Did you know that CMS has its own YouTube channel?
CMS has just posted YouTube videos of physicians discussing their experiences with EHRs and Meaningful Use. The videos were taken during the recent 2012 HIMSS(Healthcare Information Management and System Society) conference. Below is one from a physician practice that readers might find interesting.
In the video, Dr. John Bender, CEO and family physician at Miramont Family Medicine in Colorado, an 8-physician practice, talks about his experience using electronic health records (EHRs), how EHRs and the EHR Incentive Programs have financially benefited his practice, and how EHRs help him provide better care.
After Mary Pat’s “Coding for the Rest of Us” post this July, she sat down with Lyndsey Coates from Nuesoft as part of their monthly Healthcare IT Podcast to discuss more about how even a basic understanding of coding among patient contacting and administrative staff can improve patient experiences as well as the group’s bottom line. Check it out!
The Third Annual Health Care Social Media Summit took place on the Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester, Minnesota last week, and to my chagrin, I was unable to attend. Lots of good information and resources were shared, including this video. It was posted on YouTube on October 14th and has already been viewed more than 10,000 times.
Mayo Clinic wouldn’t mind if the video went viral, but really wants the message to go viral. For information about installing the “Know Your Numbers” app on your hospital or practice Facebook page, contact Makala Johnson at Johnson.Makala@mayo.edu.
As social media matures and more healthcare groups gain experience using it, we understand more about it and the role it will play in the future of healthcare.
Last week, Abraham and I gave a program called “Starting the Conversation: An Introduction to Using Social Media In Healthcare” to a group of healthcare managers. We discussed social media’s potential to influence patient satisfaction, which is expected to influence reimbursement.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking to the Fayetteville (NC) Area Medical Group Managers Association (FAMMA) and we had a lively discussion about social media and healthcare. Here’s the link that you can use to download my powerpoint presentation.
Here’s a fascinating video on how the Internet is transforming healthcare. Susannah Fox from the Pew Internet and American Life Project spoke in September 2010 at Mayo Transform 2010: Thinking Differently About Health Care.The transcript of her talk is here. If you have an interest in where healthcare is going and where your medical group needs to be, take 15 minutes and listen to Susannah Fox.
Recently the Mayo Clinic launched its Center for Social Media and announced the names of 13 well-suited social media stars to sit on its volunteer external advisory board. An additional 12 people will be chosen from nominations and applications. This post is my application.
I’ve been writing about social media in healthcare since I read Phil Bauman’s groundbreaking “140 Healthcare Uses for Twitter” almost two years ago. The exciting potential for social media in healthcare settings is also cause for apprehension among administrators and clinical staff. What once was so hidden, so cloistered, so proprietary, so inscrutable is now emerging into the sunlight and is becoming collaborative, transparent, open, consumerist and available. It’s refreshing and scary.
I started my career in healthcare as a temp receptionist in an orthopedic office over 25 years ago. I have been a consultant, a private practice manager of small practices, a Chief Operating Officer of a very large practice. I’ve worked with physicians and care providers of all kinds in settings both rural and urban, for-profit and not-for-profit, and I have done most everything in healthcare except serve on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. (hint)
For the talent portion of my program, I will be interviewing myself live.
Q: Tell us something interesting about yourself.
A: I was Butler County (PA) Junior Miss of 1976 (a brains pageant with some physical fitness thrown in for good measure.)
Q: What is your greatest regret?
A: I wish I had taken touch typing in high school.
Q: Are you a cat person or dog person?
A: A cat person but I get along well with dogs.
Q: Favorite charity?
A: My brother is a missionary in Ukraine and his organization (www.muchhope.org) helps disadvantaged children with food, clothing, healthcare and education.
Q: How do feel about shameless plugs?
A: I find them tacky, but ultimately necessary.
Q: What social media apps do you use?
A: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, GoAnimate, Wellsphere, WordPress Blog
Q: What is your favorite social media app for healthcare?
A: Ummm. Pass.
Q: Why you?
A: Why not me? I’m a patient, a mom, a wife, a healthcare manager, a social media groupie, a blogger, a reader, a thinker, a cartoonist, a learner, a writer, an observer of life. Every board needs me.
Q: What is the future of social media in healthcare?
A: Mobile, for sure, and I think QR codes have tremendous promise.
Q: What is your favorite social media app for healthcare?
A: Facebook. The potential is unlimited.
Q: Last question: “healthcare.” One word or two?
NOTE: If my beloved readers wish to support my appointment to the MCCSM Advisory Board, please Tweet about me with the hashtag #mccsc, leave a comment on the MCCSM blog here, or send an email of support to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
I don’t know about you but I am emotionally exhausted thinking about and worrying about the on-again off-again cuts in Medicare fees for physicians.
Here’s the scoop: late Thursday evening, June 24, 2010, the House of Representatives passed the ” Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010 (H.R. 3962)” which includes a delay in the 21+% fee cut. Because the same legislation was already passed by the Senate, it now goes to the President for his signature and it becomes law. It is anticipated that this will happen quickly and CMS will have the MACs start processing new claims with dates of service of June 1, 2010 and later at the 2009 fee schedule plus a 2.2% increase. The MACs will also have to reprocess the claims already paid for dates of service June 1, 2010 and later that were processed with 2010 fee schedule and that big fat cut.
Q: What should we be doing for the next 5 months and 6 days?
Image by Getty Images via @daylife
A: Have someone in your practice take a video of your providers introducing themselves, telling how many Medicare patients they have and how they can’t afford to see Medicare patients unless the SGR formula is replaced with something that works. The video doesn’t have to be slick – just real. Send it to your senators and representatives. Send it your local TV news. Post it on YouTube. Imagine hundreds of thousands of providers introducing themselves and talking about their patients. It would be powerful.
Most medical practice managers do not aspire to be television, radio or (heaven forbid) YouTube celebrities, but it does happen. Medical practices, hospitals, surgical centers, nursing homes and other medical entities are rich fodder for the news these days. So how do you weather the request for a sound bite without putting your practice in jeopardy? Follow these simple rules and you’ll be an asset to your practice in no time.
The media is your friend, treat them that way. Encourage reporters and journalists to call you for updates on your practice (new doctor, new facility, enhanced website, patient appreciation, health fair activities, etc.) AND to comment on new stories.
Remember that “No comment” translates in the media as “I’m hiding something.” Some information, even if it is a repeat or a rehash, is better than “no comment.”
Have your physicians and other administration agree that there is only one spokesperson and that they will refer all requests from the media to you.
If you are asked a question that you cannot or do not want to answer, probably in relation to something negative about your practice, the format to follow is:
Tell them that you are not able to answer that question,
Tell them why you can’t tell them (I don’t have that information at this time OR I’ve not received the report on this yet OR this matter is still being reviewed/evaluated/investigated at this time),
Tell them what you can tell them, which might be ‘We do know…” OR “What is clear at this time…” OR “What we’ve been told…”
If the media isn’t calling you for news, call them!
Nothing is off the record and you can’t unring that bell. Once you’ve said it, it is out there.
Don’t forget that doctors and healthcare are in the spotlight constantly these days and that negative press is not good for your practice, or the industry at large. Protect your practice by being a confident, competent and knowledgeable practice administrator.
With huge growth in 2009, social media is not just a passing trend used by online marketers; it’s a real, effective method of communicating ideas, sharing information and connecting with people across all age and socioeconomic groups. Healthcare, while slower to adopt the social media wave than other industries, is coming to realize the potential social media tools provide to develop connections with patients, potential patients, along with other physicians and healthcare leaders around the world.
What are some of the driving forces behind this explosion in popularity? One reason is that as consumers, we’re no longer trusting of advertising and we don’t want to be marketed to, we want to be engaged, build a relationship, make the company earn our trust and hear our friends or family’s review of their experiences. In fact, studies show that today, only 14% of people trust advertising, whereas 78% of people trust recommendations and referrals. Companies are using social media outlets to build relationships, trust and encourage recommendations and referrals from their engaged consumer base. As practice, hospital and physician growth are so strongly correlated to patient referral and recommendation volumes, it is only natural healthcare organizations look to social media outlets to continue to foster patient relationships and increase referral volumes.
As of February 2010, where is the healthcare industry in its adoption of this social media explosion? Larger organizations and health systems are utilizing the power to connect, share and engage their patients. While, on average, smaller private physician groups and individual physician offices are still slightly hesitant and dipping their toes in the social media pool cautiously. One can understand why healthcare professionals do need to take a more strategic approach to interacting and engaging patients online with potential HIPAA privacy issues and other challenges looming. However, with a carefully crafted social media strategy, many health organizations are realizing the benefits of becoming more accessible in their marketing and reaching out to inform, educate and build trust with patients. According to Ed Bennett (edbennet.org) hospitals are currently at a 53% adoption rate, with 336 Facebook pages, 430 Twitter Accounts, 254 YouTube Channels and 70 blogs. In total, 557 health systems are reported to be participating in some capacity with social media, with the term “social media” encapsulating many forms and tools, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, LinkedIn, Flickr, and a number of patient forums.
How are healthcare organizations using these tools effectively? Let’s focus on the top three tools currently adopted and being utilized in the healthcare social media sector.
Facebook: Physician practices and health systems alike are using Facebook as a dynamic, community-based website. It has become a place where physicians and leaders can post timely, organic or professional videos to educate patients and also connect on a more personal level. As a valuable resource for health information sharing, many organizations are taking the embarrassment out of sensitive subject matter and addressing specific medical problems, questions and issues for patients. Also, introductions to staff members and tours of the facilities are assisting organizations with connecting with their patients outside the four walls of their office and building rapport before patients even arrive for their appointment. Practices are also encouraging patients to participate and engage on their site through discussions and contests. Private practitioners are more likely to start their social media strategy with just a Facebook Fan Page, while larger health systems and hospitals are embracing other social media tools in combination with Facebook in their initial strategy.
Twitter: Twitter is being adopted quickly by the larger health systems as a way to share information, publicize events like health screenings, fairs and clinics and also connect with other health organizations. I like to think of it as a public relations channel for these hospital and health systems. What’s great is that in short, 140 character or less “tweets”, these organizations are sharing a wealth of information to their patients and those patients are finding ways to access this health information and the system like never before. Overall the smaller, private practitioners are not as quick to adopt Twitter as they are a practice website or even Facebook, but many are starting to realize the benefits of utilizing this community as a way to share their expertise and knowledge, along with driving traffic to their websites.
YouTube: Healthcare organizations are using YouTube like their own, private television station that can be shared with millions of viewers across the world. Again, more popular amongst the larger health organizations, videos of procedures, interviews with clinicians, tours of new facilities and patient testimonials are being posted in a searchable, user-friendly manner to continue to enhance brand awareness, build trust and gain patient loyalty. This social media tool can be used much like Facebook, easing patient fears and answering tough or embarrassing questions. It can also give patients a visual insight into the facility so they know what to expect before arriving at an appointment or for a procedure. It can act as an online referral source, highlighting patients that have had outstanding experiences and are recommending that organization to over a billion of their closest friends and family online. YouTube is the second largest search engine and healthcare professionals are quickly utilizing its power to share and connect with patients.
The fact of the matter is that for all industries, including healthcare, social media is both a curse and a blessing. Patients, who are now consumers with choices, can post content and interact freely with their physicians and their hospitals, sharing both outstanding experiences and negative experiences. Many health professionals are worried about their vulnerability, but social media is real life, online. As 2010 progresses, you’ll be seeing more and more attention placed on social media by healthcare professionals and by the end of the year, it will be a necessity for organizations to be participating and engaging online, or be left out.
For those organizations still looking to test the waters, my best advice is to develop a clear and concise plan for your online activity. Think about your goals, who are you trying to reach and where are those patients connecting online? What resources do you have to allocate to this new marketing initiative? Will you keep your efforts “in-house” or look to a firm to help with the process? Who will manage this strategy once it has been developed? What legal implications must we bear in mind as we move forward to protect our patients’ privacy? These are some of the questions that must be asked before ever jumping into the real-life world of social media. Remember, your patients want to feel engaged and interact with you; they are not looking to be marketed to, promoted to, or sold to. They want real information that can assist them in making important health decisions, while getting to know you and why you care about them as a patient. Use social media tools as a way to connect with your patients outside your office and build lasting relationships, keeping you on the top of their mind. When you can make those types of connections with your patients and build loyalty, your organization will begin to see social media as an effective way to increase your referral and recommendation volumes.
Thanks to guest author Jamie Verkamp, Director, Growth and Development of (e)Merge whose tagline is “Helping Medical Practices Grow”. She can be reached by phone (816)326.8464 – OFFICE, (816)565.1657 – CELL, (816)474.0595 – FAX and can be reached electronicallyemail | web | twitter | facebook.