Healthcare meets Social Media!

I am reminded of an ad I watched the other day which said, “There comes a point in life when instead of picking movies based on reviews, you pick doctors!” Not that we never sought recommendations for doctors earlier. But it is all digital now. Check reviews, recommendations, and ratings and then make your decision, instantly. Welcome to the world of healthcare in social media!
Social media provides easy and straightforward communication between the patients and service providers, with the convenience of time and place. It encourages honest opinion and ensures anonymity. More importantly, it provides them instant gratification. Users get immediate answers and solutions to their questions and problems. For a medium as real time as social media, even a delay in receiving answers would perhaps not be more than a day. People connect with people, who have similar issues. Social media enables the emotional support that people often seek.
The story is not one sided. According to a study published in Adweek, over 1,500 US hospitals have official accounts on various social networking sites. In a survey of 485 doctors, 60% believed that social media can increase the quality of care they provide. Around 24% of the survey sample used social media to post or seek medical information. The larger picture of US healthcare reflects 5,000 US health organisations with social media accounts.
According to an estimate, 74% of U.S. adult online users use social media. The younger generation are early adopters. They use social media for research purposes and to make health decisions. These decisions include the choice of their physician, hospitals and even courses of treatment for both themselves and their family, including their parents. These consumers are well-informed in social media and expect their providers to be equally adept. It represents a huge opportunity. Healthcare professionals can create informative content that can be readily consumed.
Let’s take a look at a few examples on how the healthcare industry is currently utilising social media.

Knowledge Sharing

Providers use blogs to educate patients with increasing focus on preventive care as a method to reduce cost. Also, they use blogs as a tool for customer rating and feedback. Some organizations allow users to blog about their experience. Prospective customers consider a high value in peer review as compared to company generated content.


The healthcare industry requires a different level of specialized skills; recruiters are hence moving to more targeted social media channels such as LinkedIn, news and information platforms focussed on healthcare, healthcare blogs and so on. Since most of the target audience is under 30 years of age and are extremely social media savvy, reaching out to them through the platforms they are most active on provides better ROI.

Marketing and communications

Social media is used as a tool to reach out to target audiences across various industries. Healthcare is no exception. The medium is used to create brand awareness, generate leads, informing and educating consumers about new products and services. It needs highly relevant content that the audiences can easily relate to.
From live tweets during a bypass surgery to creating a social community for expecting mothers, healthcare industry has already begun its journey towards an integrated healthcare ecosystem. Social media remains an integral part this network. Ignoring it will only lead to loosing out crucial consumer touch points.

Better Communication and Data Analytics – The need for your health IT clients for Population Health Management

A survey was conducted by PerfectServe between February 12th to march 6th, 2015 among 955 medical professionals, to understand what population health management is and the impact it can have on the well-being of the patient population.
The information collected in the survey can be used by the IT solutions providers who work on mHealth tools, population management software and data analytics.
The results of the survey emphasized on the importance of collaboration in achieving better population health management. This was elucidated by the respondents who agreed that collaboration can lead to reduced readmissions and overcoming the communication barriers to achieve important healthcare goals.
90% of the respondents were of the opinion that data analytics can be used for population health management. Also, it was realized how important mobile health communication can be in making population health management more effective.

The results of the survey could be summed up based on the weightage the respondents gave to each of the factors they thought were instrumental in achieving population health management:

  • Better communication with the patients (98 percent)
  • Collaboration throughout the medical organization (97 percent)
  • Investment in data analytics (87 percent)

Read the full story here: http://www.bsminfo.com/doc/your-health-communication-data-analytics-population-health-management-0001?atc~c=771%20s%3D773%20r%3D001%20l%3Da

Progress of the EHR Interoperability Solutions in Healthcare Sector

Over time healthcare providers have realized the importance of connecting systems and medical devices in sharing data in a medical organization. EHR interoperability is vital in ensuring that the key data is accessed by the physicians and healthcare professionals, while making vital clinic decisions. In addition, it can also be of help to the patients and hospitals in creating a healthier population.

The Brookings Institution had asked for certain issues and challenges to be fixed regarding EHR interoperability. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has put great efforts in addressing these challenges and needs to improve EHR interoperability.

However, according to Chief Informatics Officer Dr. John D. Halamka, despite the continuous efforts by ONC there are certain political barriers that inhibit health information exchange. Stating the importance of identifying the challenges in EHR interoperability, the CIO has also mentioned that there is progress taking place in improving health data exchange for a better patient management and healthier population.

Read the full story here: https://ehrintelligence.com/news/ehr-interoperability-solutions-progress-in-healthcare-sector

How Internet of Things can be used for better population health management

Internet has found its way in the healthcare Industry. Healthcare providers are now looking for better health management solutions which has led to their dependency on wearables, smartphones, tablets and home monitoring devices. Healthcare organizations are looking for better, more efficient and impactful ways to keep their patients healthier and happier. Following are the ways in which the healthcare organizations use Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance their population health management capabilities:
  • Observing the growth of the wearable
The use of mobile technologies in the healthcare industry has risen over the past few years. Healthcare providers must constantly watch the latest trends in the wearable technology market to effectively use them in their organization for better outcomes.
  • Improving home monitoring of chronic diseases
Healthcare providers can use IoT for home monitoring of chronic diseases.  This will ensure that the healthcare providers can make their presence felt in daily lives of the patients.
  • Filling the EHR gaps using patient-generated health data
The patient generated health data collected by the IoT can fill in the gaps in EHR. The data captured by the wearable devices can fill in the data that is otherwise missed out in EHR.
  • Using Social media for predictive analysis
From identifying sleep disorders to understanding the adverse effects of drugs, patients can provide valuable health information through social media. This data can be used by the healthcare providers to cater to the health needs of the patients.
  • Improving device integration for better patient safety
The patient generated data must be collected quickly and presented in an efficient way. This data could be used by the healthcare providers for decision making that can lead to better patient management.
This shows how IoT can prove to be a vital factor to improve patient management that results in
more happier and healthier patients.

Read the full story here: http://healthitanalytics.com/news/five-population-health-use-cases-for-the-internet-of-things

mHealth paves way for Better Health Management

The world is going digital and so is the healthcare industry. Mobile health  technologies are now increasingly being used to improve care in  unprecedented ways.
According to the findings of the 26th Annual HIMSS Leadership Survey,  patient satisfaction, patient engagement, and quality of care  improvement have raced to the top of healthcare CIOs’ and senior IT executives’ agendas. Nonetheless, it’s been quite a struggle for the physicians to engage their patients, especially the 45 percent of U.S. adults with at least one chronic condition.
However, mHealth is a growing trend in healthcare. A survey from HIMSS had found that 90% of the respondents are utilizing mobile devices within their organization to engage with the patients in their care. Another survey revealed that 73% of healthcare provider employees believe that app-enabled patients portal have been effective in patient engagement.
Correspondingly, the wearable technology market is also said to grow tenfold to $50 billion over the next three to five years. Hence, using personal devices in healthcare has begun to change the way patients and physicians communicate with each other. And for each of the major smartphone operating systems, there is an app for almost every conceivable healthcare need.

Read the full story here: http://www.healthcare-informatics.com/article/mobile-patient-how-mhealth-tools-are-paving-way-better-care-management



Hospital readmissions can drop with remote monitoring

Remote monitoring tools have been creating a major impact on the healthcare industry in recent time. A remote monitoring program was found to reduce hospital admission rates and mortality rates among heart failure patients.
The remote monitoring tools were able to prevent hospitalization for up to 90 days and delay mortality for 120 days after hospital discharge.
The rates of both hospitalization and mortality decreased significantly among heart failure patients with the implementation of remote monitoring tools and education resources.
Informing and educating patients about this disease and its progression may help them better identify serious symptoms and report it earlier to their physicians as compared to patients who did not receive care through remote monitoring tools.
This could prove useful in ensuring patients remain healthy once they leave the facility. New technologies continue to revolutionize the medical sector and lead to quality improvements in care. Telemedicine and remote monitoring tools could play a large role in affecting patient health outcomes for years to come.

Read full article : http://mhealthintelligence.com/news/do-remote-monitoring-tools-reduce-hospital-admissions