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Mayo Clinic's new social media campaign highlights the patient experience in patients' own voices

Mayo Clinic's new social media campaign highlights the patient experience in patients' own voices | Social Media and Healthcare |

Mayo Clinic has launched a new social media campaign that revolves around patient experience—both positive and negative—featuring articles written by patients and their caregivers. 


Experts by Experience, which is a partnership between the health system and healthcare social network Inspire, will include posts from patients and caregivers from across the globe, according to Mayo Clinic.  

The system says the campaign has three goals: 

  1. Educate providers using first-hand stories of patients' experiences
  2. Offer a look into a "day in the life" for patients or caregivers dealing with certain conditions
  3. Provide opportunities for quality improvement

"Sharing stories has valuable health benefits for readers or listeners and narrators alike," the health system said in the announcement.

"Be it through their own experiences or those of loved ones, patients and caregivers are in a unique position—by sharing their stories they are able to create a comprehensive narrative out of often chaotic journeys." 


The series' first post, for example, describes a negative and a positive experience with emergency care.

Renata K. Louwers is a patient advocate and writer whose husband was being treated for bladder cancer. During one ER visit, her husband was left on a stretcher in a hallway as there were no available beds, according to the post. Louwers wrote that she was exhausted and no one offered her a chair or a place to sit. Worse, she was scolded by the hospital staff when she sat down against the wall. 

On another visit, Louwers said she arrived late at night with her husband and a nurse quickly recognized how tired she was. He offered her a pillow and a spot to sleep, saying he would wake her when the doctor needed to speak with her. 

"I understand that in an emergency room the top priority is to handle emergencies, not to comfort caregivers. But it takes discreet actions like kindness, helpfulness, empathy—things within the control of every person—to scale up the humanity of care," Louwers writes in the post.

"And scaling up, even slightly, can have a big positive impact on caregivers."

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Social Media and Healthcare
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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. 

Formdox's comment, April 20, 5:34 AM
Nice post
Formdox's comment, April 20, 5:34 AM
#Formdox integrates perfectly with several #functionalities for the monitoring
cctopbuilders's comment, April 26, 6:01 AM
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5 Ways Social Media is Good for Wellness Businesses

5 Ways Social Media is Good for Wellness Businesses | Social Media and Healthcare |

In the unstoppable rise of wellness businesses, Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba said it best. 

“Today’s customers want to be healthy and happy, no matter who they are.”

And he is right.

In fact, a new survey affirms that people want products and experiences that make them happy and healthy.

We know this yearning for health, wellness, and happiness to be true, especially on social media.

More and more people are joining health and wellness fitness groups on Facebook than signing up for gym memberships.


When was the last time you witnessed a weight loss journey, liked a healthy recipe and shared a workout tip in your newsfeed? 

We follow them every day.

But when it comes to transformation, the trend has shifted.

The health and wellness market seeks advice that requires small steps—not demand big changes—to achieve a holistic lifestyle.

This makes social media the perfect place for these bite-sized, practical and accessible tips and information; not to mention a great place for every health and wellness business.

It has created huge opportunities for savvy health and wellness marketers to create a large following and make a huge impact on social media. Health and wellness professionals are using social media profiles to their advantage to grow their clients, increase brand awareness and overall trust and transparency.

1. Wellness Businesses can create healthy communities on social media

If social media has taught us anything it’s this: our decisions and choices are deeply influenced by our social network.

Thankfully, the health and wellness conscious society love to surround themselves with like-minded people, following fitness groups and support wellness businesses that offer healthy choices.

Consider the success of Weight Watchers for example;

This study showed that Weight Watcher’s helped people lose twice as much weight as those following standard weight-loss advice.

The reason: having a support system among the community provides motivation and enhances self-control.

You could harness the power of social media to influence people and create your own healthy community. You could create your own support group by starting a discussion and encouraging group sharing.

These are the groups on social media that people love to join and go back to for information and inspiration.

In fact, we have started our own Facebook group called ‘Marketing for Health & Wellness Businesses‘, so feel free to join and join in on the conversation here also.

2. Create a Client-Centered Experience

How often do you hear of clients’ need for a more personalized healthcare experience?

In health and wellness, we’re all about holistic approaches.

Clients expect to find information about their health choices conveniently. So don’t underestimate your social media presence. Make sure you are open and transparent about what products and services you offer and what to expect.

As Michael Roy, Executive Director of the Clearview Women’s Center shares in an article from Forbes, everyone should be on social media.

Many healthcare professionals think marketing isn’t something they should pay attention to, or even do at all. In my experience, delivering great service alone isn’t enough. Social media tools are increasingly providing opportunities to expand and help more people, and health care professionals who embrace the trend and make use of a bit of innovation will be in the win for a long time.”

3. Social Media Marketing is Targeted

Traditional advertising is costly and casting a wide net doesn’t guarantee a catch. With social media, you have a higher chance of matching your content to the right person who needs to see your ad, especially Facebook.

Targeting is one of the leading edges of maximizing social media advertising, from location and interests and down to more specific details. You can personalize your posts and target your desired audience in a social media platform that best fit your clients.

If your preferred target market are regularly exposed to the type of content they need, not only can you build trust but convert them into loyal clients.

In this study, 41% of people claimed that social media affects their choice of a specific practitioner, or health treatment facility. This means with the right approach, there’s return on investment on social media for your wellness business.

4. Share your Success

Most health and wellness practitioners, especially those who are starting out struggle in marketing their name.

When in fact there’s one thing that can help you boost your reputation and strengthen your credibility: social proof.

Autumn Calabrese of 21-Day Fix believes in the value of social media when it comes to social proof.

“For me, coming from being the trainer, I think that it’s huge in the fact that it is all about sharing your success or sharing people’s success,” Calabrese, who shares her own clients’ success on Instagram, told Business Insider.

Simply put, it’s a shortcut to all the long process of marketing every business has to go through. Any potential client will be convinced to book with you when you have proof that you’ve successfully solved related health problems in the past.

If you’ve had an unfortunate encounter with a client gone public, it’s not the end. Bad reviews are part of every business. But with a good amount of social proof, a few bad reviews can’t hurt your reputation.

So don’t shy away from asking for testimonials (both written and video) from clients you value and trust. They’ll be happy to lead your community of healthy and empowered followers.

5. Connect to the World

Expanding your professional network is now EASIER than with social media. But as a health and wellness professional, it’s not just about advancing your connections, it’s about helping you connect and understand people better. So engage, engage, engage!

There are simple ways to provoke engagement:

By being eager to help others on social media, people would want to connect with you. Social media is a strong force in connecting people as Deepak Chopra puts it.

“I am an optimist about social media and use it every day to reach out to the world. I see it as a global nervous system glittering with activity. If social media allows someone to share their journey, either with their friends or the whole world, that is enough,” Chopra, a well-respected figure in alternative medicine, said to Yoga Journal.

A word of caution: social media ethics

As with any health practitioner, ethics is a big issue in social media practice. Patient confidentiality is of top importance. Whenever you post any case, it’s best to seek permission from your clients first.

To be on the side of caution observe professional conduct on social media such as:

  • Observing your language and demeanor
  • Avoiding conflicts
  • Avoid diagnosing any patients in newsfeeds
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The Best Way to Reach More New Patients than EVER Before

The Best Way to Reach More New Patients than EVER Before | Social Media and Healthcare |

One of the first things any growing practice asks is how can I find cost-effective, (yet still ACTUALLY effective ways) to get more new patients.

Well, what if I told you the most inexpensive, and effective, way to market your practice is right at your fingertips?

It’s Digital Marketing.

Cue to throw away your newsletters RIGHT HERE!

Surely that makes perfect sense… after all, everyone is plugged into something these days.

By properly making use of the platforms out there, you’ll build an audience that knows, likes, and trusts you and your brand.

It’s the way of the future.

With that in mind I’d like to give you my hot tips to maximize your reach and reap the rewards when it comes to online marketing!

Maybe you’re just starting out or maybe it’s time to really crank up the volume…these are for you!


Create a NEW Digital Marketing Strategy

First things first, don’t make the mistake of using the same marketing strategy that you have used over and over.

Shake things up a bit if you want to see great results.

If you want better results, you have to re-evaluate your strategies and improve them.

The online world is constantly changing; therefore you have to make adjustments too so you can remain competitive and relevant in the industry.

Just blindly running your digital marketing campaigns is not going to help, strategize on how to do it and set goals to improve it on a regular basis.


DO NOT ditch email!

Email is Digital Marketing’s old faithful for a reason – it works!

If you have an email list, make sure you use it, keep connected with them in new and interesting ways.

They already know you, like you and trust you. Keep in touch with them to stay front of mind, OR someone else will.

Simply use these tips we are about to go through to liven things up!


Take Advantage of Social and Mobile Marketing

Market for your audience’s behaviour.

More and more businesses are increasing their multi-channel marketing plan by up to 137%.

This includes integrating channels such as mobile and social media marketing into the mix.

Implementing a multi-channel approach will help you maximize your results and drive up your revenues.

Take advantage major social media platforms like: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

It’s more powerful than most people think

Set up social media handles on different platforms, and post on these platforms on a regular basis so that you actively engage your audience.

Also remember that most people use their mobile device, A LOT.

And an enormous amount of buying decisions happen on mobile.

If the user experience you provide on mobile is not fast, easy to navigate and doesn’t provide an amazing experience – you’re wasting the marketing opportunity.

Don’t bother.

It can actually damage your brand when not done well.

Optimize your marketing for mobile (not just desktop) with sleek emails, clear links, as well as engaging text and images –  to provide a great audience experience that can fit in your palm.


Develop Quality Content

There’s so much information online that generating fluff stuff is no longer going to cut it.

If you want your content to stand out, then you have to provide epic content that will hit your audience’s hot buttons and get them to engage.

We want them to read, review and even shared with others (time to think viral!).

What’s the next word you think of when you hear “VIRAL” ?

It’s “VIDEO” of course!

The use of audio-visual elements can increase the interest generated by your content by up to 180%.

Video is the most attractive and interesting content that you can easily create to generate more interest and help create more interest around your brands message.

By including videos, photos and links in your emails, posts and webpages, you can increase your audience by up to 94%.

It’s fun, it’s fast, it’s easy.

People buy on personality. Anyone can write a great marketing sales letter by hiring a professional, but to be good on video, that shows authenticity.

Give a ton of value in your marketing. Share valuable and useful information in every email, video, post, blog.

The more valuable you are, the more you will build a following of the right tribe for you and grow your business by serving patients that you want to work with.

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What Is Mobile Responsive and Why Should You Care?

What Is Mobile Responsive and Why Should You Care? | Social Media and Healthcare |

If you read this blog regularly, you’ve probably seen more than once that the use of mobile is growing. According to Pew Research, nearly 75 percent of people in the US now own a smartphone. Most people want to engage and communicate using mobile devices. We’re always recommending you use text and that services like online scheduling be available on mobile.

This growing use of mobile also means that you need to rethink your website. Most people aren’t looking at your website on a desktop or laptop anymore. They are looking at it on a phone or tablet. This means that your website needs to be easy to read no matter where your patient may access it. In other words, a site that adapts to the size of the device.

What is the difference between mobile responsive and mobile friendly?

You might hear different terms thrown around when it comes to the ways used to optimize your website for mobile viewing. Mobile responsive and mobile friendly, while sounding like they’re interchangeable, are actually very different.

A mobile friendly site is one where code is created that allows your website to scale to a smaller size. This means that, generally, your site will look very similar on a mobile device as it does on a computer. It is simply smaller. Mobile responsive sites, in contrast, “respond” to the size of device you are using, adjusting the website accordingly. Mobile responsive sites are greatly preferred over sites that are simply mobile friendly.

Why should practices optimize for mobile?

Of course, the main reason you should make your website easy for patients to view on their phones (or tablet or any other mobile device), is because they are judging YOU by your website. Patients are looking for you on the web and your website is often their first impression of you. Virtually everyone—94 percent—say that web design, on either mobile or computer, is the #1 reason they mistrust or reject a site. You want to look as good online as you do in person.

In addition, a mobile responsive site leads to:

Better SEO

Making your site mobile responsive isn’t just important to the user experience, it actually impacts yoursearch rankings. Today, two-thirds of patients do an online search prior to booking an appointment. If you want them to find you then you need a mobile responsive site. As more patients turn to the web to find new healthcare providers, you need to be easy to find. If your website isn’t mobile responsive the search engines will ding you, and you won’t rank as highly. In fact, Google now recommends a mobile responsive site, and they have said that mobile responsive sites will rank better due to the improved user experience they provide.

In addition, Google uses a separate algorithm for mobile. So, if your current site ranks well on desktop applications, that doesn’t translate to mobile. And mobile searches have overtaken desktop search.

Increased Traffic through Social Media

Did you know that social media is the #1 driver of all website referral traffic? This means that more business websites are visited through a social media site than any other referral method. Since mobile is heavily used for social media (80 percent of the time!), it is extremely likely that any patient who clicks on your site via a site like Facebook or Instagram will be viewing your site on a mobile device

Improved Management and Return

For a long time, businesses either had one site that didn’t work well on mobile or they had to manage two sites. This can be tedious and costly. A mobile responsive site is a single site that adapts. It is easier to manage and costs less. When you add lower costs to better visibility, you increase your return on investment.

If your current site isn’t mobile responsive then it is time for an update. As mobile continues to grow, having an outdated site that only works on a desktop will hurt your SEO more and more. And, if you still don’t have a website then you need to get one, and it needs to be mobile responsive. And don’t wait! Patients are looking for providers, and if they can’t find you, they will go somewhere else.

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The Top 4 Reasons Your Dental Practice isn't Gaining New Patients Online

The Top 4 Reasons Your Dental Practice isn't Gaining New Patients Online | Social Media and Healthcare |

Attracting new patients online is tough, and there’s not one specific solution. But, every day I see a few glaring reasons that dental practices fail to earn more patients online. Here are the top four:

#1 – You aren’t appearing in search results.

Whether through desktop or laptop computer, or on mobile phone, 89% of people use the Internet at least once each week to search for a local business. In fact, most new patient appointments come from search engine results, second only to word-of-mouth. More importantly, 97% of all search click-through traffic goes to the top 5 search results.

If you’re not appearing in the top search results – first page of search, first five search results – for your specialty and location (on Google, Apple Maps, and other key directories), then your practice is invisible online and is missing a tremendous number of potential new patients. 

#2 – Your reviews stink.

84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. For most searchers today, this means that a key part of their buying process involves research using reviews – have too few, and your competitor is likely to get the new patient call; have a low total review score, and new patients won’t even select your listing. It’s essential that you implement a system to build new, positive reviews on important sites like Google and Facebook.

Learn more about how Smile Savvy’s Review Pro allows dentist to target happy patients and build hundreds of great reviews.  

#3 – Making an appointment is a hassle. 

From ordering a pizza to scheduling a hair appointment, patients today value convenience. It’s shocking (or should be) that dentist are asking patients to make appointments using 75 year old technology when even hair salons have moved into the future. Why are you still forcing patients to wait until business hours to schedule a simple check-up or cleaning?  

Services like LocalMed (a Smile Savvy partner) allow new patients to schedule your most common procedures directly into your appointment system in real-time, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week no matter where they are: on your website, Google, on a review site, even while on Instagram. And you still maintain 100% control of your schedule. Even better, tracking your investment is easy.

#4 – Talking to you is a pain.

Most dental practices aren’t taking advantage of technology that allows prospective new patients to connect the way they prefer. Today’s parents, for example, do not want to talk to you on the phone and prefer chat or messaging. Also, many new patients are simply unable to call during the day because of work restrictions. Try incorporating  text-based messengers that allow your patients to connect with your office without having to call on the phone.

Online Traffic is Vital for New Patient Growth 

76% of local searches result in a phone call to a local business. People are constantly using search engines to find dentists and choose a dental home. 

In order to attract more patients, you must have a digital strategy that works in your market. Smile Savvy provides comprehensive digital marketing tools and strategies for dental practices that work to improve SEO placement, and gather more patients. From optimized websites to social media, Smile Savvy has everything your dental practice needs to thrive online.

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The Role of Social Media and Internet Search Engines in Information Provision and Dissemination to Patients with Kidney Stone Disease

The Role of Social Media and Internet Search Engines in Information Provision and Dissemination to Patients with Kidney Stone Disease | Social Media and Healthcare |

Kidney stone disease (KSD) is a global issue that is increasing in prevalence. It is believed that poor diet (high protein and/or sodium consumption, or low calcium intake), increasing obesity rates (coupled with an increase in average body mass index), and low urine output (insufficient fluid intake) contribute to kidney stone formation. Therefore, these dietary/lifestyle factors are often targeted in the prevention or management of KSD. 



Social media (SoMe) are Web 2.0-based applications that enable the creation, and publication, of user-generated content. SoMe include social networking sites, video sharing sites, blogs, web-based or smartphone-based applications, and wikis. The use of SoMe is increasing, and not just with younger generations. A study by the Office for National Statistics showed that in 2017, 88% of adults in Great Britain used the internet every week (a 51% increase from 2006). It was also found that an increasing number of adults (78%) use the internet whilst ‘on the go’, via their smartphones. This could be aided, in part, by the explosive increase in smartphone usage, with over 39% of the world’s population possessing a smartphone (a figure which is predicted to rise to 59% as soon as 2022). As SoMe usage increases, so does the influence that it has on the medical decisions of the patients that use it.

Patients have already begun using SoMe to find online support groups, and to share advice with each other. Additionally, several studies have shown that mobile technology has, thus far, improved patients’ adherence to, and understanding of, their medical conditions and treatment. SoMe is also being used by healthcare professionals in order to aid in the management and prevention of diseases. 

Facebook, the most widely used SoMe application, has an average of 2.07 billion active users worldwide. In the United States, the SoMe platform ‘WebView’ has been trialed, enabling patients to contact their doctors with any medical queries or to order repeat medication. Furthermore, some medical professionals have begun using Facebook and Twitter, in order to educate their patients as well as more closely monitor their progress with any management or treatment that has been suggested. Using SoMe in this way has highlighted potential issues, with several healthcare professionals voicing concerns that it could potentially lead to ethical problems, however, the majority of medical professionals surveyed agreed that this form of interaction between doctors and their patients was favorable and could lead to positive health outcomes. A survey conducted by the PwC Health Research Institute found that approximately 90% of participants surveyed stated that they would trust the medical information they found on SoMe networks. It is, therefore, a consideration that SoMe may be utilized by both healthcare professionals and their patients, in order to aid in educating patients about their conditions, as well as improving their adherence to medical management and treatment, enhancing their motivation to comply with recommended regimes, and improving doctor-patient relationships.

An internet search engine is a software that is used to collect and organize content from the world wide web. It has been found that 72% of those using the internet have used it in order to find health information. Of this 72% of internet users, nearly 77% begin their search for health information by utilizing a search engine. Furthermore, a study conducted by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that 11% of people surveyed admitted to using online health information in place of contacting their doctor. It can, therefore, be seen that search engines may be a useful tool for both health promotion and providing patients with medical information.

In light of the increasing prevalence of KSD, and of search engine and SoMe usage (and the potential benefits that they could both offer), this paper aimed to systematically review the current literature regarding search engines and SoMe, and their use within the prevention and management of KSD, to determine what benefits (if any) have been found thus far, and to discover whether SoMe and search engine usage and availability has changed over time with respect to KSD management and prevention. Overall, all papers reviewed found that SoMe and search engine usage is increasing with regards to KSD. Therefore, these are tools which can be accessed by healthcare professionals in order to improve the management and prevention of KSD within their patient populations. The information which was provided, regarding dietary aspects and fluid management, was good. However, information regarding advice on other aspects of KSD prevention (blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes) was lacking.

Written by: 
Enakshee Jamnadsass, University Hospitals Southampton NHS Trust, Urology, Southampton, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 
Bhaskar K Somani, MRCS, FEBU, DM, FRCS, Associate professor in Urology, University Hospitals Southampton NHS Trust, Urology, Southampton, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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5 Ways to Make Social Media Work for Your Oncology Practice

5 Ways to Make Social Media Work for Your Oncology Practice | Social Media and Healthcare |

Here's a statistic every oncologist ought to know: 77% of Americans use social media.1 Why is this figure so important? Because, chances are, a large swath of your current and prospective patients are on social media. You can reach them through these platforms and build your practice without spending much capital. (And it can be fun.)

First things first: Sign up for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Yelp, Foursquare, and every other social media website you can find. Then, add contact information, links to your website and other social media profiles, and instructions for booking appointments. Once you have the basics in place, take advantage of these 5 tips to make social media work for your oncology practice:

1.   Start spreading the (oncology) news. Two in three Americans get at least some of their news through social media,2 making it a highly effective medium for educating patients. Any time a new research study or technology surfaces, share links to reliable news articles, blogs, or videos covering the subject. Keep your patients informed and they'll know where to look for news that affects them.



2.   Share updates about your practice. Patients want to know that they're receiving cutting-edge care. If something new and exciting is happening with your team, make sure everyone knows about it. Through social media, you can let patients in on the latest and greatest approaches your oncology team is implementing.

3.   Respond to comments. Don't just post content and forget about it. Instead, engage with your followers. If a patient posts a comment to your Facebook page or responds to your Twitter post, acknowledge them and provide thoughtful feedback. Remember, building a friendly and professional relationship with patients isn't restricted to in-person interactions.

4.   Ask questions. If you don't have many comments to respond to, try asking questions. For example, post an article and ask what your patients think about it. At its core, social media is not about self-promotion but rather conversation. Involving your patients will make them feel connected with you.

5.   Post about community service. Humanizing your online presence can be tricky. Promoting your work in the community is a good way to break the barrier. If you and your employees will be taking part in a fundraising event, create a Facebook page with event details. Afterward, share stories, videos, and pictures from the event.

Social media can be an invaluable tool for growing your oncology practice. Try out these 5 tips and see for yourself just how impactful it can be.


  1. U.S. population social media penetration 2018Statista. Accessed July 2, 2018.
  2. Moon A. Two-thirds of American adults get news from social media: surveyReuters. September 8, 2017. Accessed July 9, 2018.
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Social Media’s Having a Crisis. Here’s Why Your Organization Still Needs It.

Social Media’s Having a Crisis. Here’s Why Your Organization Still Needs It. | Social Media and Healthcare |

It’s been just about 15 years since Facebook brought social networking to the mainstream, and like a lot of teenagers, it’s having an identity crisis. Data breaches, electioneering scandals, and privacy concerns are buffeting the platform, along with its offshoots and competitors.

With all this going on, hospital leaders may be wondering: is using social media still a sustainable strategy for connecting with patients?

The answer is an unequivocal yes. But as social media comes of age, so should health systems’ relationship with it. Lee Aase, Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network, recently shared some advice on the subject in an issue of BoardRoom Press.

Here are three of his tips to help your organization find a mature social-media strategy.

  1. Get Involved—But Have a Plan

94% of healthcare organizations have some social-media presence. Nowhere near as many have a social-media strategy. Instead, many health-system marketing teams improvise, eking out likes and shares as they go.

Lee points out that this is usually not the best approach. The stakes are high for hospitals’ online interactions—so hospitals should make them count. “Your patients are already talking about your hospital online,” he says. “You will be affected by what they say.”

To keep that social-media conversation meaningful, hospitals should approach social engagement strategically. Tips on how to accomplish that could fill an entire book. But at the very minimum, hospitals should establish clear lines of thought for two issues:

– Employee social-media presence. Your hospital probably doesn’t need a stand-alone social-media policy. But guidelines will help employees understand how to apply existing hospital policy when they’re online. This is critical to help healthcare systems protect their online brands. The Mayo Clinic shares their guidelines here.

– Responses to customer complaints. No matter how excellent the hospital, there will always be a vocal minority of unhappy patients. Sometimes they bring their complaints to highly visible social-media platforms. A consistent policy on how to field these concerns will serve hospitals well. If hospital staff can address complaints with respect and tact, they’ll often be able to defuse the situation, and earn a lot of credibility in the process.

  1. Watch out for Risks

“A chainsaw can do work much more quickly than an axe, but also can do much more damage if used improperly,” Lee says. Likewise, social media can be an extraordinarily valuable marketing tool, but it comes with substantial risks.

The most obvious of these is HIPAA violations. Each one could cost hospitals up to $1.5 million in civil fines alone—not even counting additional criminal penalties or legal settlements for victims.

And with social media, it’s distressingly easy for employees to break the law. Some of the more common social-media HIPAA fouls are:

– Posting images of a patient without written consent

– Posting gossipy information (often gripes and complaints) about patients online

– Posting identifying details about patients

– Posting photos where Protected Health Information (PHI) is at all visible

This last one is particularly troubling. Medical identity theft is on the rise, and thieves can potentially use images from social media to compromise patients’ records. That’s why even something as innocuous as a selfie with a patient chart in the distant background can result in civil and criminal penalties for a healthcare facility.

The guidelines mentioned above can help employees protect their patients’ privacy. But safe social-media training must be a persistent, ongoing effort. It’s the only way to avoid running afoul of HIPAA laws.

  1. Capture Opportunities

But health-system leaders shouldn’t let these risks scare them away from social media’s promising innovations. The evidence is clear that social networks empower healthcare professionals to accomplish some remarkable things:

– A study from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found social media to be the single most effective way to reach an extremely vulnerable patient population: homeless youth.

– Researchers in Canada discovered that social-media engagement improved patient compliance with dietary recommendations.

– A meta-analysis from Hong Kong Polytechnic University confirmed how much clinicians rely on social media to educate each other, make referrals, and support care delivery.

– And finally, Cochrane Child Health carefully reviewed their social-media activity for more than a year, and found empirical evidence supporting social media’s unique efficiency in disseminating evidence to healthcare professionals—and in enhancing the prestige of a healthcare brand.

Don’t Miss Social Media’s Promise

Among marketing experts, much is made of social media’s ROI. The techniques listed above illustrate how powerful those returns can be. There’s obvious value for investment in social.

But there’s a further ROI that healthcare organizations should consider. Lee (paraphrasing media consultant Danny Brown) calls it not Return on Investment, but the Risk of Ignoring. He means that social media gives healthcare organizations an unprecedented opportunity to connect with their patients. There’s no doubt that savvy organizations will continue to capitalize on it—and those that don’t will find themselves further behind the curve.

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Take two and Tweet me in the Morning: How Social Media is Reshaping Health Care

Take two and Tweet me in the Morning: How Social Media is Reshaping Health Care | Social Media and Healthcare |

Given the rapid changes in the communication landscape brought about by participative Internet use and social media, it is important to develop a better understanding of these technologies and their impact on health communication. From 2005 to 2017 participation in social networking sites more than quadrupled. In the health communication community, there is a widespread assumption that recent advances in Internet technologies, particularly social media, have transformed the pattern of communication, including health-related communications.

In today’s changing healthcare landscape, the use of social media has a direct implication for health communication programs, prompting efforts to identify new opportunities of using social media to impact patient care. Social media has played an integral role in improving lives of patient’s and healthcare companies are on the forefront of this technological breakthrough through several important ways. First, the Internet-based social networks increase social support and interconnectivity among individuals. Second, with the increase of user-generated content, information sharing is seen as more democratic and patient controlled, enabling users to exchange health-related information that they need and therefore making the information more patient/consumer-centered Third, in recent times, public health programs have demonstrated success in adapting social media as a communication platform for health promotion efforts such as smoking cessation, kidney disease education, and dietary interventions, increasing their reach through cyberspace. Social media, a great information equalizer, is radically transforming the way people communicate around the world. Until recently the predominant communication model was "one" authority to "many". Social media has changed the monologue to a dialogue, where anyone with internet access can be a content creator and communicator.


Protecting Patient Information:

With the rise of health-related information being shared over social media on a daily basis, it is vital that healthcare workers educate themselves on how to keep patient information confidential.
The Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted by Congress in 1996 with the intent of providing patients more control over their healthcare records. HIPPA encompasses a variety of key points including:

  •   Reducing healthcare fraud

  •   Implementing industry-wide standards for information provided on electronic billing

  •   Providing health insurance to individuals that are changing or have lost their jobs

In terms of protecting healthcare information, HIPPA sets guidelines that pertain to the protection and confidential handling of an individual’s health records. These guidelines have become somewhat of an issue in terms of social media. Healthcare professionals cannot directly address patients through these outlets as it violates the privacy and confidentiality regulations outlined by HIPPA. Other healthcare facilities are encouraged to implement strict policies and guidelines for what employees are allowed to post on social networking websites. Some ways to avoid HIPPA violations include:

  •  Distribute clear social networking policies to employees
  •   Avoid any discussion of patients, even in general terms

  •   Speak generally about conditions and treatments

  •   Prominently post your policies and procedures on all social media platforms

  •   Do not practice medicine online by responding to patients offline

Utilizing Social Media

There is a variety of ways that healthcare managers are utilizing social media to enhance their services and provide patients with accurate medical information. Here are the top ways professionals in the field are using social media:

#1: Share Information

Social media is intended to provide individuals the ability to access information quickly and communicate with others. Healthcare organizations utilize these tools and websites to share information with consumers in a variety of ways such as sharing general information about flu shots and tips to avoid a cold. Sharing news regarding outbreaks or health hazards is an effective way for healthcare facilities to provide accurate information to patients. It is important to note that all patient specific information requires permission along with a signed release. Other forms of sharing information through social media include:

  •   Provide updates on new technologies

  •   Introduce new doctors in a practice on social networks

  •   Answer questions on various topics (e.g. how to reach doctors or hours of operation)

  •   Offer patients any updates that relate to the practice itself

#2: Compare and Improve Quality

Another effective way that healthcare managers utilize social media is by spending time evaluating their competitors to get an insight into the services they offer and overall patient satisfaction. By taking a look into different practices and their social media involvement, professionals have the ability to mimic these methods to enhance their own. Some organizations will do better through social media; providers can determine whether or not they need to take more appropriate action to quickly respond to patient requests and improve customer service.

To gather feedback and improve quality, social media interaction can provide doctors and physicians with immediate responses from individuals to help understand common reactions to medications, as well as overall consensus from patients on new techniques in the industry. Using this information that is readily available on social media allows for healthcare organizations to learn from patient reactions and adjust accordingly. By following feedback on these sites, healthcare professionals also have the opportunity to evaluate the possibility of additional services in the industry.

#3: Train Medical Personnel

Some healthcare organizations have begun to utilize social media channels as part of their training process. During presentations, trainees are encouraged to use certain hash tags on Twitter or join other groups to engage one another to make training processes more enjoyable and interactive.

These training techniques provide trainees a central location to ask questions and quickly receive answers. Social media gives participants the power to provide presenters with immediate feedback on training sessions.

Trainees are not the only people who benefit from this social media technique. Organizations can use training videos and pictures from training sessions to engage audiences and enhance their social media channels by marketing their facilities and exemplifying their innovating training processes.

#4: Live Updates during Procedures

Although somewhat controversial, there has been an increase of doctors and surgeons providing updates from the operating room. Through Twitter and other social media outlets, healthcare professionals have the ability to deliver up–to-date information during procedures to fellow doctors, medical students or simply curious individuals. Some say these updates are a distraction in the operating room, while others argue that it is an innovation and provides educational value that should be embraced.

** Keep that “Dancing Doctor” in mind when discussing the possibility of sharing any medical procedure via social media!

As a marketing approach, organizations create a buzz on social media with these updates, creating excitement and enhancing public awareness of an individual organization to attract patients and medical personnel.

#5: Communicate in Times of Crisis

In times of crisis, the use of social media has increased to provide minute-by-minute information to consumers. Through social media, hospitals and other organizations are able to deliver real-time updates on hospital capacity, operation status, and emergency room access. Having an active social media presence allows healthcare professionals to pass along information shared by organizations such as the Red Cross, and the Centers for Disease Control or communicate with news outlets.

As social media continues to become a valuable asset to healthcare organizations and new methods of use are implemented, the industry requires administrators to set guidelines and procedures for effectively managing these channels. To provide the best customer service and accurate information while adhering to HIPAA regulations, organizations need individuals versed in the healthcare administration.

According to the Pew Institute, the growing popularity of social media in health care can be attributed to two key factors:

1. The wide spread use of social media tools
2. The growing desire for patients, particularly those afflicted by chronic illness, to connect with each other

Coupled with other online resources, social media now largely impacts the way people interact with information—including health-related content. And while most patients continue to prefer face-to-face interaction with their health care providers, online health resources, including social, are now an extremely important supplementary tool in their health journey.

There is a wealth of healthcare information and communication technologies that transform how providers and patients think about access, and act upon, digitally supplied healthcare information. The transformation has an impact upon the clinical encounters, rendering the traditional face-to-face patient encounters as one of many options, and often not the preferred one. Social media facilitates instantaneous information sharing and patients seem to be way ahead of healthcare professionals when using digital technology to access health information. With the easily accessible Internet and the Internet of Things (IoT) now increasing connectivity in the USA and abroad, patients and Healthcare Providers (HCP) are more able than ever before to communicate in ways that will change how patients receive care now and in the future.

It’s no longer a matter of’s all about the HOW...Physicians and hospitals are personally well acquainted with social media and the Internet as a professional resource. The rise of social media in the world has affected many different aspects of our lives. From the way we communicate with others to how we shop, dine, and travel, social media has impacted how efficient and informed we are. Its impact on the health care industry is evident as well. The internet allows people to research symptoms, nearby doctors, and medications and their effects. More and more people are sharing information about health care, including reviews about doctors, their experiences with illness and opinions on different therapies. People can also use social media to ask for advice and search for information on the go, which is an important benefit to many people in the workforce who may not have time to consult a physician face to face.



  1. Rimal RN, Lapinski MK. Why health communication is important in public health. Bull World Health Organ 2009; 87: 247- doi: 10.2471/BLT.08.056713 pmid: 19551226.

  2. WallI, Robinson L. Leftinthedark:theunmetneedforinformationinhumanitarianresponses[policy briefing no.2]. London: BBC World Service Trust; 2008.

  3. Internet world statistics: usage and population statistics [Internet site]. Available from: [accessed on 13 July 2009].

  4. Leithner, A.; Maurer-Ertl, W.; Glehr, M.; Friesenbichler, J.; Leithner, K.; Windhager, R. Wikipedia and osteosarcoma: A trustworthy patients’ information? J. Am. Med. Inform. Assoc. 2010, 17, 373–374.

  5. “Rising Use of Social and Mobile in Healthcare,” The Spark, Dec. 17 2012,

  6. Pictures Provided by Pexels 

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Video: 5 Things Your Specialty Clinic Needs to Know Now

Video: 5 Things Your Specialty Clinic Needs to Know Now | Social Media and Healthcare |

You’ve heard the Latin phrase, “Carpe diem” – or “Seize the day!”

Those three words summarize what I’m advising all specialty clinics to do when it comes to leveraging video to create an effective digital marketing strategy! Here are a few facts that back up my proclamation:

  • Video attracts 2 to 3 times as many monthly visitors to a website and has a 157% increase in organic traffic.
    • Translation: If your specialty clinic used video, it could translate into about 10 or 12 new patients a month vs. one or two (without video marketing).
  • Video equates to higher viewer retention. The information retained in one minute of online video is equal to about 1.8 million written words. (Source: Brainshark)
  • Online video is a powerful marketing tool:
    • 74% of internet users engage on social media.
    • 80% of those internet users are specifically looking for health information, and ...
    • Nearly half are searching for information about a specific doctor or health professional. (Source PewResearch)

I’d like to add one other fact that I’ve personally procured while working with specialty clinics over the last decade:

  • Video is underutilized as a medical marketing tool by a majority of these clients.

The upside? Specialty clinics have a tremendous opportunity to build brand and revenue by leveraging digital marketing and the power of video – today.


  1. Educational videos. Don’t just educate, “explain.” This holds true whether you’re providing a general introduction to your clinic’s services or specialist or talking about a specific service. 
  • Information delivered via video vs. print equates to a much higher retention rate with the majority of consumers.
  • Answering questions up front can help build transparency, which can build credibility and translate into a higher level of comfort with new patients.
  • This type of video can establish your clinic and staff as a trusted authority on the services you offer.

Legato Healthcare Marketing developed the following educational videos with our client, Urology Associates, and posted them on their website and on social media:

While the right-brain side of me gives a nod to the Gold Aster award and Silver Healthcare Advertising Award the videos received, the numbers (i.e., results) are all that matter when it comes to a client’s ROI. And as you can see, the number of people reached was pretty significant:

  • Dewire video: 2,450 people reached; 1.8K views (473 minutes viewed).
  • Butler video: 1,514 people reached; 2.9K views (450 minutes viewed).
  • Womack Video: 307 people reached; (170 minutes viewed). 
  1. Patient testimonial videos. Testimonials of patients’ experiences can help build trust as well as provide information to consumers who are going through the decision-making process. They can:
    • Convey the impact that your clinic, staff or a specific specialist had on their lives and their healthcare journey.
    • Add realism and credibility. Consumers trust their peers more than your marketing department.
    • Showcase others on your staff who played a role in their car

Sheila’s Perspective” shows how a video testimonial can be a powerful and credible way for your specialty clinic to connect with prospective patients. Legato Healthcare Marketing developed the video in partnership with our client Black River Memorial Hospital.

  1. Patient prep videos: Using video to share details about a specific procedure can help reduce patients’ anxiety by answering frequently asked questions. We developed these prep videos for our client, GI Associates. The videos can be played at home (from GI Associates’ website) as well as in the clinic’s exam room, to replace much of the verbal instructions:
  1. Virtual tours: Knowing where to go and what to expect when they get there can help calm new patients’ nerves, which can equate to a better patient experience. Here’s an example of a video we produced for a small rural hospital.
  1. TV ads: Don’t forget that TV ads fall under the category of “video” – and they can be powerful promoters of your specialty clinic. Here’s an example of a TV spot we created for Bone and Joint:

Another famous saying ... “Seeing is believing”

Video is key to incorporate into an effective digital marketing strategy – but it’s just one component. See how Legato Healthcare Marketing worked with Urology Associates to develop a strategy to grow online visibility, create engaging content for patients and build reputation with positive patient reviews.

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iHealthSpot Blog | How the Face of Healthcare Marketing is Changi

iHealthSpot Blog | How the Face of Healthcare Marketing is Changi | Social Media and Healthcare |

Patients today do extensive research online, which means they are more particular about the healthcare services they receive. As they gain more knowledge about these services, they are also increasingly expecting personal engagement – e.g., more transparency and two-way communication – with their healthcare providers. In response, healthcare marketing is becoming more digital.

Here are three digital marketing strategies you should use to improve patient engagement for your healthcare practice:

Search Engine Optimization

Online search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! drive visitors to websites. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so that it shows up on the first page of an online search for the keywords specific to your specialty. When it comes to online search: if you are on the second page, you don’t exist. And if you don’t exist, patients can’t find you. 

You can leverage hundreds of strategies to help search engines recognize and rank your digital content, including tagging a page with relevant keywords, writing informative page descriptions, and creating strategic HTML titles. The process can be complex and incredibly frustrating if you aren’t familiar with the various ways to make your website rank better for your target audience. However, it’s worth it if you want to grow your healthcare practice, as you want your online content front and center when someone searches for a relevant health topic. Still not sure? Here are The 8 Reasons Why You Need SEO.

Social Media Engagement

Increased patient engagement has been linked to better adherence to medical plans, reduced hospitalization, and higher revenues. However, to effectively engage with your patients, you need to meet them where they spend their time – which is increasingly on social media. Patients trust healthcare providers that engage online. In fact, recent studies have found that more than half of consumers’ decisions to receive treatment at a healthcare facility are strongly influenced by that provider’s social media connections.

A healthy social media presence helps attract patients. In addition, it enables healthcare practitioners to network with their peers, share knowledge, and work together (with the potential of improving patient outcomes). Social media strategies can go beyond simple posts and include participating in discussions, networking, and promoting information about relevant health topics. Learn more about The Role of Social Media in Patient Engagement.

Mobile Responsiveness

Every day, the number of devices and browsers that need to work with your website grows, with millions of users turning to their mobile phones and tablets to interact online. In the U.S., four out of every five Americans own and use a smartphone, and this trend will continue as sales of mobile devices continue to rise. That’s why it’s critical to provide patients with easy access to your information, from any device they want to use, with a responsive website. 

Responsive websites deliver an optimized experience on any type of device, regardless of screen size or resolution. This means your online content will be perfectly displayed for every smartphone, tablet and desktop computer, ensuring your patients have an optimal viewing experience. In addition, responsive sites generate a higher search engine ranking which, as mentioned above, is key to ensuring your website shows up on the first page of an online search. For more details, check out our previous post: What Is Responsive Web Design Anyway?

While these three digital marketing strategies help drive patient engagement, they also offer a big benefit for healthcare providers: marketing measurability. When running any type of digital marketing program – from search engine optimization (SEO) to social media – you always know how many people saw your campaign, visited your website, and contacted you to book an appointment. This provides valuable insight into your marketing Return on Investment (ROI), which helps guide your future business plans and marketing budgets. 


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AI ambulances and robot doctors: China seeks digital salve to ease hospital strain

AI ambulances and robot doctors: China seeks digital salve to ease hospital strain | Social Media and Healthcare |

In the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, an ambulance speeds through traffic on a wave of green lights, helped along by an artificial intelligence (AI) system and big data.

A woman touches a screen on a robot developed by iFlytek at the outpatient hall of People's Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing, China March 16, 2017. Zhao Naiming/ via REUTERS

The system, which involves sending information to a centralized computer linked to the city’s transport networks, is part of a trial by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The Chinese tech giant is hoping to use its cloud and data systems to tackle issues hobbling China’s healthcare system like snarled city traffic, long patient queues and a lack of doctors.

Alibaba’s push into healthcare reflects a wider trend in China, where technology firms are racing to shake up a creaking state-run health sector and take a slice of spending that McKinsey & Co estimates will hit $1 trillion by 2020.

Tencent-backed WeDoctor, which offers online consultations and doctor appointments, raised $500 million in May at a valuation of $5.5 billion. Ping An Good Doctor, a similar platform backed by Ping An Insurance, raised $1.1 billion in an IPO this year.

“The opportunity is growing very fast,” said Min Wanli, the Hangzhou-based chief machine intelligence scientist at Alibaba’s cloud division.

Alibaba is working with a hospital in Shanghai using data to predict patient demand and allocate doctors. In Zhejiang province, the company is working on AI-assisted diagnosis tools to help analyze medical images such as CT scans and MRIs.



“You need to go through very specialized training in order to read these images, but we know that experts are a very scarce resource,” said Min.

Chinese hospitals are increasingly using technology to bridge the gap between urban centers and remote parts of the country where doctors are in short supply. Using document-sharing systems and livestreaming video, specialists can direct more junior medical staff on-site doing patient diagnoses.

DXY, one of China’s biggest online networks of doctors, offers consultations on the WeChat social media platform for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, with a team of nurses and doctors providing medical advice.

China is pressing to reduce healthcare costs that are soaring as the population ages, putting huge strains on the state insurance system.

At the same time, Beijing has been promising better access to healthcare and improved grass-roots care - despite a lack of family doctors - which has brought technology into the spotlight as a way of maximizing stretched resources.

“Educating doctors is going to take too long,” said Rogier Janssens, Beijing-based general manager of Germany’s Merck KGaA’s biopharma business in China. He added that smartphones could help deliver primary care faster and cheaper.

“There are hundreds of millions of people who still go without care for relatively simple diseases.”

FILE PHOTO: Screens showing traffic data of Hangzhou city are seen during a media tour of City Brain, an AI-powered traffic-management system by Alibaba Cloud, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

China’s healthcare system has long grappled with a shortage of doctors, exacerbated by low wages and a dearth of local clinics and general practitioners. That means patients often crowd into large, specialist hospitals for even minor ailments.

Beijing has been trying to fix the problem, setting targets to increase the number of family doctors across the country.

However, the government has been slow to embrace technology within the healthcare system, held back by the challenge of digitalizing a sprawling, fragmented hospital system still dominated by public hospitals and state-run firms.


The policy winds may be starting to change. Beijing has enacted legislation over the last two years that has included strong support for internet-based basic healthcare services.

Premier Li Keqiang said this year that healthcare tech could “help alleviate the problem of inaccessible and expensive public health services that have long been a big concern”.

Now, Beijing may be about approve the sale of some prescription drugs online, creating a major opportunity for local and global firms, according to companies in the sector.

Janssens of Merck KGaA said the company had “good indications” that policymakers were addressing the issue of pharmaceutical e-commerce “as we speak”.

Li Tiantian, the founder and chairman of DXY, said the health ministry had met with healthcare companies like his own and planned to soon release a policy on “internet hospitals”, which would open up some online sales.

“I think the new policy will be released very soon, potentially in July,” he said.

The policy would allow approved hospitals to consult, prescribe and sell drugs to chronic disease patients online. However, regulatory concerns over safety and pushback from state-run distributors sank a similar plan several years ago.

Li added that Ningxia autonomous region, in north-central China, had already been approving some internet hospital providers on a test basis.

Global drugmakers are taking notice. A move to open up online sales - if approved nationwide - would help shake up a drug market dominated by state-owned distributors and public hospitals, where most medicines are still prescribed and sold.

Merck KGaA, for example, recently announced a tie-up with Alibaba Health focused on systems to help track medicines to avoid counterfeiting, but also on online drug sales and potential direct-to-patient sales online.

FILE PHOTO - A screen displaying Tencent Miying, an AI-powered medical imaging service, is seen next to visitors at the fourth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, December 3, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo


In the United States, technology firms like Amazon, Google and Apple have made pushes into healthcare, with mixed results, often finding sprawling medical markets tougher to crack than entertainment or media.

Technology firms in China also face major obstacles.

One is convincing patients to see doctors online or getting hospitals to spend extra money on high-tech tools that promise efficiency boosts or improvements for patients. And regulators still have concerns about drug sales online.

Doctors and industry insiders also said that technology alone could not solve the issues facing the sector.

“Technology is important but is not enough on its own,” said DXY’s Li, a former doctor. He said the most immediate benefit was creating new channels for simple primary care.

Wang Aihu, a cardiologist at Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, said medical centers were increasingly using online appointment and payment systems, and that he conducted internet consultations for patients in remote regions.


He added that his hospital may eventually have “AI-powered medical imaging systems or robot doctors”, but these could not replace medical staff.

“These promising technologies will help accelerate and improve diagnoses, but will not replace good doctors, who are still needed to verify and correct diagnostic results,” he said.

That hasn’t stopped one hospital in Beijing doing a “man vs machine” standoff this month to detect neurological disorders including brain tumors. A robot developed by the prestigious Tsinghua University and iFlytek, a local firm, has also taken and passed China’s medical exam for doctors.

For most people in China, however, AI ambulances and robot doctors may need to wait a bit longer.

Tony Li, 55, a cancer patient in Shanghai, said he had seen little cutting-edge tech in Chinese hospitals in regular visits over the past few years.

“From what I heard, some of the newest technologies can help doctors identify tumors at earlier stages, and that’s great,” he said. “But the internet has a tendency of exaggerating things, giving us enormous false hope.”

Alibaba Cloud’s Min acknowledged the company was still working to prove the value of its technology, and that many hospital administrators were still suspicious of things like cloud computing.


But, he said, “In China, once a new technology is proven useful then everybody is crazy about it.”

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#Hookahlife: Social media posts spread misleading information on hookah use

#Hookahlife: Social media posts spread misleading information on hookah use | Social Media and Healthcare |

A new study finds that Instagram users using #hookah or #shisha portray hookah use in an overwhelmingly positive manner, despite its serious health risks. Published in Health Education & Behavior, the study authors examined nearly 300 Instagram posts and found that the portrayal and promotion of hookah smoking on social media can normalize its use and pose public health challenges.

Given the recent rise in hookah smoking among youth and college students, a team of researchers from Florida International University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Miami, the Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies, and the University of Pittsburgh randomly selected 279 posts from 11,517 posts tagged #hookah or #shisha within a four-day period. Out of the reviewed hookah-related posts:

  • 99.6% indicated positive sentiments towards hookah use
  • Only one post (0.4%) mentioned negative health effects associated with hookah use
  • 63.8% were promotional in nature
  • Most posts were associated with nightlife, community, and hookah identity

The authors wrote, "A growing body of evidence suggests that hookah smoking can lead to nicotine dependence and many other known smoking-related illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease."

The researchers also noted that 10% of all posts used the hashtag #HookahAddiction, signaling that nicotine addiction is not perceived as a health risk that would discourage potential users, but instead referred to ironically or as a "badge of honor." The researchers commented that policymakers and others should explore approaches for reducing the number of promotional posts, for example, by creating campaigns to counter-market positive themes presented on social media.

"This study represents an important step in identifying hookah-related themes on Instagram and demonstrates the value in using data from this social platform to complement and extend our understanding of health behaviors," wrote authors Ben Taleb et al. "These findings can inform the design of future tobacco control media campaigns aimed at countering the normalization of hookah use on social media."

The research also suggests that this is a global phenomenon, with a majority of the posts coming from Russia (38.5%), the United States (18.6%), and Germany (10.7%).

Story Source:

Materials provided by SAGENote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Ziyad Ben Taleb, Linnea I. Laestadius, Taghrid Asfar, Brian A. Primack, Wasim Maziak. #Hookahlife: The Rise of Waterpipe Promotion on InstagramHealth Education & Behavior, 2018; 109019811877913 DOI: 10.1177/1090198118779131
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7 Startup Tips for Small Healthcare Marketers

7 Startup Tips for Small Healthcare Marketers | Social Media and Healthcare |

Small healthcare marketers, like single practitioners, have to get started somewhere. To that end, PulmonologyAdvisor has seven tips to get them started with their marketing.

While the site is concentrated on a specialty, the tips published on July 3 apply to many small healthcare marketers.

Develop Your Brand

What differentiates you from your competitors? How is that more valuable to your target audience? Decide on that, pick a logo, and keep your brand consistent in all of your marketing in all channels, writes Tom Greenhalgh.

Build Your Website Accordingly

Greenhalgh says this step will give small healthcare marketers an advantage over their competition immediately, because 45% of small businesses don’t even have a website.

Related story: 2 Tips to Navigate TMI Healthcare Marketing

The PulmonologyAdvisor article continues:

“A website is an invaluable tool for reaching new patients, enhancing the patient experience, establishing yourself as an authority in your field, and even reducing the amount of time your staff spends scheduling appointments and giving directions. Make sure your website works just as well on mobile devices as it does on desktops.”

Employ Social Media Marketing

Small healthcare marketers of course have to follow regulations, but that doesn’t mean social media marketing is off limits.

Greenhalgh writes that small healthcare marketers can get started with sharing links to their site blog posts, which may bring in patient leads.

Be a Content Marketer

Greenhalgh says blog posts help keep sites updated, which aids in organic search rankings. Providing health tips also keeps small healthcare marketers engaged with their patients, which aids in retention/loyalty.

Be Where Patients Are Searching

Small healthcare marketers benefit from word-of-mouth marketing, with friends and family sharing advice on the best providers. But those same people often write the reviews down on social sites, review sites and elsewhere online, where marketers can see them, too. Respond to the reviews politely and with useful information or solutions, whether they’re positive or negative.

Trying to get negative reviews removed, for example, is useless, as a recent court ruling in California reveals about Yelp reviews, says Dan Goldstein, owner of Page 1 Solutions.

Goldstein suggests marketers employ these measures:

"Start with good customer service. … Every consumer knows good service from bad service.
“Tell your happy clients that your … practice depends on referrals and ask them to share their experiences with others who may benefit. One good way to do this is by sharing their experience through an online review.
“Always provide feedback by replying publicly to every review, including both positive and negative reviews. Consumers appreciate businesses that acknowledge reviews, because it shows they are paying attention.
“Don't get angry when someone posts a negative review. Provide a short reasoned response that asks the reviewer to contact the owner directly so you can resolve their concerns. Other consumers will see this as a positive and in some cases, it may result in the negative review being removed.
“Don't offer an incentive to post a positive review."

List Your Healthcare Practice in Local Business Directories

By this, Greenhalgh means professional directories. But don’t forget to ensure the practice is listed correctly in Google, on Facebook and anywhere else online that patients will search in order to find the phone number, physical address and email address.

Sponsor Events, Provide Education and Otherwise Participate in Your Community

Providing wellness webinars helps small healthcare marketers gain leads. Sponsoring local events, such as sports leagues, can do the same. This can also aid in brand awareness.

What do you think, marketers?

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3 things to know when upgrading your doctor website to HTTPS

3 things to know when upgrading your doctor website to HTTPS | Social Media and Healthcare |

This blog is Part 2 of a two-part series about the July 2018 Google Chrome version 68 update. Visit this webpage to read Part 1.

It’s bad enough that independent physicians have to find the time to stay atop of all the reimbursement and regulatory changes coming out of Washington, D.C. Now they need to pay close attention to happenings in Silicon Valley, too.

With the release of version 68 of it’s Chrome browser, Google marks HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) websites as Not Secure in the URL bar. The reason, Chrome Security Product Manager Emily Schechter writes, is to “help users understand that HTTP sites are not secure” and, therefore, should not be trusted.

According to NetMarketShare, Google Chrome’s share was 62.85 percent in May 2018. In a distant second was Internet Explorer, with less than 12 percent. So, this change immediately impacts nearly two-thirds of U.S. internet users. And there’s a high chance other browsers will soon follow suit, which would affect even more people.

If your site is Not Secure, your best move now is to upgrade to HTTPs. Read on for tips on

How to make the switch from HTTP to HTTPS

Upgrading your site from a non-secure to HTTPS is relatively easy. If done incorrectly, however, your site’s search performance could suffer.

If you are the admin of a doctor website, the first thing to do is figure out where the website is hosted. If it’s hosted by a company like GoDaddy or Squarespace, the easiest thing to do is contact your hosting company. They should be able to enable HTTPS on your behalf, or they can walk you through the process. (This won’t guarantee you’re in the clear, however, as you’ll learn below.)

If you are hosting your site, then you’ll need to acquire a validation certificate. I recommend obtaining one from, because the site is backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and is free and easy to set up, taking about 20 or 30 minutes to do so.

Below are a few additional things to keep in mind when upgrading your site.

1. Avoid mixed content

Occasionally, resources like third-party chat widgets and images are served over HTTP instead of HTTPS. If you have upgraded to HTTPS, you could see errors from these unsecured widgets. In some cases, Google Chrome might block them completely.

2. Update internal links

When you update the navigation as necessary, you’ll want to ensure the links point to the HTTPS version of the website. Of course, you’ll probably have internal links among your content, too. You’ll want to make sure they also get updated. It will avoid warnings from across your site appearing in your patients’ browsers.


3. Add proper redirects & canonicalization

Upon launching the HTTPS version of your site, make sure people are getting to the new pages. To do this, you need to put proper 301 redirects are in place. These are directions that tell anyone — including search engines — that if they go to an HTTP page, to push them to HTTPS.

Also, making the HTTPS pages canonical will help ensure duplicate pages don’t end up in the search results. A proper canonical tag will help avoid duplicate content and direct search engines to your HTTPS pages.

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Why healthcare needs 'patient leaders' to make new solutions work

Why healthcare needs 'patient leaders' to make new solutions work | Social Media and Healthcare |

While leading the health practice at Yahoo, Jack Barrette made a discovery that changed the course of his career.

In the early 2000s, Mr. Barrette — former president of a consumer health strategy consultancy and former health and medicine lead at an online marketing firm — was tasked with building Yahoo's health presence. As part of his effort to expand the company's healthcare reach, he jumped headfirst into Yahoo Groups, a platform where users convened to discuss issues ranging from music to politics to sports. He wanted to understand what made the search engine's users tick.

There, Mr. Barrette discovered thousands of online discussion boards dedicated to healthcare, where passionate users would steer discussions on medical conditions, provide health advice and offer support to one another. "I found a relatively small, but passionate, group of consumers who were helping thousands of others by leading health groups and answering questions," Mr. Barrette said during an interview with Becker's Hospital Review.

Mr. Barrette dubbed these users "patient leaders," and in 2007 he founded WEGO Health, a company centered on the idea healthcare organizations need these advocates to inform improvements to the care delivery process.

"A patient leader is someone who uses their health journey to educate others and raise awareness," explained Mr. Barrette, who now serves as CEO of WEGO Health. "We've been successful in recruiting more than 100,000 patient leaders to WEGO Health by demonstrating our commitment to building their visibility, getting them in front of the industry and ensuring they receive compensation for their time and expertise."

Today, WEGO Health connects its network of patient leaders with hospitals, health startups and drugmakers to ensure these organizations incorporate the patient perspective into the design, development and promotion of their products and services.

Mr. Barrette spoke with Becker's Hospital Review about why this patient-driven innovation is essential for organizations seeking success in today's healthcare landscape.

Editor's note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Question: What surprised you most about working in the healthcare industry?

Jack Barrette: The disconnect between the industry's goal to improve the patient experience and its failure to make greater strides. Health systems, in particular, have genuine incentives — financial and otherwise — to become truly patient-centered organizations. Getting there requires a commitment to human-centered design, yet most health systems continue to innovate for patients, instead of with patients. The key is to include patients throughout the development lifecycle — it's not enough to get their input at the beginning and then at the end.

Q: What are some challenges you've seen for hospitals looking to engage patients in their healthcare?

JB: A big challenge is doctors and care providers have too little time to connect with their patients, and that is only amplified once the patient walks out the door. Hospitals have struggled to put systems and tools in place that can bridge the engagement gap between visits. Patient portals help only marginally, if at all. We believe health systems could better collaborate with patient leaders to help on this front, especially with significant challenges in the industry related to self-management, medication adherence and behavior change.

Q: WEGO Health's work revolves around the idea of "patient-driven innovation." How do you define patient-driven innovation, and how can the concept help hospitals today?

JB: Patient-driven innovation is what happens when you bring patients to the table as peers, as co-creators and fellow collaborators. There's plenty of evidence to support the fact that hospitals uncover new solutions to improve the patient experience when patients are actively involved in a human-centered design process. At WEGO Health, we connect healthcare companies to our network of patient leaders, most of whom are hyper-connected through online patient communities and social media networks.

Q: What opportunities do you see for hospitals to include patients in the development of new programs and technologies?

JB: At WEGO Health, we see an opportunity for hospitals to involve patients in every phase of the process, from patient journey mapping and personal development to design sprints, user testing and content development. One of our hospital clients recently discovered unmet needs for its epilepsy patients by bringing a patient expert with epilepsy into the design thinking process very early on. The patient is now a member of the advisory board and is as integral to the design process as the clinicians, researchers and health IT team.

More articles on patient engagement:
5 consumer thoughts on healthcare providers' patient engagement
Patients don't care if physicians have tattoos or piercings, study finds
Apple's App Store turns 10 — Here are 4 ways it's tackled healthcare

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Clinical Trial Accrual Challenges: Is Social Media Here to Help? (A. …

Clinical Trial Accrual Challenges: Is Social Media Here to Help? (A. Denicoff)
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5 Social Media Do's and Don'ts for Rheumatologists

5 Social Media Do's and Don'ts for Rheumatologists | Social Media and Healthcare |

It may seem like social media is just for sharing pictures of cute animals, but it's also a great marketing tool for rheumatologists. In fact, according to a survey published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 71% of young rheumatologists and basic scientists use social media professionally.1

Why such a large percentage? Because it works. A whopping 77% of Americans are on social media,2 making it the place to go if you're hoping to connect and interact with patients. Just keep in mind, as a healthcare professional you're held to a higher standard than most. Take a peek at this list of do's and don'ts before you hit send.



1.   Remain current. Follow the accounts of colleagues, thought leaders, and facilities you admire to keep up-to-date on all that's happening outside your practice. Check in regularly and you'll be among the first to know about new case studies and other rheumatology news.


2.   Inform your patients. Help your patients stay current, too. They'll be interested to know what's new in rheumatology. Provide links to content from credible sources and you'll establish yourself as a dependable source of information.



3.   Stay on topic. While a video of an otter dunking a basketball is undoubtedly adorable, it's not relevant to your audience. The things you post should be related to rheumatology. If you wish to share and opine on other subjects, create a personal profile and set it to private.


4.   Keep it simple. It's easy to get caught up in numbers and figures. It's also easy to write an essay when a sentence will do. If you don't address the “so what?” quickly, your audience will move on.


5.   Post regularly. An abandoned social media profile gives the impression you're not tech savvy or, worse yet, not even in business. You don't need to tweet and “like” all day long, but try to set a reasonable target for how frequently you post. Maybe that's once a day, once a week, or even once a month. Whatever target you set, commit to hitting it.




1.   Violate patient privacy rules. Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated because it's that important: do not compromise any patient's privacy online. While HIPAA predates social media, you and your staff are still responsible for upholding its standards. Implement a HIPAA social media policy and train your staff to execute it. When in doubt, follow this rule of thumb: if you wouldn't say it in public, don't say it online.


2.   Accept friend requests from patients. While it may feel rude not to accept your patient's friend request, you need to maintain proper boundaries. Social media can blur the line between professional and personal and alter the way your patients see you.



3.   Give out specific medical advice. If a patient asks a personal health question on social media, politely direct them to contact your office.


4.   Snoop on patients. Every now and then you may be tempted to type a client's name in the search bar. Resist the temptation. Looking through a client's profile is a breach of their privacy and trust.


5.   Rant or complain. No matter how bad your day was, don't take to social media afterward to rant or complain about it. Even if a patient or staff member drove you nuts, know that if you post it online it can – and probably will – come back to bite you.


Remember, there's a right and a wrong way to use social media. Keep these do's and don'ts in mind and you'll stay trouble-free. Now, back to the cute animals on your private profile

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Support & information for radiotherapy patients: how can social media…

Slides from my presentation looking at social media for patient benefit and also for healthcare professionals in the field of cancer and radiation therapy. Pr…
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The Fight for Patient Privacy Under Big Data Analytics

The Fight for Patient Privacy Under Big Data Analytics | Social Media and Healthcare |

A viewpoint review published in JAMAexamined the adequacy of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the “big data” era of MyHealthEData and similar electronic record systems.   


Introduced by the Trump administration in March 2018, the MyHealthEData initiative seeks to broaden patient access to electronic health records and insurance claims information. MyHealthEData and similar electronic systems allow patients to share health information at their discretion, an approach which may enable individuals to identify optimal treatment plans and network with health services. However, the digital sharing of health-related information raises new privacy concerns, not the least of which is the prospect of “invasive marketing” and “discriminatory practices that evade…law.” In the present day, the authors assert, HIPAA-protected data owns a “diminishing share” of health information stored electronically, and privacy regulations should be amended accordingly.


The HIPAA Privacy Rule generally requires written patient authorization for the disclosure of protected health information. Researchers may obtain de-identified data without patient consent only with the approval of a privacy board or institutional review board. This privacy rule has curtained inappropriate access in the past, but modern advances in computation and the growing volume of sensitive data generated outside healthcare settings pose new challenges, the authors say. HIPAA does not cover data produced by noncovered entities or information shared by patients (eg, through social media), and the expanding scope of these influences represents a threat to confidentiality.

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Best Practices When Implementing Social Media Marketing for Your Medical practice

Today just like any other industry, the healthcare sector is also using social media as a healthcare digital marketing platform to engage with potential patien…
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Healthcare Providers, Patients & Social Media

Healthcare Providers, Patients & Social Media | Social Media and Healthcare |

Social Media, Healthcare Providers, 

Social media networks are an important method of mass digital communication. Celebrities, politicians and companies have been forced to learn how to use these new channels of communication. Social media provides a direct way to message patients as well as have them engage with their healthcare providers. Medical practitioners have seen this trend developing and are starting to use social media networks as another way to engage with both current and potential patients. The growing importance of social media in the doctor-patient relationship displays the communication challenges facing physicians and other healthcare providers as they meet the needs and expectations of their patients.

To put these new forms of online communication in perspective, people who directly use social media to communicate with their healthcare provider is only a small percentage of the total number of Americans who use social media. A 2018 Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults finds that the use of social media networks is defined by a mix of long-standing as well as newly emerging trends. According to the survey, 88 percent of U.S. adults (ages 18 to 29) use some form of social media network. The amount of usage drops as the age of adults increases, falling to 78 percent among adults who are 30 to 49 years old. This trend continues with age, with 64 percent of adults between the ages of 50 to 64 and 37 percent among those 65 years and older using social media platforms.

Facebook and YouTube (Google/Alphabet) are still the most popular social media platforms, with a majority of U.S. adults routinely using each of these sites. Simultaneously, younger Americans stand out for embracing a variety of platforms and using them frequently. Some 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat, and a sizeable majority of these users (71%) visit the platform multiple times per day. Similarly, 71% of Americans in this age group now use Instagram and close to half (45%) are Twitter users. In many instances, people are accessing social media throughout the day. Seventy-four percent of Facebook users, 63 percent of Snapchat users and 60 percent of Instagram users visit those sites one or more times per day. These groups are not exclusive, with many people using multiple social media platforms which creates a sizable overlap between the users of different online services. For example, the survey results showed that 87 percent of people who use Facebook also use YouTube, and 90 percent of people with a LinkedIn account also use Facebook. As with overall use, the average number of social media platforms used was highest among adults 18 to 29 (four), decreasing to three platforms among adults 30 to 49, two among those 50 to 64, and one among those 65 and older.

The increasing use of social media and other online channels is not only occurring among patients. According to the Southern Medical Association, roughly 88 percent of physicians and other healthcare providers use social media as well as the internet to research medical devices, pharmaceutical information, and biotech data. Much like professionals in other fields, doctors are using social media networks as a tool to reach out to other specialists. For example, they can explore the social media pages of pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers. Healthcare professionals may even follow the blogs and news update of other practitioners to learn more about their experiences. More professional online networking and social media channels like ZocDocor LinkedIn provide access to online communities and enable users to create CV-like profiles that showcase qualifications, skills and achievements. These specific social media channels allow users to search for members with expertise in many occupational fields, as well as create networks and groups that encourage discussion and collaboration among fellow professionals.

Two popular social media networks that are increasingly used as a messaging/email service are Facebook and Twitter. Here is a brief summary of these social media networks:

Facebook has the largest user base of any social media platform, with roughly 2 billion active monthly users worldwide. The popular social media network was launched on February 4, 2004. Since this time, it has grown in size and dominance. Facebook is centered predominantly on text-based interactions, with the ability to embed photos, links, and videos. This social media network also has a dedicated platform for many industries and fields that use custom analytical tools that make it easier to create paid advertisements. Facebook has the largest user base of any social media platform, so it is used by a diverse group of people. Typically, for medical practices and healthcare providers, Facebook’s content is directed toward patient advocacy and patient engagement.

Twitter is centered on text-based interactions between users called tweets. As of April 2017, Twitter had 328 million active monthly users, with more than 1 billion unique visits to websites embedded within tweets (messages). Originally, tweets were composed of no more than 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, the limit was doubled to 280 characters. Tweeting on this platform provides a brief but direct communication to all followers of a user. Other users can stumble upon tweets when they search for specific hashtags. With its large user base and text-centered format, discussions on Twitter can include comments and responses to individual tweets on a specific topic. Apart from text-based capabilities, users are also able to embed media such as links, pictures, and videos within tweets. The use of media has become more prevalent, and many users now add images or videos to supplement text-based tweets.

The various social media platforms have inherent advantages and disadvantages. However, the ways in which patients and healthcare providers interact has forever changed. Communication channels that patients now use include phone, e-mail, a social media platform and/or a healthcare-specific web portal. Patients who are under 30 are more comfortable using text or e-mail to contact their healthcare providers. Similarly, this age cohort of patients is more comfortable researching personal health information through online resources. Older patients are willing to use newer communication channels like online portals for communication purposes, but still prefer to use more traditional methods of communication like the telephone. Over time, older patients will likely adopt the style of communication that younger patients use, emailing, social media and texting. Naturally, measures should be taken to ensure the protection of patient privacy when using social media to communicate with patients.

For additional questions or comments please contact us. We will explore this topic in future articles as social media technology increasingly becomes embedded in people’s everyday activities. Advanced Billing & Consulting Services is a full-service medical billing company. Our services range from credentialing and digital marketing to HCBS Waiver billing and workforce management tools.

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Using Social Media to Market Your Medical Products 

Using Social Media to Market Your Medical Products  | Social Media and Healthcare |

Social media is a powerful marketing tool that every type of business can benefit from using. Whether you’re using Instagram to sell or just using it as a way to advertise, getting your business on social media seems to be a necessity these days. While every business can benefit from it, not all advertising and marketing methods will be as effective for one type as they will for another. For example, marketing medical products on social media is a lot different than marketing clothing and may require a unique approach.

Rather than publishing your favorite clothing-related memes among posts about your latest arrivals, when you use social media to market your medical products, you have to do things differently. Your tone will generally need to be more serious, and your approach will need to be more formal in some cases; however, you can use it to build trust, help your products stand out, and educate your followers, making it an important tool to use.

If you’re just getting started or are ready to revamp your social media pages, here are a few tips to help you use social media to market your medical products right:

Get On The Right Platform

Different platforms are designed for and used by different demographics. LinkedIn, for example, is not the place to post personal photos and information about your vacation. Facebook and Instagram, on the other hand, are full of people who love seeing those types of things. So, which social media platforms are best for medical products?

Facebook, being a general platform that covers everything from musicians to food manufacturers, is a platform that your business needs to be on. It’s free to use, it helps you easily connect with your followers, and it enables you to target new customers through ads with niche demographic options.

In some cases, Pinterest is also a social media platform that your business should be on. If your product is both beauty and medicine related, then it’s a great place to advertise and educate. Posting on Pinterest can help you pick up new customers and educate those who may not know the truth about your product and the specific conditions that it helps.

There are also several niche social media sites that are designed specifically for healthcare providers; however, they may be a great option for you and your business as well. Whether you advertise or maintain a profile to interact with providers who offer your products to their patients, it’s important to be on the networks that your target audience is on too.

Let It Help You With Market Research

When you run a business, it’s important to conduct market research. Not only when you’re first launching, but throughout the life of your business as well. The more information you can gather about what your target audience wants and what feedback they’re giving about your product, the better. Social media is a great way to gather that info and use it in your market research, helping you improve your product and make it better for your clients.

Even if they aren’t following your brand’s page(s), people will say stuff about your business that you can monitor and watch, then use to help you make the changes you need to or to know what you’re doing right so that you can continue to focus on that area.

Use It To Educate

One of the biggest challenges today is properly educating clients on your products. Not only do you have to educate them about the benefits and proper use of your product, but sometimes you may have to educate them on the dangers and misinformation out there about other products that are similar to yours. Luckily, social media is a quick and easy way to start getting the word out about your products and educating your clients and potential clients properly. In doing so, you will build up trust and authority in the space and establish yourself as a resource for those looking into your product and products like yours.

It’s important to remember, though, that not all of your clients are familiar with the jargon used in your industry or the technical terms and explanations. On top of that, people reading online don’t typically want to read long, detailed explanations, so keeping it short, understandable, but informational is important. If you want some examples of brands using education to engage their audience, check this out.

Final Thoughts

Social media is a powerful tool that can be used by businesses in many ways. From connecting with clients to educating them, or using it as a way to offer customer service, every business should be on the social media platforms where their target audiences are and take full advantage of the benefits social media has to offer.

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Strategic and Altruistic Reasons for Physician Social Media Engagement 

Strategic and Altruistic Reasons for Physician Social Media Engagement  | Social Media and Healthcare |

Our Mayo Clinic Social Media Network (MCSMN) medical director, Dr. Farris Timimi, has succinctly described what is perhaps the most tangible and practical reason for physicians to become involved in social media: protecting their online reputation.

In remarks recorded for our recent Social Media Residency in Rochester, Minn., he also highlighted the broad opportunities for physicians to apply these tools productively and strategically in clinical practice, education, and research:

Residency participants also heard a testimonial from Daniel Cabrera, M.D., an Emergency Medicine physician at Mayo Clinic, describing both the moral imperative for physician involvement and his journey of exploration that enabled him to see the benefits, including disseminating knowledge and personal learning. Here's the full version:

Social Media Residency is our in-depth, full-day course for those interested in strategic social media application in health care. We host it once a year on each of our Mayo Clinic campuses and occasionally collaborate with MCSMN member organizations to hold it at their facilities, such as this one we held in March at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis.

The next scheduled Residency is Nov. 13, 2018 at our Mayo Clinic campus in Jacksonville, Fla., the day before our 2018 MCSMN Annual Conference. We're also offering Residency Dec. 11 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

What benefits of physician involvement in social media have you seen?

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Healthcare Marketing in India: A growing Industry

Healthcare Marketing in India: A growing Industry | Social Media and Healthcare |

India is a witness to a change. There is an accelerated growth of healthcare industry with sprouting of hospitals, at a pace which, is, entirely difficult to fathom. The healthcare market is seeing both private as well as foreign investments as the Indian health care market is expected to grow by a rate of 15 percent in the coming 5 years. However the challenges faced by both the new or old hospital sectors are Healthcare marketing.


More stress is laid out on the preference of service receiver as the ultimate goal is the satisfaction of the receiver who will in turn vouch for marketing by individual’s experience. Earlier, instead of value treatment the receivers were provided with volume treatment where stress was  on quantity of patients being treated irrespective of the quality of care and treatment being provided to them. Thus, health care marketing incorporates various parameters that are specifically designed to acquire the right patients and form a long lasting relationship throughout the individual’s patient phase. As a healthcare professional it’s important to generate high revenue keeping business objective in mind but not at the cost of devaluing the integrity of healthcare industry. Thus in today’s time it is primarily consumer driven approach like most other industries. It is important for a healthcare organization to build a unique identity to solidify their position in the market so as to have a distinctive identity compared to the competition. The challenging landscape of healthcare is in need of innovative strategies to create solutions that offer personalized value based healthcare experiences for patients and care providers. At the same time when the world lies on technology and social media it is imperative that such avenues be  explored for increasing the visibility in the market by not only having a personalized website and domain but also by being engaged in health related social media activities.

Qualities of a good healthcare marketing professional

It is important for a healthcare marketing professional to be able to motivate the team, build business relationships and conduct marketing activities and maintain high product knowledge of company and competitors along with strong leadership skills to achieve the targets.

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Top 3 Social Media Mistakes Healthcare Businesses Make - Angela Hemans Interview (3 Of 3)

Top 3 Social Media Mistakes Healthcare Businesses Make - Angela Hemans Interview (3 Of 3) | Social Media and Healthcare |
Find out why a short-term social media strategy will always fail. Learn how even a 1-person marketing team can build a strong network. Angela Hemans joins me for a 3-part interview on using social media to promote businesses in the healthcare space, including healthcare IT companies, as well as healthcare organizations. Angela is CEO of Hemans Marketing Media and founder of Women United In Business Mastermind Facebook Group. She helps healthcare, Tech, and Nonprofits build influence, make an impact, and increase leads leveraging social media and digital technology. Presented by lead generation marketing expert Jennifer Michelle. For more information, visit Follow the #HCLeadGen hashtag for new interviews and tips!
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