GreyMatters 2017


Looking for Reviews on Physician-Rating Websites

ratingsOnline reviews have become very important as consumers make choices about products and services. In fact, 92% of consumers read online reviews, compared to 88% in 2014. And online reviews are important to almost 60% of patients when they are looking for a doctor. However, in a recent study published in JAMA, physician-rating sites were found to be limited in scope and usefulness.

The study looked at 28 physician review sites that were not payer-affiliated, provider-affiliated or specialty-specific. Six hundred physicians from Boston, Dallas and Portland, OR were included. About one-third of the physicians were not reviewed on any of the sites. Physicians who received a rating on at least one of the 28 sites got a median of seven reviews across all the sites. Among the 28 sites, there were just over 8,100 quantitative reviews of physicians, but only 22% of those reviews included comments about the physicians.

Of the 28 sites reviewed, the sites with the most median reviews per physician were and The most common physician specialty reviewed was internal medicine, followed by pediatrics. Dermatology was the least reviewed specialty on the sites.

The study’s authors concluded that current commercial physician-rating website have limitations which can be cumbersome to the consumer. Such limitations include inability to search physicians by language spoken (only 11% of the sites looked at in the study allowed for this) and inability to search physicians by sex (only 14% of sites allowed for it). The study’s authors also believe that since the commercial physician-rating sites are lacking in reviews of physicians, other review systems may become the preferred source for consumers seeking information about physicians. 

IOTIoT Coming to Healthcare

A new study predicts that by 2019, the majority of healthcare organizations will have adopted Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Currently, the healthcare industry is the third most advanced industry in implementing IoT.

Findings from the study include:

  • Worldwide, 60% of healthcare organizations have brought IoT into their facilities, with 87% predicted to have done so by 2019.
  • IoT is used for:
    • Monitoring and maintenance (73%). This use was ranked number 1 by more executives than in any other industry, confirming the importance of IoT-based patient monitoring in healthcare.
    • Remote operation and control (50%)
    • Location-based services (47%)
  • IoT benefits seen in healthcare organizations by study respondents include:
    • Increased innovation (80%)
    • Improved visibility across the organization (76%)
    • Increased cost savings (73%)
  • Of the providers currently using IoT technology, 67% have plans to connect their IoT devices via Wi-Fi.

Despite the benefits of IoT technology, security remains a concern. Of the study respondents, 89% had experienced an IoT security breach and 49% experienced problems with malware. Additional security concerns included human error and DDoS.

Is your organization utilizing IoT technology? If so, how are you dealing with security issues?

electronic-recordsDigital Health Records: Patient Expectations vs. Reality

What patients believe is available via digital health records is quite different from reality, according to a new report. This means that a key factor for the delivery of quality care—access to patients’ own records and the ability for providers to easily share those records with other providers, or interoperability—is missing.

Transcend Insights, the population health management company that is a subsidiary of Humana, conducted the online survey in January of 2017. Survey findings include:

  • Almost all (97%) of the survey respondents believe that full access to their medical records by all health institutions is necessary for the delivery of high-quality care.
  • The two most important factors listed by the respondents for receiving personalized care were access to their own medical records and the ability of providers to easily share and communicate information about their medical history wherever treatment was needed.
  • 64% of survey respondents use a digital device, including mobile apps, to manage their health and 71% believe their providers should have access to that information.
  • Almost 40% of respondents said that they were more likely to trust care received from any healthcare provider when the provider had full access to their medical history.
  • A majority of the respondents said that provider access to their full medical history was important for them to receive high-quality care.

Of particular note, 72% of survey respondents believed that their doctors are easily able to share and access their medical history. However, this type of access across separate healthcare organizations is actually rare.

“As an industry, the time has come to move beyond viewing interoperability as a philosophical challenge or a problem that we’ll eventually get our arms around,” says Transcend Insights Chief Medical Officer Thomas Van Gilder, MD. “This survey shows us that patients see strong information sharing as an essential element of high-quality care. It’s time that we live up to those expectations by giving care providers and health care systems the tools they need to stay connected around patient care.”

What efforts toward interoperability are being made at your organization?

patient engagementPatient Engagement: Three Real-Life Strategy Examples

Driving patient engagement. In order to improve outcomes, healthcare organizations are working hard to engage patients in the healthcare process. Patient engagement strategies vary from organization to organization, depending on the specific situation. But the strategies share a common goal: improving patient care with patient partnerships that offer better options.

Here are some examples of successful strategies that are working in real life.

  • Decreasing ER visits and wait times with telemedicine services. Overcrowded ERs with long wait times are the bane of most hospitals with ER services. Many visits are not for true emergencies. In order to improve ER services, NewYork-Presbyterian began a telemedicine service for urgent-care patients in November of 2016. Since that time, 1,500 patients have been virtually seen by board-certified emergency medicine physicians from Weill Cornell Medicine. The physicians are able to diagnose and treat the virtual patients and also prescribe medications. This decreases ER wait times, and many of the virtual patient visits can be completed in 30 minutes or less.
  • Improving the discharge process. Discharging a patient from the hospital can be a complex process, as there are many pieces involved. The Johns Hopkins Hospital developed the Bridge to Home program to provide support to patients and their families/caregivers at discharge. RN transition guides meet with the patient in the hospital prior to discharge, and work with the patient to identify a person (family member or friend) who can serve as the patient’s “health buddy,” providing support as the patient is discharged and returned home. The transition guides then visit the patient in his/her home to make sure that the patient understands and is following discharge plans.
  • Increasing patient and family engagement. Northern Westchester Hospital (a member of Northwell Health) in Mount Kisco, NY developed a Patient and Family Engagement Council. Patient and family members provide feedback to the hospital on quality improvement efforts, including designing an ICU family orientation program and making over the hospital’s discharge checklist to improve patient and family preparation for discharge.

What strategies are being used at your organization to improve patient engagement?

spring-cleanSpring Cleaning: Don’t Forget Your Social Media Presence!

Welcome to spring! Yes, we finally saw the first day of spring on March 20. For many people, spring brings a sense of renewed purpose: they want to start fresh by cleaning their houses, getting a new wardrobe for warmer weather and getting into outdoor activities.

If you’re in renewal mode, now is a good time to look at your marketing plan, especially your social medal strategy. Here are some suggestions for performing a social media audit:

  • Brand check. In order to have credibility, trust and awareness for your organization, you must be consistent in your brand message across all social media. Start by compiling a list of all your social media profiles.
    • Review each profile, looking at language, design, website links and brand voice.
    • Are you using the same profile photo or avatar on all profiles?
    • Are you using a consistent header or cover image?
    • Do you have identical bios, descriptions and URLs across all profiles?
    • Any inconsistencies that you find should be corrected immediately.
  • Review your social media schedule. How frequently are you posting to each channel?
    • Compile an average monthly number of postings by looking at the past three months of posts.
    • Use the insights/metrics tools provided by each channel to assess engagement.
    • Adjust your posting schedule as needed for improved engagement.
  • Goal review. Once you’ve reviewed your social media activity and engagement results, it’s time to assess your social media goals. Are you meeting your goals? If not, this is the time to make adjustments to either your goals, your social media strategy or both. If you don’t already have monthly, quarterly and annual goals for social media, this is a good time to establish them.
  • Social media ranking. With the information you’ve gathered from the steps above, look at your success (or lack thereof) with each channel. Which channels are working the best for you? If one or more channels is not performing well for you, it’s time to think about deleting that channel. It may be that your target audience just is not active on that particular channel, and it’s not worth using your valuable time on it. On the other hand, focus on the channels that are successful and invest your efforts in them.
  • Competitive analysis. Look at what your top three competitors are doing with social media. What’s working for them? Do you see a gap in a competitor’s efforts? If so, find a way to fill that gap with your organization’s social media efforts. Another way to gather strategic information is to look at brands you admire, whether they are competitors or even in the healthcare space.

Finally, if you don’t already have a content calendar, this is a great time to create one. You need a central repository for all your content efforts, including social media. You can create your own calendar or take advantage of the many content calendar templates available online.


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