GreyMatters 2015


Participate in our Healthcare Specific Digital Marketing Survey

surveyWe are excited to announce that Greystone.Net, in conjunction with market research firm Klein & Partners, is conducting a survey on the current and future use of digital marketing techniques in healthcare.

We are very eager to evaluate the "state" of digital marketing in hospitals and health systems as we approach 2016, and to compare it to Klein's annual Omnibus survey results of healthcare consumers' digital wants and needs.

And as thank you, if you complete the survey, we'll send you a $10 Starbucks card and share the results with you!

Follow this digital marketing survey link to complete the questionnaire. Thanks for your participation!  

Patient Self-Scheduling: Are You An Innovator or a Slacker?

schedulingAccording to research by Accenture, over 60% of patients will make their own medical appointments by 2019. This works out to 38% of all medical appointments being self-scheduled, creating $3.2 billion in value by reallocating scheduler capacity.

In addition, Accenture found that self-scheduling is currently available at almost 40% of the top 100 health systems in the US and at 10% of the remaining health systems. Considering that the average time for a patient to complete a scheduling call is 8.1 minutes and patient calls are transferred 63% of the time, providers must improve the scheduling process in order to set themselves apart from competitors and improve their quality of service.

Consider the benefits of self-scheduling:

  • It takes about a minute to schedule an appointment online.
  • Appointments can be made, changed or canceled at the patient’s convenience, even outside of regular office hours.
  • The use of digital communications with healthcare providers is desired by many patients.
  • Less time is needed for staff to answer phones and set appointments.
  • Scheduling software often includes options such as automated appointment reminders and reporting.

At a time when financial pressures are increasing, patient volume is decreasing and competition for patients is often fierce, patient self-scheduling is an important tool to help health systems remain competitive.

Does your organization offer self-scheduling? If so, what has been your experience with it?


More Consumers Have Never Heard of Telemedicine Than Have Used Telehealth Services

videoTwo recent surveys reveal opposing information about consumers and telehealth/telemedicine, finding that many more consumers have never heard of telemedicine (41%) than have used a telehealth service (9%).

The health information Website conducted a survey in June of this year that included almost 3,700 users of the site. The survey found:

  • Nine percent of respondents claimed to have used a telehealth service for a minor illness at least once since the option became widely available.
  • Of those respondents who had used telehealth services, 90% said their telehealth experience was as good or better than their experience at a provider’s office.
  • A recommendation to use a mobile app was given to 4% of respondents, while 2% said their providers had formally prescribed an app.
  • The most popular app types that were recommended or prescribed were food logs/calorie counters (34%), pedometers/fitness trackers (24%), heart rate monitors (22%), blood sugar monitors (20%) and medication reminders (17%).
  • Respondents expressed reluctance about sharing their data, with 25% saying they don’t believe their health data is secure on a Fitbit or health-tracking app, and 45% of wearable and mobile app users saying they are concerned that hackers may attempt to steal their health information.

A second survey conducted on behalf of HealthMine found that 41% of consumers have never heard of telemedicine. As might be expected, Millennials were more likely to have heard of telemedicine (30% of Millennial respondents said they had not heard of telemedicine), while nearly half (46%) of respondents 45-64 years old had not heard of it

When asked if they would use telemedicine if it was available, 45% of the respondents said they would, 16% would not use it and 39% were not sure. Again, Millennials were more likely to say they would use telemedicine (58%) than older respondents (37% of those 55-64 years old).

Does your organization offer any telehealth/telemedicine options?

Automating Content Reuse: A Case Study

content“Content is king.” We’ve all heard that about a zillion times. But while we understand the concept in theory, putting it into practice is often another thing altogether.

The marketing team at the University of Utah Health System found that although they were generating a lot of content in the form of blogs, podcasts and news items, it wasn’t necessarily being seen by patients who were looking for relevant content on a particular health topic. The content was essentially hidden from patients because it was sequestered on the specific page for the type of content: blogs were only on the blog page, podcasts were only on the podcast page and news articles were only on the news page. Each of these pages were linked from the Website’s home page. But who goes to a Website home page to start their search for information on a specific health topic? Especially when your organization has 33 major sites and several more subsites?

So the UUHS marketing team developed a plan to get more of the content in front of their Web visitors. Their plan consisted of 5 major tactics:

  1. Identifying major topics. Each content piece was given a major topic tag – for example, a blog post on menopause was given a high-level topic tag of Women’s Health.
  2. Identifying subtopics and more specific tags. To continue the above example of a blog post on menopause, subtopic tags such as gynecology, reproductive health and hormone therapy might be applied in order to aggregate each piece into more than one Web page.
  3. Tagging each article so that it will appear in all relevant pages. An article on knee injuries is relevant to various topics, such as orthopedics, sports medicine, physical therapy and rehabilitation, so the article should be tagged for all relevant topics.
  4. Tagging articles created by subject matter experts so that the articles appear in the experts’ profiles. This serves a couple of purposes: by tagging new content in this manner from the beginning, new content from the expert will always appear on his or her profile, plus it enables a patient who is looking for information about a provider to know more about the types of conditions and treatments the provider deals with.
  5. Providing for future use. Tagging articles to be used on other Websites within the organization where applicable is another way to get content in front of an audience. In the UUHS example, other entities within the health system are in the process of updating their sites to accept the new tagging structure. Articles can be tagged for those organizations now and once the organization has implemented the new structure, the articles will appear on those sites.

UUHS has found that this structure has helped them to reuse the content they are already generating and have the content surface on various sites throughout the system’s multiple Websites.

Has your organization developed a strategy for reusing content? How is it working for you? We’d love to hear from you.


CRM Shopping? Some Factors to Consider First

crm_shoppingIs your organization considering a new CRM system? If so, it’s crucial to define exactly what you need before making such an important investment. Prior to starting the formal process for acquiring a CRM, there are important points to consider.

  • Goals. A CRM is for more than storing data. Its purpose is to help your organization use data to improve customer experience. Defining how you plan to use the CRM, both short-term and long-term, is necessary in order to better evaluate CRM software options.
  • Time to implementation. How quickly do you need to get the system up and running? If a good deal of customization is required, the time to implementation can be months, or even a year. But there are platforms that can be set up quickly. However, you don’t want to sacrifice the necessary features just to get your CRM up and running quickly.
  • Integration with existing platforms and tools. A CRM doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it needs to work with other platforms you already have in place. You’ll want to consider systems that are compatible with your existing tools.
  • Reporting capabilities. An important consideration is the type of reporting a CRM is capable of providing.
  • Ease of use. A CRM can only be effective if it is used. The easier it is to use, the more your team will use it. It’s important to involve the people who will actually be using the tool in the selection process so they can weigh in on the system’s operation.

If your organization is thinking about a new CRM or is beginning the evaluation process and would like more information, it’s not too late to register for Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Making the Most of the Your CRM Investment. This 1 ½-day workshop will be held in Chicago on September 29-30. Space is limited to 30 non-vendor participants, so be sure to register soon.


HCIC 2015: Don’t Miss Early-Bird Discounts!

HCIC_LogoIf you haven’t yet registered for the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in Orlando November 9-11, you have until September 11 to take advantage of early registration. Register now to receive $100 off the regular registration rate. In addition, book your hotel room at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate no later than Friday, October 16th in order to receive the conference discount and ensure a room for the conference.

SPECIAL SCAM ALERT: Several organizations such as Exhibitors Housing Management, Global Housing Services Corp, Convention Housing Services, Expo Housing, and have been contacting HCIC exhibitors to offer them a special rate at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate for HCIC this November. Please be advised that these groups are NOT affiliated with the conference and do not have a block of rooms - it a SCAM. Please do not respond to these companies, although you may want to ask them to stop bothering you.


Counting Down to #HCIC15: Don’t Miss Engaging, In-Depth Pre-Conference Workshops

workshopWe’re only two months away from the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference. We hope you’re planning to join us in Orlando November 9-11 for what promises to be our best conference yet.

Although the main conference starts at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 9th, we hope you'll consider joining us early for one of the 4 pre-conference workshops that begin at 9:00 a.m. that morning. Pre-conference session options include:

  • The Healthcare Consumer’s Digital Journey from Symptom to Search to Brand Loyal Customers. Presenters:
    • Dean Browell, PhD, Executive Vice President and Co-Founder, Feedback
    • Carla Bryant, Partner and Digital Marketing Strategist, Corrigan Partners
    • Karen Corrigan, Founder and CEO, Corrigan Partners
    • Anissa Davenport, Chief Strategic Development and Marketing Officer, Vidant Health
  • Optimizing Your CRM Strategy in the Evolving Digital World. Presenters:
    • Terri McNorton, Vice President, Marketing, Ochsner Health System
    • Liz Schnell, Vice President, Brand Strategy, Henry Ford Health System
    • Andy Waldrop, Vice President, Digital Strategy, Healthgrades
    • Facilitated by:  Lisa Meade, Vice President, Planning & Development, Healthgrades
  • Redesign Like an Imagineer: Making Your Hospital’s Website More Like a Walk in the Theme Park. Presenters:
    • Andy Gradel, System Director, Digital Marketing, Main Line Health
    • Matthew Schwabel, Senior Director, Integrated Marketing, Duke Medicine
    • James Yanek, Director, Web Strategy, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • The Digital Trends Reshaping the Next Generation Marketing Department. Presenters:
    • Kelly Faley, Vice President, Web Strategy and Customer Call Centers, Sharp HealthCare
    • Amy Goodwin, APR, Senior Director, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs,
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
    • Therese Lockemy, Director, Internet Marketing & Social Engagement, Johns Hopkins Medicine
    • Scott Mowery, Director, Digital Marketing Services and Multichannel Content Marketing, Cleveland Clinic
    • Facilitated by: Terri Goren, Principal, Goren & Associates

Be sure to register soon for the pre-conference session of your choice, as space is limited. The early discount fee (available until 9/11/15) to attend a pre-conference session is $95. You can register for a session when you register to attend the HCIC.


Let’s Talk Digital: A "By Invitation" Pre-Conference Event from Greystone.Net and Healthgrades

lets-talk-digitalIf you are coming to HCIC, plan to attend Let's Talk Digital, a 'by invitation' pre-HCIC event sponsored jointly by Greystone.Net and Healthgrades. It will be held on the afternoon/evening of Sunday, November 8th – the day before the 19th Annual HCIC begins.

Let’s Talk Digital features speakers from inside and outside the healthcare 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 wrap with a “fireside-type” chat with Chris Crayner, Senior Vice President, Integrated Media & Digital, Universal Orlando, NBCUniversal. In his session, "Let's Talk About the 3 Ps of Market Leadership (Product, People and Process)," Chris will share his experiences from many years in the trenches. The chat will be followed by a reception.

Additional speakers include:

  • Rob Klein, Klein & Partners Founder and CEO, will share the latest updates from his annual omnibus survey in his talk, "Let's Talk About the Digital Customer."
  • Jean Hitchcock, President, Hitchcock Consulting, will facilitate a Q&A session with Roger Holstein, CEO of Healthgrades. They will discuss how digital, data and transparency are transforming healthcare and changing a hospital's digital strategy, all from Roger’s perspective as a vendor-partner in a session entitled, "Let's Talk About Digital, CRM and Your Marketing Strategy."
  • Frank Vertolli, Co-Founder of NetConversions, in his session called "Let's Talk About Digital Conversions and ROI" will share his real life experiences of using analytics to drive conversions including examples from his work with the Orlando theme parks, the travel industry and Orlando Health.  
  • Frank Austin, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Dignity Health, will talk about Dignity's use of Identified Personalization and the intersection of CRM, CMS and Digital in a session called "Let's Talk About Dignity's CRM Successes."

After the speakers have concluded, there will be a reception and dinner in the ChampionsGate Ballroom for Let’s Talk Digital attendees.

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.  If you've already registered for HCIC and now want to add in attendance at Let's Talk Digital, no problem. Just send us an email at and we'll add you to the invitation list and send you an "Admit One" ticket.

Exhibitors/Sponsors for HCIC: Time is Running Out to Participate!

exhibitHold up one hand and count the fingers on it. That’s about how many booths are left for the 19th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference! If you or your organization is planning to participate in the HCIC as an exhibitor or sponsor, sign up today to make sure you are included.

For more information about exhibiting and/or sponsoring at the 19th Annual HCIC, download the Exhibitor/Sponsor Prospectus or contact Jennifer Pense at 312-440-9080, ext. 23.


2015 HCIC: Coming Attractions

coming-soonThe 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 Analytics and Advanced/Emerging Technologies.

If your organization is trying to wrap its hands around Big Data, you'll be interested in the Big Data and Analytics Track. This track helps attendees understand how to use, optimize and leverage the benefits of Big Data, including CRM decisions, platforms and priorities. The track also helps attendees evaluate the effectiveness, efficiency and business value of their digital ecosystem through Web analytics. 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.


Backstage Pass: Final 2015 Web Clinic in September

backstage_passThe final Backstage Pass Web Clinic for 2015 will be presented on Wednesday, September 19th from 1:00-2:00PM EDT.

Righting the Ship: Creating a Patient-Centered Hospital Web Site” will be discussed by Marie Mahoney, Senior Director of Web and Marketing Communications at Rush University Medical Center and Glen Doss, Director, Strategy & Business Development at CentreTEK Solutions.

Marie and Glen will reveal how Chicago's Rush University Medical Center moved from a Website overly influenced by its organizational structure to a truly patient-centric online experience. Find out how Rush was able to overcome juggling competing priorities and tiptoeing around internal politics and establish effective communication with the medical center’s most important audience: their patients. Hear how Rush subjected its site to a cold-eyed analysis and undertook a comprehensive digital strategy and redesign.

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. The schedule for the 2016 Backstage Pass Web Clinic series will be available early next year, so be sure to look for it!


CRM Conference: Last Call!

crm_promoCustomer Relationship Management (CRM): Making the Most of the Your CRM Investment will be held September 29-30, 2015 in Chicago. Don't miss this opportunity to participate in a deep dive into the challenges of selecting, implementing and optimizing a CRM solution for your health system.

Space is limited to only 30 non-vendor participants, and only a few slots are left. Register today to attend this important educational event!


New White Paper Coming

whitepaperIn July, we released our first white paper, produced in collaboration with Klein & Partners, Not All Website Visitors Are Created Equal, which is Part 1 of the White Paper Series Improving the Digital Brand Dialogue.

We are currently finalizing a new white paper, developed in collaboration with Sitecore, on the topic of “Picking the Right CMS for Your Healthcare Organization.” This white paper should be available for download in the next few weeks. Once it’s available, we will publicize it via social media and email.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already downloaded Not All Website Visitors Are Created Equal, please visit our white paper sign-up page


On the Road with Greystone

roadOver the next couple of months, Greystone staff will speak at two conferences. Later this month, Kathy Divis and Mike Schneider will be included in the faculty of the CRM Workshop, "Customer Relationship Management: Making the Most of Your CRM Investment," in Chicago September 29-30.

In October, Greystone will attend SHSMD in Washington, DC on October 12-14. On Tuesday morning, October 13, Mike Schneider will join Rob Klein of Klein & Partners and Lee Gwaltney of Sentara Healthcare to present “Improving the Digital Brand Dialogue.”

And, look for the Greystone booth #311 in the SHSMD Exhibit Hall and stop by for a chat! We'll have great incentives for folks who stop by!

See you this Fall!


Did You Know?

The IoT (Internet of Things) has become a hot topic lately, as more and more Internet-connected devices become more mainstream. Here are a few facts to consider:

  • Even though IoT is a trendy topic, most IoT Smart devices are being utilized in industry (factories, businesses and health care settings) rather than in the consumer setting. It's estimated that the total global worth of IoT technology by 2025 could be up to $6.2 trillion, mostly from devices in health care ($2.5 trillion) and manufacturing ($2.5 trillion).
  • By 2019, over two-thirds of consumers plan to have some type of connected technology purchased for their homes, while almost half of consumers intend to have some type of wearable devices. It's estimated that Smart thermostats will have a 43% adoption rate within the next 5 years.
  • The convergence of machines, data and analytics is expected to become a $200 billion global industry within the next 3 years, according to GE.

In 2011, wearables were a $2 billion market with 14 million devices sold. By next year - 2016 - wearables are expected to be a $6 billion market with 171 million devices sold


Greystone Product Spotlight – Usability Testing

usability_testingWhile no Website is perfect, good usability testing can maximize the impact of your online investment while reducing frustration and dissatisfaction for key audiences.

While usability can – and should – be improved over time, you need a positive user experience immediately. A positive experience can generate viral traffic (“word of mouth”) as satisfied users tell others.

Conversely, a poor user experience could mean that the user never returns -- even after improvements are made. Or worse yet, a frustrated user might tell others or assume that a bad online experience would translate into a less than satisfying patient experience.

Find out how well your site works for users through Greystone’s Usability Testing process. And more importantly, understand what needs to change to improve the online experience.

If you are interested in learning more about Usability Testing from Greystone.Net, please call us at 770-407-7670 or fill out our contact form.


App Review - Alert

alertAlert is a new app that works to provide support to patients with various chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma. It’s also useful for any situation where someone, such as a young child or someone with a disability, needs to reach out for support. Alert provides a means for quickly alerting family members or others to an urgent situation, such as low blood sugar or running out of a medication or other health-related supplies.

For patients with diabetes who also use iPhones, Alert can be synced with HealthKit so that an alert can be initiated when an out-of-range blood sugar level is detected and communicated. If the Diabetes Helper app is activated from within the Alert app, a message is sent out to nearby diabetes helpers, who can assist with needs such as helping with needed supplies if the user has run out or forgotten to bring supplies along when leaving home.

The app works very simply: the user just has to either shake the phone or tap the Alert button to activate communication with up to three emergency contacts. The emergency contacts are notified of the user’s location. If Alert Voice is activated, the user and the contacts are connected via a dedicated, private conference line so that each person can talk with the others.

Alert is available for free for both iOS and Android platforms. The Diabetes Helpers app is also free. The text messaging features of Alert are free, but only the first three calls are free. Users can choose a monthly or annual subscription for unlimited conference calling, at $9.99/month or $99.99/year.

Volume licenses are available for patient organizations that want to provide Alert to their members, along with custom services such as access to a 24/7 help line.

A version of Alert is being developed for the Apple Watch and should be released later this year.