Online Reputation Management for Doctors
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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
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Nurse practitioners: Consider 5 things before friending patients on Facebook

Nurse practitioners: Consider 5 things before friending patients on Facebook | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it
The decision is up to you, but here’s what you need to think about.


 With the social media boom, lines between personal and professional lives become blurred. What is posted online stays online.


Even if your Facebook profile is labeled "private", I am certain there is still a way anyone persistent enough can see your information and photos. This is why I recommend removing all of your boozing party pics from college before sending out resumes (you should also leave them off of your profile for the remainder of your professional life—you can put them back up when you retire).


With this blurring of the personal and professional and the wealth of personal information online, naturally this question arises: should you become Facebook friends with your patients?


Ultimately, the decision is up to you, but here are some things to consider:


1. Social media is culturally relevant.


Your patients are all using social media—probably even in your office while they wait for their appointments. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are places your patients get their information. By forming an online relationship with your patients, you will be able to reach them more effectively.


Are you trying to help many of your patients lose weight? Develop a Twitter account for weight loss tips and daily reminders to assist your patients with weight loss even when you can't be with them. This will make your preventative healthcare far better than that of other nurse practitioners (NPs) and MDs.


I must also mention the use of email in relation to cultural relevance. I believe willingness to email your patients is a necessity. Calling a medical office can be frustrating. Your patients want to be able to reach you easily. Email will take less time than you think and your patients will appreciate your efforts. The ability to schedule appointments online on your clinic's website is also a must!


2. Privacy and legal concerns with social media


We are all well aware of the infamous Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Patient information is private. You cannot share it in any way shape or form.


Beware of posting anything at all about your work on your personal Facebook or Twitter account. It is so easy to mistakenly reveal a patient's private information online; I believe it is best not to post anything at all. All patient stories posted through MidlevelU are not "real" patients.


Legally, posting anything about your work as a nurse practitioner also puts you at risk. I have been advised not to post if I have had a "good day" or "bad day" at work. If a malpractice case is presented, these statements will be scrutinized and could be used against you or a co-worker.


3. Setting boundaries


An online relationship with your patients can help you view your patients as a "whole" rather than simply a medical diagnosis. Taking into consideration your patients' lifestyles and how their health affects their lives can help you become a better provider.


There are some things about your life, however, that you should probably keep private. According to the Seattle Times, a recent survey found that 90 percent of state medical boards reported at least one online professional standards violation by a doctor. Nurse practitioners who "friend" their patients must keep their social media profiles clean and appropriate.


4. Building your practice


Social media is an excellent business building tool. Your patients have chosen you as their health care provider. Using social media, you can communicate with them outside of the usual office visit increasing their confidence in and relationship with you as a health care provider. Social media also allows you to encourage new patients to visit your clinic, further expanding your practice.


5. Becoming personable


Most patients want to see you as a person. Because you are providing them and their families health care, they need to trust you. By giving glimpses of your personality and life as a whole, your patients will trust you more allowing you to have a greater impact on their health.


Given the benefits and drawbacks of involvement in social media among health care providers, I think there is an easy solution. Create a social media for your practice or specialty. Rather than "friending" your patients using your personal Facebook page, create a page for your practice or a page for you personally that you use only for professional use. This will allow to you extend your health care knowledge and advice to patients at home and give a glimpse of your personality to your patients without leaking any old sorority photos into your professional presence. 

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mHealth and Medical Marketing

mHealth and Medical Marketing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Epocrates study on use of mobile technology

Mobile technology (mHealth) has revolutionized the way people communicate. In a study conducted by Epocrates (Maximizing Multi-Screen Engagement Among Clinicians) involving 1,063 healthcare providers—namely primary care practitioners, oncologists, cardiologists, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants—results reveal that nearly half of these individuals are digital omnivores, or those who routinely make use of smartphones, tablets, and laptops to accomplish several healthcare-related tasks. The study also characterized how often and in what ways mobile technology has benefited healthcare providers, as well as its impact on the future of healthcare, particularly with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, along with several other provisions that impact workflows in healthcare facilities.

Physicians are becoming digital omnivores

Comparing the results of last year’s study conducted by the same company, the 2013 Epocrates Mobile Trends Survey shows an incredible upward trend in several aspects, nearly twice as 2012. For instance, the number of digital omnivores grew from 28% to 47% this year, with the number of tablet users increasing from 34% in 2012 to this year’s 53%, and with smartphone users from 78% to 86%. And using these quite impressive figures, and using the 2012 survey results as the benchmark, it is predicted that by 2014 digital omnivores will grow to up to 82%.

So what do all these figures say about tomorrow’s healthcare industry?

With a very dynamic and rigorous environment, the industry of healthcare is in an urgent need for tools and resources that will make every single person efficient and productive, and mobile technology has definitely given this industry that much-needed upgrade.

  • Communication between caregivers – Mobile use has proven to be a viable tool that enables rapid access to medical information and communication not just between patients and primary caregivers, but even among caregivers themselves.
  • Communication between providers and patients – These devices also enable providers to get connected to their patients and colleagues after office hours and well into the evening. Desktop computers may be the primary tool used in a healthcare facility, say from 7am to 5pm, but study shows that tablets and smartphones account for roughly 40% of a healthcare provider’s digital time at work. In particular, almost half of surveyed healthcare providers who own tablets use their device for electronic health record management and all other sorts of clinical documentation, as well as for completing other tasks like visiting professional resources, reading journal articles, emailing, or working on their portals. Patients are now able to connect to their healthcare providers easily, thus minimizing frequent visits to hospital facilities.
  • Communication between medical manufacturers and patients – The continuous introduction of mobile healthcare applications provides patients easy access to information that will aid them in living a healthier and more active life. Medical devices manufacturers can directly reach patients answering questions and building long term relationships with them.

With all the benefits of using mobile devices, especially in an environment as dynamic as the healthcare industry, and with the growing number of mobile device users, it’s clear that we are entering a new era of healthcare. It is safe to assume that the use of mobile devices in this industry will help reduce healthcare costs, both on the part of primary care providers and on patients, and overall improve patient diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes.

What does this mean to the medical device manufacturer?

This means primarily to create content that can be easily disseminated and is adaptable across many types of displays and screens. One of the ways to achieve this today by building a responsive medical device website.



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Hospital Impact - Set rules for docs on social media

Hospital Impact - Set rules for docs on social media | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Back in 2011, I wrote a Hospital Impact post about why doctors should be careful when using social media. I'm not changing my stance on the issue, but I recognize that social media, and clinicians' use of it, has come a long way in a short amount of time. If it was accepted before, it's expected now!

So what prescription should doctors write for themselves when it comes to using social media? The answer is pretty simple. Use it, and remember what it's for!

Recently, the Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline issued guidelines for doctors on how to use social media appropriately. I'm glad they did this for two reasons--First, it lets doctors know that it's OK to post out there in the big social sphere, and they won't lose their license by doing so. Second, it gives them the dos and don'ts of what to do.

A lot of doctors already have figured out that social media is a great tool. They are leaders in the field, and their social media use has allowed them to voice their opinions on hot health topics, to serve as thought leaders in the healthcare and social media, and to simply share information.

Kevin Pho (@KevinMD on Twitter and on his blog) and Wendy Sue Swanson (@SeattleMamaDoc on Twitter and a blogger for Seattle Children's Hospital) are two people who immediately come to mind. They learned early on the power of social media and have been touting the benefits of connecting with people through these channels for years.

They've been tweeting, speaking at conferences, and becoming leaders in the industry through their openness to and their acceptance of new technology to reach people, help people, and just maybe, make people healthier.

Don't forget the other side of the coin. There have been some well-publicized cases of physicians using social media inappropriately. In one such case, a R.I. physician posted protected patient information on Facebook. She was fined, and she removed her Facebook account. In a more recent case, a physician clearly stepped over the line when talking about a patient's chronic lateness and a stillbirth.

That's why having official guidelines is not only recommended, but also a necessary part of hospital business these days. Well before the R.I. Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline developed its guidelines, we developed rules for our physicians. By arming our physicians with the information they needed, they would be less likely to get into trouble, and perhaps be less timid about using social media as a communication tool.

When the R.I. Board came out with its guidelines, we saw it as an opportunity to remind our own physicians of the guidelines we already had in place. From our own @RIHospital, I'm thrilled that one of our emergency medicine doctors, Megan Ranney, M.D. (@MeganRanney), has taken to Twitter like a pro. The Associated Press even interviewed her for a story on the release of the new social media guidelines.

"I do think you have to use your professional judgment," Ranney said in the article. She also gave good advice--think twice before posting something.

In today's social world, hospital communications and marketing efforts must include keeping doctors abreast of the many uses of social media. Get them on board, let them comment, let them blog--being "social" can help position your hospital's brand positively, if, of course, the tools are used appropriately.


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Can the Internet and Social Media Help the Development of Healthcare?

Can the Internet and Social Media Help the Development of Healthcare? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

In a world frantically scrambling to adapt to the changing digital landscape, how has healthcare fared? Has the Internet and social media helped or hindered its development? Should the public turn to the Internet for medical advice? I enlisted the help of some leading voices in the field to unravel these questions and shed some much needed light on the topic.


Information technologies have already prompted a massive shift in the way medical information is accessed, with its capacity to transfer important knowledge from health professionals to the wider public. Social media, in particular, is a perfect vehicle for this.

As the tentacles of social media permeate into everyday life, doctors and healthcare organisations alike can leverage this power to circulate valuable information about health problems as well as self-care and prevention techniques.


As Lee Aase, Director at Mayo Clinic Social Media, confirms:

“By engaging in public, knowledgeable professionals can offer help and insights on a scale that was previously impossible. And by bringing their science-based perspective they can hopefully counter some of the bad information that has been so harmful to public health”


“The Journal of Internet Medical Research have suggested that 60% of adults used the internet to find health information”

It’s exactly this ‘bad information’ that makes searching online for medical advice fraught with dangers. For the more Internet savvy, this may not pose a problem, but, for the less educated, and the elderly, finding credible information on the web may be a troublesome task.

The reality is that anyone can publish on the internet, regardless of quality, which means that you could be confronted with information that is conflicting, confusing, or quite simply wrong.


From a runny nose to something more serious like a suspicious lump, people are heading to the web more and more; but, with more than 70,000 websites disseminating medical information, where should you visit?


According to Dr. Sarah Jarvis, clinical consultant at Patient.co.uk, your doctor can advise you on trusted sites to visit. Here in the UK, sites which have been awarded The Information Standard by the NHS, are particularly useful as medical resources:


"Patient.co.uk is fully accredited, and all the articles on the site are written by GPs, for GPs and their patients. They also provide full references to back up their content. Of the 11 million people who access the information onsite every month, almost a million are GPs and practice nurses – a ringing endorsement of the quality of the information."


However, can even the most reputable sites compare to the value of a face-to-face appointment with your GP? Dr. Leana Wen, physician and author of When Doctor’s Don’t Listen believes that the Internet should only be used to accompany a visit to the doctors:

"Don't use the Internet to make your diagnosis, but rather use it to formulate better questions to ask your doctor. Internet search engines can't replace seeing your doctor, because symptoms alone don't make your diagnosis--your history and physical exam do."


This is true; the benefits of a physical diagnosis cannot be completely replaced by a search online. However, the Internet and social media have other abilities that can improve healthcare, namely it’s capacity to bring patients with similar diseases together. Through Twitter chats and Facebook groups, like-minded patients can connect with one another for mutual support and knowledge sharing. Introducing trained medical professionals into these conversations will undoubtedly make these discussions more helpful.


“Doctors should always exercise caution when using Twitter as it can often lead to a conflict of interest, but as long as it’s used in responsible manner, Twitter can be the perfect platform to educate the public on a wide range of health issues.”Healthexpress Chief medical Advisor, Dr. Hilary Jones


Facebook is particularly good at grouping patients together.

In one simple click, you can become an active member of a community alongside others with similar interests.

These groups supply valuable opportunities to talk to one another while offering important information on breakthrough studies, news and advice for a specific condition, all of which will feature on a daily newsfeed.


A perfect example of a successful social media campaign can be observed with Diabetes.co.uk, a community website which has successfully built a global network to help people with diabetes worldwide. As well as promoting awareness for Diabetes, their social media platforms unite people with similar worries so they can share their stories and seek support.


In fact, the benefits of an extended support network on a persons health has been confirmed by several studies. Researchers from California carried out a large-scale study in 1979, which concluded that people with relatively low levels of social interaction died earlier than those with strong social networks.


By using social media, people are more likely to partake in social interaction and support. The possibilities have moved beyond the restraints of face-to-face contacts to an unlimited pool of people with shared interests and concerns.

As Medical Expert for NBC and regular on air guest for Fox News, Dr. Kevin Campbell testifies,

"Support groups are extremely valuable for patients--social media allows for patients from geographically diverse regions to interact in real time without even leaving their own homes."

“Social media connects. Social Media informs both patients and doctors. It enhances knowledge. It facilities communication. In healthcare, is there anything more powerful than knowledge and human connection?”Dr.John Mandrola, cardiologist

As well as improving doctor/patient relationships, Dr. Campbell believes that social media can develop relationships within doctors’ circles themselves. Doctors can now consult each other from anywhere in the world, meaning that ideas can be more easily disseminated, thus improving research and patient care.


However, many healthcare institutions are worried that the use of social media by their doctors may compromise patient privacy while threatening a doctor’s professional reputations. This has lead to many organisations devising their own guidelines for their doctors. Dr. John Mandrola, a cardiac electro physiologist and regular Twitter user, has created his own ‘Rules for Doctors on Social Media.’


There may be some risks to consider when integrating social media into a healthcare model, but the overwhelming power of social media as a tool to educate and distribute medical information cannot be ignored. If social media is to revolutionize healthcare and improve public health on a global level, health professionals must be actively involved in the process to guarantee that the information is completely reliable. With a community of doctors and specialists already discussing ethical problems and how to overcome these obstacles, the future of social media in healthcare is in good hands.



Read more: http://www.healthexpress.co.uk/blog/general-health/internet-social-media-healthcare.html?7144277=1#ixzz2qet0Nzw1 
Follow us: @healthexpress on Twitter


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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, January 23, 2014 3:09 AM

Internet ,Social Media and  the Development of Healthcare

Blanca Usoz's curator insight, January 23, 2014 4:13 AM

Redes sociales que conectan en salud

Anthony Carnesecca's curator insight, January 24, 2014 2:40 AM

This article brings up an interesting point about whether vital areas of our lives, such as medicine and health, should fully utilize social media platforms to advocate and push for consumers to act in certain ways.

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Doctor Online Reputation Management

Audio Presentation on the importance of digital presence for physicians and practices
Technical Dr. Inc.'s insight:
Websites, SEO, Digital marketing, Social Media Profile Management, and more managed by our expert team at Technical Doctor inc. Connect with us to see the possibilities, email at: inquiry@technicaldr.com - Technical Doctor Team
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Online Reputation Management-What Doctors Need to Know

Even if you're not on any social networks, your patient satisfaction scores and professional relationships can still be affected by a negative online reputation
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How Social Media can Help your Medical Practice Get More Clients

How Social Media can Help your Medical Practice Get More Clients | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Most medical practice websites today rely on some form of social networking or social media marketing to help their company reach strategic goals. Social media websites do an excellent job at sorting their users into smaller networks. It makes your job of targeting them much easier with your message. This article will discuss the powerful concepts behind social media marketing.

 

You must first understand what a social media website is before you can truly utilize the features that it brings to the table. All social media sites require you to create a personal profile. You will use this profile as your business card when encountering the rest of the world. Sites like YouTube focus on user-published content and grouping users that find the same content relevant, engaging or entertaining.


Social media allows medical practices to spend less money on securing a place for their content or advertisement. They can put their saved money into producing quality advertisements instead. The networks and media will handle most of the marketing for you if it is a well-designed piece of content.


Social media has a variety of popular sites and strategies. It is best to choose social media sites that have a substantial user-base. Each different site will have its own strengths, features, and audiences that you can utilize. Start by listing the different sites used most often and finding out if your clients use them.


As long as you can produce excellent content, you can easily incorporate social media into your medical marketing strategies. It may begin as simple as a bookmark, favicon, or embedded video, but it will get your practice exposed to the public. The traffic will begin following close behind. The further your video spirals through your client’s friends list, emails, and social networks that you target, the more people will become exposed to its content.


If your media catches on once, don’t let it stop. You should post your content on a regular schedule. When your posts catch on over a period of time, potential clients will want to know when they can expect your content. When certain content makes noticeable changes on your practice, find out what the clients liked or disliked about the content. Alter your strategy when it doesn’t work.


There are many potential clients looking for answers. Apply the tips above and return with the content that answers their needs.


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Two Of Three Patients Say mHealth Would Improve Their Health

Two Of Three Patients Say mHealth Would Improve Their Health | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it
Two Of Three Patients Say mHealth Would Improve Their Health

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

mHealth could be the answer to weight loss, chronic disease management, and wellness; 65 percent of patients think it would make them healthier

Nearly half of Americans (48 percent) report that it is hard to stay motivated to live a healthy life, and only 22 percent are very confident in their ability to keep track of their own health, according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Wellocracy. “There are dozens of activity and health trackers on the market today, and literally thousands of health apps available for consumers. Yet, instead of getting people moving towards a healthy lifestyle, most feel paralyzed by all these choices and the technology can be dizzying,” said Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, founder and director, Center for Connected Health.

According to the survey:

  • 65 percent say using a health tracking device, website or app would be beneficial
  • 32 percent believe using a health tracking device would help them stay motivated
  • 31 percent believe it would provide accountability
  • 27 percent believe it would help them stay in control of their health

“We know that if we give people — young and old — insights into their health and help them understand how lifestyle choices impact quality of life, they feel more accountable, engaged, and live a healthier, more active life. Integrating ‘self-health’ tools like activity and nutrition trackers and sleep monitors into our daily lives, we can learn from our own behaviors and make positive changes to take charge of our health,” Kvedar added.

Additionally, the survey found:

  • 56 percent  have never used any type of health tracking device, app or website
  • 23-26 percent ages 18-34, were most likely to use diet or fitness apps on their phones
  • 56-59 percent ages 35-44 reported that it is hard to stay motivated to live a healthy life
  • 51 percent wished they could make better use of technology to keep track of their health

“There is a huge void in the market today. Easy to use, accurate, and effective health and wellness trackers are readily available, yet most consumers are not using them. Wellocracy will fill that void and help individuals select the right health technology best suited to their preferences and goals, and figure out the personal motivation that will keep them on track to best manage their health,” says Kvedar.



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Interactive Patient Engagement Benefits Physicians And Patients

Interactive Patient Engagement Benefits Physicians And Patients | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it
Interactive Patient Engagement Benefits Physicians And Patients

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

Patient engagement is key to reducing readmissions and providing patients the best experience possible

Patient engagement not just a requirement for Meaningful Use (MU), it provides tangible benefits for providers and patients as well. For example, patients who are engaged in their health are more likely to monitor chronic diseases or take medications and less likely to end up back in the hospital. Reducing readmissions is good for providers, since new penalties can total more than a quarter million dollars per occurrence.

At the upcoming Achieving Patient Experience Excellence Summit, JoAnn Trybulski, chief nursing officer, University of Miami Health System, will discuss interactive patient engagement through informative consultations and educational practices. The Summit is put on by International Quality & Productivity Center (IQPC) and aims to drive “real results through extraordinary case studies, strategies, and tactics to develop and implement a successful high impact patient-centered care program.”

In addition to the methods that will be discussed at the Summit, there are other ways providers can interact with their patients, and they are more diverse now than ever because more and more patients have access to the internet. Some of the most valuable tools are smartphone apps, since reminders can be easily sent directly to patients, and they can easily contact providers with questions and concerns. One app helps patients stay on track with prescription medications and hopes to keep patients out of the ER through medication adherence and communication with a pharmacist.

Patient education is also a part of Trybulski presentation, and a survey from Xerox reveals patients are confused by electronic health records (EHRs) and how to use them. Two out of three patients surveyed feel their doctors have not involved them in the transition to digital records. Charles Fred, president of health care provider solutions, Xerox, summed up the situation by saying, “Patients will soon have more access to their personal health information than ever before, but they need to be educated by providers on how this will empower them to take charge of their own care.” If providers expect patients to become involved in their health, they also need to be involved in the transitions and education of how to best use the new technology being made available.

Interacting with patients benefits both parties in such ways that some say the future includes patient generated data as a solution to the problems EHRs present. Convincing patients to enter and update their personal health data would prevent mistakes in the ED and ensure accuracy about birthdates, allergies, and medications that may be missed by a busy ED staff. If the future of patient engagement is to play out the way providers prefer, providers have to take the time now to interact with and educate patients - not just to meet MU, but to truly better the healthcare system.



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Specialists Struggle With MU Reporting

Specialists Struggle With MU Reporting | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it
Specialists Struggle With MU Reporting

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

A group of specialists is asking Congress to make an exception when it comes to MU reporting requirements

In order to receive payments from the EHR Incentive Program, providers must show certain qualifying reports. For specialists, this is often difficult as the requirements are “geared towards primary care, and requires information that specialists don’t routinely collect for many of their patient populations,” according to EHRIntelligence.

This has led a group of specialist organizations to ask Representative Diane Black (R-TN) “to allow reporting to a clinical data registry to satisfy the quality reporting clause.” Black is known for previous legislation to add exemptions for solo practitioners and specialists.

A letter addressed to Black reads in part, “The value of registry participation goes beyond simple quality measurement. With the evolution of health information technology, a new kind of clinical data registry is emerging that extracts data directly from the EHR for analysis and faster feedback to physicians on quality initiatives. Because clinical data registries collect data elements specific to a physician’s patient population, they improve electronic documentation, promote meaningful data exchange, and produce meaningful and actionable measures of patient care.”

The letter is signed by The American Academy of Ophthalmology, The American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons, The Society of Interventional Radiology, The American Society of Anesthesiologists, American College of Gastroenterology, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, North American Spine Society, American College of Rheumatology, and American Urological Association.

“The greatest tool we can give to physicians to drive quality improvement is relevant, timely, transparent, and actionable data about their patient populations. Clinical data registries have the potential to dramatically improve healthcare through meaningful quality measurement and timely feedback,” continues the letter.

If the recommendations in this letter are accepted, specialists would have the option meet the quality reporting measure through uploading data to specialty-specific registries. This is already in sync with MU requirements. “By definition, true participation in an EHR-based clinical registry also requires that physicians (1) capture relevant patient data, the ONC’s goal of stage 1 meaningful use, (2) exchange data with the registry and across settings, the goal of stage 2 meaningful use, and (3) engage in quality improvement activities, the goal of stage 3 meaningful use,” the letter explains. “Therefore, physicians who use their EHRs to participate in a qualified clinical data registry should be deemed by CMS as having satisfied the requirements of the meaningful use program.”

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Remote Patient Monitoring Through Telehealth

Remote Patient Monitoring Through Telehealth | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it
Remote Patient Monitoring Through Telehealth

By Wendy Grafius, contributing writer

Implementation of expanded telehealth services will allow clinicians to remotely monitor patients in any location

By Wendy Grafius, contributing writer

Mercy, the nation’s sixth largest Catholic health system, has collaborated with Royal Philips, a leader in cardiac care, acute care, and home healthcare, to expand telehealth services to Mercy’s medical and surgical hospital units. The implementation will allow clinicians to remotely monitor patients in any location, improving care and outcomes.

A rapidly growing care delivery model, telehealth supported by Philips has been in place at Mercy since 2006. Mercy SafeWatch is the largest electronic intensive care unit in the country, providing 24-hour monitoring of critically ill patients and managed with Philips eICU platform. And several Mercy emergency departments utilize the Philips Telestroke program. These telehealth implementations have resulted in improved metrics in length of stay, readmissions, and patient safety.

With patient acuity levels rising, medical and surgical care in hospitals continues to consume healthcare resources, prompting Mercy’s decision to extend telehealth to these areas. “We have never been more convinced of the power of telehealth to improve patient access and outcomes and reduce costs,” said Lynn Britton, CEO and president of Mercy. “Adding acute care telehealth services is a natural extension of our successful eICU and telestroke programs and will allow us to support our mission to provide quality care to patients in need, regardless of location.”

The acute care telehealth program is expected to be in place by April 2014. Audio and video bi-directional access will complement Mercy’s home care technology with plans for the Mercy virtual care center to be staffed by hundreds of healthcare providers. By 2017, Mercy hopes to provide its eAcute program to 1500 acute care beds within the Mercy system as well as to other partner hospitals via telehealth technology. “With the right leadership, people and processes in place, Mercy has become a model for how to roll out a coordinated telehealth strategy that truly changes the way patients receive care,” said Brian Rosenfeld, M.D., VP and CMO of Philips Healthcare Hospital to Home. “Our acute care program builds on the success we’ve had in the ICU, Emergency Department, and the home, and we will continue to partner with leading health systems like Mercy to expand telehealth programs across the country.”

With a long history tracing back to 1827 in Dublin, Ireland, the Sisters of Mercy Health System was formed in 1986, transitioning in 2011 to one name – Mercy. With 32 acute care, specialty care, and critical access hospitals serving more than 3 million people in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, the nonprofit system also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas. The Mercy Clinic is a team of 1700 primary and specialty care physicians and 600 advanced practitioners delivering care out of 300 locations. Named one of Hospital & Health Network’s “Most Wired” organizations ten times, Mercy was an early adopter of electronic health records and was the nation’s first Epic user to implement EHR-automated care paths. The health system also ranks among the top 10 healthcare supply chains.



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The physician will text you now: Follow ups from the doctor in your mobile phone

The physician will text you now: Follow ups from the doctor in your mobile phone | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

The doctor will text you now. Social media has finally developed a post-emergency room (ER) follow-up that works. Diabetic patients treated in the emergency department who were enrolled in a program in which they received automated daily text messages improved their level of control over their diabetes and their medication adherence, according to a study published online today in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. You can check out the study or its abstract, "Trial to Examine Test Message Based mHealth in Emergency Department Patients with Diabetes (TExT-MED): A Randomized Controlled Trial."


In the past decade, many doctors also have used email to send the results of physical exams and blood tests to patients by posting the results on a website that can be accessed only by patient and doctor. Now, social media and mobile phones are so widespread in the population, that doctors are texting patients for their follow ups that follow them up for six months.


Doctors can use social media to remind patients to be more self-sufficient when it comes to taking responsibility to be healthier instead of thinking, "I'll let the doctor take care of my problem." Or like the TV advertisement for certain drugs said, "I'll do my job and let my doctor do his." When the doctors text patients for six months, it keeps patients reminded of how to manage their health better, or at least reminds them of what they're supposed to do when managing a health problem such as type 2 diabetes.


"Our results were especially pronounced for Latinos, who are twice as likely as non-Latinos to develop diabetes," explains the lead study author Sanjay Arora, MD, of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, according to the November 11, 2013 news release, The doctor will text you now: Post-ER follow-up that works. "These patients, when followed up by text messages for 6 months, improved enough to reduce their dependence on the emergency department for care of their diabetes. Text messaging is effective, low-cost and widely available for our patients who often have no other source of medical care."


Patients received text messages for half a year

Adult patients with poorly controlled diabetes who visited an urban, public emergency department for care received two daily text messages for 6 months. For patients who received the text messages, blood glucose levels decreased by 1.05 percent and self-reported medication adherence improved from 4.5 to 5.4 (on an eight-point scale). Effects were even larger among Spanish speakers for both medication adherence and blood glucose levels.


The proportion of patients who visited the emergency department was lower in the text messaging group (35.9 percent) than in the control group (51.6 percent). Almost all (93.6 percent) patients enrolled in the program reported enjoying it and 100 percent reported that they would recommend it to family and friends.


The text messaging program is called TExT-MED

The text messaging program, called TExT-MED, included daily motivational messages such as "Having diabetes can lead to a heart attack or stroke – but it doesn't have to" and "Eat more fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains and less salt and fat." In addition, it provided three medication reminders per week, two healthy living challenges per week and two trivia questions per week, designed to build diabetes awareness (sample: "Trivia" Eating too much sugar and other sweet foods is a cause of diabetes. A. True. B. False.").


"Diabetes is emerging as a public health epidemic, particularly in low-income, underserved inner city and minority populations who depend on safety-net systems for medical care," says Dr Arora in the news release, The doctor will text you now: Post-ER follow-up that works. "Our goal is to transition our patients from crisis management to long-term diabetes management. In the absence of other health care options, reaching our patients by text message makes us partners in handling their disease and improves their quality of life."


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Providers wade warily into online patient groups, hope for benefits

Providers wade warily into online patient groups, hope for benefits | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Online patient groups -- where, for example, people with diabetes meet to support each other's efforts to maintain their proper insulin levels and overall health, or patients with similar behavioral health diagnoses offer one other encouragement and share successful coping strategies -- come in many flavors, but they come at a price.

The current model of care just doesn't allow us to focus on what really seems to be changing the cost dynamic -- behavior change.

Jason Cunningham,medical director, West County Health Centers

Some are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies or other profit-motivated vendors, who may drop marketing materials into the feed. Some independent groups, such as PatientsLikeMe, offer social network-like user experiences, but they can be a little more public-facing than some patients wish. And sometimes they share data with pharmas, too, as per its user agreement and general mission to affect new clinical treatments via crowd-sourcing of symptom data more nimbly than traditional clinical trials.

Another problem is there aren't any outcomes research on the effectiveness of these online wellness communities, Jeff Benabio, M.D., Kaiser Permanente dermatologist and physician director of health innovation told SearchHealthIT. He argued against the online groups in a debate session during Partners HealthCare Connected Health Symposium 2012.

"There's significant harm that's harbored within these communities in misformation -- well-meaning, but misinformation, and conflicts of interest," Benabio said. "So there's no protection for the patients ... no one's watching the store; we can't endorse them."

New model: Provider-hosted online wellness groupsA new model of online patient groups is emerging, however; one that hopes to counter the patient protection argument. In this model, the group is hosted by an outside vendor and moderated by a patient's care provider, which can set the agenda, exclude advertising and sketchy health information, as well as lock down privacy and security for HIPAA compliance. Patients can appear as anonymous (or pseudonymous) to their group peers, but the provider knows who's who in the back end for treatment purposes, and for documenting education material a patient consumes and course completion.

These groups aren't free, however. The provider must pay for them, since commercial sponsors don't. Because they're in their infancy, the outcomes still aren't well-known. But one resource-strapped federally qualified health center (FQHC), the West County Health Centers network of Guerneville, Calif., is wagering some of its chips on online patient groups.

The idea is that the groups, hosted by vendor WellFX, will work as a de facto population health management tool by inspiring West County's patients with diabetes, substance abuse and obesity problems, and behavioral health diagnoses to check with each other. Greater communication and improved home care tactics might keep patients healthier between what the provider hopes ultimately will be less-frequent episodes of care. That could quickly translate to cost savings, considering 40% of the clinic group's 13,000 patients are either completely unfunded or underinsured.

"We are, like everybody else is, rethinking our care delivery model in a significant way," said Jason Cunningham, D.O., West County medical director, who is overseeing the rollout of the first WellFX groups. "The current model of reimbursement, the current model of care, just doesn't allow us to focus on what really seems to be changing the cost dynamic -- behavior change. In primary care, with diabetes and heart failure and addiction and depression and mental illness, the 15- or 20-minute visit where we're dictating the conversation ... it's just not the right model for patient care."

WellFX activity isn't yet connected to the provider's electronic health record (EHR) system, and Cunningham said it can't yet be directly used to document any particular accountable care organization (ACO) or meaningful use measure, yet. But he believes the investment will ultimately pay off in fewer unfunded visits and Medicaid claims by helping create an overall healthier patient base. The groups may also contribute to better outcomes in several Medicare and Medicaid medical home pilot projects in which West County is enrolled.

So far the health centers have created patient groups for diabetes, chronic pain, anxiety and overall wellness. They serve as online continuations of in-person groups at West County when those have concluded. For example, patients show up from 8 weeks to 10 weeks for addiction groups at the clinic in person, and continue it online afterwards in WellFX. Providers don't address patients within WellFX; West County so far has confined those communications to its online patient portal.

"A lot of groups where we recognize that the secret sauce is patients engaging with each other -- we do a little bit of educating, but the patients engage with each other very candidly about what they need to be doing and lessons learned," Cunningham said


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Patient Online Search - Infographics - Technical Doctor Inc. - EHR Chicago, EMR Chicago, HIPAA Assessments

Patient Online Search - Infographics - Technical Doctor Inc. - EHR Chicago, EMR Chicago, HIPAA Assessments | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it
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Social Media for Doctors: How Should Doctors Use Social Media?

Social Media for Doctors: How Should Doctors Use Social Media? | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

Most businesses that have any sort of presence on the internet are coming to realize that social media can be a powerful tool in marketing and promoting their products and services.  But is it right for healthcare providers to follow suit?  If you do a little searching, you’ll find many doctors, dentists, hospitals, and nursing homes active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +.  Marketing experts agree that the time is right for medical professionals to test the waters, but there are some guidelines healthcare providers will need to know before jumping in with both feet.


Why bother with social media in the first place?  There are several reasons.  The days of setting up a website and waiting for clients to find you on the internet are gone (if they ever existed).


 Social Media Benefits for a Medical Practice:

  • Engage your patients
  • Build trust
  • Become a resource
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Social media helps you reach out, connect and engage with people.  Patients want to see that there are real people in your office who really care and are there to help.  You can also build more trust and loyalty with clients by communicating with them and giving them updated information and engaging them in conversation.  Your office can also become a resource on healthcare and related topics that patients will genuinely appreciate.  And finally, SEO: As you implement social media use you are helping your practice’s ranking on Google and other search engines, which makes it much easier for a new patient to find you in an internet search.  Since most people Google everything they’re looking for, including a new physician, you want to be at the top of the list!

The benefits of using social media to share information and maintain better relationships with patients are easy to see, but healthcare providers must play by different rules than, say, a hardware store or a coffee shop.  The first thing you must do is to put a social media policy into place for your office and make everyone in the practice aware of the guidelines.

Social Media Guidelines are Important to:

  • Protect the privacy of patients
  • Keep a professional reputation
  • Avoid questions regarding medical advice

Protecting your patients’ privacy should be the first priority when using social media.  Never post a picture or anything about a patient without their written permission.  Even with written permission, you need to evaluate if it is the right thing for your practice.  For example, an orthodontist makes it a practice to take a before, during and after picture of all her patients receiving braces.  With the patient’s written permission (or the parents’ in the case of minors) she posts the photos on the practice’s Facebook page showing the progress along the way and the final finished product: A beautiful smile!  She does not use names.  This is a great way to showcase her expertise and the number of patients she is working with.  And it’s effective.  Patients and parents are going to the Facebook page to look for the pictures and then they’re interacting with the orthodontist and her staff.  But that same strategy might not be such a great idea for other specialties where the treatment is more sensitive and should be kept private.  Numerous physicians have had HIPAA complaints filed against them just for describing a patient’s treatment, without the use of a name, on social media. 

Physicians and all employees need to know that there are boundaries that can’t be crossed with their own personal social media sites as well.  Your reputation as a professional could be ruined by posting the wrong kind of personal information on social media.  Specifically spell out the boundaries so there is no question about what can and can’t be shared online.  There are many resources online that can help you write a social media policy.  For example, the AMA report, “Professionalism in the Use of Social Media,” can be very helpful.  You should also be familiar with the HIPAA and HITECH rulesregarding protection of patient health information.


Of course you don’t want any of your social media pages to become a place where patients or the public are asking for medical advice.  This could have dangerous implications for medical malpractice claims as well as HIPAA violations.  Medical malpractice and professional liability insurance policies will not cover this type claim.  So you’ll want to make it clear that this is not the place for specific medical questions.  If you get questions coming in through social media, the best way to handle them is to direct the patient to call the office to make an appointment or call 911 if there is an emergency.  It may sound obvious, even ridiculous, but you’d be surprised at the number of people looking for free medical advice on the internet – some of them don’t have the best intentions.  There are other ways to privately communicate with patients about specific private health information and advice.  Telemedicine is a growing field where physicians communicate through encrypted email, secure texting and other forms of electronic technology including two-way video.  Many medical malpractice insurance policies will cover telemedicine when requested because it is private and secure communication.


In a world where nearly everyone is using the internet and social media in everyday life, healthcare providers need to become comfortable using it to help their practices stay connected and relevant.  So don’t be afraid to get involved.  Start by putting a social media policy in place, educate your staff, and begin enjoying the potential of social media to promote your practice.

- See more at: http://www.equotemd.com/blog/social-media-for-doctors/#sthash.IAPPzLr3.dpuf


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Physician Professionalism in the Use of Social Media

Physician Professionalism in the Use of Social Media | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

The Internet has created the ability for medical students and physicians to communicate and share information quickly and to reach millions of people easily.  Participating in social networking and other similar Internet opportunities can support physicians’ personal expression, enable individual physicians to have a professional presence online, foster collegiality and camaraderie within the profession, provide opportunity to widely disseminate public health messages and other health communication.  Social networks, blogs, and other forms of communication online also create new challenges to the patient-physician relationship.  Physicians should weigh a number of considerations when maintaining a presence online: 

(a) Physicians should be cognizant of standards of patient privacy and confidentiality that must be maintained in all environments, including online, and must refrain from posting identifiable patient information online. 

(b) When using the Internet for social networking, physicians should use privacy settings to safeguard personal information and content to the extent possible, but should realize that privacy settings are not absolute and that once on the Internet, content is likely there permanently.  Thus, physicians should routinely monitor their own Internet presence to ensure that the personal and professional information on their own sites and, to the extent possible, content posted about them by others, is accurate and appropriate. 

(c) If they interact with patients on the Internet, physicians must maintain appropriate boundaries of the patient-physician relationship in accordance with professional ethical guidelines just, as they would in any other context.

(d) To maintain appropriate professional boundaries physicians should consider separating personal and professional content online. 

(e) When physicians see content posted by colleagues that appears unprofessional they have a responsibility to bring that content to the attention of the individual, so that he or she can remove it and/or take other appropriate actions.  If the behavior significantly violates professional norms and the individual does not take appropriate action to resolve the situation, the physician should report the matter to appropriate authorities. 

(f) Physicians must recognize that actions online and content posted may negatively affect their reputations among patients and colleagues, may have consequences for their medical careers (particularly for physicians-in-training and medical students), and can undermine public trust in the medical profession. (I, II, IV)

Issued June 2011 based on the report "Professionalism in the Use of Social Media," adopted November 2010.


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Social Media - Appropriate Use by Physicians | Positions and Initiatives

Social Media - Appropriate Use by Physicians | Positions and Initiatives | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

The term ‘social media’ refers to web and mobile technologies and practices that people use to share content, opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives online. There are many prominent examples of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and blogging sites, among many others.

Social media can be used for both personal and professional purposes. Many physicians are now using social media in their practices to interact with colleagues and patients, to seek out medical information online, and to share content with a broad audience.

Whether engaging in social media for personal or professional use, the nature of these platforms, which are highly accessible, informal, and public, raise important questions about the steps physicians should take to uphold their important professional obligations while online.

Purpose

This document provides guidance to physicians about how to engage in social media while continuing to meet relevant legal and professional obligations.

This document is not a policy, nor does it establish any new expectations for physicians that are unique to social media. Rather, this document clarifies how existing professional expectations can be met in the social media sphere.

College position on social media

The College’s position is that physicians are expected to comply with all of their existing professional expectations, including those set out in relevant legislation, codes of ethics, and College policies, when engaging in the use of social media platforms and technologies.

If physicians do so, the College recognizes that social media platforms may present important opportunities to enhance patient care, medical education, professional competence, and collegiality, among other potential benefits.

Relevant professional expectations

Legal and professional expectations that govern medical practice are set out in the College’s Practice Guide, policies, and relevant legislation. A number of these obligations are relevant to the use of social media by physicians, and are articulated below. These obligations are not unique to social media, but apply to medical practice in general, and must be met by all physicians.

They are as follows:

  • Comply with all legal and professional obligations to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality.1
  • Maintain appropriate professional boundaries with patients and those close to them.2
  • Maintain professional and respectful relationships with patients, colleagues, and other members of the health-care team.3
  • Comply with relevant legislation with respect to physician advertising.4
  • Comply with the law related to defamation, copyright, and plagiarism when posting content online.5
  • Avoid conflicts of interest.6
Guidelines

In order to satisfy the above professional expectations while engaging in social media, it is recommended that physicians:

  1. Assume that all content on the Internet is public and accessible to all.
  2. Exercise caution when posting information online that relates to an actual patient, in order to ensure compliance with legal and professional obligations to maintain privacy and confidentiality. Bear in mind that an unnamed patient may still be identified through a range of other information, such as a description of their clinical condition, or area of residence.7
  3. Refrain from providing clinical advice to specific patients through social media.8 It is acceptable, however, to use social media to disseminate generic medical or health information for educational or information sharing purposes.
  4. Protect their own reputation, the reputation of the profession, and the public trust by not posting content that could be viewed as unprofessional.
  5. Be mindful of their Internet presence, and be proactive in removing content posted by themselves or others which may be viewed as unprofessional.9
  6. Refrain from establishing personal connections with patients or persons closely associated with them online, as this may not allow physicians to maintain appropriate professional boundaries and may compromise physicians’ objectivity.10 It is acceptable to create an online connection with patients for professional purposes only.
  7. Refrain from seeking out patient information that may be available online without prior consent.11
  8. Read, understand, and apply the strictest privacy settings necessary to maintain control over access to their personal information, and social media presence undertaken for personal purposes only.
  9. Remember that social media platforms are constantly evolving, and be proactive in considering how professional expectations apply in any given set of circumstances.
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Online Profile Management for Oncologists

An understanding of Online Profile Management for Oncologists, with an Indian perspective. Covers Digitally Aware Patients and Social Networks, The Need for On
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Healthcare Marketing Tips: How to Engage and Inspire Social Sharing

Healthcare Marketing Tips: How to Engage and Inspire Social Sharing | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

A curious challenge within the art of hospital and healthcare marketing is that large segments of your target audience simply don’t care. They don’t have an immediate need for your services or facility.


Individuals with a current or pressing medical need are one thing. But there’s always a significant slice of the people who are not in the market…at the moment. As the well-traveled axiom goes, the challenge is to engage consumers today for solutions they may need tomorrow.

For the sake of this list, let’s assume that your Internet marketing plan has all the fundamental tools—website, blog, social media accounts and the like—a specific plan, and someone who is responsible (and accountable) for regular updates.


Here are several tips and ideas to help create engagement, inspire action and encourage social sharing.


Interesting content. Material that rises to the level of “only adequate” isn’t going to attract or retain readers. Raise the bar on creative content, and if it isn’t truly relevant or interesting (or if you can’t find an interesting angle), don’t drive people away with boring information.


Know your audiences. That’s audiences, plural. You will have more than one, big, generic audience. Although there will be overlaps, drill down to the specifics of exactly who you are talking to, what is relevant to their needs and interests, why you want to reach them, what formats or media reach them best, and precisely what you want them to know.


Listen at least as much as you speak. Stay tuned into the conversation, comments and feedback that play into the “voice of the customer.” Support and extend topics and ideas that are of greatest interest among the audience (even if they are a surprise to you.)


Keep it fresh with frequent updates. Content gets stale faster than yesterday’s fish, and it’s just as welcome. New and updated content attracts attention, but visitors assume that slow-to-change material holds little or no value. (See “boring,” above.) What’s more, search engines also like regular updates and don’t like static pages.


Three useful categories…

Depending on your goals and the platform(s) that you are using, information that fuels engagement, inspires action and/or encourages social sharing can be organized under one or more of these broad headings.

  • Authoritative advice, direction and/or answers. Audiences appreciate “how-to” information that is practical, easy to do or follow, and convenient to share with others.
  • Surprising, unusual or little known info. Facts or data that register as unfamiliar to the reader make a mental impression, but they may require evidence or explanation for believability and acceptance. People are eager to share refreshingly different ideas.
  • Open-ended, provocative conversation extenders. This would include direct questions, surveys, calls to action, opinion solicitation, “What do you have to say about this?” entries, or“Who do you know that would appreciate having this?” directions.

Consider how any given factoid or bit of information might play out under each of these categories and use the approach that gives your info the greatest impact. Also, rotate your work among these approaches in order to give your content variety, and so you are not always giving advice or always asking a question.


Engagement is a continuing process that contributes to your branding and ongoing “top-of-mind” messaging. Tell us what we might be missing here. How do you engage your target audience or readers? We’d love to hear what you would add to this list.


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ICD-10 and clinical documentation: From EHR to claims, better documentation offers better revenue

ICD-10 and clinical documentation: From EHR to claims, better documentation offers better revenue | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

At the recent American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Convention and Exhibit in Atlanta, different educational sessions and presentations stressed the importance of accurate and useful documentation for ICD-10 coding.

Healthcare IT News, which covered the AHIMA event, noted that ICD-10 increases the number of diagnosis and procedure codes from ICD-9′s 13,000 to more than 141,000. The purpose is primarily to provide more “granular” data on patients, thereby improving care. But in order to provide more detailed claims and improve medical billing solutions, many providers will need to improve their current documentation habits.

“Clinical documentation impacts both the quality of care and reimbursement and bringing physicians up-to-speed about the level of granularity included in ICD-10 is one of our most important jobs as health information management professionals,” said Theresa Jackson, director of health information management at the University of Kansas Hospital, as quoted by Healthcare IT News.

Clinical documentation improvement programs are an important tool for providers gearing up for ICD-10 compliance. But enhanced capture, which leads to improved coding and better yield on claims, is just one perk. Perhaps more important than its impact on ICD-10, bolstering documentation leads to greater clinical data integrity and reliability, said Jackson. As a result, patient care improves – as do a provider’s chances of demonstrating Meaningful Use quality measures.

Jackson outlined exactly why improved documentation is necessary for ICD-10 coding, comparing the data required for a myocardial infarction in ICD-9 to the new code set. She noted that with ICD-9, the myocardial infarction is coded in only one of two different categories, chosen based on factors such as the acuity, duration and timing of the heart attack. However, for ICD-10, a number of additional details will be recorded in the code. These include information about underlying diseases, risk factors like tobacco use or exposure to environmental hazards, or the use of clot-busting drugs in the case of readmission within a 24-hour period.

“This will help guide the treatment a patient receives,” Jackson said, quoted by Healthcare IT News. “ICD-10 should be seen for its benefits and not as a burden.”

Creating more effective clinical documentation
According to Healthcare IT News, AHIMA offered six core strategies for any successful clinical documentation improvement program.

1. Get leadership onboard. In large practices, everyone needs to be ready to tackle major projects.
2. Have training for specialties and choose a doctor to advocate for each specialty.
3. Bring on clinical documentation specialists if necessary.
4. Have coders work closely with clinical documentation specialists.
5. Start early on ICD-10: Begin with chart reviews, then use dual coding to improve documentation.
6. Get the documentation specialists talking with staff. Encourage conversation and facilitate dialog for greater communication.

When documentation isn’t up to par
Coinciding with ICD-10′s one-year countdown, Becker’s Hospital Review recently released a list of reasons a practice, hospital or medical system’s clinical documentation isn’t yet ready for the new code set. Here are four pertinent points.

1. Doctors should be actively monitoring their clinical documentation improvement program and benchmarking themselves against peers. Becker’s borrows the old adage, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure,” to illustrate this point. Members of your ICD-10 leadership team or project manager should not only be accountable for improving documentation, but also comparing data capture to that of peers. In an ideal environment, doctors should be sharing the data they gather from their programs in order to remain competitive. According to the news source, the old adage could use an update: “You can’t improve what you don’t measure and share with those who have the capacity to improve the measured process.”

2. Staff and doctors shouldn’t see clinical documentation improvement as a way to maximize on money alone. While improving revenue cycle management through better documentation is important, medical staffers need to recognize that this initiative is about quality of care and quality of data, noted Becker’s.

3. There should be clinical documentation specialists on staff. Echoing AHIMA on this point, Becker’s noted that for larger providers, the need for documentation improvement will escalate once the process is underway. Having specialists on staff can ensure that things advance smoothly.

4. Computer-assisted coding (CAC) is not the answer. While some providers are finding CAC to be a useful way to ease into ICD-10, it’s not a cure for documentation problems. In fact, it’s not even a bandage. Providers who really want to improve claims coding need to follow problems to the source and fix them.

- See more at: http://www.practicefusion.com/ehrbloggers/2013/11/icd-10-and-clinical-documentation-from-ehr-to-claims-better-documentation-offers-better-revenue.html#sthash.RLp7tb9p.dpuf
At the recent American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Convention and Exhibit in Atlanta, different educational sessions and presentations stressed the importance of accurate and useful documentation for ICD-10 coding.

Healthcare IT News, which covered the AHIMA event, noted that ICD-10 increases the number of diagnosis and procedure codes from ICD-9′s 13,000 to more than 141,000. The purpose is primarily to provide more “granular” data on patients, thereby improving care. But in order to provide more detailed claims and improve medical billing solutions, many providers will need to improve their current documentation habits.

“Clinical documentation impacts both the quality of care and reimbursement and bringing physicians up-to-speed about the level of granularity included in ICD-10 is one of our most important jobs as health information management professionals,” said Theresa Jackson, director of health information management at the University of Kansas Hospital, as quoted by Healthcare IT News.

Clinical documentation improvement programs are an important tool for providers gearing up for ICD-10 compliance. But enhanced capture, which leads to improved coding and better yield on claims, is just one perk. Perhaps more important than its impact on ICD-10, bolstering documentation leads to greater clinical data integrity and reliability, said Jackson. As a result, patient care improves – as do a provider’s chances of demonstrating Meaningful Use quality measures.

Jackson outlined exactly why improved documentation is necessary for ICD-10 coding, comparing the data required for a myocardial infarction in ICD-9 to the new code set. She noted that with ICD-9, the myocardial infarction is coded in only one of two different categories, chosen based on factors such as the acuity, duration and timing of the heart attack. However, for ICD-10, a number of additional details will be recorded in the code. These include information about underlying diseases, risk factors like tobacco use or exposure to environmental hazards, or the use of clot-busting drugs in the case of readmission within a 24-hour period.

“This will help guide the treatment a patient receives,” Jackson said, quoted by Healthcare IT News. “ICD-10 should be seen for its benefits and not as a burden.”

Creating more effective clinical documentation
According to Healthcare IT News, AHIMA offered six core strategies for any successful clinical documentation improvement program.

1. Get leadership onboard. In large practices, everyone needs to be ready to tackle major projects.
2. Have training for specialties and choose a doctor to advocate for each specialty.
3. Bring on clinical documentation specialists if necessary.
4. Have coders work closely with clinical documentation specialists.
5. Start early on ICD-10: Begin with chart reviews, then use dual coding to improve documentation.
6. Get the documentation specialists talking with staff. Encourage conversation and facilitate dialog for greater communication.

When documentation isn’t up to par
Coinciding with ICD-10′s one-year countdown, Becker’s Hospital Review recently released a list of reasons a practice, hospital or medical system’s clinical documentation isn’t yet ready for the new code set. Here are four pertinent points.

1. Doctors should be actively monitoring their clinical documentation improvement program and benchmarking themselves against peers. Becker’s borrows the old adage, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure,” to illustrate this point. Members of your ICD-10 leadership team or project manager should not only be accountable for improving documentation, but also comparing data capture to that of peers. In an ideal environment, doctors should be sharing the data they gather from their programs in order to remain competitive. According to the news source, the old adage could use an update: “You can’t improve what you don’t measure and share with those who have the capacity to improve the measured process.”

2. Staff and doctors shouldn’t see clinical documentation improvement as a way to maximize on money alone. While improving revenue cycle management through better documentation is important, medical staffers need to recognize that this initiative is about quality of care and quality of data, noted Becker’s.

3. There should be clinical documentation specialists on staff. Echoing AHIMA on this point, Becker’s noted that for larger providers, the need for documentation improvement will escalate once the process is underway. Having specialists on staff can ensure that things advance smoothly.

4. Computer-assisted coding (CAC) is not the answer. While some providers are finding CAC to be a useful way to ease into ICD-10, it’s not a cure for documentation problems. In fact, it’s not even a bandage. Providers who really want to improve claims coding need to follow problems to the source and fix them.

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FDA’s Mobile Medical Apps Guidelines “Surprising”

FDA’s Mobile Medical Apps Guidelines “Surprising” | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it
News Feature | November 15, 2013
FDA's Mobile Medical Apps Guidelines "Surprising"

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

The FDA’s mobile medical app guidelines allow a surprising amount of freedom and room for innovation

According to Government Health IT, the FDA probably had no idea the release of its mobile medical app guidelines would be seen as either sparking or killing innovation. “This is a really big deal for garage entrepreneurs, or whatever you would call them - people working in health institutions and even academics,” said Robert Jarrin, senior director of government affairs, Qualcomm. Morgan Reed, executive director and mHIMSS legal/policy task force chair for the Association for Competitive Technology, adds that for the first time in a long, long while, FDA “recognized that they aren’t going to tell us how to innovate.”

Whatever intent the FDA had in issuing its guidelines, they weren’t exactly what was expected. Jarrin and Reed recently outlined some of the more surprising parts in a virtual HIMSS briefing.

  • Labeling will play a big part in whether or not a product is intended as a medical device. “It comes down to the intent of the person responsible for labeling the devices,” Jarrin said. He uses an analogy of an ink pen. If it is not stamped with any medical terms, it is clearly not a medical device. If somewhere in fine print, however, it is labeled as “sterile,” this implies the pen could be used for medical purposes.
  • Footnote 27. Another interesting revelation in the guidance is found in footnote 27, regarding medication reminders. FDA gave a “very clear impression” it won’t be enforcing medication reminders on a platform or an app.
  • Most apps, in fact, don’t even need regulation. “Many mobile apps are not mobile devices,” Jarrin added. “This is important.”  Even though some will meet the definition of mobile devices, they pose a low risk to the public, and the FDA won’t even regulate them. The FDA will only look at products that function as mobile medical devices and could pose a risk if they don't work as intended.

“There are issues that remain to be clarified by the FDA, including some on clinical decision software,” Jarrin said. “But overall, the guidance is chock full of anecdotes that provided better clarity.”

And when it comes to apps that fall in a gray area that appears undefined by the FDA, Reed said, “I think it’s really critical we understand that the regulatory discretion the FDA is providing here resembles an `I need to see progress’ and then we’ll make a decision down the road. But it’s also really important that we don’t treat this as a total free-for-all.”



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Nurse Informaticists Increasingly Popular

Nurse Informaticists Increasingly Popular | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it
Nurse Informaticists Increasingly Popular

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

The need for analyzing raw data and creating reports that can be easily interpreted has spurred a demand for nurse informaticists across the nation

According to HIMSS, nursing informatics (NI) is “a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice. NI supports consumers, patients, nurses, and other providers in their decision making in all roles and settings. This support is accomplished through the use of information structures, information processes, and information technology.”

Because of the clinical experience gained working on the hospital floor, nurses have proven to be valuable additions to hospital IT staffs. The most recent HIMSS report, HIMSS 2011 Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey, notes the average nurse informaticist has been working in the nursing field for sixteen years and therefore has the ability to meld clinical and technological knowledge.

The report concludes, “Based on this survey and compared to the surveys conducted in 2004 and 2007, the healthcare industry is recognizing the value of nursing informatics. One metric in particular speaks volumes to the importance of nurse informaticists in the healthcare industry: base salary. The level of base compensation this year is significantly more than the data generated in the past two surveys, with an average salary of nearly $100,000 (and even higher in consulting and in vendor settings), which is impressive considering the current economic landscape. Compared to the average salary in 2004 ($69,500) and in 2007 ($83,675), the average salaries reported in 2011 are almost 17 percent higher than in 2007 and 42 percent higher than in 2004. Future surveys will determine whether the base compensation ceiling has been reached.”

Fifty-six percent of respondents to the HIMSS survey reported having earned a postgraduate degree and 35 percent of those hold a master’s degree. Nursing experience is critical to the job, however not all respondents to the HIMSS survey still worked in hospitals. “Less than half of the survey respondents (48 percent) reported that their primary workplace is a hospital while an additional 20 percent reported that they work at the corporate offices of a healthcare system. Nine percent work in an academic setting and five percent work for a consulting firm or a vendor.”

Generally, nurses with clinical experience and an interest in healthcare IT are selected for this position. Surprisingly, “The majority of respondents in all the surveys indicated that they have no formal informatics/education training.”

“I’ve been a nurse for twenty-five years, specializing in critical care and cardiology,” Audrey Funt, RN, MSN, Clinical Informaticist, Burholme Campus of the Temple University Health System, told Health IT Analytics. “I took some courses in IT and project management when I went back for my master’s degree, and then I did an internship in informatics, and decided that I really liked that and it was a good fit for me.”

“We were getting ready to implement a new EHR for the emergency department, and they knew I had interest in that area,” Funt continued.  “So I went onto that build and did it from the ground up.  From there, we decided to do an EHR throughout the hospital so that seemed like a natural path to follow.  Then we did the CPOE build, and they decided what they had really wanted for a long time was a clinical informaticist that would have the pulse of all of the applications, because there are so many.  It just seemed like a natural progression.”

Data from the HIMSS report shows nurses who show the ability to balance clinical knowledge and informatics savvy are in high demand; especially with MU requirements and quality reporting a must. “You need someone who has clinical nursing experience and someone who also has the computer piece,” says Funt.  “It’s a little difficult to find both of those, so it really helps if you have a clinical person who can really talk the talk and walk the walk because they’ve been there.”



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Putting Social Media to Work: Channels That Deliver

Putting Social Media to Work: Channels That Deliver | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

So many social media channels, so little time! Not only can the sheer number of options be overwhelming, but there are also plenty of pitfalls and rewards to consider. You want to respect privacy, avoid making inadvertent factual or grammatical errors (that become public), and of course reach the right audience. What to do? Where to go? Which channel is easier, faster, safer…better?


Here, I’ve compiled a list the social media channels I use and what benefits they bring me. Obviously, this represents my own, personal opinion, and reflects my individual experiences as a healthcare marketing manager. However, perhaps for some of you they can represent a launching point, help inform a decision, or – best of all – spark some discussion and note-comparing.


Twitter, Hootsuite, Vine, and Storify
Twitter is great for short bursts of information, and Vine – Twitter’s proprietary app for sharing photos and videos – has been a helpful recent addition (on that note, here’s an interesting post about a hospital using Vine in the OR for educational purposes). In all cases, hashtags can really help your tweets get the attention you want. You can see some great health ones here on symplur.


Twitter’s 140 character length limit means I try to shorten URLs when I can. For that – unless I’m tweeting from a site that has a ‘tweet this’ button – I usually use Hootsuite, which also helps me organize my content flow a bit better. Hootsuite is particularly well-constructed for following healthcare tweetchats and for live-tweeting at conventions, offering user-friendly message streams, and ways to search hashtags and twitter handles. The service also provides another convenience: It lets you have several Twitter accounts right on the same page (your practice and your personal one, for example). This can be a great time-saver, but a word of caution – use the correct account for the appropriate tweet.


 Storify is a great way of stringing tweets together to make a longer point or narrative. As such, it can be used for tweetchats or for summarizing a discussion or lecture at a health conference where a lot of people are live tweeting. Simply pull the tweets you want from a particular hashtag stream onto the app (an easy tutorial shows you how) and supplement with text, photos, links, and whatever else you want to create a story from the tweets. Then you can post the story, and all the people whose tweets you used to tell the story will be notified. Here’s an example of a Storify post taking from the #HIMSS12 Twitter stream: HIMSS12 Storified.


Facebook
Facebook is the most social of the social channels, and I find it to be an excellent gathering place for casual conversation and engagement, especially about wellness news. I think the Cleveland Clinic uses Facebook really well for their Health Hub page.


Be careful of photos you post on Facebook, though. When I am at a convention or an event, I love to post pictures, especially if it is a group gathering. But make sure you have everyone’s OK with being on Facebook. Many people don’t want to have their photos shared on the Internet at all, so always ask.


I won’t go into the privacy concerns about healthcare professionals posting on Facebook, as there are innumerable articles written on that topic already. I think the best thing to do for anyone (and that includes me) is to keep your personal FB page personal and your business FB page business.


Pinterest
Pinterest is mainly a scrapbook; you just “pin” an article or post to your Pinterest page (note that there must be a photo on the page for the post to look like anything). I use Pinterest to post infographics, photos, and images of interesting gadgets. Nutrition and fitness content does well here, I’ve found. Also, keep in mind that it is currently visited mainly by a female audience, so it can be a great place for information relating to women’s health. Overall, Pinterest is a visual journey. You can browse through the site to see exactly what I mean.


LinkedIn
It’s been said before, if Facebook is the casual healthcare venue, LinkedIn is the office (complete with job search features). I see it as the most “serious” of the social sites. Create a profile on LinkedIn and, these days, it often becomes your resume. On the site, you can network with any number of people, join groups with special interests, and participate in discussions with other members. Within these groups, posts and comments are moderated, and participants typically need permission to join. LinkedIn represents a great networking opportunity and is wonderful for researching companies and individuals, reaching out, and “getting to know people” virtually. My company, HealthWorks Collective, has just started a LinkedIn HealthWorks Collective Group - check it out and please join if you are interested.


Google+
Google+ has good features for posting articles and photos, and it also offers the G+ “Hangout,” a live video streaming feature where a group of participants can get together to discuss a topic, brainstorm, or conduct a meeting. Later, users can upload a hangout to YouTube and post it and share it. Here’s a hangout on Google Glass that was uploaded to YouTube and then put in a post: Google Glass in Surgery.

G+ started out with a smaller, more tech-centric audience but it is more mainstream now and is very easy to use, with large numbers of communities available to browse or easily join (unlike LinkedIn, moderator approval isn’t necessary). I post a lot on G+, basing my choice for which health community to share through mostly on the topic I’m sharing information about.


Skype and YouTube
Video is a great way to vary the delivery of your message. A video embedded in a post gives your audience the option of watching, reading, or both. I tend to rely on Skype for video interviews of health start-up CEOs, doctors, and other thought leaders. The process is easy: Skype offers a built-in recorder, and users can then edit the result in iMovie and upload to YouTube. The quality is not the best, but it is easy and the only costs is the price of downloading the Skype recorder, which is nominal.

If you choose to make your YouTube video “public,” it can be seen by anyone, and can be embedded in a post easily. Here is a sample of a Skype interview edited in iMovie, uploaded to YouTube, and then embedded in a post: Acquapura.


Scoop.it
Scoop.it is a news board of posts and articles written on a variety of topics. Here, you can choose a topic to curate, and can then “publish” related posts on your own board. I use Scoop.it primarily as a fast and easy way to monitor and share what’s happening in healthcare around the web. Always check the dates on the news articles; I have come across some rather dated posts on Scoop.it.

There are many other social channels, certainly, but I have found the above to be the most useful for me. Try them out, see how you like them!


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Facebook Etiquette Rules for Doctors' Websites

Facebook Etiquette Rules for Doctors' Websites | Online Reputation Management for Doctors | Scoop.it

For some doctors social media is very new. If you’ve never experienced Facebook with a personal page before it may be difficult to navigate a business page without that point of reference. Even if Facebook doesn’t interest you in the private realm, it is a necessary part of any doctor’s online presence.


The name of the game is engagement, but there are a set of rules that businesses and practice must adhere to, even if unspoken.

Here are some quick and easy tips to keep in mind when expanding your social media presence.

  • Be Relevant: patients will view, and like your Facebook page for information—and while all your posts don’t need to be “strictly business,” try to your limit fuzzy kitten meme shares. Instead share information related to your practice and industry. Specials, tips, even jokes relevant to your audience will reinforce your position as an authority.
  • Be Engaging: Communicate with your followers. Even if you choose not to respond to each individually, if there is an overwhelming sentiment among your network, address it.
  • Be Professional: If you’d like to voice personal opinions create a personal page. Your practice’s page is no place to air personal gripes, carry on political or religious debates or call out competitors.
  • Be Present: Creating a page and never looking back doesn’t help your brand, and can actually hurt it. Create a schedule and post interesting content at least once a week. Many will consider your Facebook page an extension of your practice—you wouldn’t ignore a patient for weeks on end…

A Doctor learns how to use Facebook to his advantage

Now that you’ve created a Facebook business page and you know what to do, here are a few things not to do. Just like in life, a bad online reputation can follow you, and possibly hurt your brand.

  • Don’t Over Post: While it is important to be present, there is a limit. Posting once an hour will dilute your followers’ interest, and eventually the attempt to be engaging and present will relegate you to blocked status.
  • Don’t Be a Salesperson: Even though a Facebook business page is there to reach out to existing and potential patients, don’t think of your status updates as ads. If everything you post is a thinly veiled sales pitch your followers will quickly diminish.
  • Don’t Be a Mass Messenger: If you’d like to reach a large part of your fan base do it via status updates, or create a group and invite those specific people. Mass messaging means every response will be sent to every person on the message—which becomes incredibly annoying very quickly.

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