Posted on March 25, 2014
Patients want to take a more active role in their healthcare,
sometimes they just don't know how. Improved engagement
not only benefits the patient, but also can lead to increased
satisfaction scores, greater quality and safety and a higher
likelihood of patient compliance. Here are a few ways you can
begin to improve patient engagement:
- Create an environment for shared decision
making. Involving patients in the decision making process,
or making sure their voices are heard will make them feel as though
they are an integral part of the hospital (which they are).
- Develop a powerful patient portal. The world
is going digital, and patients want access to their information
wherever they are, 24/7. A patient portal can give them this access
and improve their overall engagement in their health needs.
- Create a strong web presence. A website can
create the first impression your patients have of your facility and
staff. Having useful and relevant information will frame you as a
- Generate a strong patient feedback program.
Most hospitals have places for patients to give feedback. The key
is what you do with that information.
- Traditional advertising. Though some
traditional advertising, like newspaper or direct mail, may seem
outdated, they actually still have a strong effect on patient
engagement. People want to be affiliated with a respected
organization; traditional advertising can help show patients that
your organization is just that.
Want to learn more? Join the Rural Healthcare Marketer on
April 2 to delve deeper into this topic and see how rural hospitals
across the country are leveraging their marketing efforts to engage
patients and help them be an active partner in their
Wednesday, April 2
12 - 1 p.m. (central time)
Presented by the National Rural Health Association Partnership
Posted on March 11, 2014
According to a Pew Internet Project (2012 survey) related to
health and healthcare, 72% of U.S. Internet users searched online
for health information during the past year. Think of what this
could mean to your hospital if even a fraction of these consumers
looked to your physicians as thought leaders in their fields!
Problem is, one five-letter acronym may keep your docs from
taking advantage of social media. You guessed it: HIPAA.
While that could be the end of the story-it shouldn't
be. Your CAH and its providers can use social media without
breaching patient confidentiality and other HIPAA rules. One way to
do this is to connect with patients collectively-rather than
individually. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Keep it general. For example, discuss "healthcare topics in the
news." Providers can share their perspectives, addressing potential
benefits as well as concerns about specific procedures, medical
"break-throughs," medications, etc.
- If a consumer responds with a specific health-related question,
do not answer it using social media. Direct the person
offline, using a standard response to call your office and make an
appointment, or if it's an emergency, call 911 or go to the
- Include a disclaimer that directs consumers to consult with
their physician and that your recommendations are not substitutes
for actual medical assistance.
You might want to check out this video, "The Doctor is Online: Physician Use,
Responsibility and Opportunity in the Time of Social Media." It
includes insights from a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas
Children's Hospital who blogs at 33Charts, along with several
experienced physicians who are also active in social media. While
it was originally developed for medical students just beginning
their residency program, your CAH and docs can benefit from these
quick tips and guidelines.
Be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter to learn more about using social
media in healthcare.