Friday, May 4, 2012

Social Media and Meaningful Use…will be Symbiotic for Digital Patient & Provider Empowerment

 

Now that is a mouthful, one that came to me while reading an article from Healthcare  IT News.

Jennifer Dennard, Billian's HealthDATA, Porter Research, HITR.com talks about “Blowing the Social Whistle on Patient Acquisition” Jennifer Dennard is Social Marketing Director for Atlanta-based Billian's HealthDATA, Porter Research and HITR.com. Connect with her on Twitter @SmyrnaGirl.

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Social Media seems a total disconnect from criteria for meaningful use of electronic medical records and the ability to qualify for incentive funding by Medicare.  Well, guess again. One of the Meaningful Use, stage II requirement is digital inclusion of patient involvement in access to electronic portals, and medical data.

Not only does Stage II of Meaningful Use call for patient portals and the like it will require enticing patients to use them

This is where Social Media becomes almost essential to a medical practice. “The ‘empowered patient’ responds to this type of marketing – they don’t even pay attention to traditional media. They are the influencers. As Stage 2 of Meaningful Use comes out and providers are required to activate patients online, they’ll need to grab the empowered patients they already have and turn those folks into evangelists.”

It’s a marketing concept not unlike that used in traditional consumer areas. Connect with consumers online, establish trust and credibility with those fans/followers, and then make them an evangelist for your product. Eventually, their fans, followers and family members will also become your customers. That’s the simplified version, anyway.

Sengbusch and his team realize that providers will often jump out of their comfort zone to engage with patients in these more social areas. He stresses that it’s important docs realize “they don’t personally need to be on social media, but they need to be open to their brand being on social media so the can capture positive reviews and become aware of patient advocates.”

And now the added attributes required for Stage II meaningful us.

 

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