Saturday, July 31, 2010

Social Media ROI

Information Technology gurus often talk about Return On Investment or ROI. The term is used to assess the worth of IT investment, it's increase in productivity, or efficiency and it's long term ability to save on costs. 

It often is focused on the fixed capital investment and ongoing maintenance cost of purchasing and maintaining such systems.

Web-based Health 2.0 offers an immediate ROI.  ROI should be analyzed on the basis of what it does for you, the physician and your patient, not just a number based on dollars spent/dollars returned.  The numerator in that equation is close to if not zero.

If you substitute time as the numerator and results as the denominator it becomes even more apparent what health 2.0 offers you in your office or clinic.

Without notice the physician is able to lookup detailed specifications of medications, cross reactions,  in a fraction of the time compared to textbooks, and paper journals.  Google search or Pubmed search is an actual  world wide search.

Health 2.0 is driving advances in medicine and healthcare.

It is not a fad, and those who ignore it for much longer will be left in the dust.

The Mayo Clinic, an institution known for it's acumen in adopting new technology that has proven it's worth, has established a social media  presence.  May already has a significant presence on You Tube as a patient teaching media, and even on Twitter followed by 60,000 followers.

Admittedly this is a paltry following compared to more prurient interest sites such as Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton or Mel Gibson.

Twitter and Facebook have become more than social networks for communicating with friends.  It now presents a powerful platform for marketing and branding of products and services. It is more powerful than Google in that it provides an elective means of synchronous communications if chosen by participants.

And according to the Mayo Clinic, Social Media Networking presents substantial dangers due to it's inherent exponential Viral spread, much like a pandemic. 

What percentage of patients discover you via the yellow pages?

It is much more likely that they have found you on an online service via superpages, or an online listing in their health insurance website.  The classic paper yellow pages have become an indecipherable listing. The internet search engines allow a focused search for the individual patients. 

 

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