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Monday, August 8, 2011

Here Come the 20-Somethings

20 Something Manifesto !

Happy Monday boys and girls. Take your seats, silence your smartphones, restrain your iPads, and listen up. (you do it in the movie theater, so give me some of that RESPECT !

This post can probably be ignored by the under 30 crowd, but there is no penalty for reading it, it is not like meaningful use in the CMS incentive plan.

Today’s AMEDNEWS writes “Here come the 20 Somethings” about patients, and the statement can also be made about MDs.

During the past few years,  some hospitals have held a "speed-dating" event, in which young adults briefly interviewed physicians for five minutes before moving on to meet other doctors. The reasons are thus: "trying to attract young adults and educating them on the importance of seeing an established doctor, and the importance of preventative care."

And thanks to health system reform, there will be a whole lot more of 20-somethings to attract.

. Generally, people age 20 to 40 are healthy."

Even if young adults are looking for medical care, it's not automatic that a physician's office will be the first place they go. According to a May 2011 report by PwC's Health Research Institute, 42% of consumers age 18 to 24 prefer to use an independent company, a website or one owned by a pharmacy, rather than a traditional doctor's office, compared with only 15% of consumers 55 and older who would go somewhere other than a physician practice.

Reaching a younger population

By using certain techniques to reach out to young adults, experts said, practices will have a better chance at capturing the population of new, young insureds that is coming. One way to reach out, they said, is to meet young adults where they live -- online.

At least two-thirds of young adults "are likely to use health care conveniences such as online scheduling and email communication with health care professionals," according to the Harris Interactive/AAFP study.

"I am not sure if the increase in the patient base would warrant a complete retooling of the physician's communication," Tsang said. "That said, it may not be a bad idea for the doctor to be on Facebook, have a follow-me account on Twitter, and put out some videos that address the most popular concerns of the younger folks."

Click Image to Link

  

Do you have a facebook page, or twitter account? They can be used for social communication by the office without being personally attached to you for non medical issues and those not protected by HIPAA privacy and confidentiality rules.

         

How about a Google ‘Hangout” for a group session on Diabetes, or Hypertension.?  Hire a part time high schooled to advise you and setup the technical side of this media opportunity.

Unless one has their head inside an endoscope it is obvious change has  occurred.in the healthcare space.

What was once deemed a trivial pursuit is now mainstream in MDs daily lives.Be it an EMR, HIE, Smartphone, Tablet PC, Bluetooth in the car, or even when rounding at the hospital or in the office, all of this technology revolves around communication.

Who reads a newspaper anymore?  I admit to missing that newsprint smell, but I don’t miss my ink allergy. I miss my AM sneezing fit and my PC just does not have an aroma add-on.

Take a look at your waiting room!

Illustration

Is that an iPad the doctor is using?  No, sadly it is an old clipboard, yellow pad and a No 2 pencil.  I hope his waiting room has wi-fi. Also I hope the office has online appointment making, and an online portal for lab and/or x-ray results. If this MD had an IT advisor he would already know about CMS incentive programs, health information exchanges, EMR, HITECH, ARRA,  and meaningful use reporting.

Online Portals are available and can even be linked to the practice EMR.

Online portals offer a secure HIPAA compliant solution to reduce telephone calls.  Many labs provide them free of charge to patients and physician offices as well.

Few 20 somethings can even go potty without their smartphone, facebook, twitter, and now G+. They hangout on G+ with nine friends at a time with streaming video audio and text chat.

You might want to put up a placque in your reception room stating ‘wifi hotspot and  ‘android certified’ or iOS certified. In addition to that a reception room kiosk for registration and time checked in.

If your patients have a long wait they can go to Starbuck’s (only if they are not having a fasting blood test.) then  have the office SMS them, or better yet, a tweet when it is their turn.

         

And have you found Linkedin?  Many  physicians now have a professional grade site which allows resumes, work experience and education as well as training. There is a place for special accomplishments,  hobbies, and a feature that allow you to network with hundreds, thousands and more people.

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