When Talking About Social Determinants, Precision Matters

KATIE GREEN | October 29, 2019

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The term social determinants of health (SDOH) is ubiquitous in health care; equally pervasive is the misuse of the term to characterize health system interventions to address non-medical factors that contribute to health. Health care industry representatives often use SDOH interchangeably with other similar, yet distinct, health concepts, putting usage of the term in conflict with the way public health officials communicate about social determinants. The result is a disconnect in important conversations about how to improve health and reduce disparities. More than simply an issue of semantics, the lack of precision in terminology could negatively impact the health care industry’s ability to form strong cross-sector partnerships.

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Bridgeport Hospital

Bridgeport Hospital is a private, not-for-profit acute care hospital located in Connecticut’s most populous city, primarily serving patients from Fairfield and New Haven Counties. Burn patients are seen in The Connecticut Burn Center—the only burn center in Connecticut—from throughout the state and neighboring states...

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Top 10 Strategies for Healthcare Digital Marketing

Article | July 22, 2020

What is Healthcare Digital Marketing Digital marketing is a new wave in the world of healthcare marketing strategy. Using advanced technologies that use online marketing platforms such as websites, social media channels, and SEO techniques, to reach potential clients with healthcare products and services encompasses healthcare digital marketing. Digital marketing in the healthcare sector makes it easier to create, communicate, and deliver health information and make interventions regarding protecting and promoting the health of diverse populations. Strategies for Healthcare Digital Marketing There are many trending healthcare digital marketing strategies you can use beneficially in healthcare, but here are the top 10 trending strategies that can help you ensure success: Create a Wholesome Patient Experience on Your Website As part of effective healthcare digital marketing for your services, crafting a patient-focused website will help to provide a seamless experience for visitors. While it is important to create a website that you can optimize for search engines, it is also crucial to simplify the process for first-time as well as repeat visitors. Use a conversational tone and features that allow easy navigation so that patients don’t feel like they are being bombarded with medical jargon. Take a look at Mayo Clinic’s homepage. A patient's needs like online scheduling, specialist lookup, and contact information are easily available, while secondary information for those who would like to explore more before they make an appointment is below. This user-friendly healthcare digital marketing strategy will help you a lot in making visitors return to your website, and when they are looking for products and services. Employ a Responsive Web Design With more people leaving the confines of PCs to use the web easily and comfortably, ensuring that your website is responsive to various types of devices is paramount. This applies more to mobile devices because Google has introduced mobile-first indexing in September 2020. Branding Matters If you want to use healthcare digital marketing campaigns efficiently you have to identify what your organization as a brand can give patients. Even if it is healthcare, where target markets and organizational priorities are almost similar, patients need differentiating factors for each healthcare provider. If you don’t want a patient to be lost in the sea of white coats, figuring out what is special about what you can offer is crucial. Make sure your organizational goals and healthcare digital marketing goals are in sync to avoid unnecessary expenditure. Analyze your competition and let that assist you in shaping the path that your healthcare digital marketing strategy will take. You can often learn a lot from a competitor’s mistakes. Provide Blog Content That Is Optimized for SEO Symptom-related searches constitute 1% of all searches, that’s millions, on Google. Use this information to your benefit when planning your editorial calendar for blogs and include it efficiently in your healthcare digital marketing strategy. While you plan around national health observances, you can integrate long-tail keywords, provide links to reputed health sites and articles within your website, and invest in healthcare digital marketing plans. The four to five listings that show at the top of Google’s organic search results page are called the local pack—this part is vital for mobile users because it is all the screen can display before the user scrolls down. If you haven’t already, you should claim your healthcare website on Google My Business and keep it updated. Apart from this, healthcare digital content marketing plans need to be optimized for healthcare-specific SEO keywords. Supplement Blogs with Video Content With more algorithms prioritizing video content, you don’t want to be left behind without any good video content. In the healthcare industry, you have the added benefit of adding to your physician’s credibility if you create edutainment videos telling patients about their area of expertise. Healthcare video marketing can help you leverage the physicians in your organization that are authorities in their respective fields of medicine. Long and scary procedures being described by certified physicians is often reassuring for patients. Likewise, patient testimonials can pay this comforting reassurance forward, resulting in building a good reputation for your organization through similar healthcare digital marketing approaches. Take Advantage of Paid Advertising After you’ve created all this carefully crafted content that is optimized for SEO, you can’t just let it sit only on your website. Sometimes even if you maintain up-to-date business listings, Google’s local pack is overshadowed by paid ads. You have to promote it on search engines and social media platforms through pay-per-click (PPC), search, targeted, and display ads. Here you need a clear healthcare digital marketing strategy. Call-only campaigns and other ad extensions can be used to promote the services you offer as well. Leverage Social Media While organic social media campaigns are great, they can only get you so far. Using it as your only social media strategy can only give you subpar results compared to paid social campaigns. A paid social media plan is more than just clicking on ‘boost’, you have to create a strategy that suits your goals, targets the audience you need, and budgets for a specific ROI. You can create highly personalized campaigns without wasting your budget and reach the patients who are most likely to find your posts useful. It can be quite advantageous if you use healthcare social media marketing to your benefit while being tasteful in what you post. A healthcare care social media platform can be included in your healthcare digital marketing strategy. Set up an Email Strategy In healthcare, there are a few types of emails you can take advantage of, like reminders for appointments and annual physicals, seasonal tips for flu season, and announcements about new technology being used in your organization. Letting opportunities like these slip by is lost chances to keep patients engaged with your services and your patients also lose out on information that potentially could have been useful to them. Including a well-planned email marketing strategy as a part of your healthcare digital marketing plan will prevent patients from marking your email as spam and give you good open rates. Setting up free subscription-based newsletters as Johns Hopkins Medicine does allows you to prevent unnecessary unsubscribes as well. Follow-up with Patient Reviews and Feedback Word-of-mouth referrals have and always will be a part of marketing and healthcare digital marketing can help you evaluate the quality of the referrals you are getting. Patient success stories often inspire and evoke emotional responses from people, apart from serving as a way to show others the quality of the healthcare services you provide. Track Your Healthcare Digital Marketing Strategies After you’ve put all this effort into creating healthcare digital marketing strategies for email, social, and video you have to analyze where your budget is being spent the most, and whether it is reaping you the kind of benefits you are expecting. Understanding and capitalizing on patient micro-moments allows you to position your brand appropriately so that you are right there when they need your services. Measuring and studying your healthcare digital marketing conversion metrics is highly beneficial when it comes to using your resources to serve your needs best. It doesn’t hurt to track all the mediums you’re using to communicate with patients including calls that are made to your front desk. Analyzing this data can help you understand the blockers that lie in the path between a patient and doctor. A laggy scheduling system, long call-hold times, and patient misinformation are just some of the revelations this analysis can bring to light. Trends in Healthcare Digital Marketing Healthcare digital marketing plans were almost non-existent, but they slowly developed to include traditional marketing like print, direct mail, television, and radio. The limitations of these media can now be overcome with healthcare digital marketing. Doctor reviews, patient discussion forums, and physician certifications and availability are now an online search away for most patients. On-demand healthcare is becoming increasingly popular, and big data is playing a pivotal role in decreasing errors via patient record analyses and creating preventative plans for recurring emergency room patients. The future even holds possibilities for telesurgeries, telemedicine continues to grow, and virtual patient treatment and other emerging technologies are changing the landscape of healthcare digital marketing. High-risk patients are being aided by heart rate sensors, oximeters, and exercise trackers paving the way for increased investment in medical devices that can be worn. These devices give people a sense of agency when it comes to their health while creating room for gamification and considerable changes in healthcare insurance. Even with all these innovative changes, for healthcare digital marketers, one aspect will remain primary and this is the patient. Gone are the days when healthcare costs were affordable and patients were not proactive in researching which healthcare provider to choose. The modern patient has to be prudent in selecting the person responsible for improving their health, and it is your responsibility as a marketer to show them why your organization is the best. Stay updated with the latest healthcare digital marketing trends with webinars as the times are changing faster than ever. Frequently Asked Questions What is healthcare digital marketing? Marketing healthcare products and services with the use of advanced digital technologies and techniques are called healthcare digital marketing. These techniques can be Google AdWords campaigns, responsive websites, SEO tactics, mobile apps, unique landing pages, social media campaigns, and email marketing programs, and much more. Why is digital marketing important in healthcare? Healthcare providers are facing challenges everywhere, especially in marketing their products and services. So, as technology is evolving, to stay competitive and continue improving the patient experience, the healthcare industry should invest in healthcare digital marketing strategies. What is a healthcare marketing strategy? Healthcare marketing strategies support and promote the practices of healthcare providers and telemedicine providers. Healthcare digital marketing strategy includes many channels and forms to target the right patients in the right way at the right time.

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TOP 4 BENEFITS EHR SOFTWARE FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED PRACTICES

Article | July 22, 2020

From the very first day you implement EHR software, you’ll let out a sigh of relief once you realize its amazing potential and how it can transform your practice. You may experience some minor drawbacks along the way, but these are nothing compared to the many benefits you’ll achieve. Below are some of the benefits healthcare facilities acquire from the use of EHR Software:

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7 Tips: In Managing Your Every Day Stresses and Anxieties

Article | July 22, 2020

Everybody deals with stress and anxiety, however the key is to know what to do when you’re stressed out. It is not always easy to keep your feelings from getting the best of you. With this in mind, here are seven tips that a person can use to help manage their daily stresses and anxieties before they get out of control. 1. Get all of the facts of the situation: Gathering the facts of a certain event can prevent us from relying on exaggerated and fearful assumptions. By focusing on the facts, a person can rely on what is reality and what is not. Most importantly, do not focus on your fearful thoughts when you’re stressed out. 2. Take a break: Sometimes, we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper, or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. 3. Carry a small notebook of positive statements with you: Another technique that is very helpful in managing fear is to have a small notebook of positive statements that makes you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that relaxes you, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed, open up your small notebook and read those statements. 4. You can’t predict the future: While the consequences of a particular fear may seem real, there are usually other factors that cannot be anticipated and can affect the results of any situation. We may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference. 5. Challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking: When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. Focus on the reality of your situation and not on your thoughts. Your fearful thoughts can make things worse so try to focus on something positive when you get anxious. 6. Divide your activities into separate steps: When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, divide the task into a series of smaller steps and then complete each of the smaller tasks one step at a time. Completing these smaller activities will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success. 7. Take advantage of the help that is available around you: There are many individuals who have been expertly trained in the field of psychology to help you find ways to manage fear and anxiety. Seek out someone whom you trust to provide sound advice and guidance. This same professional can also help you create an action plan for dealing with your fears and anxieties in the future.

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HIPAA, Risk, & Hyper-Outsourcing Healthcare

Article | July 22, 2020

Ever-rising costs have forced the healthcare industry to tread a tightrope between containing costs and quality of service. In an effort to reduce costs, the healthcare industry relies on a large number of external resources. It’s not just administrative and clerical personnel such as call-center, scribes, and billing. Often essential service providers including therapists, clinicians, and physicians are drawn from a pool of external resources to help defray the overhead costs. This trend of hyper-outsourcing unintentionally raises privacy risk, especially regarding patient data.

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Spotlight

Bridgeport Hospital

Bridgeport Hospital is a private, not-for-profit acute care hospital located in Connecticut’s most populous city, primarily serving patients from Fairfield and New Haven Counties. Burn patients are seen in The Connecticut Burn Center—the only burn center in Connecticut—from throughout the state and neighboring states...

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