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‘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.

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Mobile Communications: A Blessing to Healthcare

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Why should healthcare facilities invest in this Mobile Communications?

  • Worker accessibility is critical in the hospital environment. Nurses, doctors, technicians, maintenance and transport staff must be able to instantly reach and be reached by colleagues.
  • Outdated paging systems and multiple communication devices cause misunderstanding and reduce productivity in hospitals.
  • Hospitals have emergencies everyday, and being prepared for emergency situations is of the upmost importance. Having a mobile communication device that alarms staff members of an emergency allows them to prepare in advance. Being prepared in advance increases productivity by improving response time and eliminating wasted time on false alarms.
  • Having the capability to search, create, and manage information in your hand helps physicians drastically improve decision-making.

It is clear that the potential for mobile communication to transform healthcare and clinical intervention in the community is tremendous. Several previous studies have evaluated the use of mobile phones to support healthcare and public health interventions, notably in the

1. Collection and collation of data for healthcare research

2. Support of medical and healthcare education and clinical practice in the community

3. Support telemedicine and remote healthcare in developing nations, with examples including their use in off-site medical diagnosis and as information support in the treatment of HIV care in difficult to reach rural areas.

4. The use of short message service (SMS) text in the management of behavior change.

5. In sexual health education.

6. Improve patients’ adherence to antiretroviral treatment

7. Controlled drug trials.

8. GPS (Global Positioning System) and location-enabled smartphones offer many additional application opportunities that can further assist the independent living of persons with disabilities and/or multiple chronic conditions, as well as in epidemiology/public health surveillance and community data collection.

Use of this new technology impact existing workflows

a. Increase productivity and efficiency in the healthcare environment

b. Help ensure that mobile workers are instantly available and accessible when needed

c. Increase available time for direct patient care

d. Enables immediate decisions at point of care

e. Enhances patient care.

Obstacles involved with using this technology in healthcare?

Cell phones are not a viable solution to the hospital communication challenge, as their usage is prohibited in certain areas of the hospital. Additionally, construction materials used in parts of the building can reduce or block coverage altogether. As a result, hospitals have typically relied on overhead paging to reach mobile employees and disseminate urgent messages. However, overhead paging can disrupt the healthcare environment — often disturbing patients as they try to sleep, rest or relax. And the public nature of overhead paging does not provide the level of discretion required by law for some messages, causing the recipient to take additional steps to learn the pertinent and sensitive details.

Communication inefficiencies can have a profound impact in the healthcare environment. For doctors, nurses and technicians, additional time spent on administrative tasks and tracking down colleagues directly translates into less time available to care for patients. According to a recent study, the average nurse spends only about 31 percent of his or her time in direct patient care.1 And with the current nursing shortage across the U.S., inefficiencies in working processes can further stress the system and erode quality of care.

  • Misinformation regarding mobile wireless systems, electromagnetic interference and management procedures has led to a broad range of inconsistent policies among healthcare organizations.
  • Overly-restrictive policies may act as obstacles to beneficial technology and may not address the growing need for personal communication of patients, visitors and the workforce. At the other extreme, unmanaged use of mobile communications can place patients at risk.
  • It may not be feasible for healthcare organizations to manage every mobile wireless handset that is randomly brought into their facility without certain restrictive limits.
  • Security: Transmission of sensible data over the air, Cryptography, Virtual Private Networks

Wireless devices increase adoption of electronic health records (EHR)

Ease of accessing patient records, security and privacy controls for electronic information, and the ability to share patient information across geographies and affiliations or a 360-degree view of the patient are some of the key factors that increase adoption of wireless devices for HER.. Electronic transfer of information can enable physician offices, laboratories, radiology practices, and hospitals to securely access and transfer patient information. Adopting these new systems and integrating them into practice workflows can improve patient safety and efficiency of care, reduce duplicate tests, enhance quality of care and health promotion, and save thousands of lives.

 


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.

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