Victoria’s Daily Dose

Posted on July 3, 2012

Legato account executive Jen Gallagher - as Victoria - comically interviews John Corpus, Legato V.P. of Strategy, about our upcoming webinar on Retail Health.

For more information and to register for the webinar visit www.legatohealthcaremarketing.com

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Is Your Website Giving People What They Want?

Posted on July 11, 2012

nicolehangartner_head2-e1335213473498By: Nicole Hangartner, Account Executive Legato Healthcare Marketing

Eighty percent of people look for health information online. And the top three things they're searching for are:

  1. Information about commonly missed symptoms that can lead to more serious illiness
  2. Information about medical procedures and treatments
  3. Information about doctors and other healthcare professionals

Your website is an inexpensive and effective way to reach out to new and current patients. But does your site really give people want they want to see?

I guess the first question is: Should your site provide the health information people are looking for?

Medicine obviously can't be practiced online. And we definitely don't want people to stop seeing doctors and start self-diagnosing based on information they find online. But I do think hospitals and clinics could make their websites more patient-focused and a little less facility- or capability-focused. It's all about finding that balance between the practical information - doctors, technology, locations, service lines - and the resourceful information - symptoms, common diseases, and descriptions of procedures.

Here are a few ways to incorporate some of the things patients really want from a website:

Diseases and Procedures

  • For each of your hospital or clinic's specialties list common diseases, injuries, symptoms and procedures. You could even create videos with physicians from each specialty discussing these elements.
  • Have a technology section on your site that discusses different procedures and tests. Talk about how each is performed and what information each produces.

Doctors and Healthcare Professionals

  • Create medical staff videos that are posted on your website and on social media networks. Make sure the videos touch on more than just medical credentials. Potential patients want to see a doctor's personality! This is a great way to make a good first impression.
  • Post patient testimonial videos and quotes. These provide powerful word-of-mouth recommendations for your doctors and services.

By implementing these ideas, you'll be able to engage with people more effectively on your website. And they'll think of how helpful your site was when they are looking for a doctor or healthcare service.

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Retail Health Clinic Opposition Dwindles

Posted on July 18, 2012

JohnCorpusHead6By: John Corpus, V.P. of Strategy Legato Healthcare Marketing

It really isn't that hard to figure out. Retail health clinics give us what we have been looking for all along - affordable and convenient healthcare for the most common ailments that affect us on a day-to-day basis.

Again, we are not talking about trauma or even urgent care visits, but the acute and episodic visits, e.g., ear infection, rash, urinary tract infection, etc., which most health systems funnel to mid-levels in the first place.

I recently spoke with a group of physicians who belong to a healthcare system that is considering adding a retail health clinic access point to its access platform. In short, the physicians are pretty traditional, and not thrilled about the idea of adding retail health clinics. They believe that it will demean the medical profession.

Patients…, no customers, do not see it that way. And many of the larger and respected healthcare systems have jumped on board:

THEN

2006: … the AMA board acknowledged that retail health clinics were controversial but ultimately decided the clinics fit long-standing AMA policy that encourages "multiple entry points" into the health care system. It also developed guidelines that clinics must follow.

NOW

Some plans, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield (of Minnesota, Florida, and Tennessee), Aetna, and Humana have already begun waiving co-pays.

THEN

2006: "Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, MinuteClinic? I don't think so," said Robert Goldberg, DO, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist from New York, who is also the president of the Medical Society of the State of New York

NOW

2009: Cleveland Clinic partners with MinuteClinic, links EMRs, By Bernie Monegain, Editor, Created 02/13/2009

2011: Mayo Clinic places retail health clinic in the Mall of America.

THEN

2008:  AAFP members are all over the board when it comes to retail health. Some are strongly opposed to retail clinics, while others serve as supervising physicians for the clinics or receive patient referrals from the clinics

NOW

2012: (CEO of MinuteClinic) Our first affiliations were formed in 2009 with Cleveland Clinic in Northern Ohio and Allina Hospitals and Clinics in the Twin Cities. MinuteClinic has since formed affiliations with another 16 health systems, including Emory Healthcare, Henry Ford Health System and Advocate Health Care. These are some of the largest and most prominent medical delivery organizations in the country. Many are led by physicians and medical groups. Taken together, the 18 health systems represent 157 hospitals and more than 38,700 physicians. We are forming these affiliations to best address the primary care shortage.

Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. It is clear that, with the addition of 32 million uninsured hitting the healthcare system of the United States in 2014, and with the current primary care provider shortage, that healthcare is changing faster than we can manage.

NOW is the time to prepare for the 2014 flood of patients. Retail health clinics present an opportunity, now more than ever, for healthcare systems to transition their access platforms to meet the needs of the patients.

Physicians may argue that they better understand the needs of the patients, and from a medical perspective, this is probably true. But, patients with acute and episodic conditions "want" immediate access and "desire" immediate treatment. From the patients' perspective, this constitutes their need!

What do you think?

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