How Can Social Media Impact the Patient Experience?

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Social media is a vital part of any business’ operation. For medical practices, though, it plays an important role. Social media can have a huge impact on the patient experience, giving patients new avenues of interaction with physicians and helping to set the tone for future visits.

Setting Patient Expectations

Visiting a new doctor can be daunting. Without prior experience with the individual, a patient can have a hard time setting his or her expectations. A good social media presence, however, can help a patient learn a great deal about the person or people who will be treated him or her. Social media sets expectations and allows patients to become more comfortable before coming in for treatment.

Putting Minds at Ease

Looking at social media often means looking at more than just the physician or practice. When a patient can see that others have gone through the same problems and have been helped by the same people, they can have their minds put at ease. While anonymous internet reviews can help patients narrow down their choice of doctors, having access to a social media account can help patients put real faces on those who help and how have received help.

Maintaining a Sense of Community

In an increasingly isolated age, it’s nice to have some kind of connection to those who care for you. While the era of house calls is long since over, having the ability to see a practice’s social media helps to connect the broader community with the practice. This, in turn, helps the patient to feel like they are working with another part of the community, a group of people who care about the same things they do and who want the best for them.

Providing a Point of Contact

Social media by its very nature is a process that invites crowd participation. For patients, a good social media presence can represent a point of contact outside of the office that provides an alternative method of staying in touch with the physician. While certainly not an alternative to contacting an office directly, the existence of a social media outlet provides patients with a unique chance to interact with caregivers and staff and solve problems outside of the normal patient-facility dynamic.

Social media is an important tool for any doctor or practice. Whether the goal is to help patients feel more comfortable or to better engage with the community, social media is a vital addition to a practice’s engagement plan. As further tools are developed online, social media will become an ever-more important part of medicine.

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USDA Gives Renown Health Funds for Telemedicine

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The USDA recently announced that it would grant more than 1.3 million to fund three telecommunications projects across the state of Nevada. I’m pleased to announce that Renown Health received nearly $440,000 to assist with our TeleHealth program. Alongside Renown Health, both the Nevada System of Higher Education and the Elko County School District received funds from the USDA.

Nevada is a big state and people live all over it. Some these people live nearby major medical centers, but those who live in more remote areas may find that getting to a major medical center costs them time and resources that they simply do not have. Renown’s TeleHealth program provides acute and ambulatory healthcare services to a number of rural healthcare communities in both Nevada and California…

For the full blog, got to MarkBehl.org

Partnering with 23andMe for a Population Health Initiative

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Renown Health’s recent partnership with 23andMe and the Desert Research Institute has been an astounding success. Just little over a month ago we announced the program which offered free personalized health and ancestry information to over 5,000 Northern Nevadans. We expected it would take two days to get that many people to sign up. You can imagine our surprise when the day after the launch of the event, all 5,000 slots has been filled up! So we decided to open up another 5,000 slots, which filled almost equally as fast.

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Some reasons to which the success of this event could be owed would be the cost (it’s one hundred percent free for participants), the perks of genetic analysis (it’s something that many people are curious about, but would not think of paying for), and the simplicity of our system (all that is required is that participants show up, watch an informational video about the project, sign some forms, and spit into a tube). There’s also the additional incentive of knowing that those who participate are contributing to the overall benefit of the Nevada community.

For the full blog, go to MarkBehl.net

USDA Gives Renown Health Funds for Telemedicine

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Mark Behl’s latest post

The USDA recently announced that it would grant more than 1.3 million to fund three telecommunications projects across the state of Nevada. I’m pleased to announce that Renown Health received nearly $440,000 to assist with our TeleHealth program. Alongside Renown Health, both the Nevada System of Higher Education and the Elko County School District received funds from the USDA.

Nevada is a big state and people live all over it. Some these people live nearby major medical centers, but those who live in more remote areas may find that getting to a major medical center costs them time and resources that they simply do not have. Renown’s TeleHealth program provides acute and ambulatory healthcare services to a number of rural healthcare communities in both Nevada and California. With these additional funds, we will be able to assist over 21 rural communities. Additionally, we will be able to connect patients, families, and caregivers with area emergency and elective healthcare services in eight counties throughout Nevada and three counties throughout California.

via Renown Health

TeleHealth has a number of different facets to it. Virtual Visits allow patients to see a provider using a mobile device or computer. Hospital Telemedicine allows doctors to hold immediate, virtual consultations with other medical professionals to help diagnose conditions and come up with the most effective treatment plan. Speciality Care allows you and your healthcare provider to hold interactive discussions with specialist for a collaborative diagnosis and treatment plan. Telestroke puts remote doctors in contact with Renown neurologists for quick evaluations. Additionally there are Wellness Classes and Support Groups to help patients stay health and Patient Health Monitoring, which helps physicians keep tabs on a patient’s health information to reduce readmission.

In many ways, Telehealth is an extension of our work with community partners. Just as we have partnered with 23andMe and the Desert Research Institute to initiate a landmark population health initiative, so are we reaching out to a number of healthcare providers across Reno to see how we can bring our technology and expertise to them. More and more people have quality healthcare within reaching distance. But there are still many who do not. TeleHealth and other telemedicine programs help to bring care to the patient. The future of healthcare is the future of patient experience.

Mark Behl

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MACRA: The Road Map to the Future of Healthcare

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One date marked on the calendar of many individuals at the management level of health organizations is January 1, 2017. To some 2017 is being viewed as a “year of reckoning“.  Although this sounds ominous, most negative effects on health organizations can be easily avoided as long as providers are prepared for MACRA. Since 2015, MACRA has been slowly integrated into the operations of medial organizations across the country. In 2017, the performance of medical organizations that qualify as MIPS will be tracked and these results will determine how providers are paid in 2019.

This may sound a bit confusing. It sounds like money’s on the line. It sounds like big changes are coming. But what exactly does MACRA mean and what exactly is a MIPS? To answer these questions I’ve put together a brief starter guide to MACRA and what it means for the healthcare industry.

What is MACRA?

In a nutshell, MACRA is new set of rules and regulations that will reshape the way that medical organizations receive government funding, handle Medicare, and ultimately function.

For the full blog, go to MarkBehl.net

Giving Options Beyond ER

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I’m very pleased to announce that Renown Health has recently teamed up with the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority (REMSA) to help cut back on unnecessary visits to the emergency room. Over the years we’ve seen a lot of people come into ER that could have been treated in urgent care or with a visit to a primary care physician. The general result of this has been to bog down ER services. The solution? To bring medicine to the people. The method? Community Paramedicine.
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You can learn more about this recent initiative by listening to an interview on KUNR.

Mark Behl

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QLess Webinar and Improving Patient Experience

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Renown Health partners with several companies to help us provide the best heatlthcare possible. One of those companies, QLess, offers a novel way of leveraging technology to reduce the amount of time that patients have to spend waiting around. QLess utilizes an online check-in feature that allows patients to check-in at a hospital before they even arrive. After using their services for a few months, I have to say that I’m completely blown away with the results. When QLess asked me if I wanted to share my experience with their service on a webinar, it was a no-brainer.

Feel free to give this QLess Healthcare Webinar a listen to. It’s 100% free.

qless logo

from Mark Behl | Patient Experience http://ift.tt/2bIrNyW

What Population Health and Coffee Have in Common – SlideShare

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In a previous post, I blogged about in unexpected connection between the caffeinated beverage and the new paradigm of healthcare that is set to drastically reshape the way that medical organizations help people.

Here’s a SlideShare that I made about it.

 

Thanks for viewing,

Mark Behl

The Future of Patient Experience: Video

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In my last blog post I looked at how healthcare is becoming (rightfully) more and more patient-centric. More and more people do not have to worry about having access to medical providers, so the question than becomes which providers are more convenient. Furthermore, which provider is going to be the most patient-centric? Here’s a video presentation I created based on the previous blog.

Mark Behl

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The Future of Patient Experience

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Mark Behl’s latest post

Today’s healthcare systems is a value-based one. That is to say it is consumer-based. What we’re seeing is a fundamental shift from simply access to medical services toward an increased focus on the convenience of medical services. Years ago, people outnumbered medical providers. There simply wasn’t enough healthcare to go around. Today, there is no shortage of providers out there, making it less a matter of if people have access to healthcare, and more a matter of which provider is going to give them the best experience for their buck.

Below are some trends that we are seeing with this shift to a more consumer-, patient-centered experience.

Increase in Partnerships

Medical groups will need to look out side of their own resources if they’re going to help the most amount of people in the best way. For non-profit medical organizations, like Renown Health, this is especially true. That’s why the Renown Health Foundation has made such effort of working with philanthropic partners throughout the community.

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From donors to universities, Renown Health works with a number of organizations in the community to increase the efficacy of its work and its reach.

The Renown Health Foundation has secured funding for a number of niche medical practices that would otherwise be difficult to obtain, for instance low-dose CT scanners made specifically for children. But amid growing competition between medical providers, even for-profit institutions will need to make the most of their community if they hope to keep prices affordable and equipment up-to-date. The future of healthcare is going is going to be more interconnected.

Increased Coordination Among Providers

Instead of having patients fill out the same forms every time they visit a physician, we’re starting to see a shift to a system wherein providers are able to communicate with one another via intelligent cloud computing networks. The benefits of this trend or more than just doing less paper work.

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The Mentrics platform uses IBM Watson to allow cross-network providers the ability to easily share patient data.

After all, it seems like a no-brainer that your dermatologist should have a stable medium of communication, right? Why should the patient be the one who has to do all the grunt work, when they are coming to a medical provider to get someone to take care of them. Of course there’s a reason this sort of network between providers didn’t exist before. It’s really hard for providers to communicate with one another across town (let alone across the country!), but the advent of smart networks and cloud-based features (like IBM Watson) is making this patient-centric paradigm a possibility.

Increased Use of Social Media

Social media is a grown to be an important avenue by which individuals submit and organizations receive feedback. As Jason A. Wolf of the Beryl Institute recently put it:

“What once was a world of physical proximity bridged across geographies through connective technology such as phones or other forms of communication has emerged to what I see as a world of social proximity.”

Just as providers are growing closer with the help of advanced data infrastructures, the gap between patients and providers is being narrowed by the “social proximity” of social media. The customer is always right, but there’s never before been such an opportunity for providers to hear from patients on such a wide scale. To quote Wolf once again:

Your Twitter feed is data; your Facebook chatter is valuable intelligence.

Increased Involvement of Providers

As all of the above illustrate, providers need to become more involved in the wellbeing of their patients. It’s no longer enough to give a prescription to a patient, send them on their way, and tell them to come back if they are still are experiencing symptoms. Providers need to show an active and consistent engagement in the livelihood of their patients.

That doesn’t mean that physician themselves have to thoroughly engage patients (maybe in a perfect world where patients don’t so greatly outnumber providers…), but the hospital, the pharmacy, the clinic as a whole needs to have a system in place for checking on patients and establishing a connection. It’s now common knowledge that individuals/consumers/patients are no longer looking for just the service. They’re looking for an emotional experience. In the case of healthcare, a more supportive and present experience is a no-brainer. Especially, with the advancements in technology that we have recently seen.

Increased Use of Apps and Wearables

I’ve written about this in my Population Health blog, but apps and wearables are changing the ways that patient manage their own health and also interact with providers. For instance, Apple’s Healthkit and Samsung’s HealthKit both give patients an unprecedented level of self-monitoring. Northwestern University in conjunction with Intellicare has created a suite of apps geared toward helping individuals manage their mental health.

Several Icons depicting apps in the Intellicare App Suite - The Futer of Patient Experience

A glance at the Intellicare app suite, which empowers patients to monitor their mental health outside of the clinic.

Wearables like FitBit allow people to track their physical activity on their own. When paired to advanced platforms like Welltok’s IBM Watson Heart App, wearables and other IoT devices allow individuals to track their weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol, while making health recommendations for a better patient outcome.

 

In the future, healthcare organization will be more connected, more integrated, and it will put patient’s first. It will need to. For the unfamiliar, it might seem odd that healthcare sector is becoming increasingly more and more consumer-centric, but this trend toward a patient-centric paradigm propitious in more than one way. On the one hand, consumers have more choice; on the other, healthcare organizations have to work even better to provide the best experience possible.

For more healthcare updates, follow me on Twitter @MarkBehl.

Thanks for reading.

Mark Behl

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