Free EMR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to EMR and HIPAA for FREE!!

Small Practice Marketing Strategies Twitter Chat (#KareoChat)

Posted on April 12, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Health IT Marketing and PR Awards 2016

Last week we held the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR conference which is organized by Healthcare Scene. By all accounts, the conference ran well and the feedback I’ve gotten is that people really enjoyed the event and the healthcare marketing and PR community we’ve built. During the event, we held the HITMC Awards and Kareo won the award for Best Social Media Program. This is a well deserved honor since they put a lot of work into hosting the weekly #KareoChat.

Coming out of the conference, Kareo asked me if there were some topics from the conference that would work well for the #KareoChat audience of small practice physicians. After reviewing the sessions at the conference, I realized that there was a lot of lessons from the conference that could be applied to small practice marketing. In fact, so many of the topics could be a #KareoChat of their own. With that said, they asked if I’d host this week’s #KareoChat based on topics from the conference. So, I decided to pull together a potpourri of topics that applied well to small practices.

Kareo Chat - HITMC

Here’s a look at the topics for this week’s #KareoChat:

  1. When and why should a physician practice go through a rebranding? #KareoChat @HealthITMKTG
  2. How can you use your and your competitors’ online reviews (good and bad) to your benefit? #KareoChat @mdeiner
  3. Could small practices benefit from their own podcast? Is it worth it?  #KareoChat @GetSocialHealth @Resultant @jaredpiano
  4. How and when should small practices use visual content in their office? #KareoChat @csvishal2222
  5. How can the 4 communication preferences (Facts, Futures, Form, Feelings) help small physician practice marketing? #KareoChat @ChartCapture
  6. Where and how can we use the power of storytelling in small physician practice marketing? #KareoChat @ctrappe @stacygoebel

If you’d like to join us to discuss these topics, just follow the #KareoChat hashtag on Thursday, April 14th at Noon ET (9 AM PT). I expect it will be a really diverse and interesting chat across a wide variety of topics related to small practice marketing.

Full Disclosure: Kareo is an advertiser on one of the Healthcare Scene websites.

#HIMSS16 Day 0 – Exhibit Hall Tetris

Posted on February 29, 2016 I Written By

Colin Hung is the co-founder of the #hcldr (healthcare leadership) tweetchat one of the most popular and active healthcare social media communities on Twitter. Colin is a true believer in #HealthIT, social media and empowered patients. Colin speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He currently leads the marketing efforts for @PatientPrompt, a Stericycle product. Colin’s Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung

Arriving the day before the craziness of HIMSS is an annual tradition for most vendors. The Saturday and Sunday before the main conference are the days when most of the booth building activity happens inside the HIMSS exhibit hall.

I have always enjoyed these pre-conference days at HIMSS. Being in the exhibit hall while booths are being constructed is like watching a life-sized game of Tetris. It’s fun to watch the army of tradespeople unpack crates and piece together complex booths while following instructions that look eerily like those you find with Lego building sets.

#HIMSS16 features move vendors than ever before. Over 1300 booths sprawl across multiple halls in the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas Nevada. With this many vendors, the aisle-ways were especially difficult to navigate during setup. It’s a testament to the skill of the forklift drivers that they managed to squeeze all the crates in and round the booth areas for setup.

HIMSS16 Exhibit Hall 1

As a marketer and engineer, I relish the opportunity to have a preview of the booths before the hall opens. Every year I find at least five or six booths of unique/fresh design that I add to my must-visit list.

This year was no exception.

HIMSS16 Philips Booth
The Philips booth (3416) looks very impressive this year with four floor-to-ceiling LED displays that look like the ones they use in Football stadiums. The booth itself is beautifully accented with a stunning chandelier in the center. I can’t wait to see it in action when the hall opens.

The CDW Healthcare (3606), SalesForce (10525) and Cerner (2032) booths are also intriguing. I’m particularly interested in the SalesForce booth – partly because of the design but mostly because I’m curious to see how their healthcare offering is shaping up.

If you see a cool or interesting booth over the next few days, I hope you’ll tweet out a notification or post something to the HIMSS16 mobile app.

The 3rd Annual Health IT Marketing and PR Conference (#HITMC)

Posted on September 25, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

We take a short break from our regularly scheduled programming to talk about the announcement of the 3rd Annual Health IT Marketing and PR Conference. For those not familiar with the event, it brings together the leading marketing and PR professionals working in healthcare. It’s an extraordinary group of people even if I’m quite biased since I organize the conference.

My own bias aside, each year I’m amazed at the community that’s formed around the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference. It’s a really unique event since there’s no other place for health IT marketing and PR professionals to get together and talk about the unique challenges of marketing to healthcare.

This year we decided to move the conference out of Las Vegas to Atlanta. It made sense to try an east coast location in 2016 since HIMSS and ANI are both in Las Vegas next year. We’ve got a great venue at the Loews hotel in midtown Atlanta. The conference center at the Loews is on the 14th floor and has floor to ceiling windows with amazing views of Atlanta which will make for a really nice event.

As per usual, we’re holding the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference about a month after HIMSS on April 6-8, 2016.

If you have some expertise in healthcare marketing and/or PR, then the call for speakers is open for the event as well. We always get a lot of great submissions, but we particularly love those who provide some real life case studies of their experience marketing to healthcare and those that think outside the box in how and what they present. We’re always trying to implement new ways to create unique conference engagement.

We’ve already gotten a lot of support from sponsors for the event, but there is still room for more if you offer something valuable for healthcare IT marketing and PR professionals. You can check out the HITMC sponsorship options if you’re interested in the options we have available.

The early bird registration for the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference will save you $500 if you register between now and November 30th. Plus, since you’re a reader of a Healthcare Scene blog, you can get an additional $100 off by using the promo code: HITRocks when registering for the conference.

We’re excited to see many of you at HITMC 2016, but if we don’t see you there we hope to see you at one of the other healthcare IT events we attend.

#HITMC Chat and Health IT Marketing and PR Conference Early Bird Registration Ends

Posted on January 27, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today we held the first ever #HITMC (Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Community) Twitter chat. The turnout for the chat was amazing and it was so active I don’t think anyone could keep up. That’s pretty amazing for a first time chat. In case you missed it and are interested in health IT marketing and PR, here’s my tweet that links to the transcript:

I’m particularly interested to look back at the answer to question 3 on the chat which talks about the tools that people use to make their lives easier.

Here’s a look at the stats for the first HITMC chat:

All of this tells me that I should have started this twitter chat sooner. It’s amazing how a Twitter chat can really bring a community together. Plus, it always leads to interesting new connections that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Tomorrow I’ll be participating in another new Twitter chat that’s focused on Health Information Governance. If that topic interests you, be sure to join us on #InfoTalk at Noon ET on January 28th.

We’re also 5 days away from the end of Early Bird Registration for the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference. Register now and save $500 off the registration price. Plus, as a reader of EMR and HIPAA, use the promo code “emrandhipaa” and you’ll save an extra $100. We’ve just started uploaded the speaker profiles for those who will be speaking at the event. It’s going to be a fantastic 2+ days of the best in healthcare IT marketing and PR. I can’t wait!

For those not interested in the above topics. Tomorrow we’ll be back with our regularly scheduled programming.

Hospitals Use EMR Data To Target Marketing Campaigns

Posted on November 14, 2012 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

When we talk about the benefits we can derive from compiling and analyzing EMR data, most of us focus on care and efficiency improvements, and to some extent population health.  But what if hospitals used EMRs to find appropriate targets for marketing efforts?  Is that kosher?

I don’t know, but it’s clear some hospitals have decided that it is. For example, a recent article in the Columbus Dispatch tells the tale of two health systems which have been data-mining their EMRs to target mailings on health issues to patients in the community.

According to the piece, regional health system OhioHealth has been using this approach for six years, and Mount Carmel Health System has for two years. Both are non-profit systems with large presences in the areas they serve.

It seems that these health systems are largely using these mailings to address patients’ specific health concerns. For example, OhioHealth has sent messages to diabetic patients and others with heart disease. Mount Carmel, for its part, has sent out mammograms and colorectal screenings, as well as to invite patients to seminars on joint replacement and health fairs.

But OhioHealth goes a step further and targets households with higher incomes.

Of course, both parties swear on a stack that none of this violates HIPAA, because marketers never see an individual’s health information.  And maybe they’re right.

As for me, I could go either way as to whether this is an ethical use of medical data. While it may indeed be legal, it’s discomfiting to know that hospitals might be using my clinical data for non-clinical purposes.

That being said, if health education and marketing efforts are done in a tasteful way which doesn’t invade my privacy — or expose my medical situation to the mailman — I can see the benefits.  Sometimes the right reminder or piece of  education can change a patient’s behavior in a timely manner.

And the truth is, if hospitals are going to spend millions and millions on EMRs, maybe this is a way to squeeze those extra bucks out of the system that will help pay for the investment.

I don’t know. I guess it’s something of a tossup. Readers, how do you feel about this issue? Is your hospital mining EMRs for marketing purposes?

Social Media ROI for Doctors

Posted on January 27, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m a huge fan of social media and the power that it has for people to connect with other people. What I haven’t quite figured out is how doctors should best use social media for their practice. Although, this article about the ROI of Social Media for Doctors has me thinking. Here’s some relevant quotes they posted about the subject:
“As many as a third of my patients are coming from social media,” Jerath said. (Source: 9News)

“[Dr. Zaid] estimates that his “digital footprint” — his online presence — adds $125,000 to his annual practice revenue.”(Source: Physicians Practice)
“The percent of new patients reporting that they “found” [Dr. Faust] online now varies between 30 percent and 50 percent.” (Source: Physicans Practice)

“I average 1 new patient family per week who came because of our social media presence (equals $140k added income per year)” – Dr. Burgert (Source: KevinMD.com)

“Investing time in relevant and complete posts actually saves me time in the long run.” -Dr. Burgert (Source: KevinMD.com)

One thing I’m certain of: There is a potential ROI available for physicians using social media. The above quotes remind me of this possibility.

The problem is that there are at least two major challenges to use of social media: The Social Media Black Hole and Privacy-Security.

The Social Media Black Hole
While there’s great potential in using social media to drive patients to your practice, there’s also great potential that you’ll pump a bunch of time and/or money into social media and get nothing in return. The social media black hole will open up and take whatever time and money you are willing to put into it and may or may not yield results.

One challenge I see is that most doctors are willing to spend money, but not time on social media. While this can work if done correctly, most social media is best done by having an authentic voice. Paying someone to be an authentic voice for you is quite a challenge. So, for a clinical practice to do well in social media, I argue that you need to have you and your staff carve out time to engage with it. Once you’re engaging with it, then there are some paid social media opportunities that can benefit you.

How then do you avoid spending a bunch of time on social media which ends up in the social media black hole with no results?

My biggest suggestion is to start off with smaller, more reasonable expectations. Instead of diving into social media with the expectation of finding more patients, choose a lesser goal which will lead you to the larger goal. For example, just start by interacting with other people from your area on Twitter. That’s right, just start by being social with people that you find interesting in the space that you care about. If you want more patients down the road, then talk with people about the local sports team or local news. If you want to learn more, find doctors from the specialty you serve and interact with them. If your Twitter account is @VegasDoc or @VegasChiropractor, then you have a built in advertisement every time you tweet regardless of what you tweet. Add in a short description of what you do in your profile and you have another ad.

I’m sure many of you are wondering how you find people in your local area or that tweet about topics you care about. That’s simple. Twitter has this great Advanced Search feature (although many don’t know how to get to it) where you can search and find people. Search by location and/or search term and start engaging people. Don’t start with the sales pitch. Start with adding value to the person you find that’s interesting on Twitter. Answer their question. Give them a compliment for something good they offer. Ask them a question. Just be authentic in your interactions. Relationship first! Sale second!

I, nor any other social media person, can really tell you what serendipitous occurrences will happen that will bring patients to your office. However, the same could be said for how half of your patients found your office. By starting off with just interacting with people that you find interesting, whether you get patients from it or not doesn’t matter since you’re just having a good time online. Although, over time, don’t be surprised by the unexpected benefits you receive from those interactions.

Healthcare Social Media Privacy and Security
Yes, I’m already bracing for the privacy and security people to come knocking on this post. That’s fine with me. I appreciate people who make us aware of possible privacy and security issues. No doubt there are serious potential HIPAA risks related to the use of social media in healthcare. My best advice is: Be Careful and Don’t Be Stupd (This is an example of Healthcare Social Media Stupid in case you missed it).

However, if you read my suggestions above, you’ll notice that I didn’t suggest really talking about healthcare on social media. If you find someone from your local area talking about the local sports team and you talk about your local sports team with them, where’s the privacy and security risk? If they ask you medical questions, then they’re the ones that put that information on there and consented for it to be on there. Just create a pat answer, “I don’t discuss healthcare issues on social media, but I’d be happy to talk with you about them in my office. Call for an appt: 555-5555” You could even include something like it in your profile description if you wanted.

My point is that there are a lot of ways to use social media without violating privacy. Be careful and thoughtful about what you do.

Social Media Discovery
Of course, these are just a couple suggestions off the top of my head. What’s so great about social media is that as you use it and interact with people regularly, you’ll discover untold ways to benefit from social media. Plus, you’ll find new ways to accomplish things you never would have thought possible. That’s part of why you have to dive in and start interacting. Until you do, you won’t learn which parts are most valuable.

Social Media Not For Everyone
I’m not going to sit here and argue that everyone should be part of social media. Everyone isn’t social in their daily life, so there are certainly many that won’t want to be social online either. Although, I bet in every office there’s someone who would enjoy being the social face for your office.

Certainly there were plenty of practices that did just fine without advertising on TV, the newspaper, the yellow pages, etc. Many practices will do just fine without social media. However, you can be sure that many practices of the future will find tremendous benefit and advantages from their use of social media.

I can speak from this personally. Once you’ve built a social media following. It’s amazing the number of unique ways you can use it for good. My only regret has been that I sometimes wished I’d used it more and earlier.