GreyMatters 2015


Hospital Efficiency Improves with Mobile Device Use

tabletA Harris Poll survey conducted earlier this year found that almost three-fourths of hospitals (74%) using tablets or other mobile devices to collect patient information are more efficient than hospitals not using the devices.

The survey, commissioned by Ricoh Americas Corporation, was conducted in February 2015 and included over 2,000 adults over 18 years old. Other findings included:

  • 54% of patients feel less anxious during hospital visits when data collection is done via tablets/mobile devices.
  • 77% of survey respondents said that the amount of time spent on paperwork takes away from time spent with patients.
  • Patients feel more connected to their providers when less time is spent on paperwork during their visits.
  • 60% of respondents preferred to find information about non-emergent medical issues online themselves than to deal with the paperwork required to see a provider.

The survey also looked at the benefits of reduced paperwork and digitizing hospital workflows. Those findings included:

  • Use of the latest technology increased a patient’s satisfaction with a hospital’s quality of care. (85% of respondents agreed.)
  • Most patients (92%) agree that hospitals should spend money on technological advances that allow providers to spend more time with patients.
  • Most patients (85%) believe that hospital visits are more efficient with increased use of information management technology, and that the admission/discharge process is faster (83%).

Ron Nielson, Vice President, Ricoh Healthcare, Ricoh Americas Corporation, says that the survey shows that "patients react viscerally to the red tape they encounter in hospitals. We need to do better now, and we can.”

How is your organization leveraging mobile technology in patient care?

Location-Based Marketing Tips

phone“You can run, but you can’t hide.”

In this age of ever-present location data, the saying is more true now than ever. Whether it’s the photos you share, the GPS-enabled apps you use or the online transactions you make, your location is available to pretty much anyone who wants to look for you. And a lot of people are willing to share their location with marketers in order to get content and promotions that are tailored specifically for them, especially Millennials.

In the marketing realm, location-based strategies are still evolving because the technology is relatively new. But marketers are experimenting with various location-based strategies to enhance campaigns and boost ROI. Here are some areas to consider:

  • Personalization that’s more meaningful. This is an important component of any mobile-first strategy. Use your data to learn about your users’ preferences, the content they’re engaging with, the app features they like best and the offers that most appeal to them. Once you’ve determined this, you can use the information to choose the content and promotions to share online and at what pace it should be shared.
  • Content that’s relevant. Content can make or break user engagement. Relevant content captures and maintains attention but irrelevant content can cause users to ignore your communications. For location-based marketing to be effective, content must be relevant to the user. There are many ways to serve up useful information to users, such as augmented reality, macro- and micro-maps and beacons.
  • Rewarding loyalty. People love to be rewarded for various activities. If they receive an incentive of some type for using your app, they’ll most likely stay engaged. Location-based incentives can help you deliver incentives when they matter the most: when an engaged customer is near your location.
  • Enhancing in-location experiences. A study by the Consumer Electronics Association released in January of this year found that almost 60% of shoppers prefer to look up information on their mobile devices while shopping, rather than talk to employees of the store to get information. Customers who allow their location data to be shared can provide a wealth of information related to customer dwell times, understanding traffic flows and where they are interacting with beacons and display devices. This information ultimately helps to better serve your customers.
  • Mobile wallet utilization. Receiving payment is a good thing, and mobile wallets can help to expedite the payment process. However, they have the potential for much more, such as storing loyalty cards and coupons. So, for example, if a customer has a coupon stored in his/her mobile wallet, a reminder to use the coupon could be sent when the customer is near a brick-and-mortar location.

As the location-based marketing segment matures, more strategies will become available. One thing to keep in mind, though, is drawing a distinction between a mobile platform that serves up relevant, personalized content and one that is irrelevant or annoys – or even creeps out – your customers.

What location-based marketing strategies are you employing in your organization?

Medical Video Consultations to Exceed 158M by 2020

videoThe number of medical video visits and consultations is expected to reach over 158 million by the year 2020, up from almost 20 million in 2014. This prediction comes from a recently-released report by Tractica, a market intelligence firm. The 158 million figure includes both patient-to-doctor video visits and doctor-to-doctor consultations.

The report also found that non-clinical consultations will grow faster than clinical consultations, which currently comprise over 75% of the video consultation market. Non-clinical consultations are expected to outnumber clinical consultations by 2019.

Healthcare video conferencing helps both providers and payers achieve tangible value because of its flexibility and efficiency. However, challenges to utilization of video visits and consultations still exist in the form of high initial investment costs, inconsistent reimbursement by payers to providers and continued resistance by providers, patients and regulatory entities.

Are video visits and/or virtual consultations being used in your organization?  Do you have a plan to incorporate them into your service and marketing mixes?

In-hospital Patient Portal Use Shows Little Improvement in Patient Knowledge

patientA small study involving just over 200 patients found that using a mobile patient portal during a hospital stay made little difference in the knowledge and activation of the patients. The study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, was undertaken to try to assess the effect of a patient portal on meeting Meaningful Use guidelines.

A patient portal was created specifically for the study, which was conducted at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The portal was an iPad app that integrated with the hospital’s existing EHR. The portal gave patients their general health information, along with names and photos of their healthcare team members, their medication list and their agenda for each day. Over half of the study participants used the portal more than once per day, and 80% used it at least once during the study. Satisfaction with the portal was expressed by 76% of the participants, and 71% said it was easy to use.

However, there was minimal difference between the intervention and control groups when asked about information presented by the portal. In fact, when asked about planned tests and procedures, the control group was slightly more knowledgeable than the intervention group, although not by much. An assessment of the short form patient activation measure showed no difference between the two groups.

There were two areas that showed a benefit to the portal users:

  • Naming one or more of their physicians (56% of the intervention group vs. 29% of the control group)
  • Knowing the role of one or more of their physicians (47% of the intervention group vs. 16% of the control group).

Factors to be considered in light of the findings include the small size of the study, use of a single portal created specifically for the study, study design (patients used the portal for only one day before being quizzed about it) and portal-specific issues (user interface, portal design).

While the findings were not particularly supportive of patient portal use in improving patient learning, the researchers stated their belief that in-hospital patient portals do have the potential to provide a significant opportunity to improve care when patients engage with them. They also believe that providing a better understanding of inpatient care to patients helps to improve patient self-care after discharge.

If your organization has a patient portal, is it being used to help support Meaningful Use efforts? If so, how?

Backstage Pass: New Web Clinic Offered in August

backstage_passAs part of our expanded Web Clinic schedule for 2015, a new Backstage Pass Web Clinic will be offered in August.

On Wednesday, August 19th, from 1:00-2:00 PM EDT, join us to hear Megan O. Yore, Director of Marketing & Communications at Lakeland HealthCare, and Sujal Raju, Principal at Enqbator, LLC, present "Getting More Out of Your Content Management System." With cost and efficiency pressures facing healthcare today, everyone is doing more with less, and searching for ways to multi-task and share assets. In this session, learn how Lakeland HealthCare continues to get the most out of its new content management system (CMS) by first picking a multi-functional tool, and then repurposing the solution to support a variety of tasks and sites: the public Web site, the organizational intranet, e-newsletters, news, events, forms, etc. Hear lessons learned, successes and challenges and come away with ideas on how you can get the most from your CMS.

Backstage Pass is a Webinar series that extends the education from the annual Healthcare Internet Conference (HCIC) by providing a monthly health check throughout the year for those who may have missed a topic of interest or who weren't able to attend HCIC at all. The Webinars are case studies from the top presenters at HCIC. The best part is you don’t have to leave the comfort of your office or home to attend. No luggage, no airplanes, no TSA, no hassle – it’s a win-win!

Visit the Backstage Pass registration page to sign up for this Web Clinic or any of the remaining 2015 Clinics.

19th Annual HCIC: 3 Months Away!

HCIC_LogoIt’s hard to believe, but the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet conference is just over 3 months away. That’s right – in a little over 3 months from now, we’ll be gathering in Orlando to convene the next HCIC!

There’s a lot of information about the conference related to registration, exhibitors, keynote speakers, etc. Here’s a synopsis of current HCIC information.

  • Registration. Registration opened June 1 and the response has been brisk. If you register by Sept. 11, you’ll receive a discount on the registration fee. Don’t wait too long to sign up – you don’t want to miss out!
  • Exhibitors. Remaining booths: We're down to single digits. If you’re interested in exhibiting at HCIC, don’t wait another minute to sign up for a booth!
  • Keynote sessions. This year’s conference features a great lineup of inspiring keynote speakers that you won’t want to miss. Keynote topics and speakers include:
    • The Digital Transformation of Healthcare: What’s Your Vision? Presented by Warner L. Thomas - CEO, Ochsner Health System.
    • Hug Your Haters. Presented by Jay Baer - Marketing consultant, speaker, and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Youtility.
    • NOMAM (aka No More Average Marketing!). Presented by Larry Bailin - Best-Selling Author and CEO, Single Throw.
    • Website Health Check: The User Experience. Presented by Spencer Gerrol - Founder & CEO, Spark Experience.
    • 2015 eHealthcare Leadership Awards. Presented by Mark Gothberg - Chairman, eHealthcare Leadership Awards and COO, Health Care Communications; Susan Emerson - VP Strategic Planning & Business Development, Private Health News; and Sherilee Coffey - Director of Creative Operations, Coffey Communications.
  • Pre-conference workshops. Four 3-hour sessions will be available on Monday morning, Nov. 9, prior to the start of the main conference that afternoon. If you register before Sept. 11, you’ll receive a discounted rate of $95 ($125 after Sept. 11). The pre-conference sessions are:
    • The Healthcare Consumer’s Digital Journey from Symptom to Search to Brand Loyal Customers
    • Optimizing Your CRM Strategy in the Evolving Digital World
    • Redesign Like an Imagineer: Making Your Hospital’s Website More Like a Walk in the Theme Park
    • The Digital Trends Reshaping the Next Generation Marketing Department

 For more information about the HCIC, get the latest details here:

2015 HCIC: Coming Attractions

The conference brochure for the upcoming 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference was recently released. If you don't have one yet, request a copy or download a copy from the link above. The agenda is jam-packed with dozens of informative sessions sure to whet your appetite for information about Digital Marketing, Strategy, Patient Experience, Web Solutions and Tools, SoLoMo (Social/Local/Mobile), Big Data and Advanced/Emerging Technologies.

If you are a more advanced Web team (or want to be) you'll be interested in the Advanced and/or Emerging Technologies Track, which is a series of sessions that are forward-leaning. Sessions in this track include:

Be sure to check the conference brochure for information on educational sessions in the other six tracks, as well as other conference-related events.

Let’s Talk Digital: Special Pre-Event at HCIC

lets-talk-digitalAre you planning to attend the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference? Are you a client of either Greystone.Net or Healthgrades? If so, you're invited to arrive in Orlando a day early to attend Let's Talk Digital, a pre-HCIC event. It will be held on the afternoon/evening of Sunday, November 8th.

Let’s Talk Digital will feature speakers from both inside and outside the industry, sharing knowledge and experiences on how to transform healthcare by integrating digital strategy with CMS and CRM, and all in an informal setting.

The event starts at 2:00pm on Sunday, November 8th and will conclude with a “fireside-type” chat with Chris Crayner, Senior Vice President, Integrated Media & Digital, Universal Orlando, NBCUniversal, and a networking reception.

If you want to attend this event, there’s no added cost if you are also attending HCIC. Just click “Attending” in the Special Event section of the HCIC registration form.

CRM Conference: Early-Bird Discount Extended - Sign Up Soon!

crm_promoIf you’re considering attending the CRM conference, Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Making the Most of the Your CRM Investment, being held September 29-30, 2015 in Chicago, you should register very soon, as less than half of the available conference seats are left. The "early-bird" discount has been extended to August 15th, so register now to take advantage!

This healthcare MarTech Workshop, co-sponsored by Corrigan Partners and Greystone.Net, will be a deep dive into and open dialogue about the challenges of selecting, implementing and optimizing a CRM solution for your health system. Over 1½ days, you’ll participate in educational sessions, facilitated discussions and open dialogue on several topics related to selecting a CRM for your organization.

Don’t miss out – register today to take advantage of this important educational opportunity!

Improving the Digital Brand Dialogue: White Paper Series

gsight_whitepaperGreystone.Net just released a new white paper, Not All Website Visitors Are Created Equal, which is Part 1 of the White Paper Series Improving the Digital Brand Dialogue.

This white paper, produced in collaboration with Klein & Partners, discusses how the reason for a person’s Website visit affects their state of mind, their impression of the site and even their impression of the brand.

CEOs, CIOs, CMOs, CTOs and Web and marketing leaders will want to read the white paper to learn more about how dealing with the “pain points” of a Website can help manage the brand experience.

To obtain your copy of this white paper, visit For more information, you may call us at 770-407-7670 or email us at

Did You Know? 

Pinterest has made some tweaks to its platform as of mid-June 2015. High-profile pinners are now verified (a la Twitter and Facebook). Select brands are being verified by Pinterest, but at this time applications to become verified are not being offered or accepted. Another tweak affects search results: results are now shown in one list rather than hidden behind different filters. A filter button has been added to help users to narrow down their searches. 

Greystone Product Spotlight - Executive Briefings

briefingsExecutive Briefings are educational offerings for executive leadership teams designed to update senior administrators on the state of the art in Web-based activities. Greystone.Net develops these sessions in conjunction with clients and customizes them to meet clients’ specific needs. Executive Briefings address a wide range of topics, including:

  • Vision and strategy
  • Capital and operating costs
  • Staffing considerations and organizational web structure
  • Business value and return on investment
  • Governance, process, policies
  • Monitoring and measurement processes

Providing education for the top executives of an organization offers clarity for teams who execute the “what” throughout the organization.

For more information about an executive briefing for your organization, contact us or call us at 770-407-7670.

App Review – Facebook Place Tips

placesFacebook has added a new feature that enables businesses to leverage geo-based location features of mobile technology and engage with customers while they are in the business’s location. Place Tips gathers useful information about a business or landmark, which is then shown at the top of the Facebook news feed for in-store or in-location visitors who have given Facebook permission to access their location on their phone. Place Tips are also shown when a person checks in to a business on Facebook.

Place Tips are only shown when there is enough content from the business and a person’s friends to offer an enjoyable experience.

While a business can create its own content to be used in Place Tips, the feature primarily utilizes user-generated content, such as photos, comments, reviews, etc., that is shown to Facebook users.

Facebook recommends the Facebook Bluetooth® Beacon to facilitate Place Tips, and is giving the beacons free to businesses in the US that want to use Place Tips.