Marketing For Healthcare Providers

Healthcare is rapidly changing. As a practitioner, how should you think about attracting new patients, navigating online reviews, and building a brand? Read this report.

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Why Delivering Bad News Shouldn’t Be Easy

Delivering bad news is part of my job – an important part.

It is fashionable nowadays to speak of the doctor-patient relationship as a partnership. In the sense that both doctor and patient have important roles to play for the patient to get good care, that’s very true. But even in the best of times, it’s a very asymmetric partnership. Even in a run-of-the-mill visit for a sinus infection, the patient and the doctor bring very different skills, experiences, and expectations to the encounter. Read more…


When Patients Take Their Frustration Online

In this age of Internet-everything, online reviews have become par-for-the course for business, and this includes medicine. Indeed, one recent survey found that 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So online reviews count. And overall, this is a good thing. Data shows that more reviews translate into significantly more appointments, and this holds true even if some reviews are bad (it is not until a physician’s overall rating drops to 2.5 stars out of five that appointments begin to decline meaningfully). Read more…


Decoding Code Status

“Good morning baby,” she said to me each morning I when I came into her room.

Ms. K was an educated woman in her early 50s with three children. She loved drinking tea in the morning. She also had a very advanced case of lobular carcinoma of the breast that had extended into her abdomen. A cluster of cancer cells was obstructing her small intestine, causing her to have nausea, vomiting and relentless pain. Yet she managed to smile through much of it. Read more…


The Time to Start Talking about Medical Sensors Is Now

The wearable sensor market is yielding ever-increasing amounts of consumer-derived digital data. These include numerous physiologic measures such as heart rate and rhythm, sleep quality, brain activity, and physical activity levels. As many consumers and commercial organizations look toward using wearables to monitor medical conditions, clinicians may begin to find themselves in the role of digital data decoders. Read more…


Why Some Patients Lie to Doctors

Fictional TV doctor Gregory House’s favorite adage about patients was: “everybody lies.” I used to believe that this was a cynical and inaccurate statement, but I had to revisit it recently when faced with a patient whose signs and symptoms were consistent with a diagnosis that she vehemently denied.

A young woman was admitted to my rehab unit with brain damage of unclear cause. She adamantly denied drug or alcohol use, and I couldn’t help but wonder if she was suffering from a genetic or autoimmune disorder that the academic neurology team had somehow overlooked. I had recently read the New York Times best-seller, Brain on Fire and feared that I would be like one of those dismissive physicians who missed the author’s unusual diagnosis and nearly killed her from their inaction. Read more…


Can We Use Common Ground to Narrow the Care Gap?

Years ago, as a young cardiologist in inner-city Brooklyn, I remember an elderly Spanish-speaking patient named Maria who faced the painful task of deciding whether to use her government subsidy to buy groceries or to fill the medications I had prescribed to treat her heart failure.

I wasn’t unfamiliar with this kind of poverty. I had been born into a Jewish family in Tehran, and soon after, we fled Iran to escape the Islamic Revolution. We eventually moved to the Dominican Republic, where my father enrolled in medical school. Poverty and disease were pervasive on the streets of Santo Domingo and images of malnourished children begging for food or money are still etched in my mind. Read more…


How High-Tech, Low-Touch Medicine Affects the Decision to Operate

Twenty-something years ago, I was faced with a very important decision. What specialty would I choose to pursue as a physician? There were many that attracted me. But in the end, I chose orthopedic surgery. And why not? As a child I knew my orthopedist better then my pediatrician – he was a happy gent and really seemed to enjoy what he was doing. I liked sports, I like anatomy – it felt like a natural fit.

Twenty-something years later I do not regret my career path. Read more…


With Breast Density, a Gray Area for Screening Choices

The medical field, more so than many other professional arenas, is continuously struggling to balance the concepts of increasing quality metrics, decreasing overall expenditure, and riding the crest of the current technological and scientific expansion wave. Within the past half century, our profession has borne witness to an explosion of advancement, and with this has come a contemporaneous increase in both the need for sub-specialization and, bluntly, the associated cost of having more technology at our disposal.

In the healthcare community, we all share one goal: to ensure that when patients are treated, they are receiving the best and most contemporary care available. This is no easy task. Opinions can differ on what the most appropriate management of certain conditions may be. In addition, the latest innovations in medical technology may not necessarily translate into the greatest (or most affordable) advances in outcomes for our patients. Read more…

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Achieving Patient-Centered and Physician-Centered Care with Clinical Mindfulness

In hospitals and medical offices across the country, we are making long-overdue progress toward a patient-centered health-and-wellness system.

Busily, we renovate hallways and add windows; optimize dinner menus and technologic connectivity; and do the rigorous work of infection control, root cause analyses, and iterative quality improvement. Read more…


At SXSW 2015, Health Is a Growth Industry

Each year, it seems health is the hot topic at SXSW. While edgy new movies and hot music are the foundational elements of the annual festival, health and healthcare are the fast-growing, pervasive themes. (It didn’t hurt that the beautiful, month-old JW Marriott Hotel – right next to the Convention Center – hosted most of the digital health track sessions, putting them front-and-center for all attendees.) Read more…