GreyMatters 2017

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telemedicineMore Investment in Telehealth Is Coming

Is your organization thinking about jumping aboard the telehealth/telemedicine train? Or have you taken steps already to establish a telehealth service? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, you are not alone. A recent survey of healthcare executives found that 83% of respondents are planning to invest in some sort of telehealth services or are very likely to do so.

The 2017 Telemedicine Executive Leadership Survey from the American Telemedicine Association included input from 171 healthcare executives from telehealth service providers, healthcare practices and hospital systems. By an overwhelming margin—98%—the respondents said their reason for implementing a telehealth solution was for competitive advantage over their competitors. They also cited increasing consumer demand for telehealth services over the next three years as a driver for telehealth efforts.

Additional data from the survey included:

  • Common barriers to implementation of telehealth services seen by respondents were reimbursement (71%) and licensure (53%).
  •  A little over one-third of respondents (36%) saw lack of evidence showing improved quality or increased ROI from telehealth efforts as a barrier to implementation. 
  • Almost half of the respondents named resistance to change as a barrier.

“This executive leadership survey confirms undeniably today’s leaders view telemedicine as a major driver in transforming healthcare,” said Jonathan Linkous, CEO, American Telemedicine Association. “It comes as no surprise that 98% of survey respondents believe telehealth services create a competitive advantage, and I anticipate tremendous growth in the market as we continue to move toward more patient-centered solutions.”

If your organization has implemented telehealth services, how is it working for you? 


mobile-strategyMobile Strategy Adoption in Healthcare Doubles Over Past Five Years

According to a recent survey, implementation of mobile strategy by hospitals has almost doubled since 2012. The survey, completed earlier this year, was a follow-up to a similar survey conducted in 2012.

Clinical communication solutions provider Spok developed and deployed the survey, which included 300 healthcare professionals, such as physicians, nurses, IT staff, executives and others. The survey found that the percentage of hospitals utilizing a mobile strategy increased from 34% in 2012 to 65% in 2017.

Other survey findings included:

  • While 54% of survey respondents said their mobile strategy had been in place between 1-5 years, one-fifth said their mobile strategy had only been in place for less than a year.
  • 70% of those with a mobile strategy in place for more than a year said they had made changes to the strategy.
  • For those respondents who had made changes in their mobile strategy, the reasons for change were changes in the needs of end users (44%), availability of new mobile devices (35%) and new features available from their EHR vendor (26%).
  • The makeup of mobile strategy leaders has changed since 2012, with CIOs, doctors and nurses 10% more likely to be involved with mobile.
  • 14% of respondents reported using outside consultants for mobile strategy in 2012 and 21% are using consultants in 2017.  
  • While IT departments are the primary leaders for mobile strategy overall, their involvement has decreased somewhat in the past five years.
  • Of the respondents with a mobile strategy in place, 25% said the strategy was not enforced and slightly less than one-third (32%) said they had an evaluation process in place for their mobile strategy.
  • Other issues revealed by survey respondents included having a mobile strategy that does not match the organization’s overall strategic goals and lack of effort to promote adoption of the organization’s mobile offering for providers.

How well is your organization’s mobile strategy working? Are you meeting your goals?


facebook-rocketPotential New Feature: Prepare for a Second Facebook Feed

If you use an iOs or Android app for Facebook, you may have noticed a new icon under certain content from pages that you do not follow. If you see an icon that looks like a rocket ship under an article in your Facebook feed, then you are one of Facebook’s test subjects.

Claiming that users are looking for an easy way to explore new content they haven’t yet connected with, Facebook is testing this method of presenting content to users based on what Facebook thinks the users might find interesting. It is thought that this feature is a way to increase engagement, as the trend lately is for users to share fewer personal updates.

With organic reach dropping for Facebook Pages posts (due to algorithm changes by the platform), many Page owners have had to increase their ads on Facebook to maintain their presence. Organic reach could be improved by tweaking the algorithm, but this would cost them ad revenue. A second news feed might be a way for brands to increase their reach with popular content without affecting the primary news feed. A second feed would also give brands an opportunity to connect with new Facebook users.

Facebook has almost reached its peak ad density – meaning the platform has reached the maximum number of ads that can be shown to users in its news feed. Although nothing has been said in public about using the second news feed for ads, it is certainly a possibility.

Downsides to a second news feed include disrupting Facebook's initiatives against “fake news” and annoying users by being too aggressive at introducing new content.


State of Digital Marketing in Healthcare Survey

The State of Digital Healthcare At the 2017 HIMSS Annual Conference held in Orlando in late February, Greystone.Net President and Co-Founder Kathy Divis and Klein & Partners Founder and CEO Rob Klein discussed the current state of healthcare digital marketing and where the industry is heading in 2017.

The basis for their talk was data from a survey of healthcare marketers taken in 2016. As reported in The State of Digital Marketing in Healthcare Moving Toward 2017 - Industry Perspective: Where We Are, What's Changed in a Year, some of the key takeaways from Kathy and Rob were:

  • The healthcare industry remains behind other industries in digital marketing efforts.
  • There is a lot of room for improvement in achieving the digital goals of healthcare organizations.
  • As they were in 2015, the top three challenges/barriers in 2016 continue to be money, silos and change.
  • In 2015, only 50% of the survey respondents reported using a CRM system, while 65% report using a CRM in 2016. Significantly more respondents said in 2016 that their CRM is integrated well with their website, compared to 2015.
  • Use of a marketing automation tool doubled from 2015 to 2016 – from 23% to 48%.
  • The transition of healthcare from a MarCom to a MarTech focus means that marketing is becoming more technology-based, which requires effective CRM and Marketing Automation systems. It is incumbent on marketers to fully understand the challenges, benefits and ROI of both as they choose and deploy these platforms.
  • Survey respondents consider personalization/one-to-one marketing and ROI to be their top two most pressing concerns.
  • Provider-side healthcare is below the Marketing Leadership index for online retailers and banking. However, it performs better than insurers when it comes to digital activities.

Kathy and Rob presented recommendations and opportunities for the audience, including;

  • Since the top priorities in digital marketing for 2017 are the continued deployment of personalization/one-to-one marketing techniques and the documentation of ROI, marketers must really and quickly begin to transition to a MarTech focus.
  • Provider-side healthcare is below the Marketing Leadership index for online retailers and banking. However, it performs better than insurers when it comes to digital activities.
  • There is a need for marketing executives to continue to educate their C-suite colleagues on the value of digital marketing so the traditional barriers (money, silos and reluctance to change) can be broken down. This is particularly important as they fight for senior leadership support and the budget and staff to implement the technology-based marketing initiatives.
  • The transition of healthcare from a MarCom to a MarTech focus means that marketing is becoming more technology-based, which requires effective CRM and Marketing Automation systems. It is incumbent on marketers to fully understand the challenges, benefits and ROI of both as they choose and deploy these platforms.

After the talk, which was well-attended by an audience of mostly IT professionals, many attendees stayed to ask questions and learn more. The majority of their questions were related to learning about MarTech and the merging of marketing and IT in the healthcare space—the “invasion” of marketing into IT—and how to provide IT support to marketing.

 

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