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7 digital resolutions for hospitals

January 7th, 2015

by Jenn Riggle

It's the beginning of 2015 and time for people to take a closer look at their lives and make resolutions for the coming year. It's also a good time for hospitals to take another look at their social media and digital initiatives and determine what's working and what's not.

The good news is that U.S. hospitals have embraced social media. In fact, 99.41 percent of the 3,371 U.S. hospitals have ongoing social media initiatives, according to a recent report from the Journal of Medical Internet Research. But are they using the right channels and achieving the results they want?
Here are some social media resolutions for hospital marketers for the coming year:

=> Read more!

Big data: The Godzilla of healthcare

August 7th, 2014

by Jenn Riggle

If you grew up watching Creature Double Feature movies, you know that Godzilla is a giant dinosaur-like monster that destroys Japan (and most recently San Francisco), and battles other monstrous creatures like Mothra and Destoroyah. In the early movies, Godzilla was the villain, but in the later movies he became a giant, albeit destructive, anti-hero. By the same token, big data can be a hero and save the day, or it can be a big, scary monster.

In its most basic form, big data is digital health information that comes from a variety of sources, including electronic health records, clinical trials, insurance claims, mobile apps like Fitbit and social media, where people post information about their health issues.

The power of big data is indisputable, but is it a force for good or evil?

=> Read more!

Hospitals can't afford to ignore mHealth

May 14th, 2014

by Jenn Riggle

Most of us are familiar with mobile health apps like Fitbit, Jawbone and MyFitnessPal, which help people track their activity levels and count calories. However, these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Faced with stiff penalties for unnecessary readmissions, hospitals turn to mHealth and remote patient monitoring devices to track cardiac rhythms, glucose levels and vital signs, and identify health issues early to prevent expensive repeat trips to the hospital.

Yet, according to a recent healthsystemCIO.com survey, 62.5 percent of hospital CIOs report that their hospitals haven't implemented a remote monitoring system. Why? Because hospitals juggle the upgrade to Stage 2 Meaningful Use criteria with ICD-10 compliance (which was just delayed until October 2015). As a result, mHealth becomes a "nice to have" versus a "must have."

However, hospitals need to change the way they view mHealth. Here's why:

=> Read more!

Texas case a reminder that living wills protect patients, providers

February 12th, 2014

by Jenn Riggle

An advance medical directive, or living will, is a written document that gives instructions about the medical treatment a patient can receive if he or she is terminally ill or unconscious.

However, there are times when hospitals choose to ignore them, such as:

  • When a woman is pregnant
  • When family members disagree with advance directives
  • When a physician or facility objects to an advance directive based on reasons of conscience

John Peter Smith Hospital, a 527-bed hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, was at the epicenter of this discussion when it kept Marlise Munoz, a 33-year-old pregnant woman who was declared brain-dead, on life support against her wishes and those of her family.

=> Read more!

What hospitals can learn from the Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 20th, 2013

by Jenn Riggle

Thanksgiving is a time known for pilgrims, football and eating way too much turkey. It also marks the beginning of the holiday season with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

While hospitals may not be in the business of selling sweaters and scarves, they can learn some marketing lessons from the grand dame of department stores.

Celebrate your community: The Thanksgiving Day parade is not only a celebration of the holiday season, it also celebrates New York City. Hospitals need to celebrate the communities they serve. It's been said healthcare is local. However, being a local hospital is more than calling yourself a "regional medical center."

It's important to provide services that are relevant to the community you serve. For example, if you're a hospital located in North Carolina, in the heart of tobacco country and the Stroke Belt, you should provide different community outreach programs than a hospital located in Colorado, one of the healthiest states in the country.

=> Read more!

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