Make Money in the Fee-For-Service Model Today AND Lower Costs/Get People Healthier in the ACO Model Tomorrow
A recent survey analyzes costs and access developed western countries. not surprisingly it shows that compared to other developed countries Americans have almost immediate access to specialists of their choice and have hard time getting Primary Care.
The numbers worth pulling out of the survey:
- Most Americans (57%) say they can’t get quick access to immediate care
- Americans are also finding their own specialists (Of course, because we are not getting into PC offices.)
What is the learning for savvy marketers?
- People are finding specialists online. So, of course, your marketing must be online too. And I not talking about your overly-complicated hospital website – I am talking about a meaningful social media program that drives inbound new patients.
- You CAN increase referrals quickly. How? 57% of people do not have a Primary Care doc they can quickly access. You must solve that problem and the referrals become yours. AND I am not talking about hiring more primary care docs – I am talking about Nurse Practitioners and other non-Emergency-Department ways to get people quickly and cheaply into the system.
Now you may be thinking, “I am in marketing, how am I going to set up some kind of nursing-based Primary Care clinic?”
All departments need to let the C-suite know how to increase financially sustainability – marketing included. Good marketers analyze the market and discuss their findings with the C-suite. Your executive leadership will likely be wise enough to act on many logical suggestions and they will at least be impressed you are thinking about solutions. So quit whining, get accountable and man-up (no gender bias intended).
Here are are two pieces of Good News when considering a future ACO model:
- Providing fast cheap primary care will keep people healthier and out of the hospital.
- The social media plan you implement today will continue to drive cost-reducing wellness programs tomorrow.
So maybe what your Mom told you was right: Doing the right things today will pay huge dividends to tomorrow.
Tom McCormally loves to tell stories; he is a former newspaper writer and editor and now works as senior director of public relations at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Tom is always engaging and practical, so I’ve asked Tom to share with us some “real world” insights from running a social media program in a previous series, and this case study.Â¬â€ Feel free to contact Tom directly via Twitter @TMac1957
You know what it’s like when the proverbial light bulb finally goes on?
Well, it wasn’t entirely like that when we decided to start a corporate blog at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.Â¬â€ It was much more sedate than that. But the light bulb did go off.
In the summer of 2009, politicians, health care institutions and some other folks (a few more vocal than others!) were embroiled in a debate that had been dubbed “health care reform.â€šÃ„Ã¹ The news media was covering the town hall meetings, the yelling and screaming, the politicians on both sides of the massive piece of legislation working its way slowly through Congress.
But something was lost in the debate. The whole focus was on insurance and costs. No one was talking about quality. About the patients. About improving outcomes. And we couldn’t get any news organizations to listen when we offered to talk about “realâ€šÃ„Ã¹ health care reform, the kind that led President Obama to call us an “island of excellenceâ€šÃ„Ã¹ for our improvement work.
Illumination! We started Change the Outcome at cincinnatichildrensblog.org. If the news media wouldn’t help us tell the story, we’ll tell it ourselves. And so we have, now, for more than a year.
At first, it was like we were talking and no one was listening. We wrote. Few read. When someone commented, we jumped for joy! Slowly, but surely, our voice was getting louder. More people are listening.
The numbers aren’t huge â€šÃ„Ã¬ a couple hundred people read each post â€šÃ„Ã¬ but numbers are just one measure. (And we are growing those numbers so that measure is promising.) More important, it’s the audience. We tell people, this is not a “mommy blog.â€šÃ„Ã¹ There’s nothing wrong with those that spread health and wellness information for moms and others who care for kids. There are many good blogs out there doing that.
This isn’t one of them. This is about health care policy, about health reform, about public health issues, including things like obesity and prematurity. It’s about making health care safer, more affordable, more accessible.
Our objective is to have our voice heard. To be one of the voices policy makers seek out when they want to know what others think. We’re making progress.
A few more lights go on each and every week.
I know the airlines are not usually the example of how to do customer service – their credo seems to be “We aren’t happy until you are not happy!” Most consumers think they share that attitude with healthcare providers.
Right now there are people in your waiting rooms and throughout your facilities tweeting and posting about your institution, doctors, nurses, other patients, and more. Your reputation is getting trashed online and you are not paying attention.
The article in this link is from the Wall Street Journal describing how some airlines are handling the proliferation of digital public comments and complaints.
Here is an excerpt about Delta Airlines:
“Beside the wall-mounted monitors showing Delta mentions on Twitter and other sites are screens showing how Delta’s flights are operating. When bad weather creates delays and missed connections, the tweets fly, and the Delta agents can respond with specific information about the causes of delays. Some customers tweet from 35,000 feet using on-board Wi-Fi, and the social-media customer service agents can make sure they have been rebooked before they land.”
This is a great example of Community Management. A Community Manager is someone that proactively and reactively manages your reputation online.
Your organization doesn’t have the number of active tweets and mentions on social networking pages that an major airline does, still your online reputation needs to be monitored.
Surprisingly, some of the most damaging stuff happens from young-and-dumb employees that dis doctors, coworkers and/or patients online.
A Community Manager can manage negative online comments in two ways: respond to them directly and/or tamp down negative information by burying it in positive information.
What are your next moves?
1. Develop a community manager position: this person’s job is to proactively and reactively manage your public reputation and patient experience
2. Engage a listening platform, an internet monitoring system, to know in real time what people are actually saying
Not ready to hire someone yet. Don’t worry, you soon will be. In the meantime you can easily outsource a lot of this.
Sign up for one of our free webinars and learn more about the impact a social media program can have for your marketing department.