass to enjoy greater engagment from social media activity. The biggest social media site is, of course, Facebook.

    However, you need to make sure that your Facebook marketing is tip top or you won't see the results you're trying so hard to achieve. There are major pitfalls that all group practices need to be wary of. When you avoid these pitfalls, your online marketing and social media will start to produce a real,measurable ROI.


    1. Not Being Interactive

    The biggest key of social media is going to be the first part of the word itself: social. If you're not making an effort to respond and interact with your Facebook fans, then you risk appearing like an organization that has poor service. This is especially true if patients are actively seeking and reaching out to your page with questions and concerns that go unanswered.

    Instead, establish a policy that includes prompt timing when it comes to responding to posts on Facebook. The most ideal time frame would be within just a few hours. It may seem obvious, but you should train employees to treat patients on Facebook just as you would if they were calling you, courteously and professionally. Otherwise, they are going to have a bad memory associated with your practice.

    • Word of bad experiences travels fast on social media. 


    2. No-Show Group Practices

    When you create a Facebook page, the next step in the process is posting frequently enough to give a little reminder to patients that you're active on their news feed. Ideally, you will want to post content (special promotions, original content, articles, and the like) at least once a day, even asking
     a simple question or mentioning an interesting article can be enough to touch base with your patients.


    Facebook allows you to schedule all of your posts for certain hours of the day, making the task of posting something that can be handled in small blocks of time.

    • Having a page on Facebook that looks like a ghost town leaves a bad impression of your organization.


    3. Not Considering Your Facebook Audience

    It is important to recognize what type of services your medical group practice provides and who your actual audience on Facebook is. Let's consider the example of an oral and maxillofacial surgery group. 

    Like many groups, their Facebook community is made up mostly of patients who have come into the office for a procedure and were compelled to "Like" the group on Facebook. So far everything is great, working just like it should. However, many of the patients at an oral surgery group practice are coming in for a procedure like dental implants or wisdom teeth removal. These patients hope to never have to come in again for these procedures. 

    Posting articles on Facebook about dental implants may fall on deaf ears, so to speak. Sure, your fans may hit "like" or even share the article with others. However, these are patients who have already come in for implants. You're presenting the wrong message to the wrong person at the wrong time. 

    A better approach may be to discuss the implant maintenance and cleaning program your office just developed. Or promote cosmetic services like Botox, something a Facebook fan may still have interest in. 

    • Are your Facebook messages aimed at the right audience? 


    4. Not Keeping It Somewhat Casual

    Facebook is all about connecting with others and, sometimes, posting some lighthearted stuff. When most people are following brands, including group practices, they may be seeking out deals or "incentives," or they may be searching for helpful information about their health situation.

    However, not lightening things up a bit from time to time will quickly make your business seem boring to your Facebook fans. While there needs to be a level of appropriateness, you can still keep it casual by discussing things that aren't directly related to work. Posting about how to eat healthy at a Fourth of July cookout while still enjoying yourself, for example. 

    • Is your Facebook page engaging and lighthearted enough to keep people's interest?


    5. Posting Too Often

    Yes, I just said to be careful and make sure you post often enough. However, there is a fine line and once it is crossed, your business actually starts to annoy people. A good rule of thumb is to post no more than 3-5 times per day. We know that Facebook does not show your posts to all of your fans. That said, people will get put off if your medical group practice is posting 2-3 times an hour with seemingly irrelevant information. 

    • Keep a close eye on the comments. If you start to read that people are getting annoyed it may be time to pull back on the throttle.


    Avoid these pitfalls and your group practices will go very far with their social media. In fact, it can make everything seem a lot more fun!

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    Physicians and Facebook: 7 Reasons to Get Social on Facebook

    Physicians and Facebook: 7 Reasons to Get Social on Facebook | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    These days, it seems everyone is on Facebook. There are over 500 million users worldwide, and half of those people log on to Facebook on any given day.


    Physicians who create a Facebook page for their practice are able to leverage this huge user base as a way to stay connected to their patients and attract new customers.


    If your practice doesn’t have a page yet, here are a few reasons to seriously consider creating a Facebook page:


    1. Keep patients informed – Tell your patients any time there is news about your practice. Whether you’re going to be closed on a certain day, now offering a new service or opened a new location, you can keep your patients in the loop.


    2. Share verified information – The Internet is full of misinformation. When you read an article that would be valuable to your patients, the CDC releases a health warning or a groundbreaking study is released, post it on your page to keep patients armed with the best possible info to stay healthy.


    3. Interact with patients – You can stay top of mind with your patients by posting articles, tips and announcements. Patients may only see you for a matter of minutes each year, so keeping a conversation going online will help build a lasting relationship.


    4. Network with other physicians – You can discuss best practices, recruit physicians or learn new things in your online community by participating in Facebook discussions.


    5. Build an online presence – When potential new patients go online and search for a doctor in your area, you’ll want to show up. Facebook is great at getting you seen when people search, so take advantage of this.


    6. Create referral business – When someone searches for a doctor, mechanic or any other service provider, they tend to ask their friends for recommendations. If prospects are seeing your posts on a friend’s Facebook page, then that can start the conversation and lead to a referral for your practice.


    7. It’s free and easy! It won’t cost you any money to set up a page and you can do it in minutes. You can make managing it part of a trusted staff member’s job and they will probably be happy to get paid to use Facebook.

    There are so many benefits of putting your practice on Facebook, but many physicians are concerned, and rightly so, about patients posting private information. The best thing to do is to create a disclaimer about what is appropriate for Facebook and post it prominently on your page.

    If a patient does post private information, try to remove it as quickly as possible and send that patient a private message to contact the office directly.


    Bonus: Mobile Media Tip
    While Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla of social media, there are other ways to reach your audience. The location-based mobile platform Foursquare is also a rapidly growing social media player with 8.5 million users — adding an average of 27,000 new members per day.


    Using Foursquare can be a great way to get found when someone searches for a doctor on their smartphone. With 2 million check-ins per day, there’s no reason not to take advantage of all the potential customers found on this free service. Simply create a profile and let new patients find you.


    Of course, there are so many other social media paths to take, but these two are a great place to start. Marketing doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming in the social media age. Take advantage of technology and don’t get left behind!

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    More consumers turn to social media for health research

    More consumers turn to social media for health research | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    During the past two years, social media use in healthcare has increased 21 percent, according to Kantar Media’s 2013 Online Behavior Study. Kantar Media’s MARS Online Behavior Study helps the industry make better decisions about how to incorporate online into pharmaceutical marketing strategies.


    The most significant jump was in health video, but health blogs also experienced substantial growth. Social media is a growing space for the healthcare industry with the number of adults using it as an information source escalating. Pharma companies will need to devise methods to reach their consumers within the social media space.


    “A driver for this increase in social media is the increase in mobile devices ownership,” says Kantar Media's Healthcare Research Team. “Between 2012 and 2013, the portion of adults owning a smartphone or tablet increased from 42 percent to 55 percent. Two thirds of smartphone or tablet owners report that social networking is a reason they access the Internet.” 


    As a major pharma player, Sanofi US “entered the social media space to foster an open dialogue with patients, industry leaders and peers, and to share health information and company news and perspectives through a readily accessible medium,” Stacy Burch, director, corporate reputation and digital communications, Sanofi US told Med Ad News Daily. “Our goal and strategy has been to actively listen, learn and appropriately engage with the online community: to listen, to learn, and to participate where we can. A growing share of consumers and our stakeholders are active in social media channels, so it was a logical step for us to establish a presence there in order to actively listen to the relevant conversations and engage when we believe we can add value.”


    According to Kantar Media's Healthcare Research Team, consumers who go online to research certain health conditions and use social media may be looking for different types of information based on the stage of the condition.  “Those recently diagnosed are more likely to visit or post comments to online message boards or forums,” the researchers told Med Ad News Daily. “Those experiencing symptoms or preparing for their first medical appointment are more likely to read blogs about a particular health topic or participate in in online support groups.  Those recovering, undergoing treatment, or have an ongoing condition are more likely to visit or join health support groups.”


    One of the major tenets at Sanofi US has been “be personal.”  

    When engaging in the social media space, there might be a tendency to hide behind a company name and revert to ‘corporate speak,’ but we realize consumers want to engage with real people, so that is the experience we provide,” says Burch.


    “Consumers are becoming more engaged in their own health, and social media has been a catalyst in driving that,” Burch told Med Ad News Daily. “In interactive environments such as Twitter, Facebook, communities and blogs, patients are able to share and discuss the realities of living with a disease, and build real relationships with people who can relate. This is happening in many therapeutic areas – of note, we see countless tips shared and friendships made within the Diabetes Online Community every day. In the case of rare diseases, social media is also an invaluable piece of the ‘awareness’ puzzle – patients lacking information about their condition are able to connect with others who have dealt with the same thing. Everyone should be an expert in their own health, and it’s wonderful to see people connecting the dots online.” 

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    Healthcare and Social Media Infographic

    Healthcare and Social Media Infographic | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it
    The folks at Master-Of-Health-Administration.com have put together on how patients, hospitals, and health related organizations have been using social media. Image compliments of Master of Health A...
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    Leveraging social media for preventive care-A gamification system.

    Leveraging social media for preventive care-A gamification system. | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    Patient compliance is a significant factor in improving health outcomes. However, because of deferred benefits of treatment or lifestyle recommendations, patients frequently fail to comply with their medication, therapy or simply exercise or diet advice given by care providers until their health conditions deteriorate. As poor adherence remains a significant yet insufficiently addressed health issue, it is critical to create effective interventions as part of the solutions.

     

    Previous studies indicate that peer supporting and social gaming can be useful for improving compliance. To understand how different motivation factors affect user behavior through social media, the authors constructed a healthcare compliance website with built-in behavior analyses so that they might conduct experiments. Users’ health compliance levels can be reported to the website and shared among consenting social members for discussion or competition.

      

    Their theoretic models for behavior analyses include Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and psychological game theory. The authors’ preliminary analysis showed that people applying social media for healthcare compliance could be motivated differently and act strategically during their social exchanges. -


     See more at: http://www.physiospot.com/research/leveraging-social-media-for-preventive-care-a-gamification-system-and-insights/#sthash.LoDGkvbn.dpuf

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    4 deft ways hospitals use social media

    4 deft ways hospitals use social media | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    The Mayo Clinic ranks No. 1 for Twitter, with more than half a million followers. Cleveland Clinic is third on YouTube, with nearly 3 million views. And the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, Texas, ranks 30th on Flickr, with 115 Flickr photos.


    Where do the paths of these three organizations cross?  Well, they’re ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively, in a recent Top 50 Most Social Media Friendly Hospitals for 2013 listing developed by a group called MHADegree.org.


    According to Bethanny Parker, editor of MHADegree.org and the social media list’s author, there’s no shortage of reasons why healthcare organizations should have a solid, ever-evolving social media strategy in place.
    Awareness - According to Parker, one of the most important uses of social media is as a multi-faceted means of getting new, and perhaps critical, healthcare information out to the public.  “Perhaps a new test has been developed that can catch a certain cancer earlier,” she said.  The viral nature, so to speak, of social media can be a very effective means of disseminating information quickly, particularly when that information comes from a highly regarded medical source and can be of immediate use to patients.
    Connecting with customers -  Any business needs to maintain its reputation, and hospitals and other providers are no different. A recent study published by the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that “approximately 60 percent of Internet users report using the Internet to look for health information.” Put those two facts together and it becomes clear that hospitals that want to serve the public need to meet the public where they are, which increasingly means on the Internet.
    “Neutral” information - For Parker, one of the subtly valuable uses of social media involves “the way it can provide a way to connect with a healthcare provider without committing to an appointment.”  That is, it’s widely understood that some patients are reluctant, depending on the condition with which they’re struggling, to speak directly to a healthcare provider as the first step toward receiving treatment. With Facebook, for example, providers can offer information and guidance in “non-threatening” ways, with the ultimate goal of making prospective patients more comfortable when it comes to reaching out directly.
    Flash mobs - OK, the actual category for this use of social media might be dubbed “Unorthodox Outreach.” And while the chances are slim that flash mobs and other “new communications” are going to become a regular option in, say, the Mayo Clinic’s communication strategy, Parker pointed to a group called Tobacco Control Nigeria that recently used a flash mob to educate passers-by about the dangers of smoking. The point is, as everyone knows, social media options keep evolving, so you really never know how it might come in handy.
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    41 percent of patients say social media affects hospital choice

    41 percent of patients say social media affects hospital choice | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it
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    eMedToday's curator insight, September 4, 2013 8:15 PM

    interesting facts.

     

    One conclusion is that hospitals still do not use social media much

    nrip's comment, September 5, 2013 2:22 AM
    Yes...many hospitals fear regulations. The few that are using social media are using it very restrictively. Most of the hospitals which are using social networks do so as an extension of their website and bulletin board
    Danielle Swift's curator insight, January 10, 2014 8:36 AM

    Interesting stat andits implications about communication with patients.

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    Study: Hospitals With More Facebook 'Likes' Have Lower Mortality Rates

    Study: Hospitals With More Facebook 'Likes' Have Lower Mortality Rates | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    One of the biggest complaints against the current health care system is that you can never be sure, when you walk into a hospital, exactly what you're going to get. Certain metrics, like patient satisfaction and mortality rates, are thought to be more or less reliable indicators of general quality, but neither are exactly easy to obtain. Patient review sites, in the style of Yelp, are vulnerable to slander and reporting bias, and stats for specific hospitals, when collected, often aren't publically available.


    Instead of finding new ways of collecting and reporting quality, why not use something that we already know to be powerfully effective: the social force that is Facebook. As a study on friendship similarly showed, Facebook is not best seen as a purely virtual space, but rather as a tool that augments our lived-in reality.


    This reality, as a study in The American Journal of Medical Quality found, extends to the patient experience. When its authors compared the number of "likes" acquired by 40 hospitals in the New York City area, they found that online popularity was positively corresponded with how many people responded, "Yes, they would definitely recommend the hospital," in patient satisfaction surveys.  

     

    An even stronger relationship was found for mortality. Each percentage point of a decrease in a hospital's 30-day mortality rate corresponded with that hospital's page having an average of 93 more Facebook likes.

    With a few very large outliers, most of the hospitals included in the study had only a few hundred likes -- paltry showings by the social media giant's standards. But the numbers turned out to be a better indicator of quality, in terms of mortality rates, than were the satisfaction survey results. After all, every patient who passed through the hospitals was given the survey and asked to choose whether or not they'd recommend it to others. But it takes a special kind of satisfaction for a patient to log on to Facebook, seek out their hospital, and make their recommendation public.

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    Image sharing using Facebook: Fact or fiction?

    Image sharing using Facebook: Fact or fiction? | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    Healthcare practitioners can share medical images using a number of mechanisms and methods. Some of these applications have been in use for at least 20 years, some are still being developed, and some might not make sense today but could very well change how we share images in the near future.


    Some applications might seem far-fetched, particularly regarding image exchange using social media. However, one should remember that the most common critique when Twitter was still in its infancy was that "it did not have a purpose" -- until the Arab Spring occurred, in which social media played a major role.


    Therefore, I would not reject image sharing via social media as being far-fetched, but rather take it as a valid option. Before we consider image sharing on Facebook, I want to describe image sharing use-case scenarios and then look at how we can accomplish this with different architectures. I'll also list the communication options and discuss the maturity of these solutions.


    Use cases

    While radiology studies are the most commonly exchanged images for review and evaluation, practitioners in pathology, ophthalmology, dermatology, and many other specialties also require image sharing. The most popular use cases are described below.

    Emergency medicine scenario: Often during off-hours, a study has to be reviewed and reported, causing a preliminary report to be generated and sent back to the requester within a very limited time frame, e.g., 15 to 30 minutes. A more detailed report is often created when a radiologist or other specialty practitioner is available, such as during regular working hours.


    Primary radiology coverage: This is when a radiologist is not present onsite, as is often the case in rural areas, or when a radiologist covers clinics in the suburbs or provides coverage for disaster or war zones. In this case, exchanging images with the onsite clinicians is essential. Instead of the "preliminary" read as used in the emergency scenario, the practitioner creates a final report.

    Second opinion: When a specialist is looking for an opinion from a peer who might have more experience with a certain imaging modality or particular disease pattern, an image exchange is needed. This is common when new modalities or acquisition techniques are implemented, such as PET/CT or PET/MR. A sick patient may also present after returning to the U.S. following travel to a tropical country, and physicians might need a second opinion for a disease, such as malaria, that's uncommon in their particular region. Social media might also play a role in this scenario.


    Comparison or referral: This occurs when the primary reason for the image exchange is not to make a diagnosis from the original study, as that already has taken place, but to have the previous studies available. For example, a patient is treated in another location, and previous exams have to be viewed for either comparison to a new study or, what is more often the case, to assess the patient's condition without having to repeat that procedure again. This scenario "reuses" the studies and reports as input to diagnosis and further treatment.


    Implementation

    Each image-sharing application does not necessarily have a single implementation. A certain use case can be implemented using different methods, although some of the architectures are more suitable to specific use cases than others. Let's look at the mechanisms to exchange the studies.

    Point-to-point modality to viewer: A technologist can push certain studies directly from a modality, such as a CT in an emergency room, to a doctor's home for review at his or her DICOM viewer. There is a direct connection from the CT to the physician.


    PACS to viewer: A PACS could be set up to route all stat studies arriving from a modality directly to a physician's workstation. This is similar to the point-to-point modality to viewer push approach, but it offers the advantage of having a copy available at the PACS to be used as an intermediary. If there are multiple modalities that have to share images, the sending can be centralized from a single source, i.e., the PACS router. If a PACS does not support sophisticated routing using rules determined by information in the image header in order to determine what information goes where, one could use an add-on image router that can be provided by several manufacturers.


    PACS worklist: Images are sent to the PACS, and the radiologist has access to the PACS worklist using the PACS workstation. The workflow management features of the PACS can be used to indicate which studies are stat, which ones are being read, etc. This works well if a radiologist only reads from one hospital or multiple institutions that all have the same PACS. The same workflow is used whether the radiologist reads the images locally or accesses the PACS from a remote location.


    Aggregate PACS: If the radiologists have to read from multiple, different PACS, it makes sense for them to use their own mini-PACS servers and worklist management. This is typically how nighthawk or emergency medicine works, as these radiologists support many different hospitals, each with their own PACS from different vendors. The images are therefore routed from either the modality or the PACS to a teleradiology PACS server, which aggregates the multiple worklists into a new "combined" worklist. The radiologist then retrieves the image from the teleradiology server and does the reporting.


    PACS Web server: Several PACS provide a Web server, or one can purchase a Web server from a different vendor. The Web server can be embedded in the PACS core software or implemented as a separate hardware box that will have a copy of the images from the PACS. Images are typically retrieved over the Web and if one uses a true zero-footprint viewer, there is no trace left on the viewer after the user logs off, which satisfies privacy and security regulations. The worklist capabilities are often not present or are less sophisticated than when using the aggregate PACS worklist. However, the advantage of a separate versus an integrated Web server is that images are available even if the PACS might be down, and therefore this access type can also serve as a backup. One could also use a mini-Web server which gets the information directly from the acquisition modality, but this only makes sense for a small clinic with only one or two modalities and no PACS to speak of.


    EMR: Instead of using a PACS, one can also use an electronic medical record (EMR) to view the images. The advantage is that there is much more contextual information available, including lab results, previous reports, patient history, etc. Image enabling of an EMR differs from vendor to vendor. One can use a PACS plug-in, which basically launches a viewer inside the EMR window after exchanging the appropriate context information such as an accession number, or do a query and retrieval from the EMR viewer to the PACS database or from an enterprise image manager and archive solution such as a vendor-neutral archive (VNA).


    Image sharing using the cloud: Images can be exchanged using an external image-sharing service, which functions as a broker and forwards the images to the recipient. There are two versions: either the cloud service provider uses only a store-and-forward mechanism, or the cloud functions as a repository and keeps the images for a certain time period. Institutions need to subscribe to the cloud service provider for a fee. This solution makes sense for institutions that regularly exchange information but not often enough to warrant a dedicated link to each other. A good example would be an academic or specialty hospital with relationships with several other institutions in a geographic area that refer patients on a regular basis and want to exchange images. Note that the institution is tied into one particular cloud provider that exchanges the information, which is typically in a proprietary method.


    Image sharing using a health information exchange (HIE): This implementation method employs the same architecture used by the commercial cloud provider, but it follows open standards. The HIE can be private, such as within a provider network with several hospitals and/or clinics, or it can be public, such as those being established as part of the incentives by the U.S. federal government to improve healthcare.


    Image sharing using a personal health record (PHR): The main applications of the many PHRs that are being rolled out include scheduling appointments, reordering prescriptions, accessing physician notes, and maintaining a communication channel between the patient and provider. The ultimate PHR would also allow the maintenance of certain healthcare information, and it could be used for patients to upload their images to have them available whenever needed. A patient would simply authorize the provider access to the information, which can then be exchanged in a standard manner.


    CD exchange: For comparison or referral purposes, images are often hand carried by the patient, a method that comes with its own logistics and interoperability challenges. A chronically sick patient might have literally dozens of CDs that need to be exchanged at each appointment with a different specialist. Also, there are still institutions that do not create these CDs in a standards-compliant manner, making them impossible to read and/or import to a workstation for comparison. The American Medical Association has complained about the wide variety of embedded image viewers, but, unfortunately, the resulting Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) profile definition to standardize viewer features and icons does not seem to have gotten much traction. CDs are still the most common method of exchanging images for referral, which one hopes will be replaced in the not-too-distant future with other image-sharing options described here.


    Image sharing using social media: It is not uncommon for patients to post their images publicly on the Internet, sometimes just to share them, but also to ask for advice, in particular if it concerns a rare disease or something that is hard to diagnose. It is similar to radiology portals posting their "case of the day" or of the week, but with the difference that the diagnosis is not (yet) known. There are also physicians who use their own Facebook account or other social network to ask for advice. This is still an exception, and it seems to contradict the increasing emphasis on patient privacy. However, I would argue that this might be a valid option if a patient has no interest in keeping his or her information private, but rather would like to get as much exposure as possible for these images to get as many opinions as possible.


    Connectivity

    Network connectivity between the sending and receiving sides can be implemented in different ways; some are more common for certain applications than others. The most common implementations are as follows.

    SNKR -- Sneakernet: In the CD exchange scenario, the information is exchanged in person or by mail, commonly referred to as the "sneakernet."

    PPDCM -- Point-to-point DICOM: Images are typically exchanged between modalities or a PACS and pushed to a remote viewing station or to a teleradiology PACS server using the DICOM format and protocol. If one is using the public Internet, a virtual private network (VPN) is set up to guarantee confidentiality of the information to be exchanged. The DICOM protocol relies on the reliable delivery by the underlying TCP/IP communication layers. If the bandwidth of the connection is limited and/or the study sizes are large, standard DICOM compression is used such as JPEG or wavelet (aka JPEG2000).


    GTWAY -- DICOM to edge server/gateway: If the connection to the Internet is unreliable or not available, one might need to use alternative communication channels such as the phone network or dedicated satellite links. In that case, an edge server or gateway is used that converts the DICOM protocol in a proprietary protocol, which in most cases uses a high compression ratio and very robust communication protocol. The gateway functions as a store-and-forward box, ensuring delivery. This edge server talks to a server or a destination that has the reverse gateway, i.e., it makes sure the images are received without any corruption and preferably then uses DICOM to pass them on. This solution is common for teleradiology applications in rural areas or disaster and military zones.


    PPP -- Point-to-point proprietary: This is commonly used by workstations that access the PACS server of the same vendor. They use the radiology worklist provided by the PACS, and, if they use a public network, a VPN is needed to encrypt the information being exchanged.


    WEB -- Web-based protocol: The Web-server clients typically use a secure HTTPS protocol to access the images. Some PACS vendors also use HTTPS for regular in-house image access, but this is uncommon.


    EML -- Email: Emailing an image poses quite a few issues because the images are quite large even if they are compressed, and there is no context information. This assumes that one uses secure email to start with and that the receiver can recognize the .dcm file extensions that are created for that purpose. DICOM has addressed this, but the DICOM email has never taken off in the U.S., although it has been implemented in Germany and is somewhat common there.


    XPHR -- Personal Health Record Exchange: This is an HL7 version 3 document exchange definition using the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA), which can exchange all relevant information between the PHR and EMR.


    XDS-I -- Cross-Enterprise Document Sharing for Imaging: The IHE organization has defined a series of profiles, including how to exchange documents and images. The XDS-I profile uses a series of transactions that allow an image producer and consumer to exchange both registry and repository information with an HIE. The image exchange uses the Web version of the DICOM protocol, aka WADO, or Web Access to DICOM Objects. The XDS-I protocol is widely implemented by PACS vendors, especially those who claim to offer a VNA. However, the number of institutions that actually use this protocol, especially in the U.S., is still relatively sparse. Note that there are also different variants of this mechanism defined by IHE, i.e., the Cross Community Access for Imaging (XCA-I) and the Cross-Enterprise Document Reliable Interchange of Images (XDR-I). These don't use a registry but provide a direct query/retrieve and push mechanism for image exchange. These implementations are also still in their infancy.


    RSTF -- Restful Services: A new version of the DICOM protocol is being defined that expands beyond the WADO protocol and has greater functionality. The "traditional" DICOM protocol that includes a negotiation step to set up the association between two devices and uses the DICOM-specific set of commands is not that suitable for accessing information over the Web. This new DICOM extension is still very much in its early phases, but it might become popular as the need for Web-based access, especially from embedded viewers in an EMR, becomes common.


    INT -- Internet: Uploading images on a server via a proprietary protocol is typically used by social media, such as Facebook or other image-sharing services. The image would have to be converted to a Web-friendly image type such as JPEG or TIFF, which almost certainly affects the image quality. Therefore, one can typically only see gross anatomy; small findings are almost certainly not visible.


    Use cases with typical architectures and communication options Emergency medicinePrimary readingSecond opinionReferralModality to viewerPPDCM, GTWAYPPDCM, GTWAYEMLEMLPACS to viewerPPDCM, GTWAYPPDCM, GTWAYEMLEMLPACS worklistPPPPPP  Multiple PACSPPPPPP  PACS Web serverWEB, GTWAYWEB, GTWAY  EMR accessWEB, GTWAY WEB, GTWAY, RSTFWEB, GTWAY, RSTFCloud sharing  GTWAY, EML, RSTFGTWAY, EML, RSTFHIE sharing  XDS-I, RSTFXDS-I, RSTFPHR sharing  XPHRXPHRCD exchange SNKRSNKRSNKRSocial media  INT 


    Some of the architectures and connections as described above are very mature, while others are very young. Teleradiology was implemented widely during the 1990s, but some of these methods such as cloud services, the XDS protocol, and Restful Services are still very much in their infancy.


    There are many reasons for image exchange and several different architectures and implementations with different communication mechanisms. Both the industry and provider community are trying to figure out how and what to do, knowing that many of the solutions are still in the early phases of the technology hype cycle. Time will tell which method and protocol will prevail, but, as with any technology, there will always be other technologies pushing the curve. That makes this field so interesting and never boring.


    Herman Oosterwijk is president of OTech, a healthcare imaging and IT company specializing in EMR, PACS, DICOM, and HL7 training.

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    How Facebook Is Transforming Science and Public Health

    How Facebook Is Transforming Science and Public Health | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    Facebook has encompassed many things in its nine-year run. From a subtler version of a dating site to a gaming platform and a messaging hub. We’ve seen Facebook and its billion-plus users play a part in influencing politics, the form advertising takes, and how retail happens. Now we’re starting to see Facebook begin to impact science and public health, and it could be Facebook’s biggest industry-changing opportunity yet.


    The logic is a simple one: Everyone on Facebook, all 1 billion-plus people, will have an illness at some point in their lives. And, as Facebook’s social creatures are in the habit of doing, that mass of people will share their experience battling disease, ask questions of their friends, and field advice from outsiders. Through the bullhorn of Facebook, healthcare professionals can deliver information 24-7 about flu vaccines, the path of epidemics, and essential preventive care. The social network can influence how and when people respond to disease, and how we manage death and dying. “Facebook has this massive and powerful platform [that] can be deployed for health care,” says Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute.


    In his book about digital health care, Topol writes about the story of a mother who posted pictures of her sick child on Facebook. People in her network started commenting on those photos. Three, including a cousin who was a pediatric cardiologist, called to tell her her son might have Kawasaki’s disease, a rare genetic disorder. She called her doctor and told her she was on her way to the hospital because she had a “sense” her kid was really sick.


    “What [else] was I going to say? Three of my Facebook friends think my kid has an extremely rare childhood auto-immune disorder which I just read about on Wikipedia, and since they all contacted me after I posted a photo of him on my wall, I’m going? It seemed … wrong!” Deborah Kogan wrote on Slate. Once she got to the hospital, she writes, she told the doctor about her Facebook-prompted visit. She claims the doc said, “You know what? I was just thinking it could be Kawasaki disease. Makes total sense. Bravo, Facebook.”

    This is only one story, but it does highlight the potential power of the Facebook network effect.


    Last May, for example, Facebook made registering as an organ donor an official “Life Event.” Theoretically, users always had the option to tell their friends they wanted someone else to benefit from their body after they died. But publicizing that information was likely not high on the list of things people thought of sharing when they logged in. Facebook changed that, at least for a time.


    About 6,000 people in 22 states registered as organ donors on the first day after the announcement was made, up from an average of about 360. That spike in registrations may have trailed off because users were not continuously reminded of this option, but the social experiment showed the influence Facebook could have on public health, say experts studying the collision between digital tools and health care.


    Facebookers can already add overcoming an illness, losing weight, breaking bones or having their braces removed to their Life Events under the category “health and wellness,” but those updates provide very limited information about health.


    Physicians, Topol says, don’t even know what normal, minute-by-minute blood pressure should be. That’s a problem because millions of Americans suffer from high blood pressure. But what if researchers could reach even a fraction of Facebook users who have this condition and prompt them to participate in a research study that tracked their blood pressure, along with other metrics like activity levels and heart rate through digital sensors? What if at some point in the future, there was even an option to share genetic information on your Facebook profile? With its growing cross-section of users, Facebook “could really get us an enriched data set,” Topol says.

    That assumes, of course, that the data will be reliable, that Facebook will work with scientists to do research as it currently does, and that people will be willing to share personal health information given concerns about how Facebook or third parties might use their data. If you post that you have insomnia for example, would sleep medication ads suddenly pop up?


    Those kinds of questions, and the cautious nature of the health care industry, have tended to keep the flow of health related data on Facebook fairly unsophisticated. Until now, Facebook has mostly served as a platform to disseminate information on the cheap. “More hospitals are on Facebook than any other social platform,” said Lee Aase, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. Organizations use it, Aase says, to raise awareness about local blood drives, mental health services, free vaccinations, STD/HIV testing, or prenatal care.


    Physicians, who you might think would love to use Facebook as a natural hub to communicate with their patients, have mostly shied away from it and other social media platforms to interact with patients because of concerns over professionalism and legal liabilities due to patient confidentiality laws.

    But there are signs that the healthcare crowd is warming up to Facebook, in particular research scientists are increasingly using Facebook as a tool. Currently, there have been roughly 400 academic papers published in the last four years that mention the social network, according to a search for the word ‘Facebook’ on PubMed, a public database of biomedical and life sciences research. That’s not many, but the number of such articles published each year seems to be growing. Some of these studies are trying to tease out whether Facebook could be a valid teaching tool for dentistry, histology and continuing education, which suggests the field might be getting more comfortable with the idea of using social media more widely.


    In September, researchers from the University of California, San Diego, in collaboration with Facebook’s Data Science group, published a study of 61 million Facebook users in the journal Naturethat suggested political messaging on Facebook influenced real-word voting of millions in the 2010 congressional elections. When users were told that their friends had voted, they were slightly more likely to vote themselves. Although the effect was small, “they translate into a significant numbers of votes” if extrapolated into a real-world scenario, according to an editorial published with the report. Imagine if the same could be shown for public health campaigns on Facebook? Scripps’ Topol asks.


    “The leading digital doctors are really pushing the envelope on this,” says Topol. “But it’s just getting started.”

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    How Facebook & DNA Technology Solved Outbreak Of Strep Throat In a Minnesota Dance Team

    How Facebook & DNA Technology Solved Outbreak Of Strep Throat In a Minnesota Dance Team | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    With Facebook, you can track down buddies from high schools, ex-girlfriends/boyfriends (for better or worse), long lost cousins... and infectious diseases. Last year, public health officials in Minnesota capitalized on a tip from the social media platform to hunt down the source of a strep throat outbreak in a high school.


    The tip came from a parent whose daughter was a member of the high school's female dance team. After noticing that an alarming number of the dancers had posted to the team's Facebook page with complaints of strep throat, or Group A streptococcus (GAS) pharyngitis, the observant guardian contacted the Minnesota Department of Health.


    The health officials realized that posts to the Facebook page began to appear 24-48 hours after the team had thrown a banquet and about three days after a potluck with some male classmates.


    Although strep throat is normally passed via people coughing up infected respiratory droplets, food contamination does occur in rare cases. This route was more common before modern refrigeration and the advent of pasteurization, especially through the consumption of raw milk.


    The investigators started with classic detective work: 100 telephone interviews and nasal swabs from the attendees, associated family members, and male classmates. Leftover food was bagged, and all of the biological specimens were transported to the state's public health laboratory in St Paul.

    All of the boys who attended the potluck were negative for strep, so this event was eliminated.


    Individual leftover items from the banquet that were tested by 'DNA typing,' a form of genetic analysis that can decipher bacterial heritage. The health team found that only a pot of pasta contained GAS bacteria that matched the cultures collected from the dancers.


    A couple of false leads — people who had GAS but did not attend the banquet — could have thrown the investigators, but DNA typing allowed them to precisely track the gene fingerprints of the bacteria in the pasta to the infections in the dancers.


    Another set of interviews revealed that the parent who had made the pasta, along with their child, had caught the same variant of GAS over two weeks before the banquet. Furthermore one girl who hadn't attended the banquet, but eaten the leftover pasta, came down with this strain of strep. In other words, the food culprit was caught.


    "We suspect cooked food was contaminated by respiratory droplets from a person who carried the strep bacteria in the throat when the food was cooling or reheating," said lead investigator and epidemic specialist Dr. Sarah Kemble of the Minnesota Department of Health. "The food probably was not kept hot or cold enough to stop bacterial growth."


    To reduce the spread of foodborne illness, the authors recommended that large batches of prepared food be kept either hot or cold, as disease-causing bacteria love to roost at temperatures between 41°F to 140°F. People should also avoid cooking for groups if they have symptoms of a respiratory disease like strep and should always ask a doctor how long they should wait before prepping meals for others.


    This isn't the first mysterious outbreak to be cracked by Facebook. Flu flare-ups have been identified using the popular social media tool.


    Google Flu Trends and other websites like HealthMap have tried to harness the power of people conducting influenza-related searches when they are sick, but some have questioned whether these tactics are truly representative of an afflicted population, given not everyone is online. In addition flaws appeared in Google's system during America's severe bout of seasonal influenza this past spring, with search engine app dramatically overestimating the prevalence of the disease.


    Odds are these computer bugs will be worked out by intrepid software programmers, and disease surveillance, like so many aspects of public life, will be added to the list of items that social media has revolutionized.

     

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    Social Media: Rx for Patient Loneliness

    Social Media: Rx for Patient Loneliness | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    Loneliness takes a toll on patients. Social media may be just the Rx for the loneliness that can arise during hospitall treatment -- a lifeline to support.


    So much is being made of the importance of social media in how hospitals interact with patients. The gist of many of these discussions is that hospitals should share information with patients via social media challenges. The patients are on social media so hospitals and physicians should join them there. I totally agree, of course, but I think that hospitals need to embrace social media for these far more human reasons. One of them is loneliness — especially in acute care settings.


    Lonelier patients:

    • Feel more pain.
    • Have immune system problems.
    • Have shorter lifespans in their older years.
    • Have shorter survival times when fighting at least one form of cancer.


    Now don’t get me wrong. I know that hospitals and cancer centers (etc) already “get this.” Many a hospital or cancer center volunteer has helped many a patient stave off loneliness. But healthcare  everywhere is trying to pull in its collective belt and money is tight. It would seem to me that embracing the patients’  existing involvement in social media and even encouraging it, may be a cost-effective way to engage patients and help them stave off loneliness and increase patient satisfaction.


    Ideally, healthcare facilities will figure out a way to encourage social network communication and be involved in that conversation. Patients and their families are using social media to talk prior to, during and after the period covered by HCAHPS surveys. By being involved in the social media conversation, the hospital can engage patients and their families throughout the care experience: preparing them priorto their stay, helping them in real-time during their stay and quickly addressing post-discharge questionsafter the stay.


    Unfortunately, the tools required to give hospitals this visibility (without taking away patients’ already familiar tools) are only now starting to be offered and adopted. There is still a hesitance to embrace social media in this real-world, care-giving paradigm (as opposed to just using it to distribute content one-way). But that hesitance won’t last. Transparency in healthcare communications is coming. I look forward to the offerings that will emerge to help hospitals leverage the tools used by patients and families today while also giving those same hospitals a way to be engaged.


    Loneliness is a horrible feeling that lots of patients have to deal with every day. By embracing social media communications — even encouraging it — between patients and their families, patients and other patients, etc.,  hospitals can help battle this problem and add another tool to their care-giving toolbox.

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    Facebook’s New Step Towards Revolutionizing Public Health Awareness

    Facebook’s New Step Towards Revolutionizing Public Health Awareness | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    Facebook has evolved over time from a subtler site highlighting social connectivity to the social sharing giant that it is. It has revolutionized almost every niche including retail, advertising and has even influenced politics. However, with the addition of the various new elements to the “life events” section, Facebook is now attempting to evolve the niche of public health and science.


    So far, you could add fighting an illness, losing weight or even getting your braces under the “life events” section. Recently, the site also added registering as a donor a part of the same section.


    However, more expansively, Facebook is working on getting up a section where people can share even minute-to-minute medical information, including genetic details. With the rich focus group of various cross sections of users, Facebook could turn out to be the most influential data set for scientists and doctors to get background health information regarding patients.


    In the recent years, almost 400 research papers have been published on this upcoming trend and its eminent usability. Since political campaigns on twitter and Facebook did influence various different political agendas all over the world.


    The Data science group at Facebook is hopeful that a similar positive influence can be garnered with public health campaigns on Facebook’s massive platform. Also, people sharing health information and concerns on the site might lead to a faster discovery of diseases and benefiting from shared experiences.


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    3 Ways Dentists Can Use Facebook Advertising for New Patient Acquisition

    3 Ways Dentists Can Use Facebook Advertising for New Patient Acquisition | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    Social media for the dental practice has come a long way in just a few short years.


    We hear reports every now and again that more traditional new patient acquisition efforts, like Yellow Pages & Direct Mail, are still useful in certain areas (targeting certain demographics), but without a complementary social media identity, dentists are not maximizing their new patient recruitment efforts.


    The emphasis has shifted from over-bloated underperforming dental marketing, to content creation and digital word-of-mouth amplification, which social networks such as Facebook, Google+, and Twitter facilitate.

    For the sake of this article we will concentrate on Facebook advertising for dentists.
     

    Dentists Advertising for New Patients on Facebook?

     
    Dentists advertising on Facebook can use these three forms of media in their new patient acquisition efforts — “owned,” “paid,” and “earned” — to increase potential and existing patient engagement, extend the reach of their offers, contests, or promotions, and turnLikes (just like in grade school, you can’t buy friends) into new patients happy to spread the social dental currency around to their friends.

    Let’s define what we mean by each term as it relates to dental practices advertising on Facebook, but first we’ll give credit where credit is most due – the inspiration of this post belongs to this Facebook Advertising article via Practical eCommerce.

    Owned media. Content created by dentists for use on Facebook Pages.
    Paid media. Ads such as Facebook Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories.
    Earned media. Conversations about dental health brands and products shared among Facebook users.

    Dentists maximizing Facebook’s advertising options effectively enable each of these advertising formats to integrate with the others to increase their overall new patient acquisition impact.
     

    Owned Media: Create Engaging Content

     
    The first step is to create content that your dental Facebook connections want and will likely engage with. What types of content qualify as engaging to a potential or existing dental patient?


    Promotional: This includes practice product announcements, in addition to promotions only targeting your Facebook fans.


    Syncapse reported back in June of 2013 that the top three reasons why people decide to like a Facebook page are:

    • 49 percent: To support a brand I like
    • 42 percent: To get a coupon or discount
    • 41 percent: To receive regular updates from brands I like

    Informational: It makes sense that prospective & existing patients will respond to content focused on their needs and interests. Give your followers the beneficial information to empower their health care decisions and enlist them in their own dental health!


    A generally accepted rule of thumb for dental Facebook posts is to keep the promotional content at a ratio of 1:4 as compared to educational, local, or entertainment driven information.


    Here are some tips dentists can use to increase engagement with the content you create:

    • Use images. According to KissMetrics, an analytics and tracking firm, images and photos receive 39 percent higher interactions than average posts, and receive 53 percent more likes, 104 percent more comments, and 84 percent more clicks. Include an image in most, if not all, of your posts.
    • Keep posts short. Posts with less than 80 characters get 23 percent higher engagement.
    • Post often…but not TOO often. Among retail brands, posting 1 to 2 times per day gets 40 percent more engagement than posting 3 or more times per day. Don’t be that dentist that posts 6 useless pieces of content before 10am!
    • Schedule posts for optimal days and times. Facebook activity peaks around 3 p.m. Eastern Time each day. There are also spikes around 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday seems to be most active day during the week. Schedule posts to take advantage of these peaks.
    • Pin and highlight posts. Pin important posts to the top of your page to increase exposure, as well as highlight such posts so they span the width of both columns in the Timeline.
    • Use Facebook Insights. Use Facebook Insights to analyze the types of content fans most respond to, as well as the effect post format, frequency and time of day has on engagement.

     

    Paid Media: Dentists Can Amplify Social Media Content with Facebook Ads

     
    Use Facebook Promoted Posts to extend reach and increase longevity of posts that receive higher engagement. In our experience, the most sharable posts for our member dentists happen to be contest results – even more so than the contest itself. Dentists using Facebook advertising in the form of Promoted Posts have the targeting capability to reach fans, friends of fans, and even a group of users based on age, gender, location and language.


    Your dental practice Promoted Posts will show up in the newsfeed of your fans – people connected to your page – if you post often enough, have an engaged following, a fully optimized Edgerank @$$ kicking presence, and maybe experiment with some hashtags…etc.


    When your most dental-centric fans engage with your posts, their friends may see the story in their news feed too, enabling you to extend your reach.
     

    That is Facebook Advertising for Dentists Force Multiplication!

     
    Another way for dentists to advertise beneficial content on Facebook is through aSponsored Story to further amplify the post. Sponsored Stories do not require any additional budget, but will share the cost with your current ad campaign.

    Earned Media: Dental Practices NEED to Interact with their Fans

    We know it sounds silly, but it’s really a make or break point. It’s unquestionably important to interact with fans…and friends of fans…who engage with your posts.


    • Respond to comments. This lets people know you’re interested in what they have to say and may increase the likelihood they will continue to pay attention to your posts over time.
    • Get fans involved. Ask people to create their own content and share it on your dental practice Facebook Page. Be sure to ask fans to take action on your posts. This could include asking them to like a post, vote in a contest, or share the post with their friends.
    • Asking questions helps, too. Posts that include questions garner 100 percent more comments than “non-question” posts.
      Feature fans. Feature a “fan of the week” and include testimonials from patients that are also fans of your dental practice Facebook Page.

     

    Dentists Can Actually Force Multiply New Patient Acquisition Efforts with Facebook Advertising

     
    Facebook makes it easy for any dental practice to integrate owned, paid and earned media to increase the effectiveness of your digital dental marketing. But dentists need to take advantage of this capability by creating engaging content, promoting content that receives the most engagement using ads, and interacting with fans and others to stimulate the digital dental health conversation centered around your practice.

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    Can Social Media Data Find a Place in EHRs?

    Can Social Media Data Find a Place in EHRs? | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    There’s a wealth of information to be gleaned, but several hurdles need to be leapfrogged.

    Social media technologies and their popularity have exploded in the past decade, and it’s not just patients who are getting in on the action. Physicians and health care organizations alike are increasingly utilizing text messaging, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media technologies in an effort to explore their potential benefits.

    It’s a wise strategic move, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 2012 Health Research Institute report that found health care organizations that “ignore the virtual environment could find themselves losing customers to competitors that do use social media to listen to and engage with consumers.”

    Thus far, most of the research in this area has focused on social media technologies as marketing tools, a way to listen to what patients are saying about their experiences and engaging them. “[In the PwC research paper], we gave examples of how hospitals are using social media, and they are not limiting their imaginations to just marketing and listening to people’s feedback about the company; they are starting to think about how to use social media for services and other aspects of their business,” says John Edwards, a PwC spokesperson and director in the Healthcare Strategy & Healthcare Business Intelligence Practice.

    Edwards cites a 2012 research statistic from the Hospital Social Network List that shows more than 1,200 US hospitals now are using social media sites, a 30% increase from the previous year. “That is a pretty significant trend toward adopting social media, so it would suggest that hospitals are finding uses for social media as part of their strategies, and that it’s a growing trend,” he says.

    But what about taking social media one step further and using it as a health record tool? What benefits could be seen from including social media exchanges in the patient record, and would such benefits override the obvious—and not-so-obvious—obstacles that arise?

    A Place in the EHR?
    Social media and health care experts seem to agree that social media exchanges could add important and interesting information to the care process, but where exactly this information fits in—and how to go about incorporating it—is up for debate.

    Jared Rhoads, senior research specialist with CSC’s Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices, says hospitals could benefit from exploring the possibility of including social media exchanges in the EHR, “but the key word here is ‘exploring’,” he says. “It stands to reason that there are tremendous opportunities for hospitals to tap into social media tools in order to get patients to become more engaged in their care. Information and data that are obtained or generated as a result of these interactions have a valid place in the patient record—as valid as nearly any other self-reported piece of information. But this is also relatively uncharted territory, and so best practices have not been widely established.”

    Rhoads says incorporating social media interactions into the patient record can enhance care management, patient adherence, and even patient safety. “For instance, caregivers could learn more about how a patient is feeling, how a patient is responding to a new medication, and whether a patient is adhering to a certain care plan,” he notes.

    Deborah Kohn, MPH, RHIA, FACHE, CPHIMS, principal of Dak Systems Consulting, who presented “The Impact of Social Media on the Integrity of Patient Record Information” at AHIMA’s November 2012 Data Integrity Summit, also likes the idea. “I truly believe that social media exchanges must be part of the patient’s record,” she says. “The next-generation computing platform will be—in many instances, already is—a social media-based platform. In other words, all Web-based applications will have the easy-to-learn look and feel of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter webpages with walls, timelines, etc.”

    Kohn notes that Practice Fusion already has incorporated social-media-style messaging for physician-to-physician communication into its EHR.

    According to Christina Thielst, FACHE, vice president of patient experience consulting group TOWER and an expert on social media in health care, whether these exchanges should eventually end up in the patient record depends on where the information in question currently resides and how it relates to the care continuum. “I do believe communications and conversations that take place on social technologies can be made part of the patient record if they are part of care and treatment processes,” she says. “But these technologies need to be an integrated part of the organization’s entire communication and patient engagement strategy. Keep in mind, the official patient record documents the information gathered during the treatment episode.”

    Thielst says that in addition to social technologies such as text messaging, blogging, social networking, and avatars being easy to use and familiar to consumers, they “are also convenient, engaging, and efficient for facilitating communication and scaling to accommodate population health needs.

    “This isn’t to say that a doctor should have some communication with a patient on Facebook and then download the exchange into the health system/hospital’s record,” she adds. “For certain conversations, it may be appropriate for physicians to reference what they learn from these conversations, just as they might if [a conversation was] conducted in the grocery store aisle or at a cocktail party—unless a provider [were to someday] extend their treatment episodes to social media channels like Twitter and Facebook.”

    Challenges Abound
    PwC strongly supports the idea of building a more complete patient record through social media data, according to Edwards. “I think that some aspects of social media, such as self-reported conditions and outcomes associated with being on certain treatment protocols, could be really useful and interesting to have available,” he says.

    While the idea may have promise, Edwards isn’t sure whether the EHR is the best place for that information. Many clinicians would likely balk at that possibility, at least given the lack of controls that can come with this type of information. “The idea of including social media content as part of the electronic health record would probably get some significant resistance internally from a hospital’s clinicians,” he says.

    “The EHRs that have been built have focused on gathering data that exist within the hospital and making that information accessible to the doctor that needs to care for that patient,” Edwards continues. “And they’ve created vehicles by which they could gather other trusted information, from other hospitals and other doctor offices, and have that information available electronically.”

    However, he notes patients in the Internet Age often come to office appointments armed with information—as well as misinformation—about their health care conditions. And unless there’s a clear way to distinguish highly controlled information from questionable data, Edwards says many clinicians likely will fight against its inclusion in the EHR.

    Rhoads also views the possibility of including inaccurate information as a roadblock, although he believes it’s manageable and worth the effort. “Certainly, there is a risk of false or inaccurate data finding their way into the patient record and presenting a skewed picture of what is going on with a patient’s health,” he says. “Data extracted from social media interactions need to be segregated and stored with that context in mind.”

    The information should be supplemental in nature and never viewed as replacing or overriding data obtained directly through inpatient visits and other face-to-face interactions. “This is the bare minimum needed for quality control,” Rhoads notes.

    Managing the inherent risks related to sharing social media information comes down to policy, Rhoads says. “Risks like privacy, security, and liability can be managed, but it means starting from scratch and designing policies that are suited specifically to your institution and then making sure that you’ve adequately trained everyone on them,” he says.

    Edwards believes privacy concerns aren’t onerous because social media exchanges are a form of public information. “I don’t believe that the use of social media is PHI [protected health information]; it’s not personal health information that only you have as the physician,” he says. “It’s information that people are freely disclosing online.”

    However, not everyone may be aware that is the case. “I don’t think that everyone who discloses and uses social media tools carefully reads all of the authorizations that they’re giving when they use a site,” Edwards says. “And I think it might cause concerns from a public that’s been informed but is not completely aware of thinking that way about their information and its use.”

    Bryan Vartabedian, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine who blogs at 33chart, says integration and workflow issues are even bigger obstacles to including social media data in EHRs. “One big challenge that we’re facing with the integration of these new technologies into our current workflows as physicians is the fact that many of our EHRs are really not amenable to building in these sorts of applications,” he says. “While patient-specific exchanges on public platforms are strongly discouraged, such encounters would be practically impossible to integrate into the EMR.”

    There also are legal ramifications to consider. “Similar to e-mail messages, every tweet, blog post, blog comment, text message, and wall entry you and/or your organization colleagues upload—and every one you and/or your organization colleagues receive—is a piece of content that, theoretically, should be reviewed and managed to ensure control, decorum and, perhaps, regulatory and records compliance,” Kohn says. “For example, an individual social network status update or a tweet might not rise to the level of a record, but a protracted discussion on a particular topic over a given period on someone’s wall or via Twitter might qualify.”

    Rhoads agrees: “One big legal ramification is that, as an industry norm, doctors are responsible for information to which they have ‘reasonable access.’ If patients start reporting emergency-type problems through inappropriate channels because they mistakenly believe that those channels are being monitored 24/7, then there could be some painful legal experiences, not to mention potentially tragic clinical outcomes. This is why it is important to move steadily but deliberately, with full knowledge and participation of the organization’s legal experts and with proper training all around.”

    How Would It Work?
    For the most part, speculation is the name of the game when looking at how social media exchanges may be incorporated into EHRs. However, there are a few possibilities to consider.

    Vartabedian envisions a future in which EHRs will have built-in social elements to allow for physician-patient communication in a HIPAA-compliant, private venue. “I can imagine five years from now coming out of an exam room and going to a screen, on my left having an EHR and on my right having a Twitter-type screen where, while I’m sitting there, a pediatrician I work with sends me a message about a patient in his office,” he says. “I quickly message back about what he should do, and that message is then tagged to the patient so that it goes directly to the EHR. Then the next time that patient is in the office with me, it’s part of the record.

    “I think that these public tools that we’re using right now such as Facebook and Twitter probably are not appropriate for doctor-patient interaction, but I think that tools similar to these will likely evolve into our EHR and are actually already under development,” Vartabedian adds. “I think that’s where we’re headed.”

    Rhoads sees hospitals first experimenting with specialized, specific situations to test the idea’s feasibility. “You don’t roll out a new initiative to allow every patient in your community to feed their medical record with Twitter updates, but maybe you’d like to develop a special mobile app for just a certain subset of oncology patients to enter in information remotely,” he says. “Or, to take a real-world example, the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital tapped into the popularity of Facebook to address a growing problem of medication adherence among teenage kidney transplant patients. They put out a mobile app that was populated with information from the EHR on patients’ medications and dosage instructions, and allowed patients to get reminders through a custom and private Facebook page.”

    According to Edwards, data analytics is central to the issue of how social media information can be utilized in patient records. “It’s not just about getting the raw data; it’s about figuring out how to interpret it and apply it to your business,” he explains. “By having the right algorithms in place, you could interpret signals from the raw data from social media sites that would be of value in an electronic health record, possibly something that said a person was activated and ready to take action in their health condition based upon the flags that we’re seeing about what they’re talking about—their activity of investigating a gym, for example. There could be signals that could be captured and turned into meaningful information for the clinician.”

    Moving Forward
    Judging by the 30% increase in the number of hospitals using social media and the fact that 50% of health care providers use social media, the technology definitely is making a dent in the industry, says Edwards, who’s unsure if the trend will extend into the EHR world. “Time will tell,” he says.

    “As with other types of data,” he continues, “maybe it’s baby steps. Maybe there are ways to think about select information harvested through a social media vehicle that would be useful. I think it would require prioritization and thinking carefully about what subsets make sense to enhance that business process. And I don’t think it would be every time a person chats about their condition online or their experience with a physician’s office. But I do believe that the idea of how social media could complement the patient experience—and the physician experience—is viable and will happen in the near future.”

    Thielst says the question of whether to include social media information in the EHR may be answered on a case-by-case basis, based on what is relevant to the patient’s care. “[Either way] we need to figure that out,” she says, “and now is a good time to start thinking it through because it is coming.”

    From a legal and eDiscovery perspective, Kohn advises organizations to ask themselves the following questions: Does the social media content document a transaction or a care decision? Could the content be subject to requests for disclosure, subpoena, and eDiscovery?

    No matter the challenges, Vartabedian says it would be wise to take advantage of social media’s winning attributes: “We have this amazing technology. We need to find ways to integrate it into the physician workflow, into the EHR. I think it’s going to have remarkable results.”



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    24 Outstanding Statistics on How Social Media has Impacted Health Care

    24 Outstanding Statistics on How Social Media has Impacted Health Care | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it
    Communication has been disrupted through social media but how has the health care industry faired? Dive into an analysis of 24 statistics on the subject.


    1. More than 40% of consumers say that information found via social media affects the way they deal with their health. (source: Mediabistro)

    Why this matters: Health care professionals have an obligation to create educational content to be shared across social media that will help accurately inform consumers about health related issues and out shine misleading information. The opinions of others on social media are often trusted but aren’t always accurate sources of insights, especially when it comes to a subject as sensitive as health.


    2. 18 to 24 year olds are more than 2x as likely than 45 to 54 year olds to use social media for health-related discussions. (source: Mediabistro)

    Why this matters: 18 to 24 year olds are early adopters of social media and new forms of communication which makes it important for health care professionals to join in on these conversations where and when they are happening. Don’t move too slow or you risk losing the attention of this generation overtime.


    3. 90% of respondents from 18 to 24 years of age said they would trust medical information shared by others on their social media networks. (source: Search Engine Watch)

    Why this matters: A millennial’s network on social media is a group of people that is well trusted online, which again, presents an opportunity to connect with them as health care professional in a new and authentic way.


    4. 31% of health care organizations have specific social media guidelines in writing. (source: Institute for Health)

    Why this matters: It is crucial to have social media guidelines in place for your health care facility to ensure everyone is on the same page, your staff is aware of limitations to their actions on social media and that a systematic strategy is in place for how social media should be run across your organization.



    5. 19% of smartphone owners have at least one health app on their phone. Exercise, diet, and weight apps are the most popular types. (source: Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group)

    Why this matters: This drives home the need for your health care organization to look into possibly launching a health related app focused on your specialty. This statistic doesn’t mean every health care facility should have their own app, but they should have a strong mobile focus across their marketing no matter their size.


    6. From a recent study, 54% of patients are very comfortable with their providers seeking advice from online communities to better treat their conditions. (source: Mediabistro)

    Why this matters: If the context of a group or community online is high quality and curated, then many trust that crowd sourcing of information from other like mind individuals is reliable. This shows how people perceive the Internet to be beneficial for the exchange of relevant information, even about their health.


    7. 31% of health care professionals use social media for professional networking. (source: MedTechMedia)

    Why this matters: This helps shine a stronger emphasis on the many applications and benefits of social media, one of which being professional development for health care workers from networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


    8. 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility. (source: Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group)

    Why this matters: This statistic shows that social media can be a vehicle to help scale both positive and negative word of mouth, which makes it an important channel for an individual or organization in the health care industry to focus on in order to attract and retain patients. Consumers are using social media to discuss everything in their lives including health and it is up to your organization to choose whether it’s time to tune in.


    9. 30% of adults are likely to share information about their health on social media sites with other patients, 47% with doctors, 43% with hospitals, 38% with a health insurance company and 32% with a drug company. (source: Fluency Media)

    Why this matters: Social media is slowly helping improve the way people feel about transparency and authenticity, which will hopefully lead to more productive discussions and innovations regarding an individual’s health.


    10. 26% of all hospitals in the US participate in social media. (source: Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group)

    Why this matters: If your hospital isn’t using social media, then you’re way behind the learning curve. Social media is really important for hospitals to communicate with past, present and future patients, despite the many regulations to what can and can’t be said on behalf of the hospital.


    11. The most accessed online resources for health related information are: 56% searched WebMD, 31% on Wikipedia, 29% on health magazine websites, 17% used Facebook, 15% used YouTube, 13% used a blog or multiple blogs, 12% used patient communities, 6% used Twitter and 27% used none of the above. (source: Mashable)

    Why this matters: Understanding where a majority of consumer health information comes from is important way of knowing of its value, credibility and reliability. It is important to differentiate sources of quality content from other less desirable sources of info.


    12. Parents are more likely to seek medical answers online, 22% use Facebook and 20% use YouTube. Of non-parents, 14% use Facebook and 12% use YouTube to search for health care related topics. (source: Mashable)

    Why this matters: Parents are more concerned about the well-being of their children then they were before having children, therefore they often source more information about a loved one’s health on social media and online more then ever before.


    13. 60% of doctors say social media improves the quality of care delivered to patients. (source: Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group)

    Why this matters: This statistic is important because it shows that many doctors believe that the transparency and authenticity that social media helps spur is actually improving the quality of care provided to patients. Lets hope this is a continuing trend among the industry for patients at all levels.


    14. 2/3 of doctors are use social media for professional purposes, often preferring an open forum as opposed to a physician-only online community. (source: EMR Thoughts)

    Why this matters: It is interesting that a majority of doctors chose a more open forum as opposed to discussion in a health care specific community online. It is a fascinating statistic because it feeds into the same premise that a certain level of transparency spurred by social media is taking ahold of the entire industry.


    15. YouTube traffic to hospital sites has increased 119% year-over-year. (source: Google’s Think Insights)

    Why this matters: Video marketing converts to traffic and leads much more easily than other forms of content because it more effectively gets across the point, shares a human element and is able to highlight the value of the facilities more quickly. Other hospital facilities should look to create video content based around interviews, patient stories and more.


    16. International Telecommunications Union estimates that global penetration of mobile devices has reached 87% as of 2011. (source: mHealth Watch)

    Why this matters: Once again, it’s time to think mobile first, second and third for your healthcare facility. With mobile penetration reaching an all time high, an age of connected devices is on the horizon for many healthcare facilities and it is time to develop a plan.


    17. 28% of health-related conversations on Facebook are supporting health-related causes, followed by 27% of people commenting about health experiences or updates. (source: Infographics Archive)

    Why this matters: This statistic supports and highlights two common uses of Facebook related to your health like sharing your favorite cause or interacting with others recovering. Social media has penetrated our society very deeply to the point where it has become a place where we share our interests and give support to others. This could be one of the many factors affecting why many trust the information found on social media about healthcare. The masses are continually accepting social media as a part of their everyday life, it is time your healthcare facility incorporated this marketing medium as part of your culture as well.


    18. 60% of social media users are the most likely to trust social media posts and activity by doctors over any other group. (source: Infographics Archive)

    Why this matters: Doctors as respected members of society are also highly revered for their opinions when they are shared on social media, which is even more reason to help boost your reach as a healthcare professional and actively use social media to discuss the industry.


    19. 23% of drug companies have not addressed security and privacy in terms of social media. (source: Mediabistro)

    Why this matters: This is an unsettling statistic about privacy concerns with drug companies that drastically needs to be addressed in order to guarantee that sensitive data is not accidentally released to the public on social media. It shows how many companies in health care still don’t know the first thing about the use of social media. This can be corrected by creating clear and concise guidelines on how social media should be used by the organization and its staff.



    20. The Mayo Clinc’s podcast listeners rose by 76,000 after the clinic started using social media. (source: Infographics Archive)

    Why this matters: This is a clear cut example of how to successfully bolster the reach of your organization’s messaging by echoing it appropriately on social media. Mayo Clinic already had a regular podcast that they helped grow by effectively using social media to share content and chat with their audience. Don’t get left behind in the digital age, take this example and run with it.


    21. 60% of physicians most popular activities on social are following what colleagues are sharing and discussing. (source: Health Care Communication)

    Why this matters: Many people on social media are passive participants since they aren’t creating or commenting on content, but instead reading and observing the content and conversations of others in their network. This is also true for many doctors that find value using social media to exchange information but don’t always choose to join the conversation. Many doctors are seeing the value of social media, regardless if they are a participant or an observer.


    22. 49% of those polled expect to hear from their doctor when requesting an appointment or follow-up discussion via social media within a few hours. (source: HealthCare Finance News)

    Why this matters: This is a surprising statistic because of how many people are comfortable with connecting with their doctor on social media, as well as how quickly they expect their doctor to personally respond to their outreach. This is a telling sign that the way in which we typically book appointments and handle follow-up conversations after an appointment, will continue to be disrupted by the use of social media in the process.


    23. 40% of people polled said information found on social media affects how someone coped with a chronic condition, their view of diet and exercise and their selection of a physician. (source: HealthCare Finance News)

    Why this matters: The opinion and viewpoints of the people in our social circles online are continuously influencing our decision making even it when it comes to our opinion on healthcare options. Health care professionals should take note of this fact by using social media in an impactful way to ensure they become a part of the process of forming an opinion of a person’s health care options.



    24. Of more than 1,500 hospitals nationwide who have an online presence, Facebook is most popular. (source: WHPRMS)

    Why this matters: The fact that most hospitals use Facebook over other social media channels is important to note because time, staff and budget are always limited and your efforts with social media should be targeted and focused to where your organization can make the most impact.


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    Facebook Group Raises Rate of HIV Testing - AIDS/HIV

    Facebook Group Raises Rate of HIV Testing - AIDS/HIV | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    A social networking group intervention was effective at increasing home-based HIV testing among men who have sex with men, researchers found.

    Compared with participants who received general health information through a Facebook group, more men who received information about HIV through a Facebook group requested home-based HIV testing (44% versus 20%, a difference of 24 percentage points, 95% CI 8-41 for difference), according to Sean Young, PhD, of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues.

    Of those who requested home-based HIV tests, 36% of those in the HIV Facebook group versus 18% of those in the control group mailed their sample for testing, they wrote online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

    The authors noted that social networking may be a cost-effective approach to HIV prevention through a peer-leader model, particularly among minority populations and men who have sex with men. In 2011, the CDC noted that annual testing for HIV among men who have sex with men may not be frequent enough.


    In 2012, the FDA approved the first home-based, over-the-counter test for HIV, the OraQuick test.

    In the current study involving 112 participants, the authors evaluated whether participation in a social networking community would increase HIV testing among black and Latino adult men who have sex with men.

     

    Participants were recruited through online venues, community venues with mostly black and Latino men, and through other participants to join one of two closed Facebook groups operated by peer leaders. Those chosen as peer leaders were screened as friendly, well-respected black and Latino men who had sex with men ages 18 and older, who had had sex with another man in the past 12 months, and who were interested in educating others about health.

     

    Participants were randomized to 12 weeks of communication through one of the two groups: a group for discussing HIV prevention and testing, and another control group that emphasized the importance of exercising, healthy eating, and maintaining a low-stress lifestyle. Participation was voluntary and monitored.

     

    The study population was comprised of 60% Latinos, 28% blacks, 11% whites, and 2% Asians. Participants filled out questionnaires at baseline and after 12 weeks of participation and were informed that they could request a home-based HIV test for free.

     

    Researchers measured acceptance of group membership, engagement in the group, rate of home HIV testing, and sexual risk behaviors.

    Requests for free HIV testing were more common among those in the HIV information group than in the control group.

     

    “Because of the sparse data on returned tests and follow-up for test results, statistical analyses of these outcomes are not presented,” the authors explained, though they did find that nine of 25 participants in the HIV group returned their tests and 2 of 11 in the control group returned theirs.

    “The active participation of African Americans and Latino men having sex with men suggests that social networking is growing among minority groups and is an acceptable and engaging platform for HIV prevention among at-risk populations,” they concluded.

     

    They also noted that the study was limited by inclusion of two Facebook communities, self-report of location, lack of difference between offline and online risk behavior reductions through peer leader-led groups, use of one social networking site, and lack of a prior “best practice” for online interventions.

    The study was supported by the University of California Los Angeles Center for HIV Intervention, Prevention, and Treatment Services; the University of California Los Angeles AIDS Institute; and the National Institute of Mental Health.



    Read more:Facebook Group Raises Rate of HIV Testing - AIDS/HIV -Public Health -http://www.health.am/ab/more/facebook-group-raises-rate-of-hiv-testing/#ixzz2dzudy4Mw

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    Social Media Resources for Healthcare IT Job Seekers

    Social Media Resources for Healthcare IT Job Seekers | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    n my attempts to prepare for a panel discussion during last week’s TAG Health-sponsored HIT Job Fair, I corresponded with a number of you, dear readers, on how you and your colleagues have or are currently using social media in your job hunt. Thanks to everyone who shared their experiences, tips and tricks with me. I was able to relay some of it to the eager job seekers in the audience – many of whom were only vaguely aware of the potential social media can play in helping candidates: manage their personal brand and digital footprint; educate themselves on a particular niche as they transition from one industry into another; and of course, find job openings.


    McKesson and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta were just a few of the employers at TAG Health's recent job fair.

     

    The following is a list of resources that I didn’t have time to share during the job fair. Many of them come directly from the fingertips of EMRandEHR.com readers.

     

    Social Networking for Career Success – great book – no matter what industry you’re in – by Miriam Salpeter of Keppie Careers. You can follow her on Twitter and learn more at her website, KeppieCareers.com, which also includes a guide to Google+ in the books section.

     

    NWHIT.org – a website devoted to Health IT Workforce Development in the Northwestern States, part of the Community College Consortia to Educate Health IT Professionals Program. It includes some great advice blogs by Health IT Talent Specialist Yvette Herrera-Greer, as well as a session from Matthew Youngquist of Career Horizons on using LinkedIn as an effective tool for job seekers in the Health IT sector. You can also join the organization’s group on LinkedIn – just search for NW Healthcare IT Workforce.

     

    * the @HIMSSJobMine Twitter account is a great national resource, as is the @TAG_Health account if you’re in Georgia.

     

    * Twitter hashtags you may want to consider paying attention to include #HealthIT, #Jobs, or the name of the company, technology or position you’re interested in, such as #CIO, #Allscripts, #Epic, #EHR, etc.

     

    * Pinterest – yep, you read that right. I’d say it’s a little too early to tell whether it will be a valuable resource for folks in healthcare IT, but the recent Forbes article I came across on the subject is worth a look, especially if you’re already a fan of the new social media sight. (Side Note: You can Find Healthcare Scene and EHR Screenshots on Pinterest also)

     

    CareerEnlightenment.com – a website devoted to helping people use social media to get jobs. Blogger Joshua Waldman is also the author of Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies.

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    How Social Media Can Teach You About Prostate Cancer

    How Social Media Can Teach You About Prostate Cancer | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

    Social media serves as an online marketing and distribution channel for small-to-midsize companies and large brands. Its proven success in business has also prompted many nonprofits to make use of its ability to spread the word at faster rates than traditional marketing.
    Men who suffer from prostate cancer or who would simply like to learn more about what’s current in treatment and medical procedures related to this disease have options available to them via social media.

    Facebook & Twitter

    A number of fan pages on Facebook are dedicated to the topic of prostate cancer. All one has to do to locate these URLs is to conduct a search with those keywords to see a couple dozen pop up. The same can be done on Twitter by using the hashtag #ProstateCancer.
     
    Blue Cure

     
    “Blue Cure” can be found on one of those dedicated fan pages on Facebook. Titled “Beat Prostate Cancer,” it was created by Gabe Canales. At the time of this writing, the page has more than 12K followers.
    A social media marketing expert, Canales was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 35. He was familiar with the power of social media and decided to leverage Facebook the way he had successfully done for his company. It was his goal to build a community of similar-minded men. The success of that single effort grew into a full-blown nonprofit organization called “Blue Cure.”

     
    Prostate Cancer Infolink

     
    A few social networks have evolved specifically for men who have questions and concerns about the prostate. ProstateCancerInfolink is one that welcomes patients, family members, physicians, researchers, and anyone else who seeks updated information on this form of cancer.
    Users can register like any other social network, and then communicate on issues in a live stream a la Twitter. The site will even allow you to remain anonymous if you prefer.


    Movember

     
    During November each year, the term “Movember” was coined to motivate men to sprout moustaches or “Mo’s.” The idea is to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues — specifically those related to prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.

     
    Once registered at Movember.com, men start the “stache-growing” process on November 1. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim, and wax their way into the annals of historic moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, called Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorships for their ongoing Mo-growing efforts.

     
    Since its humble beginnings in Melbourne, Australia, Movember is now a global movement that inspires roughly 3.05 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas.
    The examples above are just the tip of the iceberg with regard to how social media can be utilized to learn more about this form of cancer. They serve as a starting point to help obtain online community support.

     
    Insight into surgical treatments for prostate cancer can be found at mivipsurgery.com. The miVIP Surgery Centers employ the advanced robotic da Vinci® Surgery System to provide patients with exceptional and highly successful outpatient procedures that treat a variety of urologic conditions.

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