Social media in health care is all the rage. Set up a Twitter account, get a Facebook page—heck, even start a Pinterest account for your office or group. Mix it together with a little video content, SEO, and a flashy URL, and you may be able to find some ROI from your social media efforts. It’s modern. It sounds complicated and advanced. And many social media experts who are dabbling in health care are pushing the merit and success of this marketing strategy.
But should this be the role social media plays in a physician practice? Should hospitals use Twitter as a digital billboard with viral potential? Marketing is important, but is it appropriate for physicians who are entering the social media space?
A new initiative being launched today will usher in a new era for population health, whose progress historically has been stymied by multiple stakeholders who don’t communicate, using a variety of unvalidated models. This initiative, A Practical Playbook: Public Health and Primary Care Together, centers on an interactive tool that navigates users through the stages of integrated population health improvement. The initiative was developed by the de Beaumont Foundation, Duke Community and Family Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Three weeks ago, at a restaurant in Houston, the solution to a major health care problem may have germinated. Around a table were gathered Michael Fisch, MD, chair of the Department of General Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and four undergraduates who are enrolled in ENGL 386 at Rice University. The goal? To figure out how to use digital innovation and technology to encourage adult cancer patients to enroll in clinical trials.
Much about this equation may seem unlikely: Department chair + Undergrads + English course = Improved cancer research? But indeed, that is the hope.
Welcome to the newest edition of Chart Review. The online academic medicine community was very active in February, generating posts on mobile technology, patient connections, physician well-being, and more. Happy reading from Wing of Zock!
Smartphones can serve as treatment and information aides for patients and physicians, but their presence in hospitals can be noisy and distracting. To combat this, Albert Einstein Medical School has instituted a smartphone policy in the departments of medicine and pediatrics during inpatient attending rounds. A blog post from The Doctor’s Tablet highlights how to institute policies and guidelines to promote professionalism in smartphone use while maximizing the benefits for patient care.
Historically, we’ve often thought of the doctor-patient encounter as something of a silo. Patients come in with symptoms, and the doctor addresses them, perhaps ordering tests or referring the patients down the line of colleagues.
That model inexorably changed with the Internet. Today, patients come to their appointments educated on symptoms, treatments, and even us. They are frequently prepared with research and granular questions. They are engaged with the process, and often hopeful and prepared to work with their healthcare team as a result.
Listen to author Casey Quinlan’s interview with Dr. Aniruddha Malpani on patient engagement.
Patient engagement and patient advocacy are hot topics in the American health care system, due to health care reform and enabled by ready access to digital health information now available to anyone with a smartphone. The role of patient advocate can fall to anyone from a friend or family member to a primary care practitioner, with shifting “qualifications” for that role depending on inclination, education, or dedication to the task.
But how do you find an effective patient advocate? How would you know if your doctor might be your best advocate, or if you should ask someone else to take up that mantle? Who teaches patient advocacy, anyway?
New Mexico has one of the nation’s highest rates of uninsured. With the expansion of Medicaid and New Mexico’s participation in the federal health insurance exchange, over 300,000 New Mexicans are eligible to enroll in a health insurance plan. Medical residents at the University of New Mexico (UNM), working with the UNM Business School and the New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty, have developed a mobile app to disseminate information on enrolling in health insurance and Medicaid to people who are newly eligible for coverage.
The Get Covered New Mexicoapp is designed to provide patients with clear information on how and where to obtain coverage,in addition to serving as a tool for community health workers and enrollment navigators throughout the state.Kate McCalmont, MD, is a second-year family medicine resident at UNM who is leading the effort.
“As information [about Medicaid expansion in New Mexico] began appearing in the news and with ads on billboards encouraging people to enroll in the exchanges, I started brainstorming how to get the word out to many people simultaneously,” she says. Continue reading →
February is here and it is possible that a few of you, like me, are already rethinking your new year’s resolutions. What seemed a month ago like a sure-fire plan to lose 10 pounds, exercise more, eat healthier, or manage ones finances, now seems a little more suspect. Let’s view this bump in the road, not as a reason for despair, but an opportunity for improvement.
Last week Kevin Ogar, a competitive athlete, coach, and certified CrossFit trainer, had an awful accident resulting in severe spinal cord injury. This occurred while he was performing a complex Olympic lifting movement, but it was something he – like many other athletes – had done thousands of times before. I assume he thought it would go fine, just like it had all the other times.
Connecticut's largest health system and Tenet will remain independent of one another, but would work together to improve clinical services and coordinate care and referrals at four hospitals in the state.
As physicians convene for the AMA's annual advocacy conference, President Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, says she remains optimistic that Congress will pass legislation to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, despite the lack of a clear funding plan.