State of Care 2015/16

| November 25, 2016

article image
State of Care finds that the sustainability of the adult social care market is approaching a tipping point. This view is based on the evidence of inspections, information received through our market oversight function, and external data.

Spotlight

Beacon Health System

Beacon Health System is the nonprofit parent organization of Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend, providing world-class care throughout North Central Indiana and Southwestern Michigan.

OTHER ARTICLES

Critical Information Sharing for Healthcare

Article | March 13, 2020

The fast and efficient flow of information is vital for the healthcare sector to offer life-critical services and patient care. Seamless communication, real-time updates, and putting the crisis response plans into action with minimum activation time are some of the key factors for successful crisis management during a pandemic or other urgent healthcare situations. In pandemic situations, characterized by a large scale outbreak of diseases over a wider geographical area, the bi-directional sharing of critical information between various healthcare agencies and institutions located in different cities and states becomes even more important.

Read More

Benefits of Healthcare Branding

Article | March 12, 2021

Effective Healthcare branding changes how the public perceives a healthcare organization. Brands are all about perceptions. The way your customers perceive your organization determines your brand. That encompasses your doctors, your board members, your nurses, and your patients. The process of healthcare branding helps organizations ensure they are perceived the way they want to be; as trusted, knowledgeable, caring, and experienced. More than a tagline, name, messaging, or logo, the recognizable feeling that these elements induce is your healthcare company's brand. Healthcare branding ensures that these elements meet in a cohesive system informed by positioning and personality and are constantly implemented across your brand's touchpoints. Why is Healthcare Branding So Essential? Healthcare branding was not always so important. Patients had the freedom to select any healthcare provider. Insurance was the principal determiner of their healthcare provider. It depended upon their workplace. Those without insurance got treatment at community clinics and emergency rooms. As you know, times have changed a lot in a big way. Changing the entire healthcare landscape, the Affordable Care Act put patients in the driving seat. Most of the patients now have access to healthcare insurance and successfully manage their own health. Patients without insurance have the options of out-of-pocket online pharmacies and providers. Healthcare providers have changed their performance metrics system to value-based assessments such as patient satisfaction. More than treatment, now the emphasis is on prevention. It has become a market that is direct-to-consumer healthcare. As a result, the consumer has become the controller of the healthcare brand-consumer relationship. As patients have turned empowered consumers, the benefits of healthcare branding have grown to the point that healthcare companies cannot ignore them. If they do, it affects their business. What are the Benefits of Healthcare Branding? Effective healthcare branding, directed by research and a clear strategy, has many valuable benefits: Identify Changing Patient Needs The needs of patients today have changed from the start of COVID-19. Even when a global pandemic hasn’t fundamentally changed the healthcare landscape, patients’ needs are continually evolving. Healthcare branding gives you the tools to understand evolving patient needs better and rebrand your company to meet them. Brand research includes qualitative research (including one-on-one patient interviews) and quantitative analysis. Insights gathered from brand research are critical in optimally positioning a healthcare brand. It is vital during dynamic and unpredictable markets, as in what happened during this COVID-19. Beyond brand research, effective healthcare branding ensures your healthcare brand is continually aligned with shifting market trends and their impact on patient needs. Establish Trust It isn’t easy to think of a quality more essential to a healthcare organization's success than trust. A healthcare brand is broken or made by the degree to which it is trusted by those it serves. When it comes to healthcare branding, trust is conveyed through everything from messaging to visual identity. Photography, colors, and typography all contribute profoundly to perceiving a brand as trustworthy. In healthcare branding, verbal identity is more important than visual brand identity in establishing it as an expert in the healthcare space. Everything from a reassuring, confident voice in its website copy to guides designed to update patients on necessary healthcare topics and regular publication of articles are proven and well-known ways in healthcare branding to build up trust. Set Your Brand Apart from the Competition However, trust is not the only thing needed in the modern age for effective healthcare branding. The days, judging a healthcare organization based on its medical practice's reputation alone have gone. Patients have become empowered consumers as time passed. The competition to treat these empowered consumers too has become increasingly fierce. Here comes the importance of effective healthcare branding, tracking all your online and offline activities, and evaluating them every day. Your healthcare brand is just one among the many other brands for internet-savvy consumers to choose from. First and foremost, all consumer decisions, including patients' decisions, are based on emotions. So, you have to think of ways to persuade your consumers' feelings to help your healthcare branding in the crowded marketplace. Competitive differentiation is more vital than ever. Effective healthcare branding makes you find out opportunities and ways for differentiation in the challenging and competitive landscape. And, you can capitalize on these opportunities and ways with powerful storytelling and unique positioning. Improve the Patient Journey Patient experience, as mentioned earlier, is a game-changer in the healthcare industry today. Healthcare branding gives you various ways to shape and improve patient experience powerfully. After all, a good percentage of patient experience happens outside the healthcare facility these days. The beginning stages of the patient journey are the awareness and consideration stages. Healthcare branding tools, such as content marketing, are critical in influencing patients in these stages. A website of your healthcare brand can make or break your patient’s pre-treatment experience. It is the selection phase of the patient journey. A premium and well-designed website optimized for conversion will enrich the patients' online experience, looking to book an appointment or answer a question. Healthcare branding is helpful in defining the patient treatment experience. When correctly leveraged, healthcare branding allows your healthcare brand to enhance the patient journey from when the patient hears about the brand to the moment of finishing the treatment. At every patient journey stage, healthcare branding fosters patient trust, builds patient loyalty, and reinforces patient-provider relationships. Takeaway Modern healthcare companies are operating in a competitive landscape where healthcare branding is more important than ever. Patients have become informed and empowered consumers. Digital healthcare brands have redefined the marketplace. Healthcare branding is vital if your healthcare company hopes to stand out from the rest and develop lasting and meaningful relationships with your patients. Fortunately, there are many ways to differentiate your healthcare brand and make it sounds unique meaningfully. Positioning, identity, storytelling, and patient experience represent a powerful area where healthcare brands can better align themselves with their patients' needs and stand out from the competition. Frequently Asked Questions Why is healthcare branding important? Healthcare branding helps you effectively project the personality of your healthcare organization and products. A good thought process to brand your healthcare product will make people remember you forever. What is hospital branding? Hospital branding is the process of making your healthcare organization be perceived better by potential clients. Effective branding makes your patients remember you through the best patient experience and the organization's external look. What are the three branding strategies? There are many effective branding strategies. Line extension, brand extension, and new brand strategy are essential types of branding strategies. You can have any strategy based on the nature of your product.

Read More

Blockchain in the Healthcare Industry

Article | January 8, 2021

Prioritizing health and managing it, has become highly important because our lifestyle is continuously evolving in ways that take a toll on us mentally, physically, and emotionally. However, the major issue for the patients lies in the inaccuracy of treatment due to the lack of complete health records in any hospital. With the recent changes in privacy legislation and data management, patients are even unable to retrieve their own health records. For example, someone had an accident and was taken to the emergency room. The first thing they will need to do in their condition is to fill the hospital’s form. Then, for the treatment, if the injured person is conscious enough, doctors ask questions like if they are allergic to some medicines or do they suffer from diabetes or any other disease. Besides, what if the individual denies having allergies or diabetes in their half-conscious state? And the previous hospitals where they have already had treatment before have denied sharing the medical details of the person either due to privacy issues or data corruption. Well, it can create a lot of fuzz. Solely, to improve the health industry without compromising the security of the individuals, blockchain has remained in the discussion. It has the potential to address the operability challenges present in the healthcare industry. But, what is blockchain, what are its underlying fundamentals, why blockchain, and what are its advantages? Today’s blog will help in understanding every aspect of blockchain and its impact on the healthcare industry. So let’s get started! What is Blockchain? Blockchain is a P2P or peer-to-peer distributed or decentralized ledger technology. It stores a chain of data called blocks of information. These blocks are chained together by cryptographic signatures. These signatures are called hash that is stored in the shared ledger and backed by a connected processes network - node. These nodes reserve a copy of the complete chain and get continually updated by synchronization. Though, to include blockchain in the process it’s necessary to hire a developer who has prior experience and knowledge about its architecture and can work with the components efficiently as blockchain is a designed pattern that consists of three major constituents - a distributed network, a shared ledger, and all the digital transactions. a. Distributed Network As discussed before, blockchain is built on peer-to-peer networks. While having no central point of storage, it makes the information on the network less vulnerable to being lost or exploited. Unlike the traditional client-server model that has a centralized storage point or controlling party, all the information in the blockchain network is constantly recorded and transferred to the participants of the network that are also known as nodes or peers. These peers also own several identical copies of the information. That’s why blockchain is seen as a huge improvement to centralized models and is considered the future of data storage and ownership. b. Shared Ledger Each authorized participant in the network records the transactions into the shared ledger. If they want to add any transaction, it is important to run algorithms that evaluate and verify the transactions. If the majority of members agree to the transaction’s validity, a new transaction gets added to the shared ledger. The changes done in the shared ledger is reflected in minutes or even seconds in the copies of the blockchain. Once the transaction is added, there’s no way to modify or delete it. Also, as the copy is shared in the form of a ledger to each member, no single member can alter data. c. Digital Transaction Transactions are information i.e. data transmission to one block. During the process of data transmission, each node acts as a central point to generate and digitally sign the transaction. As the nodes connect each other in the network, each of them has to verify the transaction independently for its conflicts, validity, and compliance. Only after the transaction passes the verification, the information is added into the shared ledger. The major element that makes digital transactions successful is cryptographic hashing that encrypts the data for security. Why Blockchain technology in healthcare? It has happened so often that the patient remains unable to gather all of their previous medical records in one format from one place swiftly or sometimes cannot even collect the required information at all. Unfortunately, in most cases, the information of critical patients remains scattered across several different institutions of healthcare that too in different formats. Besides, the data management systems along with the security regulations also vary in different institutions making it difficult to trace and fix mistakes. But, what can blockchain do? A blockchain is a system used for storing and sharing information with security and transparency. Every block in the chain is an independent unit of its own and a dependent link among the collective chain that creates a network controlled by participants rather than a third party. As blockchains are managed by network nodes instead of central authority, they are decentralized that prevents one entity from having complete control over the network. With the incorporation of blockchain, the need for a central administrator will be removed by cryptography. Healthcare providers will be able to promote data management processes beyond perception. It will help in collecting, analyzing, sharing, and securing medical records. It will provide the access to healthcare workers for retrieving health records with the cryptographic keys provided by patients from anywhere without creating any privacy or security problems. Advantages of Healthcare Blockchain Although applications of blockchain in the healthcare industry are inceptive, some early solutions have shown the possibility of reduced healthcare costs, improved access to information among different stakeholders, and streamlining the entire business process. So, keeping aside the buzz, let’s see the real advantages of blockchain in healthcare. 1. Master Patient Indexes The master patient index helps in the identification of patients across separate administrative systems. It is often created within the EHR or electronic health record system. As these EHRs have different vendors, there are several irregularities of MPIs. In many cases, the data of a patient between these healthcare systems become mismatched. However, with the nature of decentralization in Blockchain, it possesses the ability to solve the issue. In the blockchain-based MPIs, the data will be hashed to the ledger and content will remain unique as only the authorized nodes of the data can make changes to the hashes while all parties with access can only check the related information. 2. Single, elongated patient records Blockchain technology is potent to transform health care by placing patients at the center of the system while increasing the security and privacy of health records. It provides a new model for health information exchange by forming electronic elongated patient records secured and efficient. Additionally, the fact that the data is copied among all the nodes of the blockchain network creates an atmosphere of clarity and transparency that enables healthcare providers and patients to know how their data is handled by whom, how, and when. It can also help healthcare from potential frauds, data losses, or security attacks. 3. Supply Chain Management Supply chain management in healthcare is a challenging aspect. With scattered settings for ordering drugs, medical supplies, and critical resources, there’s an inherent risk of compromising the supply chain that might impact patient safety. Indulgence of blockchain technology in the transactions can tap into the complete process of medicine or drug products movement. As all the transactions will be recorded onto the shared ledger with every block recording and maintaining every transaction, it will become easy to verify the vendor, distributor, and origin of the drug within a matter of seconds. It will also enable healthcare physicians and officials to check the authenticity of the supplier’s credentials. 4. Claims Justification Currently, the insurance claim processes face difficulties like lack of transparency i.e. most customers don’t even know how insurance works; human errors and inefficiencies i.e. insurances are full of confusion along with human errors that create inefficiencies that lead to the increased cost to customers; higher frauds in claims. But, blockchain technology can simplify and enhance recordkeeping, payment processing, claims registration, contract management, and closure with its immutable ledger. 5. Interoperability Interoperability is the capability of distinct healthcare information technology to interpret, exchange, and use data. Due to the privacy issues, the alphanumeric code to identify a patient has been revoked that caused problems in gathering the required record of the patient. Enforcing measurement standards for industry-wide interoperability is also a challenge in interoperability. With blockchain in healthcare interoperability, data can be shared in real-time on the trusted network and provides access to the patient’s record in a secured manner. Moreover, with the pri

Read More

Healthcare Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021

Article | January 11, 2021

Healthcare marketing, for a healthcare provider, is challenging as a lot of technologies are emerging in the market. What matters is choosing the right healthcare marketing techniques and technology to market your products and services. The global digital health market size was USD 51.3 billion in 2015. According to Global Market Insights, this is expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.9% from 2016 to 2025. However, to compete with your opponents and to face the challenges of increasing patients buying your products and services, you need an excellent and well-designed marketing strategy with the latest healthcare marketing trends. As we have entered a new decade, healthcare providers should look into developments in the healthcare marketing brought out by the year 2020. The global pandemic has changed all the practices in the industry, including the style of healthcare marketing and technology. Since the turn of the century, online marketing has been a part and parcel of healthcare marketing. However, healthcare marketing is witnessing a new era. This can be attributed to the increasing integration of various smart devices in the everyday lives of people and the introduction of artificial intelligence algorithms. Are you ready to leverage these technological transformations and changes? This article discusses some of the major healthcare marketing trends to be integrated into your healthcare marketing strategies. Reviews Matter One of the important healthcare marketing trends that you can use is online reviews from happy patients. Healthcare providers have largely relied upon these online reviews— the patient sentiment—to establish a reputation and acquire new patients. These reviews are widespread across multiple online platforms and anyone can easily access them. A study conducted by Binary Fountain in 2019 claimed that 60% of people use online reviews to choose a healthcare provider. It also claimed that 75% are influenced by online feedback when they go for a healthcare provider. This shows how influential this healthcare marketing trend is. Thus, in 2021, healthcare providers should concentrate on acquiring positive reviews and replying to both good and bad reviews and feedback. It is crucial to respond to negative reviews for your online reputation management, as 70% of patients consider it important to address patient concerns publicly. Content is King Content marketing is yet another healthcare marketing trend that healthcare providers should focus on. Producing educational, entertaining, engaging, and high-quality content is crucial in increasing your online brand visibility and patient engagement. This aspect of online marketing came into existence ever since Google became the king in the search engine market and established their ever-evolving algorithms. To leverage this healthcare marketing trend, healthcare providers should have a plan for creating content holistically and publishing it on multiple platforms in different forms. All content that goes online should be well-produced and authoritative. All forms of text-based content, such as articles, blogs, press releases, white papers, and case studies, should be well-written and have high-quality links. It is also good to add images to your content to increase engagement. Within this healthcare marketing trend, video marketing is considered to be the most effective one because online visual content appeals to users more than any other form of content. To make the most out of your videos, you can run video ads on YouTube, share them on your social media pages, and post them on websites and landing pages. Responsive, Fast Loading Websites Among the online healthcare marketing techniques, it is very important to have a very responsive and fast loading website. Also, the navigation on the site should be smooth and easy. This is because the websites with these features win more patients. Websites of healthcare providers with ads and pop-ups, navigation issues, and slow loading will make users leave the site in no time. This will be much realized in 2021 as patients expect websites to load instantly on all their devices, including their smartphones. To increase patient acquisition, you may have to streamline and optimize your website for both mobile and desktop viewing. Here are some quick tips to make your website loading fast and navigation easy: • Decrease image size on your website • Switch to a faster web host • Clean up unnecessary code. Growing Influence of Social Media Having a strong presence on all social media platforms is an effective digital healthcare marketing tactic. The online presence of your healthcare organization should not be limited to your website. To maximize your brand’s reach and to have an impact in 2021, you may have to make full use of all social media platforms. In terms of lead generation, engagement, marketing, and reputation management, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, among others, are turning more influential nowadays. According to Statista, social media has 2.82 billion active users. More specifically, according to Hootsuite, as of 2020, 90% of older adults use social media to seek or share healthcare information. This most influential healthcare digital marketing trend can be effectively used by creating and promoting targeted ads on all these platforms. Also, by interacting with users through likes, comments, and shares and publishing content regularly, you can increase your organic reach. For any healthcare provider and marketer of 2021 and beyond, it is a massive mistake to neglect the power of social media. Data-Driven Healthcare Marketing In 2021, to personalize outreach campaigns, healthcare providers and marketers will have data and tools. Adhering to HIPAA regulations, healthcare providers can design various marketing materials according to key demographics, such as key health concerns, income levels, age range, etc. This is the more granular approach to reach new patients and to keep your regular and current patients loyal to your brand. This personalized healthcare marketing technique will make patients feel that they are treated well and slowly build up trust in your brand. A customer relationship management (CRM) tool, which is reliable and healthcare-specific, can store relevant patient data. To optimize your marketing strategy, insights from the stored data can be considered. Thus, this important healthcare marketing technique—data-driven healthcare marketing—helps you personalize your healthcare marketing campaigns. Turning to Telemedicine Technology Demanding physical processes and spatial barriers are not yet a big restriction for healthcare providers. Artificial intelligence, telemedicine, automated systems, and IOT contribute a lot to make healthcare more efficient and accessible. Highlighting these features in healthcare also becomes an effective healthcare marketing technique. Using telemedicine software, healthcare can be provided remotely, which eliminates the need for an in-house visit. Although this breakthrough happened at the start of the century, it will become more accessible, viable, reliable, and will be used widely than ever before in 2021. Patients with mobility and transportation issues prefer using remote healthcare services and adding these facilities to your services can be considered a part of healthcare marketing tactics. So start offering remote healthcare services, if you have not started yet. This will eventually increase your brand reputation and build up trust. Self-Serving Technologies- Patient Profiles, Chatbots, and Appointment-Scheduling Modules As part of healthcare marketing plan and strategy, patient profiles, chatbots, and appointment-scheduling modules are incorporated by providers in their websites. These additions provide more awareness and control of their health to the patients. Updating your website to include these self-serving technology will help you improve the patient experience online. Look forward to the new developments in healthcare marketing technology to improve your healthcare marketing, which is suitable for you. Embracing all of these changes and transformation in healthcare marketing strategy will help you stay ahead of your competitors with effective healthcare marketing campaigns strategies. Frequently Asked Questions What are technological advances in healthcare? The year 2020 witnessed a lot of technological advancements in the healthcare industry due to the pandemic. Some of the major ones among them are personalized medicine, telemedicine, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. What technology is used in healthcare marketing? Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, voice search, and augmented reality are some of the major technologies used in treatment and marketing in healthcare in 2021. However, the technology in healthcare marketing is ever-evolving as new trends are set every moment. Why is technology important in marketing? Technology is very important in businesses and marketing as technology helps businesses grow. It also creates relationships and it is necessary for communication between the customer and the organizations. Technology is an essential part of any business for development and growth. What is the most effective healthcare marketing technology? There are many existing and emerging healthcare marketing technologies in the global market. However, the most effective marketing technique is social media; generating leads through social media and websites.

Read More

Spotlight

Beacon Health System

Beacon Health System is the nonprofit parent organization of Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend, providing world-class care throughout North Central Indiana and Southwestern Michigan.

Events