Online Reputation Management for Doctors
17.2K views | +7 today
Online Reputation Management for Doctors
Curated and Written Articles to help Physicians and Other Healthcare Providers manage reputation online. Tips on Social media, SEO, Online Review Managements and Medical Websites
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...!

Online Medical Marketing Misconceptions

Online Medical Marketing Misconceptions | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

The internet has become an avenue for marketing for businesses in all fields, medical being just one. However, there are a variety of online medical marketing misconceptions that sometimes prevent practices from using this medium to its full potential. Here are some commononline medical marketing misconceptions that are unfounded and should be disregarded:


Traditional advertising is more effective. This is one of the most common misconceptions about online marketing for medical practices. The internet is one of the most widespread forms of communication, and using it can in fact be very effective. This is because it gives consumers your marketing message without imposing on them. Typically when a patient goes online to find a doctor, they’re doing it because they have a need. By putting your message in front of them online, you’re actually being much more effective than you would be if you simply printed an advertisement in a local paper. Online marketing is much more targeted than traditional in this way because the patient is actually approaching you for information rather than the other way around.


I will get in trouble with privacy laws. Doctors do have to be careful about privacy laws when advertising or marketing, however these laws can easily be upheld online. Online marketing does not mean that you have to include any kind of patient information or other protected information in order to be effective. Just like with traditional marketing tactics, you can use online marketing to lawfully market your practice.


Online marketing is too time-consuming. It’s true that online marketing requires more upkeep than a traditional advertisement would. But with how much more effective online marketing is, it’s a worthwhile investment. Too, you don’t need to be the one physically doing the work. There are online marketing specialists available to handle your social media, blogging and optimization needs so that you can focus on providing your patients with quality service.


Put these online medical marketing misconceptions behind you so that you can have a growing medical practice. If you’re interested in finding out how online marketing can help your practice grow, contact the Social Jeanie today to get started.

Via Plus91
No comment yet.!

Roundup: Social networks specifically for physicians

Roundup: Social networks specifically for physicians | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

A crop of online sites is sprouting up just for doctors – and it’s no surprise. 

"The long-term potential for physician social networking, as with many other disruptive tools, will only be limited by our imagination, said Kent Bottles, MD, consulting principal with Pershing Yoakley & Associates and, with 10,200 Twitter followers (@KentBottles), a highly recognized presence on medical social networking.

A few examples: Sermo claims to have 40 percent of the U.S. physician population among its active users, QuantiaMD counts 225,000 active users, with half of them using the platform via mobile device, and Doximity reports some 300,000 active users.

Bottles told Medical Practice Insider (A Government Health IT sister site) that he mostly uses social media to keep up on "the transformation of the American healthcare delivery system" and to crowdsource topics for teaching, consulting and keynotes, adding that "I have had speaking and consulting opportunities due to my online reputation.”

Social networking also helps to facilitate discussion between parties whose perspectives otherwise may not converge, according to Austin Chiang, MD, (@austinchiangmd) who is completing a residency in internal medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

"As a result,” he said, “there is greater likelihood of propelling medicine forward with innovation.”

Chiang added that social networking is so widely adopted it could potentially make the delivery of medical care easier as well — especially for younger generations who have grown up practically surrounded by social media.

"In fact, as I am relocating soon to Boston for fellowship, social networking websites like Medstro are making the transition easier by allowing me to connect with future colleagues who have specified similar professional aspirations," he said.

Other physicians are harnessing online connections in concert with daily practice activities to enable secure communications for care coordination, seek and compare treatment options for patients, discuss clinical images, participate in market research studies, earn continuing education credits, and more.

Get the details about medically specific social networks by clicking on the hyperlinks below:

Doximity: The LinkedIn of the physician world

Figure1: Instagram for physicians 

QuantiaMD: Convening MD peers to solve tough cases

Sermo: Crowdsourcing with a diagnostic edge

ShareParctice: Where clinical meets social

Via Plus91
No comment yet.!

Use social media to help clear health misinformation

Use social media to help clear health misinformation | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

Thousands of health care providers now utilize Twitter and other social media as a means of communicating and staying in touch. We follow conference hashtags from afar to keep up-to-date, and to e-meet new and interesting people who share a common goal. In this way, we are able to grow our networks, foster our relevance, improve our knowledge base, and reach out to assist others.

Whether we are physicians, nurses, or physical therapists, we can find reasons and means to collaborate online, reaching out to relevant networks when we are in need of information or community. Such conversations are occurring far more frequently than in years past. The interactions I’ve seen among breast cancer physicians, nurses, and patients have been nothing short of astounding.

Nevertheless, recognition of social media’s value propositions have come slowly in health care. Guidance for those on the fence, or those afraid to dip their toes in the water, has been slow to emerge — and what has come out is often as unfamiliar as the water they’re stepping into. In this regard, the journey has certainly been far more of a marathon (or, let’s be honest, a long, slow walk) than a sprint.

Though today there is no shortage of physicians and health care workers who tweet, blog, or write about the benefits of social media for our profession, far too few of us have set out to actively engage – and more importantly to educate – those who most likely stand to benefit from this new mode of communicating: our patients.

Patients are thirsty for knowledge and a helping hand. Social media affords us a place outside of the confines of our offices to address the questions, fears, and apprehensions of the countless individuals seeking meaningful, actionable, and useful health care information.

By passing up this opportunity, we are missing the chance to help clear misinformation and doubts. When we make use of social media, we can put content forth in a manner that is easy to absorb, easy to understand, and easy to use. We can create an online knowledge core that addresses most of their basic questions. This is, in my view, what the patient segment of the social media in health care audience requires most.

Starting a blog or a website has become far simpler than in years past. Addressing the questions you receive each and every day in the office is the best place to begin when it comes to content creation. Keep it short, keep it simple, and keep it targeted. In time, you will have a web presence full of great content. You will have a site you can be very proud of, and you will develop a thankful audience who will be more than happy to share the information they have learned — and the provider they have learned it from.

Via Plus91
No comment yet.!

A Key Ingredient to Digital Health Care Engagement: The Modify Factor

A Key Ingredient to Digital Health Care Engagement: The Modify Factor | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

How to design for health care engagement has become the most talked about design challenge in the United States. Across all industries – technology, government, advertising, medicine, etc. – resources are being poured into ways to better engage health care consumers.  The use of technology to reach consumers – the field of digital health – is one of the biggest market trends. According to a Rock Health Report, in 2013 $1.97 billion was invested in digital health startups, $120 million of which was invested in consumer engagement. Furthermore, digital health funding more than doubled between 2013 and 2014 according to this report.

How is this funding relected at the consumer level? Well, it may be too soon to know, but if the digital wearables space is any indication of what’s really happening, consumers seem interested in the adoption of technology, but they have a hard time integrating it into their daily life.  In fact, studies show that  while 1  in 10 consumers own a digital wearable device, 50% of those consumers no longer use it and 1/3 stopped within the first six months (source: ‘Inside Wearables’ white paper, Endeavour Partners).  Even though market projections say digital wearables will continue to boom – “more than 17 million wearable devices, including smart watches and _fitness bands, are expected to be sold in 2014 alone” and estimates are that “hardware makers would sell 23 million by 2015 and over 45 million by 2017” -these products are quickly collecting dust on the shelf.  Why?

Nobody has figured out how to crack the digital health behavioral engagement nut yet. We are getting better, but it’s still a wicked challenge – one that I have been working on my entire 20 years in health care.

I am a behavioral scientist dedicated to designing products, programs, and services for meaningful health care experiences.  More simply put: I am a behavior designer. Behavior design is the systematic, strategic, scientific approach to achieving behavioral outcomes. Rooted in psychology, behavior design methodologies help companies become clear on what problems they need to solve. My designs have failed and succeeded, and I’m getting better by learning more, experimenting more, and figuring it out.

Health care is social, psychological, and dynamic. So if we want to design for ongoing behavioral engagement, we must be better at catering to the consumers need to modify. We must design for “The Modify Factor”

Let’s use the practice of yoga to explore this issue. If you have ever taken a yoga class, you know some poses are harder than others. What determines whether or not a pose is “hard” for someone is a result of a combination of factors including experience, motivation, social norms, knowledge, mood, physical capacity, and energy.

When a pose is “too hard” any good yoga teacher will encourage a student to “modify” the pose. The lesson in modify is to discover a slightly new and different way to move your body so it works best for you. Typically the decision to modify happens in real time, in that moment of the practice.Overall, however the goal is to empower the student to practice ways to stay engaged in the class. Without this ingredient of engagement, a student might have a negative experience\

What digital health products are not doing well yet is designing for the consumer’s need to modify. At some point, we all need to modify. Whether we are beginner or advanced, calm or stressed, motivated or lazy; sometimes we just need to modify.

Being able to modify in real time, because our teacher tells us to or because we decide we need to, is a critical factor in sustained engagement. And one theme that emerges in my consumer research over and over again is “I want my health care company to know me.”

So how can digital health products better design for the “modify” factor?

Designing around real human interaction or customer service is key for a health care engagement experience.

Some start-up digital health care companies  – like Sessions, PokitDok, Sherpaa, Omada Health, Better, Hula (originally and Atelion Health, Inc. (originally CollaborRhythm) – are doing this. Sessions (recently acquired by MyFitnessPal) for instance, provides exercise health coaches with whom users can interact via text, e-mail, and phone when needed throughout a 12-week program. Sessions users who first sign up are linked with a health coach, who calls to conduct an in-depth starter session. During this initial phone experience, the coach asks a basic set of critical questions to assess the user. Once the program is underway, the coach regularly interacts with the user and vice versa. Sessions Founder Nick Crocker wrote, “people are adding a human layer on top of these [technology] applications, putting the power not just in the hands of the consumer, but in the hands of their network. This provides an incredible resource to doctors, trainers, and others who help people achieve their health goals.” I would argue that the technology is the layer on top of the human interaction, shifting some of the resource burden from the health provider to the consumer which is a good thing.


The main value of designing your technology around a human “authority” (a coach or some sort of figure who the consumer trusts) is that your solution will “meet the consumer where s/he is at” when they need to modify. Examples of companies providing contextual authority include Sherpaa and Livestrong. With Sherpaa, a consumer is able to navigate the health care system with the guidance of an expert when they need it. Informed decisions are made in real time, as the consumer needs to modify. As it says on their website, “That’s what we’re here for.” Livestrong offers patients “navigation services to provide the support you need as you face your cancer journey.” That happens through individual mentors who have deep experience with various aspects of cancer treatment.

Social Trust

If you cannot integrate a human authority into your solution, consider building in a social network. A social network solves for the human need because by design, it is person to person. You know there are other real people on the other end of the interaction.  If I knew that when I posted to Facebook, the other people reading were my trusted, valued health care providers, I’d engage to share health information because I would believe responses to my post would help me figure out how to modify my health.  This is one reason why patient portals, or Online Health Communities (OHCs), help users make more empowered decisions and stay engaged in health, because people who use OHCs trust the other members as authorities and have the chance to practice modifications.

The largest patient portal in the world is PatientsLikeMe (PLM). Approximately 230,000 patients engage with PLM. According to co-founder Jamie Heywood, over 2,000 health conditions are mentioned; 4,000 posts; and 16 million data points are logged per year. PLM published research in the Journal of Epilepsy that shows how PLM engagement increased adherence tied to outcomes by 19% among patients with epilepsy. “Prior to using the site, a third of respondents did not know anyone else with epilepsy with whom they could talk; of these, 63% now had at least one other patient with whom they could connect. Perceived benefits include: finding another patient experiencing the same symptoms, gaining a better understanding of seizures, and learning more about symptoms and treatments”  said Heywood. Users of PLM trust other users. And now, health insurance companies like Aetna are promoting PLM on their homepages.

What this is all about – and what is needed when you want to modify – is trust. Trust that your modification will make it better. So if you are going to build a social network into your product, make sure it allows for trustworthy interactions.

Build digital health technology that is an extension of what is already working in real life.  I recently interviewed a cancer patient who was first diagnosed in 2007 and then again in 2012, and he said “The conversation where I received the most support during my treatment was right before my first stem cell transplant – I got a call from a friend who had been through it, and she told me what to expect. She talked me through the process and made herself available to me when I had questions. It helped with my decisions. It was so comforting.” He might have been able to have a similar experience with Better - because Better provides on demand assistance. Consumers can interact with their own Personal Health Assistants to talk about the information and any discuss questions or concerns they may have, on the spot.

Digital wearables need to improve the way they serve consumers. Give consumers more than one reason to pay attention to the numbers flashing across the fancy band. During a recent interview with a Fitbit user, she said “I actually didn’t think I’d still be using my Fitbit, but my whole family decided to embark on a family fitness challenge….my uncles and cousins, even my Mom…we are all competing against each other to see who can walk the furthest. It gives me a reason to check in regularly with people I care about, and I like that.”

To clarify, designing for the modify factor is not about getting consumers to your product or program for the first time – it is not about persuading a first time yoga student to enter the yoga studio. The modify factor is about designing the engagement experience once the students is there. Keeping your consumer engaged once they have arrived.

What you can do:

  • Conduct user research so you are clear about your target customer’s needs and values. This will not only allow you to empathize and capture consumer behaviors, but also allow you to know what is needed to build trust. Health is social; we want other people to validate our decisions.
  • Prototype often so you can test how well your solution is meeting the needs of your consumers. Too few health care companies do this. Health happens in real time – we need what we need when we need it. An ongoing prototyping plan enables you to build agility into your solution.
  • Design for behaviors, not technology. This is one the biggest mistakes I see in corporate healthcare: companies choosing to let product requirement didcate the consumer experience design.
  • Define clearly what engagement means to your business and integrate a way to measure that engagement over time so you can regularly pinpoint “the modify factor”.

- See more at:

No comment yet.!

Healthcare Marketing Matters: Is social media the next level of patient engagement?

Healthcare Marketing Matters: Is social media the next level of patient engagement? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |
It’s a demanding healthcare consumer and patient out there.  Active in social media, they are used to being engaged across a wide spectrum of industries on their terms. So why should that be so different in healthcare?
Smart phones, tablets and applications are ruling the day and virtually no age segment is immune from that transformation of how they are engaged by organizations. How a hospital and health system as well as physicians engage patents and the growing healthcare consumer in the form of the newly insured, dictates the effective and efficient use of social media as part and parcel of the engagement strategy.
For example, the family went to dinner at Chili’s. I decided to check in with 4 Square. I have done that before but this time was different. I received the usual offer for a free salsa and chips appetizer for checking in as a thank you. But that’s when it became different and the engagement went to a different level.  
Next thing I know, I receive a message via twitter, asking me what looks good to me tonight on the menu? So I replied with the order but that I was substituting some items for a healthier meal.  Which elicited a reply response that sounds good with a smiley face icon.  And that got me thinking about social media engagement and healthcare.
So what really happened here? Social media is about a meaningful dialogue and an exchange of information. Chili’s meet that requirement. Regardless that the response was automated they still managed to engage me in a different way from the last time and enhanced my experience.  From a big data perspective and market research avenue, they also learned what menu items are of interest and how diners substitute.
There is a couple to things about this for healthcare and healthcare consumer or patient engagement.
When an individual checks in on 4 Square at a site of care there should be an acknowledgement with a response of welcome. Additionally, use this opportunity for a system generated message that pops up on the 4 Square screens that is positive about the location of care. One can bet that there are already plenty of negative messages out there already.
Now is the place and time for engaging the individual via Twitter. Are you there for care or visiting someone? Depending on the answer if visiting, then a reminder to visit the gift shop for flowers or other items that night make someone feel better.  Or if seeking care, messages that we hope your experience meets your expectations and let us know if there is anything that can be done to make the care experience better. But do it all in 140 characters.
One has now engaged the healthcare consumer or patient; started a meaningful dialogue; and is gathering useful experience data for experience process improvement.
Later today I will be going to a major area hospital to visit a relative. A hospital where my wife and children have received care on occasion and  where I was admitted for 23 hour observation for evaluation for cardiac event, which turned out to be not the case.
Each and every time I have used 4 Square to check in. Today won’t be any different.  And the social media silence won’t be any different from the hospital either. They still do not know who I am or how to engage me, and that is the wrong message to send in a healthcare environment that is moving to a semi-retail model to be sending to one whom has choice.  
That just screams we don’t know who you are and don't care.
No comment yet.!

Why We Unfriend

Why We Unfriend | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

In the 1997 movie Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, the two title characters, worried that they haven’t done anything noteworthy to share at said reunion, decide instead to lie and claim they invented Post-it notes.

Their story quickly unravels, of course, but had the movie been made a decade later, even the very concept of the ruse would have been impossible. Everyone would have known about Romy’s daily slog at the Jaguar dealership through Facebook.

Or would they?

The ebb and flow of Facebook friendships has become fruitful territory for social scientists in recent years. At least 63 percent of people report having unfriended someone on Facebook, but what prompts these digital rejections can tell us a lot about both the nature of real-life friendship and about how we manage our online personalities.

Past research by Christopher Sibona of the University of Colorado Denver found that the four most common reasons for unfriending on Facebook were: “frequent/unimportant posts, polarizing posts (politics and religion), inappropriate posts (sexist, racist remarks), and everyday life posts (child, spouse, eating habits, etc.) and in that order of frequency.”

But this time, Sibona sought to determine who, exactly, these jilted Face-friends are. And are we more willing to tolerate a sexist quip from an elderly relative than we are from a kickball teammate?

In 2010, he contacted 7,327 Twitter users, figuring if they were active on that, much smaller, social network, they were probably familiar with the larger one, too. He distributed online surveys to those who tweeted back.

“A total of 2,865 surveys were started and 1,552 were completed; 54 percent of those who started the survey completed the survey,” he wrote.

The survey asked the participants to identify the last person they unfriended on Facebook, and to classify the nature of the friendship.

Christopher Sibona

It turns out, these ex-friends were most likely to be a high-school buddy, a work colleague, a “friend of a friend,” or a category Sibona called “Other”: “didn’t know her,” “former student,” or, ominously, “enemy.”

High-school and work friends were also two commonly cited categories of people the participants said they had recently been unfriended by.

High-school friends were the most likely category to both unfriend and be unfriended. The nature of the offending status updates, though, differed among categories of friends.

In the case of high-school friends, the turn-off was likeliest to be a pattern of frequent, polarizing updates. There are only so many grammatically incorrect truther rants one cares to read in the Starbucks line, after all.

“The results show that survey respondents who unfriended high school friend types indicated that the person they unfriended posted statistically significantly more often about polarizing topics and frequent/unimportant topics than friends who were not from high school,” Sibona wrote in the study, recently presented at the Hawaii International Conference on System Science.

Work friends, meanwhile, were more likely to be unfriended for their real-life behaviors. (However, perhaps the high-school friends would have had just as many opportunities to be annoying in person, if they didn’t all live in Toledo.)

“The general term of friend on social networking sites can be misleading because a given dyad does not always represent friendship in the common sense,” Sibona concludes.

Indeed, as this and other studies show, “friend,” in the Facebook sense, represents people who say things we want to hear, for as long as we wish to hear them.

No comment yet.!

Targeted Local Medical Marketing

Targeted Local Medical Marketing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

People who are new to digital marketing often believe that putting up a website and sprinkling in some keywords means they are good to go. If the keywords are part of some compelling and educational content, they might get a number of inquiries.

For healthcare sites, this broad approach may be undesirable, unless you are Doctors without Borders, WebMD or the Mayo Clinic. Your healthcare facility will not turn up within the first ten pages of a results page for an inquiry on dermatology services. Even if you do show up within the first ten pages, these results are nationwide and none of your hits will convert to real patients in your office.

What you need is a technique called Local Search Engine Marketing or Targeted Local Marketing.

Targeted Local Marketing (TLM)

A well-run TLM campaign has a terrific return on investment (ROI). The primary reason is that you only pay when someone responds to your ad and clicks through to your website (known as paid search or PPC (pay-per-click)).

To get the highest possible return for a hospital or physician practice, focus your digital presence locally. There is no reason for your facility to show up in search engine result pages (SERPs) for someone looking for a gastroenterologist in California when your practice is in Boston.

By strategically placing on your website and microsites/landing pages local information, such as “two blocks from Faneuil Hall Marketplace" or "near the Boston waterfront”, it will help increase your organic rankings and visibility in searches performed for Boston gastroenterologists.

How Important is Local Search?Local Search is Common for Patients to Use

In 2012, every month there were 16 billion searches done on the Internet. One of three was searching for local products and services. In addition, more than 40 percent of all mobile device searches are for local business and service providers.

For people who use the Internet for finding businesses, nine out of 10 are searching locally. Moreover, 97 percent of them click on a provider that shows up on the first page of results.

Local Search is Affordable

There are two options for Local Search, free and paid. No business can sustain a marketing effort only on free sites, but they do bring the total investment in Local Search Marketing down and increase the ROI. For example, Google+ Local is a program by Google that allows a medical practice to write a brief description, include the address, phone number and a free link to the website. Bing, Microsoft’s search engine has a similar system.

Both of these search engines, which cover about all searches on the Internet, also have paid advertising programs (Google AdWords and Bing Ads).

Measure Results

You must check the results of your Local Search Marketing Campaign. There are programs available that give you metrics concerning the number of conversions, call tracking by phone number called, Web-Form submission tracking, and details on clicks per day by time of day, day of week, from which ad the click originated and more information that allows for the fine-tuning of your campaign.

Local targeted marketing can be more efficient than traditional marketing channels (TV, Radio, Print), as it only reaches people you specifically target based on: radius to a location, zip codes, keyword search terms, etc.... Not only are you able to target based on geography, but you are not waisting media spend on impressions (people who see your ad, billboard, commercial, etc...) that are not interested in your services. Think of it as targeting potental patients who are raising their hand asking for more information about your services. 

A proper run targeted local marketing program offers many benefits that traditional marketing channels cannot, but the highest on the list for me is the ability to geo-target prospects who are in the moment of interest.

No comment yet.!

One Medical Group Raises $40M To Help Reinvent The Doctor’s Office | TechCrunch

One Medical Group Raises $40M To Help Reinvent The Doctor’s Office | TechCrunch | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

Disruptive primary care medical practice One Medical Group, is announcing $40 million in growth capital led by Redmile Group, with participation from current institutional investors. The company previously raised $77 million in funding from Benchmark, DAG Ventures, Maverick Capital, Oak Investment Partners, Google Ventures and others.

One Medical which won the 2013 Crunchie for Best Health Startup, was founded by MD Tom Lee as a way to reinvent the traditional experience of visiting a doctor. Instead of waiting for hours on the phone or in an office, patients can schedule appointments online, request prescriptions, get lab results digitally, and see their personal health summary online. Doctors can access medical records electronically (One Medical designed its own electronic medical record with doctors and patients in mind, not administrators). And patients can visit any office since every doctor has access to their records.

The company now has 27 locations nationwide, with offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The startup charges a $149-$199 annual fee to access this type of care.

“We started One Medical to build a better primary care delivery model – one that uses technology to deliver higher-quality care and service more affordably,” said Tom Lee MD, the company’s founder and CEO. “With our recent expansion into the enterprise, employers are discovering that our model can help them lower their overall health care costs while giving their employees turnkey access to quality primary”

In 2013, One Medical opened seven new offices and grew its member base by over 50 percent. The company also launched a new telehealth service via Google Helpouts. And the company recently debuted its enterprise offering, which allows companies to offer One Medical as a perk. Currently, over 40 companies are now enrolled in its employee health benefit program, including Adobe, Doximity, Fitbit, NBCUniversal, On Deck Capital, Percolate, Quantcast, Sequoia Benefits, Uber and Wanelo.

Lee says the new funding will be used towards expansion to new cities, and to further product development on the back-end. We’re told that mobile, in particular, will be a big focus on the technology side.

As a loyal client of One Medical, I can attest to its benefit. For example, you can get your blood tested when you go for a physical at any of the offices. There are always same-day appointments available online. A colleague of mine made an appointment from her phone in the middle of the night for the next morning at 8:30 am PT. The convenience aspect alone of One Medical makes it worth the $150 fee for me. I suspect on the technology side of things, there is a lot more One Medical can do to make patients’ lives easier and healthier as well.

No comment yet.!

Physician ratings edge closer to the mainstream

Physician ratings edge closer to the mainstream | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |
Physician ratings edge closer to the mainstream

Doctor ratings and reviews have gotten a bad name, especially from doctors. There are concerns about their validity and usefulness. And while I share these worries I also believe ratings and reviews are important and have the potential to become much more prominent and useful over time.

I’m encouraged that some healthcare providers are reversing course and starting to publish ratings and reviews on their own websites. University of Utah is doing it, the Cleveland Clinic is considering following along, and others are also starting to think about it (Hospitals get into doc rating business).

That’s a good sign that patient reviews are going mainstream. We’ll be even better informed once the sites include other information that’s becoming available, such as the recently released Medicare claims data and complementary data on quality and cost from the private market, such as information that will be provided by the Robert Wood Johnson foundation-sponsored DOCTOR Project.

No comment yet.!

Facebook will punish publishers who ask for Likes and Shares

Facebook will punish publishers who ask for Likes and Shares | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

In its continued efforts to clean up and optimize your News Feed, Facebook today announced plans to start penalizing pages that bait users into liking and sharing content. Facebook specifically pointed to three kinds of posts it plans to pull from user feeds: "Like-baiting" posts that ask users to like or share a spammy image; "Frequently Circulated Content," which ostensibly aims to scrub out "reposts," as a Redditor might call them, from the News Feed; and "Spammy Links," posts that use deceptive formatting to trick people into clicking. "For instance, often these stories claim to link to a photo album but instead take the viewer to a website with just ads," a Facebook blog post on the update reads.

"The vast majority of publishers on Facebook are not posting feed spam"

The ironic part is that many of the posts Facebook plans to scrub out became popular because users liked and shared them. In other words, it's in many cases the fault of users for promoting spammy content. While some might argue that the popularity of feed content should be up to the users, like on Reddit, that's never exactly how Facebook has operated. When spammy photos and too many invites from games appear inside more News Feeds, people engage less — even if those photos and invites were generated by your friends. Unfortunately for Facebook, people tend to blame Facebook for spam instead of the friends posting the actual spam — so the company is taking action.

"The vast majority of publishers on Facebook are not posting feed spam so they should not be negatively impacted by these changes, and, if anything, may see a very small increase in News Feed distribution," Facebook said, ostensibly in an effort to nip concerns from marketers and brands in the bud before they get too out of hand.

No comment yet.!

Medical Professionals: How to Manage Your Social Media Reputation

Medical Professionals: How to Manage Your Social Media Reputation | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

If lack of trust and respect wasn’t enough, medical professionals have a whole new challenge to face – social media. Although many hospitals have introduced basic social media policies, these guidelines target primarily patient confidentiality. At Medisave, we’ve found 5 DOs and DON’Ts for doctors to maintain and gain reputation online.

#1 Don’t Be Just “Familiar” with Your Employer’s Social Media Policy…

…study it in detail. As a doctor, your actions directly reflect on your employer, be it a hospital or a private practice. Such policies are designed to protect not just patients, but all parties, and are designed so well that Forbes advises all businesses to consider hospitals’ use of social media when designing their own policy.

Step one towards building your online reputation is complying with the mandated social media policy. These are the most essential guidelines that should be followed at all times. Nothing ruins one’s reputation like disciplinary actions, so take caution.

#2 Don’t Forget LinkedIn


Kevin MD describes maintaining a LinkedIn profile as a low-threat, low-resource, high-yield action. In his blog post he brings up something very important- as useful and good as LinkedIn can be, it shouldn’t be the only place where people can feel your online presence. Online message boards and doctor rating web sites in particular should also be considered.

#3 Do Keep Track of Doctor Rating Web Sites

We all know that the information on sites such as HealthGrades and RateMDs is not to be believed at 100%, but it does make an impression on patients when they research you. It’s not uncommon to see doctors’ ratings that are not consistent, to say the least.

Even good physicians are not immune to bad ratings. Patients are often not in their best mood when visiting physicians’ offices and this can color their online reviews. Don’t ignore these bad reviews, though. Be proactive and solve the problem with your patient, but be extremely cautious as to how you approach them.

#4 Do Follow the Big Fish

I’m not talking about stalking, but keeping an eye on major social media influencers in medicine. It’s a great way to come up with a plan of your own for your social media presence. Copying strategies is not stealing, but taking guidance from the best.

Doctors in social media like Howard J. Luks and Kevin Pho are among the most popular in the U.S. and can teach anybody how to master social media. A quick glance at their profiles and blogs is all it takes to profile them- bold, knowledgeable and informative. They both openly express expert opinions on controversial problems in healthcare, medical ethics and the medical industry, creating a strong identifiable voice people want to follow.

One thing to keep in mind is that their online success is not achieved without help. Kevin Pho often invites guest bloggers and Howard J. Luks’ stunning website is a result of a skillful team of designers and developers. Try to find a balance between your practice and online efforts. Remember to focus your efforts on the most important thing – helping patients. You can always get help with the rest.

#5 Do Look for 21st Century Help

Today’s smartphones and tablets are awesome! You can do so much on them- they’re great sources for quick answers, conveniently gathered information and even reputation manager apps. Wait, what?

It was only a matter of time before social media gurus started designing tools and sharing them. UpCity compiled a list of 25 apps to help you monitor your social media and build reputation. These apps have been getting a lot of press attention lately and range from content aggregation tools, to apps that alert you whenever you or your brand are mentioned on a social media channel.

Even back in 2011, Pew Internet Research Group released results showing that 65% of adults online use social media. It’s only logical to make use of these social outlets and build an image of the reputable doctor your patients would trust. In today’s world it is absolutely critical that your online reflection shows all the great things you offer in person.

To keep up with all things medical and get access to more medical tips, subscribe to MediSave’s Newsletter.

Via Plus91
No comment yet.!

Social media users would share health data, but only with privacy safeguards | Modern Healthcare

Social media users would share health data, but only with privacy safeguards | Modern Healthcare | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |
A vast majority of U.S. social network users who have health conditions would be willing to share their health information to help doctors improve care and to help other patients like them—if their privacy is protected.

That's according to the results of two online surveys reported in what is being billed as a discussion paper by the Institute of Medicine.

Indeed, 94% of social media users who have medical conditions would be willing to share their health data with doctors to improve medical care, provided they were afforded “appropriate anonymity,” said the 27-page report, “Social Networking Sites and the Continuously Learning Health System: A Survey.”

Also, 94% of social media users indicated they believe their health data should be used to improve the care of other patients with the same or similar medical condition as their own.

But responding social media users also said they believe that their personal health data could be used without their knowledge, 76%; to deny them healthcare benefits, 72%; and to deny them job opportunities, 66%.

The use of social networks “is now almost ubiquitous” with 73% of U.S. adult internet users on social networks, the authors, citing earlier work by the Pew Research Center, noted. The growth in social media has “outpaced policy change designed to protect the interests of users,” they said. This data may “suddenly become a 'digital tattoo' that is almost impossible to remove,” the authors warned.

One nationally proposed method of health privacy protection takes the form of constraints placed on the data itself, such as consent management tags recommended by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in a 2010 report. The technology is being piloted under the auspices of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. But the report authors opt instead for a regulatory approach directed at controlling improper use of the data.

“Data protection policies in the near future must evaluate the delicate balance of a free and democratic society that supports the sales of goods and services (based on a user's data) while at the same time protecting people from discrimination,” the authors suggested. Protections in the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 could be considered “to similarly protect health-related data shared” on social networks, they said.

Patients are typically unaware of how their own digital information is used or shared by third parties, the authors said.

Historically, the authors note, Institutional Review Boards have considered social networking sites to be “private spaces” in which an individual must be informed and their consent obtained before researches can use data.

But a marketer may “pose as a member of an online community and receive no reprimand for violating user privacy, even if they are using the data for search or commercial purposes,” the authors said.

Privacy constraints and the conduct of data holders differ widely between healthcare organization covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and social networking sites (SNS), which are not covered by HIPAA, the authors noted. “Therefore,” they said, “the same information when shared on an SNS does not have the same protection, and potentially may lead to discrimination by a future employer or health insurance agency, although this has not been reported in the literature to date.”

Last week, pharmaceutical manufacturers were given wider latitude in the use of social media by a new FDA draft policy. The regulator approved the use of comments from consumers and clinicians about a pharma company's drugs even when posted on social media sites owned or supported by the drug makers or distributors.

One of the surveys on which the report is based was a nationwide random sample of the general public by the Consumer Reports National Testing and Research Center, conducted in March 2012. It yielded 1,210 responses out of 2,094 polled. The other survey was a sample of users of the social medial website PatientsLikeMe. It was conducted by that for-profit company in September and October 2012 and produced 2,890 responses out of 13,324 samples sent.

PatientsLikeMe offers an online community for persons with chronic diseases. It is led by chairman Jamie Heywood, an advocate of the real-time use of voluntarily provided patient data for research. Heywood co-founded PatientsLikeMe in response to his brother Stephen, who battled ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, for seven years. Steven died in 2006.

Both Consumer Reports and PatientsLikeMe did their survey work pro bono on behalf of the IOM, said Diedtra Henderson, an IOM program officer and one of eight listed co-authors of the latest report.

Both papers note that the views expressed in them are those of the authors and not the IOM, which is part of the National Academy of Sciences.

No comment yet.!

Social Media Dos & Don’ts for Healthcare

Social Media Dos & Don’ts for Healthcare | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |
This is the Responsive Grid System, a quick, easy and flexible way to create a responsive web site.

Via Plus91
No comment yet.!

5 Social Media Challenges for Healthcare Providers

5 Social Media Challenges for Healthcare Providers | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

ot so long ago, health care professionals, along with a lot of other businesses and professions, though social media was a passing fad, much like the pet rock. Well, we all know how that turned out.  Social media is not going anywhere, indeed we can expect it to expand and evolve. It will become an even larger part of the world of healthcare.

I personally love the ability to network with my colleagues, learn from them, help someone when I’m able, and share different things I’m writing and doing.

However, with all the “social” of social media, we sometimes are not as careful as we should be – especially as healthcare professionals. I’d like to offer a few tips in how we navigate the online world – not only to make it more effective, but to reduce our personal risk as providers.

1. YOU CAN’T HIDE:   If you don’t read anything more than this, if you don’t adhere to anything else that is ever said about online behavior…remember this.  Every post, every email, every comment on any social media platform is always discoverable. This mean that anything can be found, resurrected and presented to our respective boards and in court. This includes private messages and postings in closed groups.

Bottom line…NEVER post anything that you would not want seen by the courts, your board, your current/future employer or your mother.

2. HIPAA:   We are charged with protecting patient information. Even if you don’t share a name and date of birth, you must be careful when asking for opinions from you colleagues. Is the situation identifiable? What about that photo of an ear you posted? Who is that in the mirror or in the background? Who was in the office that day that might know what you are talking about?  You cannot be to careful. If you are going to post something regarding a patient, make sure the patient has given you permission to do so.

Along this same topic, if you are answering a question, consider referencing the answer with it’s source. If it’s anecdotal, say so. If not, give the source.

Better yet, if you really want to discuss something clinical, consider a site that verifies your clinical status before you can participate. Two sites are Clinican1 and QuantiaMD.    Bonus: both have CE’s available.

3.  The Myth of “Common Courtesy”:  I am always amazed when reading comments left by viewers of videos or readers of a news story. It seems that some people take their comments to new heights of rudeness. Unfortunately, this is not limited to CNN or YouTube. This also happens at times in social groups online.  The sad thing is that I doubt we’d see this behavior in person at a conference. I still don’t know when it became okay to be rude, crude in impolite just because we are writing in a comment box or replying to a post.  Sometimes trolls are posting this stuff, sometimes not. But as one former troll said…don’t feed the trolls. It’s good general advice.

4.  Imprecise Communication:   Effective communication relies on a myriad of clues:  visual, sound, tone, body language, context to name a few.  When we are faced with a post or an email our clues are significantly reduced. We only have the words on the screen. By the time those words reach our brains they have had to travel through our own filters and emotions.  What finally gets translated may have no connection with what the words were intended to convey.   Therefore it’s always a smart practice to count to 10, or better yet 300 before replying in haste to what is written.

5.  Be Social. On any social media platform we are the guest. We don’t own Facebook, google plus, Twitter, Pinterest. We are guest at the party. It’s always a good idea to be nice and follow the rules when we are visiting someone, least we not be asked back. Never assume that you cannot be banned from any of the platforms.  I’ll say it again, be nice, follow the rules. Nasty behavior is not social and it won’t get your far in social media.

Via Plus91
No comment yet.!

Solve doctors' problems first, mHealth benefits follow

Solve doctors' problems first, mHealth benefits follow | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

A new study designed for healthcare marketers sheds some interesting insights on physicians' attitudes toward mHealth – namely, that they're more worried about their own workflows than the technology's clinical benefits.

The study, prepared by the MedData Group, argues that physicians need to be convinced that mHealth will first help them with their own problems – saving money and time. Once those concerns are answered, the study says, they'll view the technology with an eye toward improving patient outcomes.

"Until (mobile health) information is intelligently managed, which requires high-intensity human oversight, which to date we have been unwilling to program or to pay for, we will continue to have only what our current technology provides: A vast and unmanageable amount of uncontrolled, non-vetted and non-meaningful information (classically described for the last 40 years in technology systems as 'garbage in = garbage out)," the study quoted one physicians as saying.

The 30-page study, "Physician Perceptions of Mobile & Connected Health," compiled from interviews with more than 500 physicians between December 2013 and March 2014, does paint a positive picture for the mHealth industry. The transformation to a system of connected care "is tantalizingly close and incredibly exciting," it states, with benefits for both the provider (reduced costs, faster and more accurate diagnoses, better population management tools) and the patient (improved care from remote monitoring and video-enabled visits, better communication with caregivers).

But the stick in the mud so far is the provider.

According to the study, some providers are skeptical that mHealth will improve their profession, grousing that connected health technology "allows the federal government to take over healthcare and put everyone in a bad position." Another physician said mHealth is "good for patients but nobody will want to ever become a doctor."

According to the study, physicians feel that mHealth is pushing them to the outside of the health reform discussion and taking decision-making power out of their hands. And yet two-thirds of physicians surveyed are using mHealth tools in the office now, and many say they'll adopt new mobile technology within the next year – with a full 60 percent saying they're interested in mobile technology that helps them access the electronic health record.

Physicians are looking for mHealth tools that improve their workflows first, the study says. When asked what new applications they'd consider during the next year, while most are looking for mobile access to the EHR, more than 30 percent are also looking for secure texting; point-of-care drug, device or diagnosis information and patient portals for scheduling communication. Farther down the list were patient use of mobile device for health monitoring and patient e-visits leveraging mobile devices.

When asked why they're adopting mHealth, according to the survey, the highest responses were time efficiency and cost efficiency, with improved quality and continuity of care, improved communication with patients and patient demand farther down on the list.

"That is not to suggest that doctors are unconcerned about increasing the quality of care or satisfying patients. They are," the study says. "But they are not yet convinced that mHealth technology is, in most cases, ready to help them achieve those ends, or that patients are crying out for such technology."

That point is proven in one final survey question, which asked physicians about the anticipated benefits of a connected healthcare environment. Close to 60 percent of those surveyed identified interoperable EHRs that allow physicians to have real-time access to all of a patient's medical records as the biggest benefit. Falling much farther back were remote monitoring, patient portals and high-definition video technology.

'To be clear, interoperable EHRs offer a bounty of benefits to both doctors and patients," the study points out. "But it is also the benefit of connected healthcare that is most clearly tied to the physicians' chief challenge: Diagnosing the problem in front of them and formulating a solution."

One final note: When asked about the challenges of achieving a fully connected healthcare environment, physicians chose cost first, but they also expressed concern that the technology is "ready for prime time," that it will withstand challenges to patient privacy, and that their own colleagues are ready to embrace mHealth.

The study urges marketers to focus on the physician first in selling mHealth - and that's true for anyone looking to launch an mHealth program in a health system, from the C-suite on down to the independent physician looking to tackle a nagging health concern.

Solve the physician's workflow problem first, so that he or she finds it easy and natural to use mHealth. Once that's accomplished, clinical improvements and consumer acceptance will be much easier to prove.

No comment yet.!

Social media taking hold in healthcare | Healthcare IT News

Social media taking hold in healthcare | Healthcare IT News | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

There's a widespread irony surrounding the phenomenon known as "social media."

It's hard to imagine someone who doesn't know, in general terms, what it is, but it's safe to say that many, perhaps most, people still don't know all that social media consists of, or how best to use it for their business.

Perhaps nowhere is this more true than in the healthcare sector. Blogs abound, movers and shakers chat on Twitter, and providers are increasingly opening lines of communication with their patients via Facebook or their own, dedicated patient portals.

And yet most observers would agree that healthcare still has a ways to go before it can be considered social media-savvy.

As Christina Thielst, a social media consultant and the editor of a new HIMSS book, Applying Social Media Technologies in Healthcare Environments, recently described it, healthcare administrators have known about social media for quite some time.  The problem, she said, is that in the early days they learned about it primarily through general media reports, and many of those focused on events such as security breaches or other inadvertent releases of personal health information. Consequently, they got scared off.  

The good news, however, is that things are turning around.

"There's certainly been a lot of progress," she said, "but more needs to be done if healthcare stakeholders are going to truly leverage social media tools." 

In her view, there are three main reasons for the growth in social media in healthcare.  First, older people, who are the largest and most regular group of users of healthcare systems, are getting used to social media tools. They learned to use them as a way to keep up with family, and now they're connecting with their friends.

"Society, in general, has recognized that social media is more than just a young person's toy," Thielst said.

Next, hospital administrators have realized that there are marketing advantages to social media, as marketing through newspapers has gotten significantly more expensive at the same time as audiences have shrunk.

Finally, the media stories, once predominantly negative, are finally getting better.  Moreover, groups like the American College of Healthcare Executives and HIMSS are working hard to instruct healthcare executives both in the value of social media and how best to use it.

Those educational goals lie at the root of the new HIMSS book. A compilation of numerous perspectives, the book includes chapters written by a range of healthcare stakeholders, including caregivers, administrators, marketers, patients, lawyers, clinicians and healthcare information specialists.

No comment yet.!

Healthcare companies and social media metrics: What to focus on, what to measure.

Healthcare companies and social media metrics: What to focus on, what to measure. | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

The industries that have moved more slowly to embrace the social media world have, understandably, been the more highly regulated industries such as law and healthcare. But as social has moved from what some saw as a quirky new marketing fad into a steady part of our daily lives, so too have these industries followed– and now they’re playing catchup. After all, the percentage of Americans alone who turn to social media- and trust it- for health information is growing.

The first step is making a plan to figure out what metrics are going to be important to measure on each of the social sites you decide to have a presence on, such as Twitter. So what metrics should healthcare companies focus on?

1. Decide what your goals are

Healthcare companies or professionals using social media will obviously have very different goals with their accounts compared to businesses in the beauty, travel, or other industries; there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to social.

By figuring out what you want to accomplish you’ll know what it is that you need to measure. Here are a few ideas of what a social presence can mean for a healthcare company:

  • Provide health resources

  • Provide support by answering company-specific questions

  • Provide support by hosting chats with qualified professionals to answer health-related questions

  • Communicate new information; for example, explaining recent changes to your company, or explaining what the new Affordable Healthcare Act means to those using your services

  • A combination of some or all of these

Many of these things will spread awareness of your brand and amplify your brand voice, particularly if you decide to participate in or host tweet chats. (If you want more information on building or establishing a brand voice, go here.) Tweet chats also lead to higher engagement with your audience. Which brings us to our next step.

2. Measure based on those goals.

If your goal is to increase awareness of your brand, you’ll want to look at share of voice, or specifically metrics like volume, reach, exposure, and amplification relative to the volume, reach, exposure, and amplification of your closest competitors, if they’re on social media. If they’re not on social media but your target audience is talking more about them than you, you need to really ask what they’re doing that you’re not. Here are more resources to break down how to measure each of these metrics specifically:

Amplification is definitely tied to share of voice- most metrics have some manner of overlap- but it’s also important to look at how others are helping to amplify your voice or your messages, which means looking at engagement as well. Retweets, annotated retweets (think the classic retweet, with commentary before the RT), link shares from your website, etc. The above resources cover much of this as well.

3. Rinse, repeat.

Social media is a constantly changing landscape, which can make it daunting to tackle, but the best way to go about it is just to jump in and listen, then start swimming. Establish a time period for regular evaluations- compile specific monthly metrics, schedule quarterly metric revisions- and investigate and change whatever isn’t working.

Social media basically consists of constant experimentation and adjustments, but with the right information it’s more of a fun and exciting project that a terrifying task. And as always, we’re here if you have questions.

No comment yet.!

Health IT from the CIO’s Chair 4/30/14 | HIStalk

Health IT from the CIO’s Chair 4/30/14 | HIStalk | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine personally and are not necessarily representative of current or former employers. Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear. MSRP excludes tax. Starting at price refers to the base model; a more expensive model may be shown.

The Budget Paradox

Hospital IT budgets come in two forms: capital budgets (one-time project expenses) and operating budgets (staff and ongoing expenses.)

I probably don’t need to write much by way of background to make the case of why hospitals are under pressure to reduce expenses. It would be fair to add that the pressures are more intense these days. The larger problem involves how we deliver care, but that does not mean that hospital systems aren’t equally focused on cutting expenses.

To be more precise, most budget reduction efforts are macro projects to either hit a specific target or to “bend the curve” such that operating expenses don’t rise or rise at a slower pace. This can be particularly vexing for IT for a number of reasons.

The first big one relates to how organizations view information technology. Often, to the chagrin of IT leaders, IT is seen (or willed) to be a magic bullet. As such, solutions are ordered in increasing numbers, creating scenarios of increasing IT demand. Often these systems are justified around the capital budgets alone, with the operational budget implication not fully understood until a year or two later.

If IT shops were standalone businesses, this increased demand would be a good thing (more customers! ) But IT shops aren’t standalone business, so they often have loose ROIs to carry. The resulting consequence is more weight added to the operating budget.

This in itself does not really create a paradox, but it does add to the pressure of trying to meet a budget target. The budget paradox is tied to a changing philosophy and approach around IT pricing.

Before I tie the pieces together, let me talk about Meaningful Use. Forget for a moment stages and government regulations. At its core, MU was a great idea to reward or incent organizations not for just installing IT, but for using IT. Some ideals and subjective concepts were added to aim beyond “use” and to strive for something higher (Meaningful Use), but that aside, of the things MU did was legitimize the pricing strategy that IT software could (and maybe should) be measured by use, not by installation.

Prior to this thinking, most hospitals bought large IT purchases around capital budgets and booked the expense based upon install. Reflecting the early days of IT, we took credit for simply getting a system in.

I support and like the idea that we should get credit for success upon use. While it’s hard to measure and define what might be “meaningful use” versus “use,” I think as long as we are generally focused on having IT measured beyond the install, we are aiming in the right direction.

Back to the budget paradox. Traditional thinking around operating budgets is that as you continue to operate, you should be able to control or reduce costs. Experience, efficiency, and maturity of operations should all lead to cost reductions. This manifests itself in common year after year quests to either keep operating budgets flat or reduce them. 

But as IT pricing models have shifted to use-based or volume-based, and with the magic venture capital words of “recurring revenue,” the idea of year-over-year reductions and rising costs from growing use begin to conflict.

Take the following example. A hospital deploys an EMR. Over the course of the year, it builds upon its success and increases its user base. Let’s imagine more orders entered, more concurrent users, and maybe even new modules and functions turned on. Juxtapose this against an expectation to achieve operating maturity and flat or reduced budgets. You are aligned for a paradox as you pay new fees for new use.

Of course, like every good CIO, I keep great records for my “guilty but with an explanation” budget list. I use sophisticated spreadsheets to demonstrate that on a “same-store basis,” my budget is trending down. But none of this matters if the organization’s macro demands are for budget control.

How do we solve our paradox? How can we continue to grow and contain costs? 

No doubt the answers are different for everyone and deeply tied to specific situations, but I think we need to work on a few themes.

  1. We need to get as good at turning off older systems as we are at turning new ones on. Incremental gains don’t much help here. A discipline of measuring off or on must be applied.
  2. We need to look at ways to leverage infrastructure at scale beyond our own individual sizes.
  3. We need to find ways to use more of what we have to gain richer functionality from the systems (and costs) that we already own.
  4. We need to be close to our labor costs and understand how best to balance all the levers.

The challenges ahead are complicated and will require us to think about things in new ways. The hospital IT budget is only going to be faced with new demands. It’s time to get innovative.

Darren Dworkin is chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles, CA. You can reach Darren on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

No comment yet.!

Is Healthcare Ready for Social Media? - YouTube

IMS Health leaders discuss why the healthcare industry must react quickly and decisively to events on social media and become less risk averse to new engagem...
No comment yet.!

Facebook acquires health and fitness tracking app Moves

Facebook acquires health and fitness tracking app Moves | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

Facebook has bought Moves, an app that keeps track of your daily exercise and fitness routine as well as the places you visit.

The news was revealed in a blog posted Thursday by ProtoGeo Oy, the company behind Moves. No details about the deal were revealed, simply that Facebook has acquired both the company and the app.

Available for iOS and Android users, Moves is a free app that can automatically track your walks, jogs, bike rides, and other forms of fitness. It can also keep track of the places you visit with a map that shows you where you've been and how you got there.

An app that tracks your daily activities can raise privacy concerns, especially with Facebook the new owner. The company has had its share of privacy complaints in the past. But Facebook has already tried to address such concerns.

Via Alex Butler
No comment yet.!

Facebook and Physicians: Not Good Medicine

Facebook and Physicians: Not Good Medicine | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

When Matt Goldstein entered medical school at Stanford, his instructors warned him about keeping Facebook or Twitter pages, saying that social media activity could lead to violations of HIPAA patient privacy rules.

As he prepares to begin his residency, Goldstein has once again received the now familiar warning. "I actually just got an email from my residency program, and they cautioned us strongly about social media and about using it judiciously."

Medical students and physicians face the choice of either not using social media or using pseudonyms that only friends know in order to avoid violating privacy rules and to steer clear of inappropriate contact with patients.

"For me, something like Facebook, which started off as a really powerful social tool to interact with friends and colleagues, in some way became a concerning liability," Goldstein said.

Goldstein said his classmates either use online pseudonyms on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts, or they have shut down their accounts for fear of unwittingly violating privacy rules. Many have switched to private professional networking sites, which allow them to discuss medical cases in professional forums, seek out colleagues for remote consultations and read up on the latest treatments and outcomes.

In a 2009 survey of deans at 130 U.S. medical schools published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 60% of the respondents reported incidents of students posting unprofessional online content. Violations of patient confidentiality were reported by 13% of those surveyed.

It may appear obvious that medical students and physicians shouldn't post personal patient information on social networks, but it's not always that simple.

For example, two years ago, Dr. Alexandra Thran, a 48-year-old emergency room physician, was fired from Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island and reprimanded for unprofessional conduct by the state medical board for posting information about a patient online.

According to a board filing, Thran didn't post the patient's name, but there was enough information that other people could identify the individual.

"Folks get into trouble when they think they're not violating patient confidentiality because they don't put the name or put the age down, but you can actually go back and find out information if you know where the doctor works, know the date it was posted," said Dr. Bradley Crotty, chief medical resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and an instructor at Harvard Medical School.

Physicians should approach posting on social networking sites in the same way they approach conversations in hospital elevators, Crotty said. It's simply forbidden to discuss cases in a public setting, whether physical or virtual.

The potential for medical professionals to get involved in inappropriate activity on social networking sites goes beyond doctors sharing information with colleagues, Goldstein said. Often, such cases don't involve a physician posting information; instead, it could be a situation where a patient is trying to make contact with a doctor.

"In some cases, that's nice; it seems to foster a connection between a patient and a physician. But I'm sure you can imagine that it can also be somewhat uncomfortable," Goldstein said.

Crotty has written about social networking, physician professionalism, and the need for physicians to develop "dual-citizenship" online to separate their public and private profiles. He said it's not uncommon for patients to search on social networking sites for their doctors in order to communicate with them.

While he recommends that physicians set their privacy settings to "high" to avoid having patients contact them on public sites, he also said doctors should create separate professional and personal accounts. The professional profiles should contain only contact information and perhaps credentials, Crotty said.

For physicians, however, social networking can be more valuable than learning the latest recipe for chocolate cake in a cup or seeing a friend's vacation photos.

Social networking sites can be places where physicians get advice from colleagues or share ideas on treatments. Crotty said a doctor seeking a second opinion on a social networking site is the equivalent of a "curbside consult," an off-the-cuff act of one physician asking another for an opinion with no formal arrangement. It's a longstanding practice among physicians, but it isn't recommended.

Another ethics conundrum that has come into being with the rise of social networking is whether physicians should peruse their patients' pages on social networking sites.

For example, a doctor who gave a patient a prescription for medicine that could have an adverse affect when mixed with alcohol might decide to check out the patient's Facebook page to see if the individual is telling the truth about his drinking habits, Crotty said.

"Is that a breach of privacy? Or is it fair game because it's public information?" he said. "There are so many questions that we don't know the answer to."

In a recent article in the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine titled " How Facebook Saved Our Day!", a physician describes an incident where medical professionals had to weigh the need to respect a patient's privacy against the need to give her the treatment she needed.

It started when a 34-year-old woman was brought into the emergency room displaying "bizarre behavior" and refusing to open her eyes for an examination. The only identification on the well-dressed woman was a business card. Using the information on the card, the physician looked up her Facebook page, and there he found the names of her husband and her primary care physician, both of whom were able to provide information about the patient's medical history, which included bouts of depression.

"Not to say it's wrong, but it's something we really need to think about as a profession," Crotty said. "HIPAA is a bill that carries criminal and civil penalties for breaches in confidentiality. So it's something we need to be careful of when you think about how you live with the information you have as a doctor."

Like many hospitals, Beth Israel Deaconess has set up its own messaging site for patients and physicians, called PatientSite. Patients can include up to two pharmacies in their profiles and add as many of their physicians as they like. The site requires users to log in, and thus enables patients and physicians to communicate securely.

Beyond hospital walls, a niche industry has emerged to address the desire by physicians to discuss patient cases with colleagues or request information on the latest treatments. Sermo and Doximity are two of the leading providers of online networking sites for physicians.

The sites verify physicians' credentials before allowing them to open accounts and begin sharing information with other doctors, either through postings or secure email.

For example, one recent posting involved a physician who needed to learn how to remove a wire bristle that had become lodged in a patient's throat. The bristle, from a gas grill cleaning brush, had broken off and become lodged in a hamburger the patient had eaten.

"He posted the case because he thought it was rare, but two other doctors had removed wire bristles from patients in the past two months. Now all three are going to write article about how to remove a wire bristle," said Jeff Tangney, CEO of Doximity.

Launched a little more than a year ago, Doximity now has 9% of all U.S. physicians as members, according to Tangney. "We have three times as many physicians on our network as LinkedIn has," he said.

Sites like Doximity allow specialists and hospitals to form social networking groups, and the information posted by members is only shared within a distinct universe of users.

The company generates revenues through physician referrals, including referrals to law firms that pay for expert testimony in court cases and referrals to Wall Street firms seeking physicians' opinions on investments in companies involved in the healthcare industry. For example, a fund manager might be considering an investment in a company that just received FDA approval for a new medical device. A physician familiar with the product would be able to say whether or not the device is useful.

Just as with any curbside consultation, however, the quality of the information physicians receive from colleagues on such sites can be questionable, and there are tricky liability issues to consider as well, said Crotty.

"What if the treatment they suggested was wrong and you chose the wrong one?" he said. "The thing is, when you get a second opinion, the doctor you're getting the opinion from has no clinical context or clinical relationship with that patient.

"I think these networks will be very good for general learning and general advice, but for real collaboration in clinical context, I wouldn't recommend them," Crotty said.

Goldstein has been using Doximity since the site launched nine months ago. He said it has a number of tools that are useful for connecting with other medical professionals. The site's user interface is similar to that of LinkedIn; it has a basic user profile, but it's tailored for physicians, he said.

Goldstein recently posted a question about a lab result that was confusing, and "in real time I got some interesting responses back," he said.

The other physicians offered their own insights and provided references to online resources.

Describing how the site helped expand his professional network, Goldstein said, "That's pretty cool to be able to sit in my physician work room here in Palo Alto and have responses coming in from people as far away as Boston and New York."

No comment yet.!

Advertisers are spending more money on the internet than on TV for the first time ever

Advertisers are spending more money on the internet than on TV for the first time ever | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

Internet ads are as old of the internet itself, but broadcast television always remained the place advertisers spent most of their money — despite the millions and millions spending hours every day online. However, that balance has been upset for the first time: according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), internet ad revenues for 2013 hit $42.8 billion, surpassing broadcast TV ad revenues of $40.1 billion.

While ubiquitous search ads still makes up the largest piece of that spending, advertisers are increasingly targeting your smartphone. The IAB says that mobile ads revenue experienced triple-digit growth for the third year in a row — in 2013, it was up 110 percent compared to 2012, reaching just over $7 billion in revenue. That's only 17 percent of total internet ad spending, but in 2012 mobile ads only accounted for nine percent of the internet ad landscape — and given consumer reliance on their smartphones, that number is likely to continue growing in the years to come.

No comment yet.!

How Healthcare Organizations Should Treat a Social Media Crisis

How Healthcare Organizations Should Treat a Social Media Crisis | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

Crisis management has always been critical in healthcare, but the global phenomenon called social media has made it vital for the industry to treat any emergency with urgency and have a healthy crisis management strategy. To help healthcare organizations handle a crisis with care, Uri Goren dispensed some socialsuggestions on

While the healthcare industry is skilled at handling medical crises, it has struggled to manage social media crises because there is a cultural gap between the industry and technology. This is mainly because healthcare is the antithesis of social media. It is conservative by nature, as well as evidence-based driven, highly regulated, steeped in professional jargon, and upholds privacy to the highest standard. While these qualities are important in healthcare, they aren’t in social media, which is a fast-paced, dynamic, liberal, brief, and transparent form of media. These gaps have to be bridged in the near future to help the healthcare industry thrive with the times.

Healthcare organizations need to face a few realities of the new social order. First, patients have become public spokespeople and they can share their experiences with thousands through a quick click and comment. In addition, the ubiquity of smartphones means that patients can capture any medical discussion or display and then air it to the world instantaneously. This loss of privacy must be remembered in every dialogue and document since each can lead to potential problems.

Also, social media has sped up the crisis response time to the point that a problem can go public in an instant. This means that organization must be prepared to remedy a crisis on the spot.

Finally, social media has turned the tables on traditional news and instead of just spreading stories, has become the source of them. This means that a simple comment or tweet can quickly become breaking news. As a result, healthcare organizations must use discretion when posting to platforms and realize every patient is a potential journalist.

So how can healthcare organizations protect and prepare themselves for potential social media slips? Just like in medicine, prevention is key, so here are a few healthy habits to preserve your public image.

1. Monitor Your Social Signs – Pay attention to what patients are saying by listening to their comments on social media channels.

2. Increase Your Immunity – Strengthen your social immune system by actively participating in social media discussions and building a positive community around the healthcare brand.

3. Be Prepared for Any Emergency – Develop a standard operating procedure for crisis management and train your employees to follow your guidelines and alert you to potential problems.

4. Treat the Problem Immediately – Just like trauma treatment, you need to act fast to increase your odds of survival, so you must respond immediately. Even a vague response is better than no response—just be sure to let your community know that you’re on the case and seeking a remedy.

5. Dispense a Dose of Honesty and Empathy – Social media demands professional transparency and personal respect, so make both the basis of your crisis management strategy.

A social media crisis can happen to any brand at any time, so you can’t take any chances when it comes to the health of your healthcare organization.

No comment yet.!

13 Social Media Best Practices for Healthcare Brands

13 Social Media Best Practices for Healthcare Brands | Online Reputation Management for Doctors |

It’s safe to say that social media is here to stay. Facebook recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and there’s no end in sight. Countless other interactive platforms are sprouting up on a regular basis, making it nearly impossible to determine where your time should be spent developing content and connecting with healthcare consumers.

The American Marketing Association’s Marketing News journal even refers to social media as “old-school.” Social engagement has transitioned from being a shiny, new object to a customer service and healthcare marketing necessity.

Many brands — particularly in healthcare — find social media to be intriguing, yet illusive. Valuable, but not quite sure how to successfully utilize the social networking websites. And how exactly do you measure success anyway? Algorithms are constantly changing. New Apps are developed at lightning speed.  The rules of engagement are being rewritten every year.

Read more:

Via Parag Vora
C. Todd Livengood's curator insight, April 2, 2014 7:29 AM

"We all know that no one wants to think of a hospital when they don’t have to. That’s why it’s critical to have a page that people want to engage with, and find useful, valuable information along the way."