Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Want My Health Care Easy

Imagine a time when you can log onto Facebook, click on your Doctor's profile, schedule a appointment for the next few days, fill out a quick form with a list of what's ailing you, happy in the knowledge that your medical information will be electronically transferred to his medical and office software for quick diagnosis and easy billing.

Facebook's easy to use, consumer friendly medical insurance app would monitor the Doctor's invoice, the insurance company's payments for any errors, while anonymous data about your condition, diagnosis and treatment would be sent to the CDC so it could monitor for pandemic flu and other diseases.

All of this would happen with a few clicks of the mouse.

Science fiction right?

Electronic health records (EHR) have been talked about forever and a day it seems. I remember sitting through a compelling presentation at the AeA four years ago about EHR. Microsoft and Google have SaaS offerings already up. Everyone agrees that EHR will be consumer friendly, increase reporting, preserve privacy, save Doctors money- so why doesn't happen?

Probably because the whole healthcare industry is so fractured, non-functional and distorted by haphazard government regulation that something this, well simple, has to wait until everything else wrong with healthcare gets fixed first.

How messed up is it? Here are five healthcare experts talking on a NYTimes blog with five different takes on healthcare reform. They each have an axe to grind but none of them seems to have a holistic solution.

What do you think? Even given that the President is setting aside $600B for health care reform, will it work? Can it work?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Health Care Social Media Tools

There has been a lot of discussion recently on the impact of social media on the healthcare industry. I've written about the topic here on this blog. Many people are in agreement that the healthcare industry will be transformed both by any upcoming regulatory reform and by the impact of social media. My guess is that social media will begin to have its effect before government driven reform gets started. But this is just a lot of big picture thinking...what is possible now? Who is twittering? what are the social networks?

Here is a short list of the social media sites I've come across. If you know of any others, just leave the link in the comments...

First of all, Ed Bennett, a web manager at a hospital has compiled a list of 172 hospitals with links to all the social networks they participate in. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter...they are all here. Check out the list here.

Twitters that I follow:
(This is a good slideshow on the basics of Twitter from a healthcare point of view.)

This is a comprehensive list of people in the healthcare industry on Twitter:

Social Networks

LinkedIn Groups
Health 2.0
Health Informatics Technology (HIT)
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
Healthcare Technology Alliance
Healthcare-IT/ EHR/ HIS
Professionals in Pharmaceutical Industry and Biotech Industry

Blogs/Posts/etc.- Background Social Media and Healthcare
Twitter in Healthcare
Twitter a Healthcare Marketing Tool? Maybe
140 Health Care Uses for Twitter
Newsweek's take on Health 2.0

And oh, by the way, if you'd like to fill out a survey I've been running on the use of social media in the healthcare industry, please click here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Social Media and Government Marketing Best Practices from Steve Lunceford

One of the best parts of my job is that I get to talk every single day with talented marketers. Talking shop with these experts is a joy and I could do it all day long. Over the past few years, marketing and PR have undergone the most significant transformation since the mass adoption of the Internet, and possibly since the invention of advertising funded mass media in the 19th century.

Most amazing to me is that the whole industry has seemingly embraced change in the space of two to three years. Given the poor reputation of PR flacks and marketing people, you'd think that we'd be stuck in our ways with our heads in the sand. But no, nothing but continual innovation. Look at the auto industry for an example of folks that just can't quite admit the world has changed- something they've known for decades.

One of the most innovative marketers out there is Steve Lunceford, the Director of Global Communications for BearingPoint. Steve's main responsibility is to support BearingPoint's engagements with government agencies. "Business to Government" marketing has always been one of the areas of marketing most resistant to innovation. But even here, under the leadership of people like Steve, social media is being used to generate real, measurable results.

I sat down Steve to learn first hand how he is integrating social media into his successful government marketing program.

Please listen to the podcast interview we recorded last week.

Related links: BearingPoint’s government Twitter directory - New Thinking In Government video series - Follow Steve on Twitter – Steve’s personal blog

What do you think of Steve's strategy and tactics? Would you do the same thing or do you have a different approach to government marketing? I'd love to hear what you have to say! Please leave a comment...

(...and full disclosure, BearingPoint is a client of my employer, Strategic Communications Group)