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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Factoring Merit into Medical Prestige

Recently, I was contacted by a prestigious medical organization that was seeking expansion of its board membership. I presumed that this was a personal invitation to join the cause, but soon realized that the caller wanted to use my influence to locate “more credible” candidates with academic gravitas.

When I asked what sort of candidate they wanted my help to find, the response was as follows. Read more…

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Treating the Patient, Not the X-Ray

A dignified man, mentally sharp with clear blue eyes, sat before me. Next to him, his wife of 51 years, and next to her, their three children. His voice – surprisingly soft, and muted – offered the probability that he was nervous. Yet his attention was unwavering. He appeared to be waiting for me to speak.

Mr. Meyers (not his real name) was in my office for a fourth opinion regarding his ailing, aching legs – or so his intake paperwork said. The first portion of the paperwork was filled out in a quivering manner, often illegible. The latter part was neat, perfectly written, and precisely poised on the lines provided. Clearly, someone had felt he needed some assistance. His medication list was a mile long. Read more…

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Finding Your Match: Key Advice For Residency Interviews

It’s that time of year again. Bright-eyed fourth years have begun wandering our hospital in uncomfortable shoes and fancy suits. They look equal parts nervous and excited, ready to embark on the insane adventure that is being an intern. But first, they have to survive interview season and Match Day: a stressful, expensive, hoop-jumping endeavor that culminates with an envelope containing the result of eight years of hard work. Wouldn’t it be nice if they’d just put match results in a fortune cookie instead of an envelope? That’d be way better.

Something I mostly failed to realize as I waddled through interview season extremely pregnant, though, was how stressful it is for the residents and staff who are on the other side. While admittedly less fear-inducing (and certainly less expensive) from this point of view, I didn’t understand how important it was for the person on the other side of the table to make sure they were finding excellent future residents. The people you work with determine a lot about how easy or difficult your day-to-day life in the hospital is. Read more…

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Do Fee-For-Service and Preventative Medicine Mix?

As our medical system attempts to evolve to better deal with the modern epidemics of lifestyle-driven chronic disease, much time and attention is being placed on the clinical models for prevention. Rightly so, and various viable models are popping up with names like lifestyle medicine, preventative medicine, and functional medicine.

But one area that is hardly addressed is the payment structure and business model of the practices. Are there structures that optimize physician and patient behavior? Read more…

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The Debt We Owe Psychiatry

This past week I spoke with a patient who noted that since his wife’s death six months ago, he had lost 40 pounds, slept a maximum of four hours nightly, and stopped enjoying activities he used to take pleasure in. He found it difficult to concentrate at work, and getting out of bed each morning was described as his greatest struggle. While relaying this story, the man was on the verge of tears. His voice was soft and pleading; he needed help.

While the exact line between a “normal” grief reaction and new-onset major depression is controversial, my attending explained to this patient that – given the length and severity of his symptoms – he would likely benefit from treatment. Both medicine and counseling were an option at this point. After all, all humans need to eat and sleep, and this type of care could help get him back on track and into healthy habits. Read more…

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CES 2015: What’s Next in Digital Health?

Health is where we live, work, play, and pray. That’s my (and others’) mantra if we want to truly bend down the cost curve and improve medical outcomes. If we’re serious about achieving what I call the Triple Aim – improving public health, lowering spending, and enhancing the patient/health consumer experience (which can drive activation and ongoing engagement) – then opportunities are everywhere at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. With this post, I’ll share with you the major themes I’m seeing at #CES2015 related to health, wellness, and DIY-ing medical care at home. Read more…

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A More Direct Way to Detect Heart Disease

Consider this: Patients turn 50 and they are asked to have a colonoscopy to look directly at the colon for masses. They are asked to have a mammogram to look directly at the breast for growths. But their hearts – these are still never looked at directly in similarly at-risk populations. Rather, the recommendations indicate measuring blood pressure and cholesterol and maybe performing an ECG, all of which are very indirect examinations of the coronary arteries.

I believe there is a better approach for these asymptomatic patients with risk factors, and it’s one that has been promoted by the Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE), the American College of Cardiology, and hundreds of peer reviewed research studies. Read more…

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Learning to Hold On

In the world of medicine, it’s easy to feel like we’re swimming upstream without a paddle. You would think when one is away on a great vacation, it’d be easy to rein in that feeling, to appreciate what truly matters.

Not always. Until it is presented to you front and center. Read more…

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Hot or Not: 2015 Digital Health Edition

I think it’s fair to say that digital health is warming up. And not just in one area. The sheer number and variety of trends is almost as impressive as the heat trajectory itself. The scientist in me can’t help but make the connection to water molecules in a glass – there may be many of them, but not all have enough kinetic energy to ascend beyond their liquid state. The majority are doomed to sit tight and get consumed by a thirsty guy with little regard for subtle temperature changes.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at which digital health trends seem poised to break out in 2015, and which may be fated to stay cold in the glass. As you read, keep in mind that this assessment is filtered through my own perspective of science, medicine, and innovation. In other words, a “cold” idea could still be hot in other ways. Read more…

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Four Health Tech Trends to Watch in 2015

As we start another year, many of us in healthcare begin to reflect on the progress we have made in medicine. The landscape in the US has changed significantly. We have witnessed the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, massive increases in Medicaid enrollments, integration of practices into large healthcare systems, and the emergence of millions of newly insured patients.

While 2014 has been a year of growing pains and change for everyone in the space, there are several very exciting developments that are gaining momentum, all which have the potential to completely revolutionize the way in which we treat disease. Of these important innovations, what follows are four areas of research that I believe have the potential to most profoundly impact on healthcare in 2015. Read more…