GenY to the Xpower

Online Patient Communities by Valerie Hoven
March 28, 2011, 2:45 pm
Filed under: Healthcare, HIT | Tags: , ,

This article talks about how more patients are using social media to make healthcare decisions. We all knew this, but I’m curious as to what conditions/diseases are most talked about online? This article says a lot of decisions were made about gastric bypass surgery online as well as diabetes.

What are some other ones? I’m on in the transplant community. But what patients have strong communities, and which ones are strong for making healthcare decisions? I can see how transplant is strong, but we don’t need to make a lot of healthcare decisions. Diabetes patients however, do make a lot of decisions I bet, like what is the best glucose meter, etc.

So as a marketer, who are these communities? And which ones do you market towards? Both? The ones who need to make decisions? The ones with a strong relationship? Regardless, there’s so much opportunity out there. Very exciting and reassuring for us online marketers 🙂


Print isn’t dead and other things I learned in Tucson by Valerie Hoven
April 11, 2010, 4:03 am
Filed under: HIT, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , ,

At the marketing conference for the Association of Academic Medical Centers, we heard from accountability consultant  Linda Galindo.

Linda was the first speaker at our conference. Generally, I don’t like conference speakers. They say the same crap. “Be the change you want to see in the world!” Yeah, thanks, never heard that before. Linda started out like that, but she ended up really good. She was funny and motivational, but she really inspired me to stop blaming other people for things at work and start holding myself accountable.   I sit there and point fingers and act like a crabby patty, when I should act like a grown up and take ownership. And Linda totally called me out on it. Brace yourselves co-workers because Monday I come in a new woman!

The other thing I learned: Print isn’t dead. I’m GenY as ever (clearly), but print isn’t dead. If used correctly, you can have strong ROI. Use Web 2.0 tools to your benefit, but don’t give up on trying for media placements in NYT or WSJ. People still read newspapers and magazines. If your hospital has its own magazine, make the articles something they want to read. Stop putting in what your CEO tells you to and put in what readers want.

Hopkins Medicine, an award winner, receives more than 200 additional subscription requests each year from the community and grateful patients because they started giving readers more straight-forward information on broader and tougher topics.

Talk about a tough topic, University of Florida – College of Medicine received a writing award for one of their stories about a 3-year-old boy who died because of a medical error. They made a mistake and told the world how they would fix it. Here’s an excerpt.

“How One Boy Changed the College of Medicine”
By Karen Dooley
University of Florida College of Medicine

It was a tragic mistake. A routine diagnostic test administered at a UF outpatient clinic went terribly wrong, and after a string of additional errors at UF and Shands HealthCare facilities over the next 48 hours, three-year-old Sebastian Ferrero was dead.

“Our investigation to date has identified a series of errors that collectively caused this tragic outcome, and the family has been made aware of our findings,” said UF pediatrics Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs Donald Novak, M.D., during a somber press conference held just 15 days after the boy’s death. “Words cannot describe our profound regret for these events.”

Although the university, the college of medicine, and Shands HealthCare took full responsibility for Sebastian’s death and a settlement was quickly reached with the boy’s parents, the story does not end there.

What happened next changed the college of medicine forever.

I’ll continue to live inside my computer and create and post content for the Web, but I must climb out every so often and remember the real world. There are real patients, and they want to hear real stories. While that story might be on a Facebook page, we can also build our reputation by having the Wall Street Journal tell our story instead. And sometimes that story comes from a pretty magazine, too.

Print isn’t dead. We just have more opportunities to tell a story now, just you have to know how to do it right.

Domo Arigato EMRs by Valerie Hoven
February 24, 2010, 8:06 pm
Filed under: HIT | Tags: , , , , ,

Doctors don’t like electronic medical records?!?! OMG! Stop the presses! I hope my sarcasm is clear here, but doctors not liking something isn’t news, especially when it comes to clinical documentation.

But there are ways to fix situations like this, when technology interferes with patient care. University of Pennsylvania has their EMRs set up on computers inside the patient rooms, but the computers are on a wall so the doctors have to have their backs towards the patient. Not at my hospital. We use computers on wheels (which naturally has to have an acronym like everything else in health care, but supposedly we can’t say “COW” anymore because it’s offensive), that way clinicians can go right to the patient’s bedside, input the data, and still see and talk to the patient. Does anyone use those touch pads where you can input patient data right into some sort of electronic tablet? That would be awesome! J

Yes, I realize that sometimes too much technology can be a problem, but EMRs are more than a way to ensure correct billing. They reduce prescription errors and other medical errors and can even sometimes decrease patient stay times. Or perhaps I just drank the cool-aid. Maybe someone should set me straight.

Do we all have to jump on the rap-about-hand-washing bandwagon? by Valerie Hoven
February 11, 2010, 5:37 pm
Filed under: Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , ,

Some might argue that healthcare is a decade behind in technology adoption, yet hospitals are flocking to social media more than ever before. As hospital Facebook pages and Twitter accounts continue to grow, do we need to continue with the clinical raps? Seems like every week I’m finding a new rap about hand-washing or H1N1 vaccinations.

Yesterday, I tweeted a link to a hand-washing rap video. The tweet said this:
as hospitals join FB, twitter, etc., does that mean we have to jump on the rap-about-hand-washing bandwagon, too? #hcsm

It was quickly retweeted, but as this:
RT @valeriehoven: as hospitals join FB, twitter we should also rap-about-hand-washing too #hcsm

Then that tweet was retweeted and twisted and retwisted about half a dozen times…

Simply, adopting technology is hard. Once you finally have the new system, it’s hard to make sure you’re even using it right. Once you get that new patient registration system, there are still kinks to work out once implemented. Same is true for social networking. Just because we have a Facebook page doesn’t mean we have to do post everything our neighbor hospitals posts. Rather, let’s branch out a bit. How about yodeling for electronic medical records? Or even better, an interpretive dance about computerized provider order entry implementation?