Social Media and Healthcare
682.1K views | +1 today
Scooped by Plus91
onto Social Media and Healthcare!

3 Digital trends that orthopedic and spine surgeons should know about in 2018

3 Digital trends that orthopedic and spine surgeons should know about in 2018 | Social Media and Healthcare |

Over the last few years there has been several dynamic changes in the world of patient acquisition for orthopedic and spine practices. As 2018 approaches, here are 3 of the most important digital trends that practices should know about to continue to grow their patient volume:

1. The Shift to Smartphone Usage

For the first time in history, more internet traffic and usage has come from mobile devices than desktop computers. In fact, in 2016-2017 up to 60% of all internet usage was from a smartphone or tablet and the average American spent up to 5 hours per day on a mobile device.

As a result of the growing usage of smartphones over desktops, Google has been encouraging businesses to update their websites to mobile-responsive websites. A mobile-responsive site is one that automatically changes its layout and placements of certain menus and buttons automatically.

Over the last few years, Google has begun penalizing websites that do not make this upgrade by pushing them further down in organic Google search results (many times off the first page) if the search came from a mobile device..

What this means for your practice: If a potential patient in your area is looking for an orthopedic or spine specialist, or treatment for a specific condition, those practices with mobile responsive sites will outrank those that do not. Considering that 70% of patients use Google to search for a condition or a physician, if your website is not ranking on the first page because your site is outdated, you could be losing hundreds of patients per month to your competitors.

Many practices are often hesitant to update their websites because of the perceived cost. However, redesigning your website may not cost as much as you think. You should also consider how much new patient revenue you may be losing to your competitors by not doing so.

2. The Shift to Video Content
In 2017, 33% of all online activity was spent watching videos and 45% of people spend an hour or more each week watching videos on sites like YouTube and Facebook. YouTube is now the second most popular search engine in the world behind Google.

For orthopedic and spine practices, many patients are opting to watch videos of physicians explaining causes and treatments for conditions like sciatica or meniscus tears, instead of reading long form written content.

This speaks to the “modern patient” having less time to read content and wanting to get information easily and effectively. Patients who watch videos featuring a physician feel as if they get an insight into that physician’s personality and demeanor before even meeting them. In fact, 73% of people said that seeing a video influences their decisions.

What this means for your practice: Investing in high quality video content is imperative for your practices digital marketing strategy. Video content can include Q&A’s with physicians, patient testimonials and physician introduction videos. These videos can be used in multiple incarnations including as part of an effective social media marketing strategy and YouTube marketing strategy.

3. Social Media as a Primary News Source
According to a 2017 Pew Research Study, 67% of all Americans get at least their news from Social Media sites. This represents a significant shift from print and TV being the primary news sources, but does not seem all too surprising considering that the average American spends almost two hours per day on social media sites.

The likely reason for these shifts is that social media sites like Facebook serve as aggregate news sites where users can get information from all of their trusted news sources, from local newspapers to national TV networks, in one single place. Sites like Facebook recognized very early on how to monetize the time users spent on the site or app by allowing for highly targeted advertisement being shown to their over 1 billion users.

What this means for your practice: All of this time spent on social media each day is the perfect opportunity to highlight your services and expertise to potential patients.

When executed correctly, Facebook and Instagram ads can target users by their locations, behaviors, purchases, websites they have recently visited and their interests. Knowing the behaviors of those in need of orthopedic or spine care can allow you to target ads directly to those in your area and increase brand awareness as well as generate new patients. Imagine a newspaper ad or billboard that was shown only to those with an orthopedic injury or spine condition? That’s what social media marketing can do for your practice.

No comment yet.
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.
Curated by nrip
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by nrip!

Social Media Implementation Checklist

Social Media Implementation Checklist | Social Media and Healthcare |

Set goals first. If traffic, leads and sales are part of the goal, then gotta have the next focus be on content creation. Then, using social to share. Can't get much value out of social unless you're actively creating, publishing and sharing content. 

MARGARITA's curator insight, December 31, 2015 5:15 PM

Support our people

United Home Healthcare's curator insight, June 12, 2017 12:29 PM
Being active on Social media can really help your company.
rob halkes's curator insight, September 15, 2017 6:04 AM

You might think that after 10+ years, social media for healthcare is a self evident activity,! Nothing is less true, however ;-) But here's a checklist you need if you still need to sign up ;-) 


Scooped by Plus91!

Two-Way Social Media Messaging in Postoperative Cataract Surgical Patients: Prospective Interventional Study

Two-Way Social Media Messaging in Postoperative Cataract Surgical Patients: Prospective Interventional Study | Social Media and Healthcare |

Background: Social media offers a new way to provide education, reminders, and support for patients with a variety of health conditions. Most of these interventions use one-way, provider-patient communication. Incorporating social media tools to improve postoperative (postop) education and follow-up care has only been used in limited situations.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility and efficacy of two-way social media messaging to deliver reminders and educational information about postop care to cataract patients.

Methods: A total of 98 patients undergoing their first eye cataract surgery were divided into two groups: a no message group receiving usual pre- and postop care and a message group receiving usual care plus messages in a mobile social media format with standardized content and timing. Each patient in the message group received nine messages about hand and face hygiene, medication and postop visit adherence, and links to patient education videos about postop care. Patients could respond to messages as desired. Main outcome measures included medication adherence, postop visit adherence, clinical outcomes, and patients’ subjective assessments of two-way messaging. The number, types, content, and timing of responses by patients to messages were recorded.

Results: Medication adherence was better in the message group at postop day 7, with high adherence in 47 patients (96%, 47/49) versus 36 patients (73%, 36/49) in the no message group (P=.004), but no statistically significant differences in medication adherence between the groups were noted at preop and postop day 30. Visit adherence was higher at postop day 30 in the message group (100%, 49/49) versus the no message group (88%, 43/49; P=.03) but was 100% (49/49) in both groups at postop day 1 and 7. Final visual outcomes were similar between groups. A total of 441 standardized messages were sent to the message group. Out of 270 responses generated, 188 (70%) were simple acknowledgments or “thank you,” and 82 (30%) responses were questions that were divided into three general categories: administrative, postop care, and clinical issues. Out of the 82 question responses, 31 (11%) were about administrative issues, 28 (10%) about postop care, and 23 (9%) about clinical symptoms. All the messages about symptoms were triaged by nurses or ophthalmologists and only required reassurance or information. Patients expressed satisfaction with messaging.

Conclusions: Two-way social media messaging to deliver postop information to cataract patients is feasible and improves early medication compliance. Further design improvements can streamline work flow to optimize efficiency and patient satisfaction.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

How Technology, Social Media Are Changing the Way Clinical Trials Connect With Patients

How Technology, Social Media Are Changing the Way Clinical Trials Connect With Patients | Social Media and Healthcare |

THE INSPIRATION FOR CLARA HEALTH came when co-founder Sol Chen was walking across campus at Brown University and saw a paper flier seeking patients for a breast cancer drug trial. Surely, she thought, there had to be a better way to find people who needed life-saving medications.1

For Seeker Health’s Sandra Shpilberg, MBA, the moment of clarity came when her former company, Nora Therapeutics, was struggling to find women to test a potential treatment for recurrent miscarriage.2 Instead of waiting for women to appear in clinics, Shpilberg set out to find them online—with ads that targeted women based on Facebook groups they’d joined or other common interests.

“That worked very well,” Shpilberg said in an interview with Evidence-Based Oncology™ (EBO™). “So, I decided to start a company to help many other sponsors.”

Companies like Clara Health and Seeker Health are using digital tools, including social media, to rewrite the rules of engagement that connect researchers with patients for clinical trials. In the process, company leaders say they are not only shaving months off recruitment schedules, but also finding more patients from minority groups and from rural areas. Studies show these populations need more representation in trials.3-5

Technology is poised to do more than change the way patients are recruited for clinical trials, however. As Belinda Tan, MD, PhD, co-founder and chief medical officer of Science 37, explained to EBO™, integrating telehealth and personal health technologies, like smartphones or Apple Watches, will further erode barriers to participation. Patients can be supervised remotely, with assistance from a local physician or nurse, while study drugs are shipped directly to their homes. Besides patient recruitment, Science 37’s NORA platform (no connection to Nora Therapeutics) for Network Oriented Research Assistant, meets FDA digital signature requirements6 and helps pharmaceutical sponsors with digital data collection.6 Tan’s fellow co-founder, Noah Craft, MD, PhD, DTMH, has said the minority enrollment in Science 37’s cancer trial pools is 3 times that of a standard trial.7

Tan saw what NORA could do in 2015, when Genentech used the platform to create 1 “meta-site” among more than 60 in a large international clinical trial. Science 37 was contracted to recruit 5 patients a year but instead recruited twice that number. “That was a huge win,” Tan said. “It was just a case scenario of what we could do.”

Even if they are not yet using telehealth for virtual trials, pharmaceutical companies can use digital tools like Apple’s ResearchKit to develop their own apps to connect with patients and collect data on patient-reported outcomes.8

Right now, there isn’t much collaboration with payers in this area, but those on the leading edge say there’s no reason why this can’t change. In particular, Tan would like to see solutions for hurdles in trials that require patients to already have had gene sequencing, which payers won’t fund.

Democratizing Clinical Trials

Both Shpilberg and Clara Health co-founder and CEO Evan Ehrenberg, PhD, say that unlike recruitment methods of old, these new strategies start with the patient. “For a long time, we’ve had a physician-centered approach—almost all the referrals came from hospital sites,” Ehrenberg told EBOTM in an interview. Putting patients in “the driver’s seat,” is crucial, he said, because sometimes physicians don’t know about every trial or don’t have an incentive to refer their patient to one based outside the academic center where they practice.

Contrast this with a process that starts with patients seeing what Shpilberg calls a “patient-friendly” ad on Facebook, which connects that person directly to a set of prescreening questions to find out if he or she is a potential fit. “We’re turning the process upside down,” she said.

Clara Health shares an enormous amount of content with users. Its website9 has information on every trial registered on, and it seeks to match patients with trials not only by condition, but also with help from an online digital assistant who offers to chat with users when they reach the site. Clara Health also features blogs about the clinical trial process to educate patients or caregivers.

When the company works with pharmaceutical sponsors, “our role is to make the trial as easy to access as possible,” Ehrenberg said. The presentation on doesn’t tell patients what to do if they nd an appropriate trial. In the past, if a patient found a phone number for a study coordinator on the site, it might only be answered during business hours.

“If patients have a serious medical condition, they just give up,” he said. Clara Health’s role is to take the “heavy lifting” out of the enrollment process to keep patients engaged. When necessary, the company can connect patients with groups that pay for travel and expenses to take part in a trial, and it also helps patients apply for nancial assistance.

Language matters, Ehrenberg said, and it’s something Clara Health is trying to change. “We encourage our sponsors, when they talk about participants, to treat them like people, as opposed to just numbers,” he said. “A lot of times that doesn’t happen; perhaps their IRB [Institutional Review Board] thinks it isn’t appropriate... but we don’t think people should be referred to as ‘test subjects.’”

Modern Marketing, Meeting IRB Standards

Two years in, Seeker Health has been involved in 22 clinical trials, with about 40% in oncology therapies, 40% in rare disease, and 20% in women’s health therapies, Shpilberg said. In the process, it has developed standards for reaching out to patients in cost-effective ways that still pass muster with IRBs. Seeker Health can target ads at subpopulations that have previously shown an interest in specific cancers or rare diseases, and it can even target them by finding common threads among these groups of potential patients that have nothing to do with their medical condition. For example, in the first venture, Shpilberg discovered the group of women she was seeking favored a popular novel, and that offered another recruitment path.

At the same time, Seeker Health must take steps to keep prospective trial participants from being swayed by factors other than the ad itself. Seeker Health employs a tool that achieves “comment suppression,” which means that even if an online user tries to comment on the ad, those statements remain hidden from other users. This way, Shpilberg said, no misinformation about the study or the drug is spread online.

Are new regulations needed? Shpilberg says no; all ads must meet existing FDA requirements for enrolling patients, as well as privacy regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. A June 2017 document published by Harvard Catalyst, based on a paper published in the American Journal of Bioethics, spells out the relevant issues for IRBs and researchers and concludes that no new regulations are needed.10,11

Reducing Costs, Targeting Discrete Cancer Types

Both Shpilberg and Science 37’s Tan said cutting months out of the enrollment process will translate into savings and allow pharmaceutical companies to bring products to market faster. If technology offers solutions to rising recruitment costs, this could reverse a trend that has frustrated all parts of the research chain.

A 2016 study prepared for HHS said that maintaining research sites accounted for 9% to 14% of clinical trial costs.12 Another report from Pivotal Financial Consulting LLC found that the percentage of recruited patients who ended up enrolling in trials was declining, and that “unproductive” costs accounted for 66% of what pharmaceutical companies spend on trials.13

Thus, Tan said, the shift toward virtual trials could do something more—it could help smaller biotechs compete by letting them know quickly whether further studies are worth pursuing.

“The benefit of being fast is that it gives enough evidence, enough of a signal to go out and get more investors, or it gives companies con dence to shift resources to something they know has more promise,” Tan said. “If there’s no signal of e cacy there, they can say, ‘OK, let’s not waste more time on this.’”

Oncology, especially, she said, begs for this type of model, where small companies can work on discrete solutions but find patients from all over—and conduct virtual trials with patients supervised in tandem with a local physician. “In cancer, people have talked about how the decentralized trial model would be ideal. We’re going to have more targeted therapies, more molecular [DNA] signatures,” she said.

“Ultimately,” Tan said, “as cancer becomes more like a rare disease, where the percentage of people with a particular pathway with a molecular mutation is very small, you can use this model to reach an entire base of people and not be limited by geography, by having to go to the local cancer center. This becomes a more tenable type of trial to do.”

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Can participating in Facebook groups improve patient satisfaction? 4 findings

Can participating in Facebook groups improve patient satisfaction? 4 findings | Social Media and Healthcare |

The use of social media, specifically Facebook groups, in clinical practice can help healthcare providers incorporate an effective patient support community, according to a pilot study published in Surgery.

To explore how social media use affects patient engagement and satisfaction, the researchers created a Facebook support group for liver transplant patients to use as a virtual community forum in September 2016.

The researchers then reviewed the group's activity and conducted a survey to evaluate how patients viewed their participation in the group.

Here are four findings from the study.

1. Over the nine-month study, 350 users joined the group. Fifty percent were liver transplant patients, 36 percent were caregivers and friends, and 14 percent were healthcare providers. 

2. During the study, participants created 339 posts, 2,338 comments and 6,274 reactions in the group. Group members commented on or reacted to 98 percent of posts.

3. After the study, 95 percent of survey respondents said joining the group positively affected their care.

4. Ninety-seven percent of respondents said they were motivated to join the Facebook group to provide or receive support from other patients.

More articles on patient engagement:
New patients wait an average of 2.7 weeks to be seen: 5 things to know
Study finds addition of music therapy can improve treatment for depression
23% of healthcare consumers switched primary care physicians more than once in the last 5 years: 7 things to know

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Understanding impact of health information on social media - Patient Information Forum

Understanding impact of health information on social media - Patient Information Forum | Social Media and Healthcare |

A study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) has explored how promotional health information related to Lynch syndrome impacts laypeople’s discussions on a social media platform (Twitter) in terms of topic awareness and attitudes.

The authors identify that whilst social media is being used by various stakeholders (ie, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, health care organisations) to engage audiences to raise disease awareness, it is unclear what effects this health information has on laypeople.

They used topic modeling and sentiment analysis techniques on Lynch syndrome–related tweets to answer the following research questions (RQs):

  1. What are the most discussed topics in Lynch syndrome–related tweets?
  2. How promotional Lynch syndrome–related information on Twitter affects laypeople’s discussions?
  3. What impact do the Lynch syndrome awareness activities in the Colon Cancer Awareness Month and Lynch Syndrome Awareness Day have on laypeople’s discussions and their attitudes?

The study used a set of keywords to collect Lynch syndrome–related tweets from October 26, 2016 to August 11, 2017 (289 days).

Of all tweets (N=16,667), 87.38% (14,564/16,667) were related to Lynch syndrome. Of the Lynch syndrome–related tweets, 81.43% (11,860/14,564) were classified as promotional and 18.57% (2704/14,564) were classified as laypeople’s discussions.

The most discussed themes were treatment (n=4080) and genetic testing(n=3073). The topic distributions in laypeople’s discussions were similar to the distributions in promotional Lynch syndrome–related information.

Most people had a positive attitude when discussing Lynch syndrome. The proportion of negative tweets was 3.51%. Within each topic, treatment (16.67%) and genetic testing (5.60%) had more negative tweets compared with other topics.

When comparing monthly trends, laypeople’s discussions had a strong correlation with promotional Lynch syndrome–related information on awareness (r=.98, P<.001), while there were moderate correlations on screening (r=.602, P=.05), genetic testing (r=.624, P=.04), treatment (r=.69, P=.02), and risk (r=.66, P=.03). They also discovered that the Colon Cancer Awareness Month (March 2017) and the Lynch Syndrome Awareness Day (March 22, 2017) had significant positive impacts on laypeople’s discussions and their attitudes.

The authors conclude there is evidence that participative social media platforms, namely Twitter, offer unique opportunities to inform cancer communication surveillance and to explore the mechanisms by which these new communication media affect individual health behaviour and population health.

The full study can be accessed on the JMIR website.

Bian J, Zhao Y, Salloum RG, Guo Y, Wang M, Prosperi M, Zhang H, Du X, Ramirez-Diaz LJ, He Z, Sun Y

Using Social Media Data to Understand the Impact of Promotional Information on Laypeople’s Discussions: A Case Study of Lynch Syndrome

J Med Internet Res 2017;19(12):e414

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

How healthbots can assist patients and HCPs

How healthbots can assist patients and HCPs | Social Media and Healthcare |

Remember to put ice on that bruise tonight,” says healthbot Gyant via Facebook Messenger. Gyant adds that Chris, the user engaging with the bot, could try playing Vanilla Ice's “Ice Ice, Baby” to speed up the healing process.

The dialogue is conversational. Over the course of three to four minutes, Gyant asks around 20 questions to get at the cause of the user's discomfort and offer possible diagnoses or recommendations. Users can also ask Gyant questions via Amazon's Alexa.

“We've noticed the number of questions doesn't matter as much as how you ask them and how you respond to people's answers,” said Stefan Behrens, co-founder of Gyant. “If you ask question after question, it's like filling [out] a form. We make sure our questions are asked in the nicest way possible, as human as possible.”

A year after Gyant launched, it has reached 800,000 users, Behrens claimed. Since Gyant originated as a resource to screen patients for Zika, much of its traffic comes from Latin American countries such as Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. The company is also generating traction in the southern parts of the U.S., Behrens added. Gyant is currently available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and German, and there are plans to expand in French, Chinese, Arabic, and Hindi.

Florence, Health Tap, Buoy Health, and Your.MD are among the other healthbots currently offering medication reminders, symptom checkers, health tips,doctor referrals, and other services.

“As doctors are more stretched for time, there's a lot of frustration in the healthcare system,” said Paul Balagot, chief experience officer at Precisioneffect. “I think the appetite to use [bots] as a support tool is high.”

A new report by the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that the shortfall of doctors will approach 90,000 by 2025. That number could reach nearly 105,000 by 2030.

According to Balagot, healthbots can potentially reduce the workload of healthcare professionals while providing an engaging experience to patients. They can help focus the patient-doctor conversation by checking initial symptoms and tracking patient history, then provide post-treatment support after the initial interaction.

For conditions such as diabetes, physicians may be able to help patients combat the overt symptoms. Still, they sometimes are unable to follow up with patients who need to make changes to their diets and exercise regimens. Behrens believes healthbots can provide the necessary support.

See also: Voice assistants may ease EHR burden for docs, but challenges exist

In addition, healthbots may ultimately help reduce the volume of unnecessary doctor visits. “If you look at primary care physicians, many of them will tell you that they can't help 40% of the patients they see every week, because [the patient has] a viral infection, for example,” said Behrens. “So it's, ‘Go home, get some rest, and take some ibuprofen,' but you can't do much about the source of the condition.”

In some cases, especially those where there is a stigma tied to a condition, chatbots have become a preferred means of securing healthcare advice. Behrens said many users ask Gyant mental and sexual health-related questions, which sometimes trigger feelings of shame and anxiety.

“A lot of the users are relatively younger — around 16 to 25 — and come from developing countries, where there is a lot of social stigma around marriage and social norms,” Behrens continued. “We see a lot of questions around, ‘I did this. Could I be pregnant?' or ‘I have this rash.'”


Dawn Lacallade, chief social strategist and healthcare practice lead at social customer experience firm LiveWorld, senses a similar trend among clients like Anthem, Johnson & Johnson, and Boehringer Ingelheim. While she declined to offer program specifics, Lacallade said LiveWorld has helped one client develop a bot to collect data about sexual health in adolescents, with the ultimate aim of offering STD education.

“There's often an intimidation factor when you're talking to an HCP,” Lacallade explained. “A bot is a great tool to recap a conversation with an HCP, putting it in language to make it more understandable.”

As bot technology gets more sophisticated and chatbots secure HIPAA compliance, healthbots will start to realize their full potential.

“The first generation of chatbots was a bit robotic and didn't have the advancements of natural language, sentiment, and emotion,” said Balagot. “With AI technology advancing, the chatbots are becoming increasingly empathetic and natural, and more engaging.”

It's hard to be HIPAA-compliant when paired with social media platforms like Facebook, however,  which is why Gyant  is developing an app of its own. “We're taking the same technology and chat experience, and putting it in an app or secure website. That will allow us to seamlessly move the conversation to an actual human provider, be it a doctor or administrator,” Behrens noted. “Ideally, we want to [help] people get prescriptions or [sign up for] a telemedicine visit.”

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

:Social Media: Taking the Plunge: Pharma and Social Media 

:Social Media: Taking the Plunge: Pharma and Social Media  | Social Media and Healthcare |

Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly embracing social media as a forum for reaching patients. For example, 40% of adults use social media for health-related issues, such as connecting with patients with similar issues. Social forums allow pharmaceutical companies to not only engage with consumers or patients, but also hear what they have to say directly, rather than sifting through external forums to find out what patients are saying, for example, about side effects.

Disease awareness is a particularly popular use of social media for pharma companies. These forums are recognized by companies as good ways to improve knowledge about diseases and to encourage discussion about conditions. Examples include Above MS, which is supported by Biogen; Chron’s & Me, sponsored by UCB; Eczema Exposed supported by Sanofi US and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; GSK’s; HIV information and support site Stop the Virus sponsored by Gilead; and Speak Your Migraine from Amgen and Novartis, among many others.

In addition, companies have begun supporting wellness sites, such as Merck Engage, to encourage consumers to make healthy choices.

With some diseases, particularly rare diseases, social platforms can prove valuable in connecting geographically dispersed patients and providing them with a voice. Social media groups can also be invaluable in providing patients with a forum for sharing concerns and information.

Overcoming Barriers

The industry has faced several constraints with regards to social media. One is certainly the lack of clear guidelines. While the FDA provided draft guidance on the use of social media, those guidelines haven’t been finalized. However, companies must ensure information about risks is made clear. For example, Duchesnay received a warning letter from the FDA after posts by Kim Kardashian promoting its morning sickness pill Diclegis didn’t mention side effects or risks.

Twitter is considered an excellent two-way communication forum, but again lack of guidance leaves companies uncertain as to how to embrace it, at least when it comes to speaking about their products.

In a conversation on this issue with Forbes, cardiologist and blogger Dr. Kevin Campbell warned that pharmaceutical companies would have to tread carefully when hosting any commercially driven discussion and be aware that during recalls or negative press, they could open themselves to legal issues.

The good news, however, is that as of mid-November 2017 the Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP) had issued only two enforcement letters on marketing communications, showing a marked drop in such activity from the regulators. While these letters aren’t specific to social media, they do indicate a positive trend generally.

Media forums themselves have sometimes created barriers for the industry. For example, in 2011 Facebook announced that all Facebook pages would have to allow comments. This resulted in companies removing many disease-state groups because they lacked the mechanisms and resources to handle comments and remain in compliance. Facebook later rescinded the requirement; however, pharmaceutical companies struggle to find a way to effectively communicate with patients in such forums.

Another barrier has been uncertainty over communicating directly with patients, and in particular, concerns over how those patients will react.

Best Foot Forward

Statistics show that pharma is tapping into social media, albeit more slowly than other industries. Research company eMarketer estimated that in 2016 pharma and healthcare marketers spent $1.64 billion on mobile and online advertising, but projected that would rise to $2.55 billion by 2019.

The social media companies themselves are looking at how to engage pharma companies from a commercial point of view. On June 6, 2017, Facebook hosted a Health Summit for pharmaceutical marketers, and the organization is looking at changes it needs to make to cater to pharmaceutical companies, which increasingly are moving ad budgets from television to digital media.

Google and Twitter have been tapping into the market for a while, hiring teams to focus on pharmaceutical ad campaigns.

Experts in social media advise pharma companies new to social media to take the plunge because patients and caregivers are eager to use these forums to engage. Those new to social platforms might be best advised to start with well-traveled forums such as Facebook and working closely with medical, legal, and regulatory teams to avoid any nasty surprises later. Another sound approach is to start in one disease area and learn as they go.

Companies are also advised to measure the effectiveness of their social media campaigns, especially when it comes to branded campaigns. To avoid falling foul of regulators, some experts recommend companies develop a controlled environment, such as a website for a product, to ensure information is accurate. But if companies provide a patient chat room they may face obligations to correct misinformation.

Social media market intelligence firm Unmetric assessed the metrics, content, and campaigns of 15 brands in terms of social media presence and found most brands put efforts into just a few channels, that fan base is less important than the ability to expand that base, and that reach and impressions don’t correlate with frequency of posting.

Leading the Way

Despite concerns, many pharma companies do recognize the value of social media as a way to reach patients whether in a non-branded way to open the conversation on disease states, or — though less so — from a more commercial perspective.

Some companies have appointed digital leads to advance their social positioning, including: Biogen, which has a head of digital strategy; Sanofi US, which has a head of digital intelligence and connected marketing; Boehringer Ingelheim, with a senior digital manager; and Takeda, with a head of digital acceleration, to name a few.

One of the most successful campaigns was Boehringer Ingelheim’s post during Brain Awareness Week in March 2016, which included a puzzle to highlight cognitive tasks. The post marked the company’s foray into the therapeutic area of CNS, including mental illness.

One strong proponent of social media is Ron Cohen, M.D., CEO of Acorda Therapeutics, who started a digital-innovation-and-strategy group at the company. This has led to several innovations, including a self-help application called MS self that lets users track metrics related to their health. The company is also using digital technology to recruit patients for clinical trials, using multichannel methods to find patients with a condition and inform them of the clinical trials, and providing click throughs so patients can find out more.

Another company looking at social networks for patient recruitment is Bioverativ, which has turned to MyHealthTeams to better understand the unmet needs of hemophilia patients and potentially get them into trials for an upcoming hemophilia drug. Once it gathered input, the company designed its trial to address unmet needs by gauging two key issues raised: continued pain and help with depression.

Companies must take a considered approach to their social media. Sandra Velez, content strategy leader at Merck, says companies must understand their customers’ needs, have two-way conversations with them, and be on channels that customers expect them to be on. She emphasizes the importance of creating a customer persona and understanding that their emotional needs will vary depending on their persona — patient, provider, or payer, for example.(PV)

nicholas yearwood's curator insight, January 16, 9:20 PM
statistics are very different and new to
Scooped by Plus91!

How to Make Your Patients Follow Your Chiropractic Practice on Social Media

How to Make Your Patients Follow Your Chiropractic Practice on Social Media | Social Media and Healthcare |

We hear it all the time: “Engage patients!” Sounds like a valid and proven marketing advice, right? But what are the best and most efficient strategies for engaging your patients? Every medical practice is different, and so there is no one-size-fits-all mantra to follow. However, there are a few ideas you can implement that, when blended with research data and experience, can help you gain traction in the social sphere. Active patient engagement on social networks will help your chiropractor practice and is an important step toward increasing the conversion rate.

Social networks such as Facebook and Instagram are changing the way medical practices operate and interact with potential and existing patients. However, the key to success on these platforms is to have an active and engaged following. Engaged patients are great assets as they tend to spread the positive word about your practice and its services.

Why Do Patients Follow Your Brand?

Have you ever wondered why someone would even want to follow a healthcare brand on social media? Most of us will dislike a site that throws a three-minute pop-up ad at us while we are trying to read a two-minute blog post.

So, why would your patients be willing to follow your chiropractor practice on social media and have your content show up in their social feeds for free? Don’t you want to think about it?

As social networks become more prevalent and essential to marketing strategies, healthcare marketers need to have a solid understanding of the various reasons that existing and potential patients choose to follow, engage and interact with brands on social media.

It is important to understand the underlying reasons as to why your target audience would choose to follow your brand on social networks. This understanding will make the process of attracting and retaining those followers much simpler.

According to research, relevant content is one of the top reasons patients follow healthcare facilities on social networks. If you are looking to ramp up your conversion rate and brand awareness and increase the number of leads, check out these reasons why patients follow chiropractors on social networks:

1. For updates on products and services: Majority of patients turn to social networks for their daily dose of updates about the latest products and services. If an existing or potential patient is interested in your products or services, he or she may choose to follow your brand on social networks to be “in the know” when new products and services are launched. So whenever you have news about your products or services, make sure you share the information on your social media pages. You can even consider sharing a short video or images related to the update.

2. To learn of exclusive offers and promotions: Your followers need to be rewarded for their loyalty. You can keep your patients glued to your social media pages by offering special discount codes, exclusive offers and other promotions. Nearly 70 percent of people follow brands to take advantage of special offers, promotions and special deals. While social networks are not the ideal place for throwing deals and discounts, such posts can help you generate leads and attract potential patients. As a bonus, in order to make your followers feel exclusive, you can announce a special discount only for them. However, you will have to be careful because posting discounts and offers frequently can make you look desperate. So limit the number of such posts. According to a survey, having access to special promotions is one of the top reasons patients follow a brand on social media. These discounts and incentives serve two main purposes: They attract potential patients to your page, and they help retain existing patients by positioning your brand at the top of their minds.

3. To find customer support: An increasing percentage of patients are turning to social networks for customer support. For a lot of people, contacting their doctor on social media is a quicker and more convenient way of expressing concerns and asking for help. According to research, 71 percent of patients who received positive customer service on social networks are more likely to recommend the doctor to their family and friends. Social networks are excellent platforms for engaging with your patients and showing them that you care about their experiences. If an existing or new patient posts feedback about your chiropractor practice on social media, a quick reply is an effective way to show gratitude and resolve concerns.

4. To keep in touch with your practice: Some patients will follow your brand simply because they like its unique identity and personality. Almost 32 percent of patients follow your brand on social media just because they want to stay connected and informed about the activities of your brand. From a healthcare marketer’s point of view, this proves the value of social networks as an effective tool for patient engagement and feedback. Your brand’s social media page serves as a useful resource where patients can see the latest updates from your practice without having to visit your website. Whether you are posting about a new product launch or an exclusive discount offer, following your practice presents the opportunity to keep informed about all the important updates.

5. To post an online review or feedback: If a patient is following you on social media, it is highly likely that he or she is already a loyal patient or is interested in learning more about your services. Patients often follow brands they care about and give feedback about the doctor on their experiences. Social media can give your patients a public voice, so it is critical to take feedback and reviews constructively. Social networks are an excellent way to see what your patients think about your practice and where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Practices that are more open in soliciting the feedback of patients will send the message that the feedback matters, and this can have a positive effect on patient loyalty.

However, not many patients will bother to leave feedback unless they feel passionately enough about your practice to make an effort. Your social media pages will often be one of the first platforms that your patients will turn to when they want to post a review or leave feedback.

And, Why Do Patients Unfollow Your Brand?

Acquiring a massive social media following is incredible, but it is pointless if you keep losing those followers. It is important to understand what is making your followers leave. Being unfollowed is an expected part of the social media journey.

You may think you know your patient demographic inside and out, but do you really know what they want to see on your social media pages? Unknowingly, you might be committing social media mistakes and forcing them to hit the unfollow button. So where could you be going wrong? As a healthcare marketer, it is almost impossible to please every single patient. Here are five key reasons patients unfollow a practice on social media:

1. Irrelevant or boring content: According to research, 21 percent of patients will unfollow a brand if the content is uninteresting and repetitive. If the content you are sharing is not exciting, your target audience will unfollow you. The truth is, there is a lot of competition out there, and you need to be innovative in order to stand out from the crowd. Your patients are following your practice for a specific reason, and if you continue to share boring content, you can kiss those followers goodbye. Your followers demand and deserve fresh and informative content.

2. Over-promotion: Of all the reasons patients unfollow practices on social media, “posting too frequently” is one of the biggest turn-offs. Unfortunately, many practices still approach social media as if it is a broadcast channel where they are allowed to post updates every hour or two. It is important to understand that social networks require two-way communication – brands post, target audience responds and engages. But how much is too much on social media? The answer is, most followers expect the brands to post only once or twice a day. If you are posting updates more than six times a day, you need to slow down. The best way is to stick to a social media schedule so your target audience knows what to expect. However, stick to whatever schedule you decide on.

3. Lack of engagement: The goal of social media presence is to be social. Social networks are designed to help you engage with your followers and make your brand seem accessible. However, if a follower messages you and you ignore him or her, it can defeat the purpose. It is critical to use your social presence as a medium to interact with your followers. As a healthcare marketer, you must engage with your target audience. Communicating with them in a personal and friendly manner is crucial. Nearly 39 percent of patients expect doctors to engage with them when they post on their social media pages. Engaging with your followers can help improve conversion rate, drive traffic to your website and attract new patients.

4. Your competitors are more engaging:A small portion of your followers can unfollow your brand if they come across a competitor who shares more compelling content and is more appealing than you are on social media. However, this is more of personal choice than a social media mistake. You cannot do much to stop such incidences. Your only option is to try to be better than your competitors by keeping an eye on their social media activities. It is important to take note of things they are doing right, and include those in your social media strategy.

5. Posting too little: While posting too frequently can cause you to lose followers, not posting enough can do as much harm. When you do not post for two months, and then all of a sudden post a promotional offer, your patients may wonder why they are following you in the first place. If you are too quiet and only posting rarely, your patients will find it pointless to follow you and most likely click the unfollow button. Again, it is advised to set up a social media schedule and adhere to it. You must post at least once a day. Being consistent will show your patients that you are present and active. The idea is to find a good balance when posting content on social networks.


Social networks help in brand promotion. Healthcare brands need to make the most of these platforms by posting useful content frequently.

An important thing to remember is that your followers expect high-quality content that fits their requirements. Social media is a two-way communication platform, so be careful not to overwhelm your followers with frequent updates and promotional content. But if you are too quiet and only posting rarely, your patients will find it pointless to follow your brand and will most likely click the unfollow button.

Engaging patients through social networks can be challenging for some chiropractors, but it is the first step in creating loyal patients and for promoting your practice in earnest. It tells potential patients that you are listening and are actively involved. Social media engagement should be a pillar of your healthcare marketing strategy.

If you need more help with managing your social media profile, feel free to contact our social media services team today.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Doctors turn to Twitter to highlight ‘third world conditions’ in A&E departments

Doctors turn to Twitter to highlight ‘third world conditions’ in A&E departments | Social Media and Healthcare |

“Battlefield medicine”, “third world conditions” and a system “on its knees” are some of the expressions being used by doctors to describe the situation in England’s Accident and Emergency departments.

Dr Richard Fawcett, an emergency medicine consultant at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, said he was heartbroken to see so many frail and elderly patients languishing in corridors.

On Twitter, he apologised to patients in the Stoke area for “3rd world conditions of the dept due to #overcrowding”.


His colleague Dr Gareth Davies also took to Twitter to say: “Royal stoke on its knees.

“But we definitely saved a very unwell man’s life this am.

“Keep going team ED…you are amazing!”

The trust sent out a statement recognising the “sustained pressure” in the system in the region, adding: “Our staff want the very best for our patients and at times they find the situation frustrating, which can be reflected on social media.”

Dr Anu Mitra, a consultant in emergency medicine at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, wrote: “Like everyone else we’ve been practicing corridor medicine on a brutal shift today.

“This is battlefield medicine.

“For next few weeks it won’t be exception but norm.

“That we’re retaining any semblance of kindness, politeness and teamwork is testament to our remarkable staff.


“But it’s TOUGH, and it’s SO hard to do things well when ED’s >200% of capacity.”


Another NHS doctor, Chris Turner, wrote: “It’s 0400 and I’ve been lying awake for the last hour worrying about how we manage the department when my shift starts in 12 hours time.

“The last time the job felt so impossible for me was Mid-Staffs.

“This can feel like a personal failure to staff; it’s not, it’s a system fail.”


The hashtag #NHSCrisis has become one of the top trending UK topics on the social media site.


No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

'No name' hospital patient identified

'No name' hospital patient identified | Social Media and Healthcare |

A man who was admitted to hospital with no knowledge of his own name has been identified.

The patient was admitted to Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert on Boxing Day.

NHS Forth Valley and police launched an appeal for information after it emerged that the man had no knowledge of his identity and did not have any personal documents.

He was identified after the appeal was published on social media.

The health board had said: "Staff are now appealing for anyone who recognises the man in the photo to get in contact to help trace his next of kin."

The post on Facebook was shared more than 1,300 times with many people responding to say they knew the man and offering him and his family best wishes.

A relative responded on Facebook, thanking people for their comments and added: "He's doing ok."

A Twitter update from NHS Forth Valley later stated: "We have now identified the patient and would like to thank everyone who shared and retweeted."

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

I Want My Brand on Social! - pharma social strategy

I Want My Brand on Social! - pharma social strategy | Social Media and Healthcare |

Everyone is on it in some capacity. We are all hands-on experts; but social is very nuanced. How do I leverage creative, messaging, audience, device, time of day, etc., to connect with my customers? A successful start requires focus on a strategy—one that is as individual as the person you are trying to reach.

Being present on social media creates many opportunities for brands to connect with customers intimately. Building relationships with them requires commitment, and participating in their community can be challenging. A successful social media strategy takes careful planning, and ample time to develop, implement and positively impact your brand. Time and perceived risk, along with various other hurdles, often lead Pharma brands to shy away from community and relationship building and focus solely on familiar media tactics in social channels, such as banners and other paid promotional ads. This can be a missed opportunity.

Authentic connections with your customers can improve brand perception, loyalty, advocacy, and result in increased lifetime value. Additionally, Pharma participation in social networks has grown significantly in recent years. According to Unmetric, the top 16 pharmaceutical companies have corporate presences on LinkedIn and Twitter, demonstrating the confidence in the mediums and how social is maturing into strong solutions for enterprise businesses. 1

The initial uncertainty and regulatory challenges of social’s earlier years have been overcome by the ever-evolving capabilities of the social platforms to court Pharma and satisfy legal requirements set forth in the draft FDA guidelines. The social course has been paved for Pharma brands and is shifting to support meaningful dialogue with key stakeholders.

In addition to the positive connections to your brand, social media drives efficiencies. The cost savings realized by providing customer service through social channels and warm transferring appropriate calls to your call center in theory would reduce overall call volume and the cost associated. More on social media and customer service later.

Let’s Build a Relationship

How do you start to connect with your customers on social media? The same way you would with any new relationship—by getting to know your audience: understand what they’re interested in, the things they don’t like, how they feel about current events. What makes them tick? How do they feel about your brand and view your competitors?

In order to realize the benefits of a successful social strategy, you have to study your customers and know them as well as you would know an intimate friend. Start by reviewing existing market research. Determine where there are behavioral and attitudinal gaps and fill them. Be direct and ask for their opinions, conduct surveys. Your customers will appreciate your effort to understand their pain points and how best to connect with and service them.

Understanding the group dynamic is crucial. Individuals operate much differently than groups of people. How do your customers interact with each other? What do they talk about? How do they talk to each other? What language do they use (are they formal or colloquial)? What is the tone?

Social listening is a powerful tool to understand your audience’s interactions and relationships. It can help you determine how you can authentically engage on the groups’ terms. Ongoing social listening can also help evolve your communication strategy and serve as a barometer for your engagement success.

Joining the Conversation

Now that you understand your customer and the group dynamic, you can focus on developing a social strategy that revolves around their needs and interests, while helping achieve your business goals. A successful strategy should put the customers’ journey at the center and ease their pain points.

Where can you most effectively connect with your customers, engage in conversation and, if appropriate, solve their problems? How does your brand fit into the dialogue without feeling forced? Where do you have authority and permission to engage? The answers to these questions will help guide how and when you join the conversation and help you plan your content needs and editorial calendar.
Where should you publish your content? Do you need to create a community dedicated to the population you are trying to connect with? You will find that the “if you build it, they will come” philosophy does not apply to a brand’s social community, no matter how great your strategy and content.

Engaging a community where they already are is often the best way to reach your customers.

If you are serving a niche audience, or a community that doesn’t already exist, paid social media ads and other media channels play an important role to aid discovery of your content and community. Use paid media, as well as your owned channels, to invite customers to join the conversation and draw them into your community. Use the input from your initial research and social listening to determine the most persuasive approach, content and offers.

The Need for Content

How much content do you need? This will vary greatly by customer. Many cite the 10-4-1 rule as the best practice for publishing content. The 10-4-1 rule focuses on striking balance when publishing content on social media. For every 15 posts, 10 should be content written/sourced externally, 4 should be unique content written by you, and 1 should be “promotional.” Keep in mind that this is a suggestion. The best practice is to create your own best practice since each audience is different and your content should reflect that nuance.

This also applies to determine best times to publish content. For example, conventional wisdom may dictate posting content during waking hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you find your customers are most active during evenings vs. the weekend, logic would dictate this is the optimal time to reach them.

Taking the Relationship to the Next Level

The social relationship, like any other good relationship, is not a set it and forget it situation. They require effort and are most successful when there is open and honest dialogue. These relationships require regular attention, a long-term commitment and continuous optimization. Learn from your customers’ conversations, assess which creative is most engaging, and keep things fresh with a steady stream of content.

Communication is the essence of any community. There must be a reason for your customers to come back and remain engaged.
Pharma-focused communities require ongoing monitoring for adverse events (AEs) and inappropriate user-generated content.
Brands may feel overwhelmed by the perceived risk or the resourcing burden of social community management. Fortunately, it is much easier today to find partners who are experts in Pharma community management and can simplify AE monitoring, community management and moderation. Partners can provide 24/7 community management that incorporates layers of human and automated moderation, based on a brand’s established guidelines.

If your brand is particularly nervous about community moderation and user-generated content, Facebook may be the best social channel for you to get started. Facebook provides the most robust moderation tools and highest level of control for Pharma brands. It also has the largest audience, almost one-third of the global population.

Social and CRM

Brands can continue to deepen relationships with customers and provide them an even more personalized experience by incorporating social into their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program. Social CRM is the practice of using social media channels and technology to manage and analyze customer communication and engagement throughout the customer lifecycle.

Social CRM can enhance your relationship and marketing activities across all channels. Traditional CRM typically collects data such as contact history, response rates and demographics. By overlaying data available through social media, such as a customer’s brand sentiment, type of content they’re interested in/engaging with, other brands they engage with, etc., you can enrich an individual customer’s profile. This enhanced view of your customers can help validate and refine existing segmentation. The additional context also helps marketers develop individualized communications across the customer’s channels of choice.

Customer Service

As mentioned above, customer service is an area where social channels can help deepen relationships with your customers and should be part of your overall social strategy. Social media and technology are part of people’s daily lives, and they expect the brands they support to be there. Consider how much time you spend on both your mobile device and social media—it’s probably more than you’d like to admit.

VentureBeat reports that 49.4% of consumers would rather message a business than call. Customer service facilitated through social media provides value that goes beyond convenience. 2 Meeting your customers where they are is ideal and necessary. In-bound customer queries can be highly meaningful engagement points, and positive service experiences will build brand advocacy. These are opportunities to surprise and delight your customers with exceptional service.

Messenger apps, like Facebook Messenger, are a great way to manage customer service in social. They facilitate 1:1 communication and reduce the risk of highly visible adverse event mentions or public disputes. Messenger gives brands an opportunity to employ a personal touch to help customers.

For example, a patient may have a question about how to use a medication with a more complicated route of administration, such as an injection. Brands can respond through messenger and deliver step-by-step instructions based on preapproved materials, direct the patient to an instructional video, or connect while the patient remains in their channel of choice.

Seeing the Rewards in Your Relationships

As you begin discovery to determine the right approach and resources required for your social initiatives, it is important to remember that your program will only be as effective as the strategy behind it. Developing, implementing, and optimizing a strategy that drives meaningful relationships can take time. The process is rewarding; pharma brands deliver against their core values and connect more intimately with customers. The strong customer relationships you invest in now have the potential to deliver benefits long into the future.

Social provides a platform for communication with and access to your audience. You can listen for audience response and be relevant and timely for patients, caregivers, and professionals.(PV)

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

3 Digital trends that orthopedic and spine surgeons should know about in 2018

3 Digital trends that orthopedic and spine surgeons should know about in 2018 | Social Media and Healthcare |

Over the last few years there has been several dynamic changes in the world of patient acquisition for orthopedic and spine practices. As 2018 approaches, here are 3 of the most important digital trends that practices should know about to continue to grow their patient volume:

1. The Shift to Smartphone Usage

For the first time in history, more internet traffic and usage has come from mobile devices than desktop computers. In fact, in 2016-2017 up to 60% of all internet usage was from a smartphone or tablet and the average American spent up to 5 hours per day on a mobile device.

As a result of the growing usage of smartphones over desktops, Google has been encouraging businesses to update their websites to mobile-responsive websites. A mobile-responsive site is one that automatically changes its layout and placements of certain menus and buttons automatically.

Over the last few years, Google has begun penalizing websites that do not make this upgrade by pushing them further down in organic Google search results (many times off the first page) if the search came from a mobile device..

What this means for your practice: If a potential patient in your area is looking for an orthopedic or spine specialist, or treatment for a specific condition, those practices with mobile responsive sites will outrank those that do not. Considering that 70% of patients use Google to search for a condition or a physician, if your website is not ranking on the first page because your site is outdated, you could be losing hundreds of patients per month to your competitors.

Many practices are often hesitant to update their websites because of the perceived cost. However, redesigning your website may not cost as much as you think. You should also consider how much new patient revenue you may be losing to your competitors by not doing so.

2. The Shift to Video Content
In 2017, 33% of all online activity was spent watching videos and 45% of people spend an hour or more each week watching videos on sites like YouTube and Facebook. YouTube is now the second most popular search engine in the world behind Google.

For orthopedic and spine practices, many patients are opting to watch videos of physicians explaining causes and treatments for conditions like sciatica or meniscus tears, instead of reading long form written content.

This speaks to the “modern patient” having less time to read content and wanting to get information easily and effectively. Patients who watch videos featuring a physician feel as if they get an insight into that physician’s personality and demeanor before even meeting them. In fact, 73% of people said that seeing a video influences their decisions.

What this means for your practice: Investing in high quality video content is imperative for your practices digital marketing strategy. Video content can include Q&A’s with physicians, patient testimonials and physician introduction videos. These videos can be used in multiple incarnations including as part of an effective social media marketing strategy and YouTube marketing strategy.

3. Social Media as a Primary News Source
According to a 2017 Pew Research Study, 67% of all Americans get at least their news from Social Media sites. This represents a significant shift from print and TV being the primary news sources, but does not seem all too surprising considering that the average American spends almost two hours per day on social media sites.

The likely reason for these shifts is that social media sites like Facebook serve as aggregate news sites where users can get information from all of their trusted news sources, from local newspapers to national TV networks, in one single place. Sites like Facebook recognized very early on how to monetize the time users spent on the site or app by allowing for highly targeted advertisement being shown to their over 1 billion users.

What this means for your practice: All of this time spent on social media each day is the perfect opportunity to highlight your services and expertise to potential patients.

When executed correctly, Facebook and Instagram ads can target users by their locations, behaviors, purchases, websites they have recently visited and their interests. Knowing the behaviors of those in need of orthopedic or spine care can allow you to target ads directly to those in your area and increase brand awareness as well as generate new patients. Imagine a newspaper ad or billboard that was shown only to those with an orthopedic injury or spine condition? That’s what social media marketing can do for your practice.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Social Media Trends That Will Transform the Healthcare Industry in 2018

Social Media Trends That Will Transform the Healthcare Industry in 2018 | Social Media and Healthcare |

The world of social media marketing has changed significantly over the past decade or so. These changes are driven by trends in patient behavior and preferences, mainly by Gen Z and millennials. Reaching out to the younger members of society means that healthcare marketers need to change their communication models and focus on what matters to the younger generation.

Regardless of the size and specialty of your medical practice, social media is your best bet for reaching out to your target audience. Social networks have a captive and thriving audience and provide endless opportunities for healthcare marketers to build meaningful relationships with their target audience. An average American user has five social media accounts and each day spends more than two hours browsing them. According to studies, social media activities account for nearly 30 percent of all online interactions. This is why it is vital to stay on top of social media trends.

Here are the top eight social media trends that are likely to have a significant impact on the healthcare market in 2018.

1. Video Content Will Surge Ahead

Video content has grown exponentially in popularity over the last few years and will continue to grow in 2018, as well. The predictions vary. Cisco predicts 80 percent of online traffic will be driven by video content by 2019, whereas Mark Zuckerberg expects 90 percent of Facebook’s content to be video-based by 2018. Nearly 80 percent of social media users said they would rather watch a video than read plain text. In addition, the Facebook live video gets three times more views.

Mobile video is highly likely to be the primary way your patients will prefer to consume healthcare content. Healthcare marketers should also consider that mobile has taken over as the fundamental way to access social media. This is because video content elicits higher engagement rates. New formats such as live streaming are an effective way to engage target customers.

In 2018, you may see a steady rise in high-quality video content. According to HootSuite, online visitors are spending more time looking at video content than reading plain text. In fact, social video advertising grew more than 130 percent in 2017. An excellent way to utilize video is by creating and sharing short clips based on the demands and preferences of your target audience.

Overall, having the ability to create relevant video content in multiple formats on a regular basis and strategically tying it to your blogs and eBooks will be critical in 2018. Medical marketers will need to work out how they can leverage a variety of video formats as part of their content marketing strategies. Marketers will need to ensure they are creating content that reflects their business goals and objectives.

2. Increased Emphasis on User-Generated Content

According to marketing surveys, nearly 66 percent of new patients trust online reviews posted by other patients, and an even higher percentage of potential patients believe recommendations from their family and friends. Social networks are presenting many exciting opportunities to use user-generated content into building healthy relationships with prospective and existing patients.

Medical practices can leverage user-generated content on their social media profiles to engage their followers. For instance, you can ask your followers to submit reviews or share experiences of your practice on social networks. You can then choose the best submissions and share them on your page, giving credit to the followers who submitted them. This is not just a great way to get fresh content regularly; it is also a proven strategy for engaging your potential and existing patients. Chosen followers will be motivated and will be more likely to recommend your services to their family and friends. Instagram is said to deliver the biggest ROI for user-generated content.

In 2018, you can expect to see more healthcare facilities integrating user-generated content into their social media campaigns. Healthcare marketers must look forward to 2018 and start leveraging this trend if they wish to remain competitive.

3. Chatbots and Messaging Apps Will Improve Patient Service

Patient experience is valuable. Patient experience is what it sounds like – making sure your patients have a good experience at your practice and with your employees. The concept of delivering superior patient experience is steadily gaining momentum. More than 68 percent of marketers say they are focusing on improving customer experience.

Chatbots can give medical practices the chance to interact quickly with their target audience in a way that feels personal. There are at least 100,000 active bots on Facebook Messenger every month, and almost 2 billion messages are exchanged between businesses and their target audiences each month. In 2018, medical practices will have to step out of their comfort zones and focus on chatbots and messaging apps in order to deliver excellent patient service. Healthcare marketers will invest more time and effort in interaction with patients via messaging apps and chatbots. A combination of chatbots and messaging apps can significantly enhance the quality of patient service.

4. Influencer Marketing Will Continue to Rise

Social media influencers have an incredible reach, usually with followings in thousands or millions. Healthcare marketers are shifting toward paying these influencers to promote their products and services. Nearly 32 percent of US-based influencers say Facebook is the best social networking platform, while 24 percent of influencers think Instagram is the best.

Influencer marketing is believed to deliver 11 times the ROI compared to traditional marketing strategies, and more than 49 percent of new patients depend on influencers for choosing their next medical facility. This is not a passing trend, but a multibillion dollar industry. A lot of these social media influencers walk away with six-figure incomes, just by promoting brands to their followers.

More than 90 percent of healthcare marketers who employ an influencer marketing strategy to connect with new patients and improve engagement with existing patients believe it is successful. In 2018, more healthcare facilities will embrace influencer marketing as a way to communicate with their target audiences.

5. Instagram Stories Will Be More Popular

With Instagram Stories, you can publish content that lives for 24 hours before disappearing. This is believed to be the perfect way to keep your followers engaged without over-sharing content to your Instagram profile. In addition, you can hashtag relevant keywords to help target users find your posts quickly and easily.

Instagram Stories is perhaps the most significant change in the Instagram user interface, and the marketing opportunities that it provides are tremendous. Instagram Stories is also more lucrative from a marketing perspective because, unlike other social media platforms, Instagram metrics are trackable. This means healthcare marketers trying to connect with their target audience on Instagram must take the time to get on board with Instagram Stories.

Daily viewers of Instagram Stories have surpassed daily SnapChat viewers within one year after launch, and the growth is not expected to slow down in 2018. It is likely that more than 50 percent of all Instagram users will be using Instagram Stories by the end of 2018.

6. Organic Reach Strategies Are Likely to Decline

With an increasing number of businesses strengthening their presence on social networks, there was a need to invent measures to combat spam. This means marketers have to face a dramatic decline in organic reach. Due to less organic return, marketers have to be more selective about what and where to post.

Healthcare marketers need to stop relying on short-term tactics that once worked. Facebook has already announced that organic reach will soon be zero. 2018 is likely to be the year when we will feel the pinch on the organic reach of our social media content. While you must be creating and sharing the most genuine and relevant content, you need to understand that it is a pay-to-play world. With a lot of businesses increasingly disappearing from newsfeeds, ephemeral content is key to staying top-of-mind in 2018.

Instead, healthcare marketers need to start building sustainable social media strategies. This means carefully choosing networks where you post content and investing more in paid ads and influencer strategies.

7. Ephemeral Content Will Rule Patient Engagement

Ephemeral content is short-lived content that appears for just 24 hours and then disappears on its own. This type of content is gaining immense popularity among millennials and generation Z. Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories have led to the demand for ephemeral content. Because of the nature of content, the information is lost within hours, thus making your followers take fast action.

Ephemeral content is a great way to preview upcoming projects and showcase behind-the-scene content that is supposed to be short-lived. However, you will need an effective strategy in 2018 to engage your target audiences in the shortest possible time.

Your target audience will consider short-lived content more authentic, and it may motivate them to call your office and schedule an appointment.

8. Live Streaming Will Expand

The live-streaming market is growing at an alarming rate. While live streaming has been around for a while now, the way patients and healthcare brands are going to use them is likely to evolve. We are going to see a lot more of live streaming in 2018, and the brands that leverage it well will be rejoicing in the organic reach it will generate.

Live streaming was a $30 billion industry in 2016, and it is expected to more than double in size by 2021 to become a $70 billion industry. One of the biggest reasons you should care about live streaming is due to its massive user base and rising popularity. Live streaming is a nearly free way to drive lots of traffic to your social media profile and tons of revenue for your medical practice.

In 2018, more healthcare brands will harness the power of live streaming and will incorporate it into their healthcare content marketing strategy. Just like Facebook and Instagram, other social networks too will try to capitalize on the trend.

Wrapping Up

The role of social media marketing is expanding, and we expect a lot of changes in the social media landscape in 2018. One thing is sure: Social networks will offer brands more ways to create engaging content and more natural ways to share it. Most likely, video streaming and ephemeral content will go mainstream. Additionally, healthcare brands may turn to newer social platforms as Gen Z will spend a lot of their time there. This means healthcare marketers will need to strengthen their online presence in 2016. However, it is essential to stay informed on the behavior and preferences of your target audience.

It is critical to look forward to 2018 and adjust to the healthcare social media trends if you wish to remain competitive in the market.
If these trends have inspired you to begin transforming your medical practice’s social media marketing campaign, Practice Builders can help you. Not only do we have the experience and insight to point you in the right direction, but we also have the technology to make you achieve your business goals. For more information, contact us today.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Use Social Media Platforms for Patient Engagement

Use Social Media Platforms for Patient Engagement | Social Media and Healthcare |

Why should you have an automated marketing platform and strategy for patient engagement?

According to Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) statistics from 2009 to 2016,1there has been a mass exodus of physicians from private practice to hospital- and system-based settings. For example:

  • Internal medicine went from 50 percent hospital and system employed to nearly 70 percent
  • Orthopedic surgeons from mid-20 percent to mid-40 percent
  • Pediatricians from just about 30 percent to more than 50 percent

It is common knowledge that in a growing number of markets physician referrals to private practices and access to marketing opportunities with physicians have dropped substantially. Practices that once had a lengthy list of loyal referring physicians are seeing their stream of new MD-referred patients dwindling. The question is not only how to find new patients but also how to nurture your current clientele to ensure that your prior patients return to your practice for additional care or refer their family and friends as well!

The answer is to develop a consistent, ongoing patient engagement tool and strategy!

Many practices are utilizing social media platforms to stay in touch with their client base and to reach other consumers. However, we are also seeing practices all across the country looking for opportunities to create ways to better engage individually with past, present, and potential patients, nurturing them through the entire physical therapy experience from intake to discharge. Practices are working on educating patients, and even engaging their family caregivers, to improve the overall quality of their experience. These practices are exploring marketing automation and engagement technologies. When employed strategically, this action yields a wide range of benefits, including a more efficient, consumer-friendly intake process, better carryover compliance, increased attendance and completion of care, as well as long-term connections and word-of-mouth referrals!

In a recent discussion with Carol Vance, a patient engagement platform developer, Vance described important factors in patient engagement.

  • Provide relevant content and messaging. Identify and deliver to your individual customer. Profiling your customers at intake and using their demographic data to target your messaging is vital!
  • Build loyalty and advocacy over time, because happy customers drive referrals. This is true of any business model—business-to-business or business-to-consumer. Your customers are your prospects, too. In fact, research from Teradata shows that 61 percent of people say they would tell their friends and family about their good experiences and that 27 percent would sign up for a company’s loyalty program.2
  • Engage customers continuously over time—with messages and content relevant to their situation that drives them toward a desired action or outcome. Being mindful of who your audience is and what resonates with them the most will help push them further along in the customer lifecycle.

With increasing copays and deductibles and busy schedules, patients’ attendance and completion of care has also become a challenge. Keep in mind that patients who fail to come to scheduled medical appointments (no-shows) create a cascade of issues for the health care system, the provider, and themselves. No-shows can affect productivity, cost and quality of care, and treatment outcomes.


1. Accessed November 2017.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Social Media: The New Word of Mouth 

Social Media: The New Word of Mouth  | Social Media and Healthcare |

You might not like it, but social media has changed the landscape forever. Even for a dental practice, social media has made a big impact in the way that other patients send referrals and engage with the practice.

For most of my life, “word-of-mouth” referrals have always been one of the most valuable tools for dental clients. They still are, but we must recognize that social media has displaced word-of-mouth marketing, and it is now one of the best ways to help patients hear about you and your practice.

Social Media Is a Good Thing. Embrace it.

We no longer need to wait for a patient to have a run-in with a relative and take the opportunity to talk about you. When someone is looking for a referral, they will either Google the problem or they will throw their need out into their social media network and see who turns up. We see this all the time, whether it’s for car repairs, restaurants, or even a dentist.

This means that your potential reach has expanded exponentially, as it has made a referral much easier to provide.

Social media is also smart, and you can get the potential jump in before a prospective patient ever needs to ask for a referral. Allow me to explain what I mean.

Once your patients have friended/followed your profiles, your practice will be suggested to their friends as well. This becomes more likely as you find more and more patients within a target demographic.

When patients check in at your practice, mention you in a post, or leave a review, their entire social circle can see that, and that exposure/vote of confidence costs you very little.

Some Data

Our lives are entwined with our phones, applications, browsers, and social media. They all track our data. What does this mean for a dentist?

When your prospective patients are using search engines to investigate their sore tooth, learn about Invisalign, or simply find a dentist, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter usually know about it. This increases the likelihood that you’ll be recommended as a friend or that your paid ads will reach them on those platforms, and it will have a positive effect on your local search rankings.

Research indicates that 80 percent of users will look for health information online, and 75 percent will use social media to research their health symptoms. As many as 90 percent of users aged 18–24 trust referrals on social media as much as they do in person.

There is no doubt—your prospective patients will look for referrals via social media. The only question is, who will get that referral? Will it be you?


It’s called social media because it’s supposed to be social. It’s not enough to simply create a profile and never interact with it. If you are looking to attract and retain dental patients online, you must engage with those patients online.

For dental practices, social media (and word of mouth) provides the lowest acquisition cost of new patients. I’ll admit, sometimes it’s hard to determine the ROI of social media marketing, and it’s not always an easy thing to keep up with in a dental practice.

A social media strategy that is focused on community involvement, sharing great content, and informing prospective patients can set you up with a continuous stream of referrals for the foreseeable future. The new “word of mouth” can be one of the most efficient marketing tools in your arsenal if you use it wisely.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Social media may help chronically ill connect to doctors, fellow patie

Social media may help chronically ill connect to doctors, fellow patie | Social Media and Healthcare |

Social media groups that bring together patients, family, friends and healthcare providers can improve patients’ outlook and reduce their anxiety and depression, a recent U.S. study suggests.

In a nine-month experiment with liver-transplant patients, researchers found that participants came to rely heavily on a closed Facebook group, both for information about their condition and help in coping.

“Ninety percent of Americans are on the internet and 80 percent are using platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to find healthcare information from a supportive online community,” said Dr. Sean Langenfeld, of the Department of Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, who wasn’t involved in the study.

“It’s a very powerful tool and offers a great way to facilitate communication among those suffering from abdominal pain or migraines to individuals diagnosed with cancer.”

For the current study, Dr. Vikrom Dhar of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio and his colleagues created a closed Facebook group that ultimately had a total of 350 members, about half of whom were liver transplant patients, 36 percent were family and friends and 14 percent were healthcare providers.


Of the 78 healthcare providers who were part of the hospital’s liver transplant team, 49 were active members of the group, including 7 out of the 16 physicians.

The researchers monitored the group’s interactions and surveyed a subset of participants after nine months.

Dhar’s team found that engagement with the group was high, and 83 percent of participants posted or reacted to others’ posts at least once per month. While patients tended to post supportive messages or inspirational content, the healthcare providers mainly posted educational information.

After nine months, 95 percent of the survey participants said that joining the group had a positive impact on their care, and 97 percent said their main motivation for joining was to get support from other patients and to provide it.

Social media also allows for patient-practitioner interaction between visits to the hospital or clinic, the study team notes in the journal Surgery.

This is especially important for those suffering from alcohol-related end-stage liver disease, Dhar said. “Previous reports in literature have suggested that patients who have appropriate social support have lower rates of alcohol relapse following transplantation,” he told Reuters Health in an email. “Thus, by using social media platforms, physicians may offer social support resources to patients who otherwise may suffer from disparities in accessing such care.”

Still, healthcare providers remain hesitant to engage patients through social media, the study team writes.

A 140-character tweet can result in misinterpretation of medical advice. Without a disclaimer, doctors risk being liable, Langenfeld noted. What’s more, the line between personal and professional engagement is, at best, blurred.

“Never assume there is privacy on the internet,” Langenfeld said in a telephone interview. “Statistics are vague, but in recent years over 50 percent of medical boards have inflicted serious punishment as a result of irresponsible online behavior.” This includes irresponsible behavior unrelated to one’s medical specialty.


It makes sense that the number of teaching hospitals offering social media responsibility courses is on the rise, Dhar said.

“Our study shows that in appropriate settings, physicians can utilize social media platforms including Facebook to create content that patients find positively impacts their healthcare.”

SOURCE: Surgery, online November 29, 2017.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Doctors already use phones to share clinical images of patients – legislation needs to catch up

Doctors already use phones to share clinical images of patients – legislation needs to catch up | Social Media and Healthcare |

Imagine this scenario: you’re a recently graduated doctor working at a medical clinic in rural Australia. A person presents with a bite of what seems to be a poisonous spider - but you’re not sure. You take a photo of the skin lesion on your phone, and post it in a social media group to source swift advice from more experienced experts.

Digital image capturing devices like smartphones have enormous potential to facilitate communication for time critical medical interventions. And, as a society, we all seem to be part of a contract where we tacitly consent to immediate, mass distribution of images depicting us.

But there’s a catch: image capture and storage may fail to comply with current legislative frameworks for privacy, with significant ethical, legal and security implications.

As a society, it’s time for us to review how digital imaging is changing healthcare, security and other specialities.

Read more: Artificial intelligence won’t replace a doctor any time soon, but it can help with diagnosis

Legal use of information

Australian legislation refers to the 1988 Privacy Act framework for guidelines about the legal and ethical use of information, including images.

This legislation was developed during a time of centralised practice of medical photography – when images were physically stored at a hospital, and could not be reproduced, or accessed, without due authorisation.

But all this changed with the advent of smartphone-enabled cameras that can capture, process and mass distribute an image instantly.

Legislative changes to the Australian Privacy Act took effect in March 2014 following the introduction of the Privacy Amendment Act 2012 and the Privacy Regulation 2013.

Under these changes, people or medical professionals with unsecured patient images on their smart devices could face fines up to A$340,000, and institutions up to A$1,700,000 for breaches of patient privacy.

At a national level, mandatory data breach notification obligations will come into force in early 2018.


But it’s not clear how this federal legislation interacts with state regulation of digital images. Individual state governments apply a range of acts to meet specific requirements in some sectors.

For example, those that apply in the medical sector in Victoria include the Freedom of Information ActGuardianship and Administration ActMedical Treatment ActHealth Records ActCharter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act and the Mental Health Act.

Different states and territories have different acts, and this is problematic. Digital images can be sent instantly across state or national borders and easily redistributed through social media. So which laws should apply?

How photos aid medical practice

Medical photographs can be an essential part of patient treatment. They allow medical staff to document the treatment of illness, to communicate among medical professionals and to teach.

A phone capture of your health image may be shared without your

Surveys of image usage in Australian hospitals suggest that medical professionals frequently capture and store patient data on smartphones, sharing them between colleagues.

Although legislation requires signed informed consent for the storage and use of images, this appears often not to be collected, especially if a patient is not in a state to be able to grant consent. This means there is a large disconnect between image usage, and legislative requirements.

Medical professionals including doctors and nurses have probably been the most progressive in enabling surveys of current professional practices. This serves as a high value source of information for considering how changes in technology and work practice may need to be reflected in consistent legislation, independent of state borders.

Also a problem in policing

Collection and application of digital imagery in policing similarly presents new legal and ethical challenges.

In Australia, various states are either trialling or using body cameras, and police may be permitted to use personal capture devices.

But guidelines for when images of a potential crime should be captured are different between Australian states. Concerns over when evidence should be collected, and who has access to such evidence have only started to be considered in Australia.

Body Worn Cameras were rolled out by the Queensland Police Service in 2016. Queensland Police/AAP

Towards solutions

We recently discussed issues relating to legal and ethical use of digital images at the 2016 Australian Ethics Network conference.

The field of ethics management aims to ensure that data is collected, stored and distributed in a way that is consistent with moral principles, and legislative framework within a given jurisdiction. The use of digital images that can be instantly transferred across state and national borders presents many challenges.

We need sector and region specific information to answer these questions. What are the benefits to a medical professional of having instant image access, how should this be balanced with personal consent if a life is in danger? How should use of images for policing be balanced with privacy if image distribution may result in the prevention of crime?

Possible technology solutions could include developing apps that securely store and manage data by restricting access to authorised persons. Such a process will require coordination between policymakers and professional sectors, and a conversation with the public on how we can best use digital images in an ethical way, not only for medicine but across research disciplines.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Top 10 Best-in-Class Healthcare Marketing Trends for 2018 Success

Top 10 Best-in-Class Healthcare Marketing Trends for 2018 Success | Social Media and Healthcare |

Perhaps the only rock-solid prediction for 2018 is that hospital, medical group and healthcare marketing is the ever-present challenge to keep pace with change. Competition is tough, resources are precious, and performance expectations—delivering a solid return on investment—are always demanding.

To achieve a new level of success in the New Year, industry leaders and marketing professionals will adopt best-in-class methods, tactics and trends. And they will take full advantage of technology and insightful planning to deliver exactly the right message, at exactly the right time, to the specific individual in need.

Today, more than any time in the past, marketing is about engaging in a dialog, a conversation, and a relationship. Here are some of the most significant trends for 2018 healthcare marketing:

(1) Best-in-class customer service will be a top-down business priority for hospital and provider executives.

The healthcare delivery industry has professed a “patient first” perspective for several years. Although the concept is widely embraced, much of the traditional operations and functions of hospitals and medical practices are slow to change.

Often, meeting patient expectations is not expensive. Today’s consumers value convenience, appreciate the benefits of technology, and ask that the medical service process respect the value of their time (with prompt service and little waiting).

Studies tell us that 60 to 70 percent of patients would opt for health care services where the Internet is a connecting technology—and they’re willing to change providers to get it. These customers—Millennials in particular—want to communicate with their providers, pay bills, request services, see their health data, and make appointments…using the ease and convenience of technology. (Just as they do in retail product and service environments.)

Those institutions that have demonstrated the most progress owe their achievements to a top-down process. When the highest levels of leadership and management recognize and focus on patient experience, customer service, and consumer satisfaction, success follows.

What’s more, customer experience and satisfaction have an important financial impact through influential online reviews and ratings, and that positive performance is tied to reimbursement. Customer-first and the convenience of technology are often commonplace in the retail world. In the near term, technology integration will continue to embrace virtual visits, wearable devices, “care from anywhere” telehealth options, and other mobile apps and software.

(2) The digital experience in healthcare begins with mobile first—but not “mobile only.”

It’s nearly a universal fact of life in healthcare marketing that a mobile device will be present at the starting line. People demand the fast and convenient answers that are instantly available on their smartphone. The “how” is immediately at hand, regardless of the “when” or “where.”

Not only does marketing success launch with the small screen, the connectivity is sustained and enhanced by the social, local and personalized experience. By necessity, small screen sites drive focus to high-priority information, and they tend to load fast. Mobile devices are the nation’s “first screen.” Americans spend more time on their smartphones than in watching television (Average 147 minutes each day). [Marketing in a multiscreen world; MillwardBrown].

That said, each patient journey likely includes multiple devices. Consumers may initially tap into quick or social information via a mobile screen and then turn to a desktop or laptop for subsequent, deeper reviews and research. Digital healthcare marketing has the challenge of being prepared and present, compelling and engaging content via all screens.

(3) The online “User Experience” that you create for patients will make or break your website performance.

A hospital or provider website is healthcare’s new front door to service and satisfaction. Our commonplace use of retail websites has conditioned people to expect a seamless experience. Visitors’ performance expectations are packed into the first 30 seconds or less.

The alphabet-soup tech labels of UX, UI, UXD, UED mean your healthcare website needs to provide prospective and new patients with a trouble-free experience. Websites that are designed to satisfy the user experience first—to paraphrase Wikipedia—improve usability, enhance customer satisfaction, and inspire loyalty.

Extensive and continuing research by Klein & Partners regarding the state of healthcare marketing reveals that “11 percent of visitors to a hospital or health system say their website experience created new, negative feelings about that brand.”

According to principal Rob Klein, the two biggest pain points for patients are in paying bills and setting an appointment. Our target audience critically compares healthcare websites to the best retail sites such as Amazon, Zappos or OpenTable. Unfortunately, people quickly lose patience with poorly performing websites and say, “three clicks and I’m out.”

(4) Outdistancing the competition means constantly raising the bar.

Consumers—your patients and prospects—up the ante every day. They are informed, and now, demanding consumers with expectations that are higher than at any previous time. In today’s seamless search process Google envisions that sites will be optimized for multi-screen presentations including:

  • The continued rise of voice requests; faster and easier than keyboard typing
  • Local and personalized searches for “near-me,” “I-want-to-buy,” “best-reviews,” and others
  • Near-instant responses, answers and info via fast-loading sites and landing pages

A new consumerism is characterized by online visitors who are increasingly curious, demanding, and impatient. The best marketing performance in 2018 and beyond demands a significantly higher standard of personalized, relevant and authoritative experience and content.

(5) Consolidation of marketing tools, strategies and tactics is the 2018-planning watchword.

The constant introduction of new digital and social marketing options has been an “attractive nuisance,” often reducing effectiveness. Marketing and administrative executives have been tempted to stretch their efforts across many options, even when those resources have been limited.

Recent surveys suggest that several influences will be in play during 2018. These include:

  • Healthcare marketing budgets will remain lean
  • Performance expectations will remain high
  • Digital marketing tools and plans tend to be affordable and efficient

In short, digital marketing for the next 12 months will recognize–and consolidate around–the strengths of the proven promotional efforts that produced the best results in the past.

(6) Social media options engage target audiences…with the proper formula.

Although Facebook’s audience is growing, organic reach is down. For greater efficiency, future healthcare plans will focus on fewer, but proven, social platforms. And for greater productivity, plans will embrace a blend of both organic and paid social media.

Just a few of the well-established and popular social platforms dramatically outdistance dozens of others. Marketing professionals will adjust to media and algorithm changes and use their best-performing tools to extend their reach, strengthen patient/consumer relationships, and to extend online visibility and reputation.

(7) Live and streaming video are outdistancing “regular” video and text.

Not long ago, video took a popular lead from text in attention-getting and communications power. The new kid on the block is live video, a tool used by nearly 90 percent of brand marketers. A live option provides the marketing advantage of speaking to a consumer in real time—where immediacy and timeliness are important.

Video content has captured a larger share of the budget, in part, because live or near-real-time streaming has a strong audience appeal, and it has a 95 percent retention rate with viewers. In addition, video formats are more social and intimate than text or graphics.

(8) The standard for healthcare marketing will be personal, individual and location-based.

The old-school concept of “spray-and-pray” is seriously out-of-date and wasteful in the age of digital marketing. Typically, individuals routinely use several devices…most notably, the first option smartphone/computer in their pocket. Further, ubiquitous WiFi and high-speed Internet connectivity put everyone online—instantly and constantly.

Today’s sophisticated marketing systems have the ability to profile people, their personal tastes and preferences, as well as their location. The most effective relationship with the target audience is personal. It presents attention-getting individualized and relevant material or information that is close or convenient to access. The ideal marketing channel is one-to-one.

(9) Marketing Automation will be a practical option within the reach of a wider range of healthcare users.

As a software tool, the advantages of marketing automation appealed primarily to larger organizations and facilities—those holding a large database, and those with a sufficient budget. The software is complicated to use properly and expensive. And the objective is delivering the right message to the right person, at exactly the right time.

Going forward, however, software and service providers are bringing the cost and the suitable application within the reach of mid-size and growth-oriented healthcare organizations. To be clear, marketing automation software is helpful with repetitive tasks and calendars, but its use is sophisticated and detail oriented.

It is not a standalone substitute for experienced professionals. In fact, both components are required. In 2018, a broader range of hospitals and providers will benefit from streamlined efficiencies, personalized and precision-targeted tasks, and from the adoption of detailed plans.

The cost-effective benefits of marketing automation—a centralized database, engagement channels, and tracking and analytics—flow from thoughtful and detailed strategies and tactics.

10. Closely monitor the changes in social media platforms and performance.

In addition to a refocus of marketing efforts (discussed above), seemingly familiar social media faces continue to evolve—some in good ways; while others, not so much. Change can happen quickly, so watch for:

  • Expanded use of Instagram Stories for marketing via image and video sharing
  • More live streaming content and viewers on Facebook, Facebook Spaces and others
  • Street-smart organizations invest more budget and resources in online reputation management
  • Twitter—once a social darling—is growth-impaired; watch for facelift or failure
  • Virtual and augmented reality expand via social and iPhone and iPad apps

What significant healthcare marketing trends are you watching? What would you add to this list? What’s just over the horizon in your operation? Please join in our conversation.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Should I Interact With Patients on Social Media?

Should I Interact With Patients on Social Media? | Social Media and Healthcare |

A reader asks, "Is it a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) if a group of patients who were in a class together are social media friends with the clinical staff? Seldom—maybe never—does anyone discuss anything medically personal. It's more of a support group that is just keeping in touch and perhaps sharing something they found on the Internet, such as a positive meme or letting others know if someone in the group has passed away." The staff members recently unfriended everyone, stating that it is a HIPAA violation if they are friends with any of their patients.

The answer to this question is controversial, judging by articles already posted online by various organizations. See, for example, Katherine Chretien's Should I Be "Friends" with My Patients on Social Networking Web Sites? and Committee Opinion No. 622: Professional Use of Digital and Social Media, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

On the positive side, clinicians may learn of patients' concerns and informational needs, and in response post helpful information on social media. Being involved in patient support is certainly a worthy endeavor. On the negative side, the potential for violating HIPAA; crossing a professional boundary; or, in the case of befriending patients on one's personal page, giving out too much personal information such that the patient doubts the clinicians' professionalism and credibility is a risk.

Different Standards for Clinicians and Patients

A patient may share whatever he or she wants on social media. However, clinicians need to follow HIPAA's dictates, which say that a clinician may share a patient's protected health information only for the purpose of treatment, payment, and healthcare operations. Use of social media isn't treatment. So, clinicians can't disclose any "protected health information," which is any information created or received by a healthcare provider relating to the past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition, including demographic information and any healthcare provided. For information on deidentifying patient information, see Guidance Regarding Methods for De-identification of Protected Health Information in Accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule.

Appropriate professional boundaries conducive to a therapeutic relationship fall somewhere between underinvolvement and overinvolvement, but exactly where that "somewhere" is is not clear. The perfect balance depends on how the clinicians portray themselves online and how they handle any back-and-forth with the patients. For a discussion on boundaries, see the National Council of State Boards of Nursing document A Nurse's Guide to Professional Boundaries.


As for fostering professional credibility, a clinician can highlight his or her expertise through social media. On the other hand, a clinician could demonstrate lack of judgment, if posting unprofessional photos or divulging protected information about patients.

Clinicians who are afraid of crossing boundary lines or violating HIPAA and opt out of interacting with patients on social media as a result could be missing ways to serve their community, market their expertise, and foster community among patients with a common illness or condition. So, let's work it through using examples of appropriate and inappropriate use of social media.

Examples of Social Media Use

A practice with a social media presence. The clinician is an oncology healthcare provider whose practice has a social media page, which some patients choose to subscribe to or "friend." The practice posts relevant news articles, journal articles, and articles written by the staff. Clinicians monitor the discussion, and when there is interest in a particular topic, a clinician posts an article on that topic. The subscribers comment on the articles. Subscribers or "friends" who are patients might disclose things about themselves to the other commenters and viewers. However, the clinicians do not give out advice on the site to individuals, nor do they comment on any individual's problems or progress.


In my opinion, this is appropriate and legal use of social media. In this example, the clinician is not disclosing information about a patient. If a patient subscribes or comments and uses his or her own name, then the patient may be revealing something, even protected health information, about himself or herself. That's all legal under HIPAA. I see no HIPAA, boundary, or professional credibility issue in this example.


A clinician's personal social media page. In this example, a clinician has his or her own personal social media page, where the clinician posts vacation photos, memes, and cute cat photos. Some patients of the clinician ask to be friended, and the clinician accepts. The clinician doesn't have a separate professional page—just this personal page. A patient uses his own name and posts a comment to a picture, "Too bad my allergies prevent me from having cats." If the clinician responds, "Yes, but if you take that medication I prescribed, it would lessen the symptoms," that could be a HIPAA violation.


That does not mean the clinician shouldn't befriend the patient on social media; it just means the clinician shouldn't reveal that there is a patient/physician relationship or reveal anything about the patient's medical condition. Furthermore, the clinician should maintain awareness that patients, potential patients, employers, potential employers, and faculty members may be viewing the clinician's personal material. In addition, clinicians need to remember that the postings are documented forever, even if taken down.

The Bottom Line

If a clinician thinks it is too burdensome to be constantly attentive to what he or she says or posts on social media, then it may be best to avoid social media or, at minimum, to think twice about each post before posting. The clinician may also decide to set a personal policy not to befriend patients on social media, and may tell patients about that policy. I don't know how it affects a patient when a clinician declines a friend request.


A final consideration is that clinicians will want to be sure they aren't initiating a "duty of care" to an individual through social media. Duty of care is one element of malpractice. An individual cannot sue a clinician for malpractice if there is no duty of care. So one risk-reduction strategy for clinicians is to limit "duty of care" obligations to those seen in clinic, office, or facility. Some clinicians post disclaimers on their professional social media pages, such as "What I post here is general medical information and not meant as individualized advice. For personalized information or advice, suitable to a reader's situation, readers should consult their healthcare provider."

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Disturbing social media trend sees doctors and nurses taking selfies with dying and unconscious patients

Disturbing social media trend sees doctors and nurses taking selfies with dying and unconscious patients | Social Media and Healthcare |

In a disturbing trend that is now cropping up on the internet, nurses and medical practitioners are posting selfies of themselves with dying patients on social media, drawing outrage from netizens. The latest such selfie has seen a Russian nurse come under investigation after posting pictures of herself with some of her dying patients, mocking them, and revealing that they 'tie them to beds'.

This latest incident highlights an increasingly depraved trend of medical staff in countries such as Russia and Ukraine using social media platforms to abuse the sick, vulnerable, and elderly patients that they are supposed to be caring for.

Anna Kim described elderly patients as 'filthy and disgusting' (Source: east2west news)

The nurse in the spotlight this time around is Russian nurse Anna Kim, who described those patients under her care who required diapers as 'filthy and disgusting.' She is also said to have used social media to comment on the standard of care given to patients at these hospitals, alleging that doctors at her hospital in Sakhalin 'only help people they want to help.'

Regarding the apathy of the doctors, she wrote: "If they don't want to help, you are doomed. They don't give a s***. Patients may have extremely low blood pressure, and doctors don't use defibrillators." And despite these ill-advised and poorly thought out posts and outbursts, she has reportedly neither been sacked nor disciplined.

Kim casually says that they tie patients to beds (Source: east2west news)



Her list of infractions is a lengthy one. One of her posts captures her posing with an elderly woman patient who was 'gravely ill' and fighting for her life. The accompanying caption read: "Some patients might go out of their minds... we tie them to beds. But it's okay, this is life."

Kim works at the Sakhalin Regional Clinical Hospital, with a senior medic who commented on the incident saying: "Such violation of ethical norms showed that the person who did this requires professional psychiatric help." Some claims even suggested she may have been 'drunk on duty' when the pictures were taken, putting serious question marks on her ethics.

An investigation has been opened in her case (Source: east2west news)



Regarding the case, a local health ministry spokesman said: "An internal investigation has been carried out into the unacceptable, unethical behavior of a nurse…."

Local health minister Alexey Pak similarly condemned the behavior. He said: "Helpless people on life support devices became victims of her unceremonious filming. Dozens of professionals work to bring these patients back to active life, monitoring their health 24/7 and being ready to give any emergency treatment."



As the trend seems to grow unabashedly in Russia's medical care system, one that President Vladimir Putin has identified as a key priority moving forward, it is highlighting the privacy flaws, as well as the ease at which the system can be abused in the country. 

Kim's example is unfortunately just one of many. One of the posts on social media shows a male gynecologist in Syktyvkar, the capital city of the Komi Republic region, posing with a female patient during what appeared to be an intimate examination or medical procedure.



Similarly, in Kazan, a city in southwest Russia, 20-year-old nurse Gulnaz Yalalova was pictured posing for the camera while holding the removed spleen of a patient following an operational procedure. She would go then insensitively post that particular image alongside one of her in a bikini and was promptly rebuked for her immaturity.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Digital evidence year in review-2017

With @Atreja at the NODE Health Conference - Digital Medicine on the events and studies which moved the field forward
No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Experience the Joy of Grateful Patients: Social Media Connections - AANS Neurosurgeon

Experience the Joy of Grateful Patients: Social Media Connections - AANS Neurosurgeon | Social Media and Healthcare |

Social media relies on personal networks to create narrow and focused ‘media’ broadcasts. Effective use of social media requires providing the right media to the most appropriate networks. As a professor and program leader at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), I have most frequently used three social media platforms to exchange unique sets of information important to our missions of healing, teaching and discovery: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Starting Out

About six years ago, administrators at OHSU’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital asked me to join a small cadre of faculty Twitter spokespersons. Since then, I have posted brief updates on hospital projects, department successes, published papers, educational events or new programs. This information now reaches over 1,700 followers from other departments and universities, corporate sponsors, students and trainees, community stakeholders and philanthropic donors. Local reporters also follow me, and on occasion source traditional media stories from our Twitter content.

Understanding that community members and donors are also interested in the personal qualities of medical leaders, I add Tweets about my non-professional travels, most scenic hikes, interesting books or great Oregon sunsets (a picture is worth more than 240 characters!). One donor who is very connected to our program opened a Twitter account simply so he could follow my feed, often responding to a Tweet he particularly enjoyed with a personal email, or even a mailed letter – a generational intersection that we both enjoyed.

LinkedIn, founded by former Marshall Scholar Reid Hoffman, is the world’s principal social network for business. Many physicians use their LinkedIn profile as a digitally published, dynamic curriculum vitae. LinkedIn is a very effective platform for job searches, connecting clinical researchers, announcing advances and mobilizing professional networks. While the AANSmember directory is a key resource for locating neurosurgeons, LinkedIn is a terrific way to reach out to potential collaborators at the American Association of Medical CollegesAmerican College of SurgeonsAccreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or other professional organizations within or beyond medicine.



Finally, the OHSU Department of Neurosurgery and OHSU Healthcare maintain patient and community-focused Facebook accounts that are critical to communication with our stakeholders. The Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Facebook page drives patient support groups, community networking and grassroots fundraising. As a clinician, I am most grateful for the patient and family support, groups testimonials, sincere thanks and strong encouragement found on our Facebook pages. These spontaneous outpourings of kindness to physicians represent authentic and heartfelt feedback that overshadows the results of patient satisfaction surveys.

In an increasingly complex and information-saturated world, social media allows me to craft my own message for the audiences that matter most to the missions of healing, teaching and discovery. Used properly, social media allows neurosurgeons to connect and serves as a reminder of the joy that grateful patients brings to our work.

Nathan R. Selden, MD, PhD, FAANS, is the Campagna professor and chair of the department of neurological surgery at Oregon Health & Science University, where he has practiced pediatric neurosurgery for over 17 years. Dr. Selden serves as secretary of the Society of Neurological Surgeons, and chairs the ACGME Milestones Group for neurosurgery. An inveterate traveler, Selden shares social media broadcasts from around the American west and beyond.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Patient Engagement – How it improves Your Return on Investment (ROI)

Patient engagement’ is the latest buzzword in the healthcare IT space. You have many notions about engaging your patients. However, working collectively with y…
No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Hospital takes to social media pleading staff to work extra

Hospital takes to social media pleading staff to work extra | Social Media and Healthcare |

The Chesterfield Royal Hospital took to social media this week asking staff to work extra so it could staff its new ’emergency’ ward.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust took to Facebook on New Year’s day asking for qualified nurses, healthcare assistants and care support workers who could work extra shifts starting immediately.


The trust admitted that the post was in response to the busiest New Year’s Day the had ever seen with unprecedented amounts of “people needing to stay in hospital for urgent medical care” – explaining that they had the ability to open an ’emergency’ ward but needed staff to open it.

Finally, the trust thanked the staff who were already working Christmas and New Year for their hard work and dedication.

In their statement on Facebook the Trust said;

“Can you help by offering to work? It’s an unusual New Year’s Day appeal but we’re seeking qualified nurses, health care assistants and care support workers who could work extra shifts starting from this evening. It’s in response to the busiest January 1 we’re experiencing – probably on record. Patient admissions are at high levels with people needing to stay in hospital for urgent medical care. We have the ability to use beds on our ’emergency’ ward – Portland – which is ready for use, if we can get staff in to support it. It’s much better to run additional beds with our own expert nursing and care teams, to make sure that even with this level of demand our patients will get the best possible care from experienced staff who know the hospital. If you can help by working, especially at late notice tonight, call the switchboard 277271 and ask for the on site Matron. They’re also experiencing high volumes of calls so keep holding and they will pick up, they are doing a great job answering calls from anxious relatives with loved ones in hospital. And A MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone who has been working over the Christmas and New Year holidays. It’s been incredibly busy and we absolutely appreciate the amazing job you’ve done in clinical and support roles. We know it’s been tough and challenging and your teamwork has been incredible”.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Communicating with Healthcare Workers

How to effectively communicate with healthcare workers when they're overloaded with other information... including mass media.
No comment yet.

Would you like me to help you with your Social Media Activities?

Please fill this form and I will get in touch with you