Let us Learn about Health and Healthcare

Posts Tagged ‘Patient’

Patient Burnout: Watch out before it gets too late

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 11, 2012 at 8:00 am

“Good Morning Dr Aggarwal. I am back again”, said Mr C with an innocent smile on his face. “Yeah, long time no see”, I said, just to humor the situation. “What brings you back again so soon?”, I asked. “I continue to get the fatigue and pains all over”, he said. This is after we have ruled out most of the organic disorders including thyroid issues, sleep apnea, electrolyte imbalances,lyme disease vitamin deficiencies and many others. I saw him strongly and said,”seems like you are stressed or depressed, are you?’. The wife immediately jumps from her chair and said, ‘He is always thinking about something. He does not sleep well because of that. All day long, he just sits and thinks”.

This is a very common situation in Primary care office. Patients are afraid to admit their true symptoms and continue feeling that they have something major going on. It is very hard to treat patients with such attitudes, which unfortunately are the majority of our patient population. People do not want to digest the fact that they could be stressed or depressed. It is still a taboo for many to be labelled as depressed being. Struggle to find what is wrong leads to ‘Patient Burnout’.

We all have heard of doctors being overwhelmed with their work because of long hours, stress related to performance and administrative hassles leading to ‘Burnout’.  But I feel, what goes un-noticed most of the time is patient burnout.

Burnout leads to patients being frustrated even more. They keep visiting multiple doctors to get the answers they want which does not exist. Adding frustrations and elaborate testing leads to ‘Patient Burnout’. Not that it is something that is easily fixable, but definitely needs more attention.

Factors leading to Patient Burnout

  • Repeated visits to Healthcare providers
  • Multiple tests
  • No clinical evidence of any particular disease after extensive testing
  • Difficult family situation
  • Difficult work situation
  • Retired
  • Living alone

Signs

  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Pains
  • Headache
  • Stomach upset

It gets overwhelming for physicians to keep doing a zillion dollar workup and find no strong evidence of any particular disease at the end. The fix to the problem is not easy. But one thing that providers can do it to engage the patients in a dialogue. Have them analyze what exactly is going on in their psychosocial arena that could be contributing to this. Encouraging patients to get into healthy habits including diet control, exercising, yoga and meditation are some of the magical things that they can teach the patients. Getting to the bottom of the problem is must.

Tips

  • Have patient summarize their thoughts on the problem
  • Have them identify their psychological makeup
  • Reassure them
  • Encourage them
  • Recommend Lifestyle Modifications
  • See them periodically to assess their progress
  • Provide self-education and stress management  materials
  • Offer support

Identifying and Managing certain psychological issues are  challenges for most  physicians. But a streamlined thought process to catch these problems help patients avoid the burnout.

Hypnotherapy: Achieve Ultimate Mind Power !

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 10, 2012 at 8:00 am

Healing Hypnotherapy Helps with

Weight reduction
Smoking Cessation
Anxiety
Depression
Stress
Chronic Pains
Migraines
Fibromyalgia
Reflex Sympathetic dystrophy
Neuropathy
Confidence Building
Public speaking
Sleep disorders
Sports performance
Memory improvement
Poor relationships
Cancer effects
Emotional Problems
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Hot flashes

Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation to connect to subconscious mind. Subconscious mind is the hidden iceberg under the water. We normally do not use most part of the brain and the powers keep hidden. Hypnotherapy is the way to identify those hidden powers that you can use for your own benefit.

There are many myths linked with Hypnosis. The most frequently mentioned myth is that someone can control your mind and make you behave and do whatever the hypnotist wants you to do. It is completely wrong. On the contrary, you are in complete control. It is a state of Hyper awareness. ALL HYPNOSIS IS SELF HYPNOSIS. No one can control your mind. Hypnotherapy is a way to show you the right direction and make you aware of the hidden mind power that can be used for self-healing.

Hypnotherapy or medical hypnosis is a way to identify and treat the deep-rooted problems which cannot be seen from the surface above. As we can only see the roots by digging, we can only see the problem by going deep in the mind, which can only be achieved with Hypnotherapy. Since the subconscious mind is a deeper-seated, more instinctive force than the conscious mind, this is the part which has to change for the individual’s behavior and physical state to alter.

We go in a hypnotic stage multiple times without even knowing it, e.g., while driving car and while watching TV.
Hypnotherapy is a wonder tool to harness the Mind Power to use it for the desired results. It is a way to unlock the doors of success and peace in life. The World of healing can help you get the right key for yourself to unlock those doors to extreme Mind Power. The wonders of Life are hidden. Explore those wonders and get healed.

http://www.theworldofhealing.com/#!hypnotherapy

‘Doctors do not Sign Up for Sainthood’

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 7, 2012 at 8:00 am

Each society in this world has many ‘Bad Fish’ which make it all dirty looking. We just blame the whole water to be dirty instead of getting rid of the bad fish. ‘Doctors don’t sign up for sainthood.’ But the general public seems to knows better about doctors. When people make derogatory comments on the medical profession and healthcare, they only highlight the presence of unacceptably high numbers among them some who deserve such criticism.

To err is human and problems exists in all professions. But since medicine concerns a person’s health, drawbacks and failures of doctors are over-projected. Doctors may be hindered by: hospital owners who make heavy investments and encourage them to ensure maximum revenue; inefficient staff in laboratories and radiological centers; pharmacies which dispense incorrect, spurious or stale medicines; pathological and radiological centers which corrupt them with lures of incentives for referring patients to them; and the failure of patients or their attendants to follow their advice.

While we should take note of all these points before passing a judgment on doctors, we have a right to expect them to abide by the solemn oath they take before they enter the medical profession.

Corruption and malpractice are common in all professions. I don’t understand why a particular profession should come under the scanner. I agree though that present-day doctors do not have the same degree of dedication as old-timers. When education becomes a business to make money, we cannot expect to have true saints.

When doctors get attached to money, the noble quality of their work suffers. So does the effect of their medicine and treatment. History has seen a number of doctors who worked purely to alleviate the sufferings of the sick, not to accumulate wealth. They were concerned about our health rather than their wealth.

We should have a social responsibility to get together to fight the wrong-doings wherever it may be. Sometimes you have to play part of a doctor to cure these social diseases. But do not blame all doctors to be making money by corrupting the system. Most of them just want to help you and make a living as everybody else.

25 Ways to Sky-Rocket Patient Experience in any Medical Practice

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 6, 2012 at 8:00 am

Most healthcare practices struggle on getting their bottom line met in current economic times with everyday changing healthcare trends. Very few of them are using some basic techniques to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes.  I have complied a list of 25 golden principles that a medical practice can adopt to improve their overall turnover and patient experience.

1. Remind patients of their upcoming appointment at least 24-48 hours prior.

2. Patients should be reminded of any paperwork to bring at the time of appointment.

3. Check-in process should be easy and quick.

4. Manage the schedule in a way that patients do not have to wait longer than 10-15 minutes.

5. Rooms should be well lighted.

6. Patients should be told about their vital signs in comparison to the old ones by the Medical Assistant when putting information in.

7. Staff should greet them with a smile.

8. Be a good listener.Let them finish their talking before you start talking.

9. Address the key issues and give specific written recommendations. Provide patient handouts when necessary.

10. It is good to address one more issue as a bonus. Patients feel good about it.

11. Follow up recommendations should be clear and concise.

12. Easy Checkout is must. If it is going to take some time, have patients sit in waiting area and address their needs as soon as possible.

13. Inform the patients of any abnormal labs and actions to be taken as soon as results are obtained.

14. Engage family members in case is Older patients and patients with special needs.

15. Try to know their social engagements. This makes them friendly.

16. Reassure, Manage and Recommend sensitively.

17. Review charts before patients visit so that you may mention what you talked about last time.

18. Offer Same day appointments.

19. Offer access to their own records including lab work and radiology reports.

20. Send them a Satisfaction survey to see what their experiences are and how you can improve.

21. Make them part of the decision-making. Always give them options when possible and guide them to choose one for themselves.

22. Send Periodic Health maintenance reminders. This include follow-up screening tests.

23. Provide Online resources and references to patients to get educated about their health conditions.

24. Have a well-designed and well informative website for the practice.

25. Most Importantly, be clear about your policies and procedures, what services you offer and what you don’t,  before even patient shows up, to avoid any surprises on patient’s end. Patients have  unreasonable expectations sometimes, which can be avoided by giving them clear understanding of what you can provide and what you cannot.

All the above mentioned tips are very easy to follow and the results are amazingly good. See your practice Sky-rocket in few weeks after applying these principles.

Facts about Fats

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 5, 2012 at 8:00 am

“Did you see how much cholesterol this coconut milk has?”, my wife asked me while walking down the aisle for Asian food one day. She is one paranoid personality when it comes to cholesterol in food items. At times she starts an argument about saturated and unsaturated fats although she has no clue as to what they are. And then comes the challenging part to
explain her the dynamics of cholesterol. But I enjoy those discussions as I learn a lot with the curiosity of hers.
Cholesterol is a part of lipids which is the scientific term for fats in the blood. At adequate
levels, lipids perform important cellular functions in your body, but can cause health problems if they are present in excess.
Concerning lipids are mainly cholesterol and triglycerides.
Hyperlipidemia, along with diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), positive family history, and smoking are all major risk factors for coronary heart disease.
Who gets it? obese, smokers,and those who don’t like to get up and exercise. Medical  conditions that cause   hyperlipidemia include diseases like diabetes, kidney disease,pregnancy and underactive thyroid gland. You can also inherit hyperlipidemia. The cause may be genetic if you have a normal body weight and other members of your family
have hyperlipidemia. You have a greater chance of developing hyperlipidemia if you are a man older than age 45
or a woman older than age 55. If a close relative had early heart disease (father or brother affected before age 55, mother or sister affected before age 65), you also have an increased risk.
Symptoms: None. You would never know it until you get adverse effects because of that. So why do I care? You better care about this because you could be the one getting a heart attack or a stroke before even knowing whats happening. Hyperlipidemia causes atherosclerosis which is hardening of the blood vessels, thereby compromising blood supply
to major organs like heart and brain.
So how do I know if I have high lipids? Blood test. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that people get this test every 5 years after age 20. Your blood test will show your physician the levels of different lipids in your blood which will help him decide how aggressively you need to be treated. Most blood tests measure levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) cholesterol, HDL (good cholesterol), total cholesterol (LDL plus HDL), and triglycerides. Current national guidelines suggest a LDL cholesterol goal of <100 mg/dl for individuals already with heart disease or
diabetes, <130 mg/dl for those with moderate risk of heart disease, and <160 mg/dl for everyone else. Your doctor can calculate your risk score for heart disease. This score can then be used to determine whether you need to start taking medications to lower your LDL cholesterol.
Although there are no firm treatment targets for HDL cholesterol or triglycerides, most experts agree that optimal HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels are >40 mg/dl and <200 mg/dl, respectively.
What’s the treatment? Lifestyle modifications is the most important step to lower the lipid levels. I know some people don’t like to do it, but you need to get up and do some exercise. When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no “I’ll start tomorrow.” Tomorrow is disease. Change your dietary habits. You should replace foods high in
saturated fats(the majority come mainly from animal sources, including meat and dairy products) with foods high in monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fats(vegetable oil, fish, nuts, legumes, etc). A humorous patient once said to me, “They claim red meat is bad for you. But I never saw a sick-looking tiger.” I wish I had an answer to his argument.
Stop smoking. Smoking can lower HDL, narrow your blood vessels, and injure your blood vessel walls. All of these effects can speed hardening of the arteries.Try to lose some weight. Therapeutic lifestyle changes can lower total cholesterol by 10 to 20 percent in some people. More commonly, however, people with hyperlipidemia experience a 2 to 6 percent reduction from TLC. If TLC doesn’t help, its time to start some medication which your doctor will decide for you. Lipid-lowering medications include Statin drugs (which prevent your liver from manufacturing cholesterol), Bile acid sequestrants, (which prevent your body from reabsorbing the cholesterol in bile. Bile is a liquid secreted into your small
intestine that helps you digest dietary fats), Fibrates and Niacin.
So, its never too late. Lets work on it. Remember, the best six doctors anywhere are sunshine, water, rest, air, exercise and diet.

Every Doctor’s Dream…..

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 4, 2012 at 9:30 am
  • All available appointments are full.
  • All staff showed up for their shifts.
  • No one burns toast in the toaster oven and sets off the fire alarm.
  • None of the staff show up to work wearing flip-flops or pink underwear beneath their white scrubs.
  • All patients have been reminded about their appointments so they all show up.
  • Patients calling for same-day appointments are able to be worked-in appropriately.
  • No patients give false information at check-in.
  • Established patients arrive on time with their insurance information and co-pay.
  • New patients arrive on time to complete their paperwork, and give their insurance card, photo ID and co-pay to the receptionist.
  • Patients with fasting appointments arrive having fasted.
  • All patients arrive bringing their bag of medications.
  • Patients in wheelchairs and with difficulty ambulating are accompanied by caregivers.
  • Patients who do not speak English or are deaf have notified the office prior to the appointment and the appropriate technology or interpreters are available for the appointment.
  • Patients with procedure appointments have followed their pre-procedure instructions.
  • Patients with procedures have been pre-authorized by their insurance carrier and their personal financial responsibility has been discussed with them and payment arrangements have been made.
  • Patient eligibility has been checked and those unable to be authorized have been called before their appointment to gain further information about their payer source.
  • If computers go down, there are paper procedures in place to enable staff to continue seeing patients.
  • No patients arrive saying “I forgot to tell you, this is Worker’s Comp/ an auto accident/ a liability case and I was told by my lawyer not to pay anything.”
  • None of the patients pee on a waiting room chair.
  • Neither JCAHO nor any state or federal officers show up.
  • The copiers and faxes all work.
  • No subpoenas come in the mail.
  • It’s not your very first day live on electronic medical records.
  • All phone calls are answered before the third ring and no one has to leave a message.
  • No patients walk in the door with severe chest pains and say “I knew the doctor would want to see me.”
  • Patients remember to call the pharmacy for refills.
  • Providers all run on time and seem in particularly good moods.
  • Patients get their questions answered with callbacks within two hours.
  • Someone delivers sandwiches, drinks and brownies to the practice for lunch. There is enough for everyone.
  • No bounced checks come in the mail.
  • Providers spend so much time in the exam room listening to their patients that the patients leave feeling that every question they had (and a few they didn’t know they had) was answered.
  • Providers circle the services and write the diagnosis codes numerically on the encounter form, remembering that Medicare doesn’t pay for consults any more.
  • Sample medications that providers want to give patients are in the sample closet.
  • Records that providers want to reference are in the chart and are highlighted.
  • No one calls urgently for old medical records that are in the storage unit across town.
  • There are no duplicate medical records.
  • Patients checking out never say “But he was only in the room for 5 minutes!”
  • The patient restrooms don’t run out of toilet paper.
  • No bankruptcy notices come in the mail.
  • All phlebotomists get blood on the first stick.
  • No kids cry.
  • Congress announces that the SGR formula has been revoked and a new reasonable model for paying physicians has been discovered.
  • Everyone goes home at 5:00 p.m., glad to have a job, glad to be of service, and happy with their paychecks.

WISH IT HAPPENED IN REAL WORLD.

Treat Patients the way you would like to get treated

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on June 2, 2012 at 8:00 am

I  was a happy man when I passed my USMLE Step 3 exam. All doctors in US have to pass the USMLE Step 3 exam which deals with how you ‘Treat’ the patient. It is not just the medical diagnosis and treatment, it is the whole process of management that starts as soon as you enter the room. Doctors get graded heavily on their behavior towards the patient.

With changing healthcare and pressure of documenting everything, doctors are finding it really hard to keep that connection going. 15 minutes for a patient’s visit is not enough most of the times. If you increase the times, the ‘bottom-line revenue gets hurt. It has come to the point where doctors are taking their work home,making it hard for them to enjoy family time. That is why, medicine is no more one of the top demanded profession.

Despite all the hassles and pains, doctors in US continue to treat their patients in the best way they can. What is patient’s need? That somebody listens to them and help them. When listening, analyzing and actions become time-bound, the connection gets lost somewhere leaving both the parties unsatisfied most of the times. We are not paying much ‘Attention’. The doctor-patient relationship is central to the practice of healthcare and is essential for the delivery of high-quality health care in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. The doctor-patient relationship forms one of the foundations of contemporary medical ethics. There are very few physician practices who are actively involved in patient satisfaction surveys to know exactly where they are in terms of their services.

This loss of connection is nobody’s fault. It is the fault of the system that we as a society have designed. Health is no more a personal issue. It has become ‘E-Health’ (electronic health). Now you go for a doctor’s visit, what you hear is clicking(mouse and keyboard). We have lost the personal touch.

Is there a way to revive back the relationship and improve quality on top? Yes. The emerging concept of Patient Centered Medical Home(PCMH) takes away that burden off from the physicians and satisfies the patients. It is a multi-disciplinary integrative  approach towards patient. It does not just deals with the current problems, but helps manage overall wellness. It ensures that patients get the attention required to manage their issues.

PCMH aims to collaborate the various divisions of healthcare on a single platform to give a ‘One Stop Shop’ for health and wellness. AHA, HITECH,ACO and all other reforms added recently, have led Healthcare institutions to come up with processes to reduce waste, improve quality and deliver best possible care. The Healthcare IT industry is the busiest industry in current times. New softwares and techniques are being launched on a daily basis to make the current systems efficient.

But, whatever the case may be, Medicine is about ‘Connecting with the Patient’. We need to focus on E-Health, but not at the stake of Physician-Patient relationship. Whenever I feel myself swaying away by the winds of technological pressures, I stop and think to myself, “Is this the way I would like to be treated if I am a patient?”

From a doctor’s perspective, I would appeal to all the patients that the behavior of  doctors towards health is not by personal choice. The changes in Healthcare are coming too fast and sometimes it is hard to keep holding the ground for the healthcare providers. I am not sure how long this may take. But one thing is for sure, E-health can never overpower the strength of ‘Physician-Patient Relationship’.

Doctors Also Fear Death..

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on May 31, 2012 at 7:00 am

Mr D was a patient of mine for many years. His wife and him were the nicest and most compliant patients a doctor can  have. He was suffering from Cirrhosis of Liver due to Hepatitis C for many years. His condition was deteriorating fast over last 6 months. Frequent hospitalizations had become a norm for him. Hospital became his home. He was adamant about not getting a transplant of Liver, but with the worsening of his condition, he agreed to be on the transplant list. I was hopeful that he may do well with it once he gets it. But nature had some other plans. He passed away few weeks later while still waiting to get a liver. The news of his death did not come as a big surprise, but it was definitely hurting. Life has to come to an end one way or the other. Death is the only truth of life. But the grief of a loss of someone close leads to a new thought process. I see pain, misery and death everyday of my life. It does not stop me from doing what I do, but does lead to emotional challenges to be faced.

Do doctors grieve when their patients die? In the medical profession, such grief is seldom discussed – except, perhaps, as an example of the sort of emotion that a skilled doctor avoids feeling. But in a paper published on Tuesday in Archives of Internal Medicine, it was  found that, not only do doctors experience grief, but the professional taboo on the emotion also has negative consequences for the doctors themselves, as well as for the quality of care they provide.

Physicians possess powerful skills for saving lives. Even though deaths are an inevitable part of most physicians’ jobs, they are never taught in medical school how to deal with grief. Moreover, the culture of medicine generally encourages physician stoicism, some of which is necessary. But physicians’ emotional walls, if too high, may not only harm their personal well-being but also affect the way they interact with and treat patients, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Study took place from 2010 to 2011 in three Canadian hospitals.  20 oncologists who varied in age, sex and ethnicity and had a wide range of experience in the field – from a year and a half in practice in the case of oncology fellows to more than 30 years in the case of senior oncologists were interviewed. Using a qualitative empirical method known as grounded theory, analysis of  the data was done by systematically coding each interview transcript line by line for themes and then comparing the findings from each interview across all interviews to see which themes stood out most robustly.

After systematically coding the results, the researchers made the following observations:

  • More than half of the participants reported feelings of failure, self-doubt, sadness and powerlessness as part of their grief experience. A third of the respondents talked about feelings of guilt, loss of sleep and crying.
  • Participants widely reported hiding their grief from others because showing emotion was considered a sign of weakness. For many, the study interview marked the first time they spoke about such emotions at all.
  • Half of the oncologists said that discomfort with their grief over patient loss could affect their treatment decisions with other patients, such as by providing more aggressive chemotherapy or recommending further surgery instead of palliative care even when treatment is futile. At least one other doctor acknowledged undertreating a patient after seeing another with severe toxicity.
  • Half of participants admitted withdrawing from patients, in the form of fewer bedside visits and less overall interaction, as the patients got closer to dying.

Unease with losing patients also affected the doctors’ ability to communicate about end-of-life issues with patients and their families. Half of our participants said they distanced themselves and withdrew from patients as the patients got closer to dying. This meant fewer visits in the hospital, fewer bedside visits and less overall effort directed toward the dying patient.

It’s worth stressing that most physicians want what is best for their patients and that the outcome of any medical intervention is often unknown. It’s also worth noting that  physicians who are dealing with end-of-life issues are right to put up some emotional boundaries: no one wants their doctor to be walking around openly grief-stricken.

The research indicates that grief is having a negative impact on physicians’ personal lives and that there is a troubling relationship between doctors’ discomfort with death and grief and how patients and their families are treated. Physicians are not trained to deal with their own grief, and they need to be. In addition to providing such training, we need to normalize death and grief as a natural part of life, especially in medical settings.

To improve the quality of end-of-life care for patients and their families, we also need to improve the quality of life of their physicians, by making space for them to grieve like everyone else.

‘Brand’ name: Must for Physicians in Current Times

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on May 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Do you stand out in competition with other healthcare providers? We all know what a ‘BRAND‘ means. It means ‘Value’. How much are you willing to pay for a certain name item depends upon what value you give it. Whether it be shoes, clothes, electronics, cars or whatever, we all have our brands that we prefer. The contents in this post are true for any business.

Giving a ‘brand’ name to a physician is something that was never thought or heard of. It sounds like business. But wake up my friend. Like it or not,” Medicine is Business“. It is a service oriented business where patients are the customers. As a customer, I need to make sure I get the right Brand that meets my needs and gives me peace of mind.

Healthcare has been very ‘Fragmented’. People boast of differentiated markets in healthcare, but that is not true. Almost all have the same services that they provide to the patients. Most of the practices have inbuilt labs and other diagnostics to attract patients.The value of services that you receive is called Branding. We all want the better brands at affordable price. Some segments in society do not even mind paying higher as long as they get what they want.

A lot of healthcare businesses want to grow their market share. But in service sector, as opposed to products, the improvement in ‘Bottom Line’ is more important. Generating revenue is the key. They need not worry about the market share. How many people shop at Jos A Bank stores. Not too many. Does the company want to get most market share. They don’t because they can’t. They focus on the bottom line and generating revenues. Healthcare is specialized service that should not be compromised on. People should know what they can get from you as a provider that they will not get anywhere else.

So how should doctors position their ‘ Brands’?

Many ways:

1. Focus on Service consistency: Make sure all the patients are getting the similar services without any variations. Any significant variations break the Branding structure very fast. For example, make sure all patients are seen within a certain time frame so that they do not have to wait. If waiting times variate, your brand equity goes down. So, focus on Consistency.

2. Connect to the needs of the patients:All customers have a different mindset. they all expect something different. Make sure their needs are assessed and addressed appropriately. It could be overwhelming sometimes to make everyone happy, but try your best.

3. Tap the patients’ emotions: Connecting emotionally is must. It has been a saying that ” Patient gets half better already by talking to a doctor”. I feel it is a true statement. Reassurance and good explanation of the disease process helps patients get a clear idea of their outcomes.

4. relevance to the needs and desires of the patients is must: Stick to the relevance of the issues patients are coming in for.

5. A smile goes a long way: Smiling is addictive. It is hard to see people not smiling back to you if you greet them with a smile. Smile creates positive emotions. It helps the connection emotionally.

6. Social Media: It is a must for Physicians to utilize the wonders of Social media. There are so many social networking sites to help you share the thoughts and ideas you may have with the world out there. An attractive, well informative website always helps. Pictures of the facility and the staff  is a must. New Patients can easily connect with you if they see your picture before. A short video would work as icing on the cake. Tell them what you can offer and your mission. Believe me, it will sky-rocket the practice.

7. Get a logo and Tag Line: It is also a crucial step in getting branded. The Logo and tagline should convey what you can offer.

It is not an easy journey for a lot of physicians to be Brand Oriented, but that is the need of the day. Those who will do it will be successful.

From a patient’s perspective, it is a wise thing to know the provider you will be seeing before hand.See who offers what in the market. Health should not be compromised. The media presence and knowledge of a physician is a very strong factor that you should look for to get the best care. Do your research and make the best decision for yourself. Talk to your friends and family to get some insight about their providers and ‘Get the Best Brand’ for yourself.

Social Media In Healthcare

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on May 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Social media in healthcare gives a substantial promise, including the construction of valuable information sprung from collaboration, patient-to-patient social supports, and more sustained and collaborative patient-provider relationships across the continuum of care. The benefits of integrating social media into healthcare marketing efforts are priceless – from improving patient care to gaining media coverage to attracting new patients and staff. If your healthcare organization hasn’t already taken advantage of social networking channels, now is the time.

The rise of social media has been phenomenal.

Use of social networking sites has grown from 5% of all adults in 2005, to half of all adults (50%) in 2011.For example, Facebook, which began with 5 million users in 2005, today has 845 million participants, more than the entire population of Europe. Twitter has also shown tremendous growth, reporting 460,000 new accounts created on average per day. More than 1,200 hospitals participate in 4,200 social networking sites.

 Current Obstacles

  • Privacy and security are top consumer concerns when sharing their health information through social media. Consumers are most concerned with personal health information being shared in public and information on social media being hacked or leaked . The main stumbling block is the lack of a set of accepted best practices that would enable organizations to become less risk-averse.
  • Ethical questions are a major concern. Are we violating patients’ privacy by listening in or soliciting comments online? Are we ignoring the people who don’t participate in social media?
  •  Return-on-investment questions present another barrier. Should we devote scarce resources to explore this unmapped territory? What risks do we face if we embrace social media, and what if we don’t? Will social media really help us reach the people we want to reach?
  •  Healthcare organizations are also concerned about practical questions. How ready are we to use social media? How should we use it most productively for our own goals, and what is the best way to start? What policies do we need to support this work and what level of the organization should approve them?
  • Negative effect on workplace productivity.
  •  the risks of exposing the hospital’s networks to viruses and malware,
  • HIPAA concerns and
  • Consuming the hospital’s bandwidth.Image

Despite the issues,Social media is here to stay in health care. It will evolve quickly. Patient engagement will continue to characterize this change. Organizations will use social media tactically within their overall marketing and communications efforts — videos and mobile technology will likely dominate these approaches.  Online patient communities will expand and will become a rich source of information for others. Physicians and other health care providers will discover social media, which will have the potential of progressing medical research.

%d bloggers like this: