Can Twitter really tell you which hospital offers the best care?

Healthcare and Social is a fast-changing landscape. While Biopharma manufacturers have been slow to adopt social strategies and presence many hospitals use Twitter aggressively to engage with their patients, and influence hospital choice through seeking satisfaction comments. This is certainly true with “Likes” on hospital Facebook pages. But a “Like” in some ways is more passive than a posted Tweet. The Tweet is often a more immediate post hospital care reaction and has a ripple effect. Amazingly enough, as of early 2015, nearly half of all U.S. hospitals have Twitter accounts.

Twitter logo 11.23

 One study, which was published this month in the journal BMJ Quality and Safety, (http://goo.gl/dkkmB7) examined whether Twitter could be a reliable, real-time indicator of hospital quality. The study, researchers crowd-sourced U.S. hospital Tweets to determine whether their overall sentiment could denote quality of care.

The study found a positive sentiment correlation to the use of Twitter.  They also observed that smaller hospitals in more rural settings had deeper engagement, which makes sense as a local issue. But a true disconnect was unearthed: Twitter sentiment was not associated with Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) ratings but just having a Twitter account was. So, while positive engagement helps the hospital brand equity and reputation, the government’s own ratings do not yet measure it. So why have a Twitter account? Simple: engagement drives business in a world of customer-focused healthcare insurance.

Another study concluded that Twitter had a very positive impact on the overall goal and metrics the hospitals use. From “Tweeting and Treating: How Hospitals Use Twitter to Improve Care.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26217995), Dr. Frederick, July 2015.

“Savings opportunities are generated by preventing unnecessary office visits, producing billable patient encounters, and eliminating high recruiting costs. Communication is enhanced using Twitter by sharing organizational content, news, and health promotions and can be also a useful tool during crises. The utilization of Twitter in the hospital setting has been more beneficial than detrimental in its ability to generate opportunities for cost savings,Twitter hopsitals over US 11.23 recruiting, communication with employees and patients, and community reach.”

As it turns out, Twitter is also a pretty good gauge of hospital quality. The study found that “hospitals that people liked on Twitter were also doing better at not having patients come back within 30 days – one of the indicators of care quality.” Why is this hot? Adoption of Social in Biopharma manufacturers is far behind that of hospitals. Also, hospitals are being held to ever-increasing quality-of-care metrics – these metrics act as badges of honor but are needed to attract patients to their services. If they keep patients from being re-admitted to the hospital within 30 days, the Affordable Care Act rewards them with higher reimbursement. Also, hospitals are pioneering what sort of content engages patients and community. Look at Mayo Clinic, they have 1.23 million Followers. True, they are a world-class brand, but it shows what is capable and a hunger for connection. Biopharma should watch hospital Twitter experiences very carefully.

Mayo Twitter page 11.23

In terms of content, an expert on the topic weighs in…

Alicia Daugherty, who works with the Advisory Board’s Marketing and Planning Leadership Council, points out several key strategies for hospitals that are trying to maintain vital, active Twitter feeds: “It’s all about relevancy–the care experience prompts patients to follow the hospital, and then it’s up to the hospital to sustain their attention with interesting, useful content,” Daugherty says. She separates hospitals’ most engaging tweets into three common categories:

  • Practical health advice: Daugherty notes this is easy to offer, although Twitter is somewhat saturated with health tips and tricks.
  • Unusual or counterintuitive information: These tweets can be more interesting, but harder to provide on a regular basis.
  • Content that sparks a conversation:However, the most active discussions may center on controversial topics–and that’s “usually best avoided” for hospitals, Daugherty concludes.

As an example, just look at what the Cleveland Clinic has on it’s page today…education, help, hope.

Can Twitter really tell you which hospital offers the best care? was originally published on Harbinger Associates

Can Twitter really tell you which hospital offers the best care? was originally published on Harbinger Associates

Can Twitter really tell you which hospital offers the best care?

Healthcare and Social is a fast-changing landscape. While Biopharma manufacturers have been slow to adopt social strategies and presence many hospitals use Twitter aggressively to engage with their patients, and influence hospital choice through seeking satisfaction comments. This is certainly true with “Likes” on hospital Facebook pages. But a “Like” in some ways is more passive than a posted Tweet. The Tweet is often a more immediate post hospital care reaction and has a ripple effect. Amazingly enough, as of early 2015, nearly half of all U.S. hospitals have Twitter accounts.

Twitter logo 11.23

 One study, which was published this month in the journal BMJ Quality and Safety, (http://goo.gl/dkkmB7) examined whether Twitter could be a reliable, real-time indicator of hospital quality. The study, researchers crowd-sourced U.S. hospital Tweets to determine whether their overall sentiment could denote quality of care.

The study found a positive sentiment correlation to the use of Twitter.  They also observed that smaller hospitals in more rural settings had deeper engagement, which makes sense as a local issue. But a true disconnect was unearthed: Twitter sentiment was not associated with Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) ratings but just having a Twitter account was. So, while positive engagement helps the hospital brand equity and reputation, the government’s own ratings do not yet measure it. So why have a Twitter account? Simple: engagement drives business in a world of customer-focused healthcare insurance.

Another study concluded that Twitter had a very positive impact on the overall goal and metrics the hospitals use. From “Tweeting and Treating: How Hospitals Use Twitter to Improve Care.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26217995), Dr. Frederick, July 2015.

“Savings opportunities are generated by preventing unnecessary office visits, producing billable patient encounters, and eliminating high recruiting costs. Communication is enhanced using Twitter by sharing organizational content, news, and health promotions and can be also a useful tool during crises. The utilization of Twitter in the hospital setting has been more beneficial than detrimental in its ability to generate opportunities for cost savings,Twitter hopsitals over US 11.23 recruiting, communication with employees and patients, and community reach.”

As it turns out, Twitter is also a pretty good gauge of hospital quality. The study found that “hospitals that people liked on Twitter were also doing better at not having patients come back within 30 days – one of the indicators of care quality.” Why is this hot? Adoption of Social in Biopharma manufacturers is far behind that of hospitals. Also, hospitals are being held to ever-increasing quality-of-care metrics – these metrics act as badges of honor but are needed to attract patients to their services. If they keep patients from being re-admitted to the hospital within 30 days, the Affordable Care Act rewards them with higher reimbursement. Also, hospitals are pioneering what sort of content engages patients and community. Look at Mayo Clinic, they have 1.23 million Followers. True, they are a world-class brand, but it shows what is capable and a hunger for connection. Biopharma should watch hospital Twitter experiences very carefully.

Mayo Twitter page 11.23

In terms of content, an expert on the topic weighs in…

Alicia Daugherty, who works with the Advisory Board’s Marketing and Planning Leadership Council, points out several key strategies for hospitals that are trying to maintain vital, active Twitter feeds: “It’s all about relevancy–the care experience prompts patients to follow the hospital, and then it’s up to the hospital to sustain their attention with interesting, useful content,” Daugherty says. She separates hospitals’ most engaging tweets into three common categories:

  • Practical health advice: Daugherty notes this is easy to offer, although Twitter is somewhat saturated with health tips and tricks.
  • Unusual or counterintuitive information: These tweets can be more interesting, but harder to provide on a regular basis.
  • Content that sparks a conversation:However, the most active discussions may center on controversial topics–and that’s “usually best avoided” for hospitals, Daugherty concludes.

As an example, just look at what the Cleveland Clinic has on it’s page today…education, help, hope.

Will price wars destroy the possibility of a Patient Sales Force & Patient-centricity?

Prcie squeeze image 7.26

Summary: after a decade or more of having the Biopharma industry wrestle to embrace Patient-centricity, and with it the opportunity to create patient demand and loyalty for more expensive, branded treatments, a chasm is growing which could derail it all.

As always, a true issue for marketers can often be the culmination of many discussions, news, interviews, charts and stats. This week an issue that has always been part of the negative dynamic between Biopharma manufacturers, Payers and patients has risen from what seemed like an endless family squabble to a seismic shift in reality that impacts everything we as marketers do — yet is out of our control.

Price. 

And if price is ALL that matters, then what a patient wants or asks for is moot. The empowered Patient Sales Force needs more support than ever.

This is nothing new, right? Over 70% of all Rx are generics in an attempt to control this rising mountain of expense.

High deductible plans are meant to ‘incent (code word for ‘force’) patients to choose lesser cost versions of branded drugs.

Or for oncology, where so many breakthrough seem to be accelerating and prolonging lives:

But this week, the issue seems to have taken on new momentum. Mr Jimenez, Novartis CEO got right to the point, yet opened up the door for new strategies: “Across the board in the U.S., the pricing environment is more difficult,” Jimenez told the news service. “With a consolidated payer base as well as consolidated providers, you have to assume going forward that price increases in the U.S. are going to be quite limited.”

As FierceBiotech continued: As one example of how Novartis is trying to navigate the new payer landscape, the Swiss drugmaker designed its late-stage studies for the heart failure drug Entresto to deliver the kind of outcomes data that could impress payers. The drug successfully prolonged patients’ lives and staved off hospitalizations, giving Novartis ammo for its negotiations with PBMs and health plans.

Another piece of news came form my brilliant friend, Bruce Grant, who discussed with me the reality that maybe the only path to success in such turbulence might be for Biopharma to reach outside the castle and start making partnerships with payors and hospital systems. Nothing new here, except like a thermometer going up rapidly, this idea was at 98.6 last year, but is reaching fever pitch in 2015.

In the end, Biopharma has lost much of its control over pricing. But many — Janssen, Merck, Novo, UCB — are reaching ‘beyond their borders’ to partake in shared metrics such as outcomes, pay-for-performance data, shared services and several other strategies.

Of course, the industry still struggles with the ultimate in bad-business-models: the leaky bucket of non-adherence.

Are there other strategies or initiatives occurring as I write? Of course. But unless senior management makes it part of the bonus and leads by example, then the family squabble will continue with Biopharma getting squeezed out to the end of the table.

Will price wars destroy the possibility of a Patient Sales Force & Patient-centricity? was originally published on Harbinger Associates

3 Ingredients to create a Patient Sales Force

This is such an important topic that I will provide three case studies in three separate posts. This one will focus on MS Atrium/Aubagio for MS.

Summary: Once again, healthcare tidal forces come into play:

  • The rise of consumerism with the commensurate shifting of cost burden and care to patients
  • Doctor’s lack of time & potential lack of Rx control (only 39% left in private practice, the rest now part of the Master Hospital Network)
  • The proliferation information on the Internet (Dr Google is rising and Apple Kit is here!)

Those and several other trends create ingredients for the rising of the Patient Sales Force — those you empower to ask for treatment and get your Brand. Let’s review what is an inevitable trend and some examples of brands pushing patients this way.

1. Be Transparent

2. Be Evergreen

3. Be More Supportive than your competitor — how they want, where they want.

Three examples will be reviewed: AboveMS.com (Biogen), MS Atrium (Genzyme) and Neurostar/HOPE for Depression (NeuroNetics). This post focuses on a 3rd to market MS oral called Aubagio.

Now, I know the 3 criteria I define are not easy for a Biopharma Brand, but if some are doing it, then poo-pooing as a regulatory problem or too hard to bring to life, you have the wrong attitude. In fact, stop reading and move on to some industry rag that tells you what you want to hear. As a client, as a marketer, every tide rising around you is demanding patients become their own advocates — even MU 2 is forcing doctors to train patients to use the EHR. What makes a Biopharma brand safe from such change?

Auabagio has a great and unique unbranded Web site called MSAtrium.com; between this site and the connection it has to the Branded Aubadio.com site, the story is clear: Patient who are disatisfied, we have the answer. And here is every reason and support to know why you should ask for Aubagio.

What is unique is that this is an unbranded site shared by HCP’s and patients! So, while so many of us have angst over hoe to “drive the conversation” they basically decided: let’s have everyone have the same information. This is empowerment.

The site also is “green” that it is updated with new patient stories, videos, events.

Last, while the navigation and immersive approach is a bit clunky as UX goes, the content is deep and richer than most sites and one can spend a long time — especially if you are an MS patient who tend to be pro-active — in being overly generous with data, vidoes, patient MOA’s, hard science…on and on.

Genzyme doesn’t leave it there, because after all, climbing the 3rd-to-market hill is hard. The site connects to Aubagio, as well as Aubagio.com offers MS Atrium as one of several Patient Respource sites.

Another aspect of what the do very well is use every tactic and communication device known to convince the patient — case studies, free nursing, peer-to-peer videos, events. Much of this was pioneered years ago, but they re-package it with a simple navigation that allows you to chose what stage of Consideration you are at, but on every page, they drive you to make a decision. or at the very least, to take an action.

So, if you click from the unbranded site, Aubagio basically works hard on every

even take on dosing regimen — a big issue in MS that comes form both the side effects as well as the days when only injectables were available. Take a look at how they go head-on with the two market leaders:


Conclusion for post #1 on the Patient Sales Force:

Besides seeing this emerge as a trend, almost a forced change in the healthcare paradigm, I have also been privy to numerous Biopharma marketers claim that Formulary now rules the day. True, but that is exactly why ‘activating’ the ever-searching MS Patient.

And while so many conferences, articles, blogs and content is written on the need for true Patient-centricity, this is not that. This is Patient Activation. This is a hard push. Other Brands should not be shy to be so aggressive. The time of the passive interactive experience is gone, done, irrelevant.

Both sites and the overarching strategy and content should be applauded.

Next post on Patient Sales Force will cover the recently launched Biogen AboveMS.com. Stay tuned!

3 Ingredients to create a Patient Sales Force was originally published on Harbinger Associates

A Letter from the President of AMTRAK: what do you think?

I am a loyal AMTRAK user — and complainer. I’ve seen enough great railroads to know how primitive ours is. Yet, it is what it is. At this moment, I want to share the letter I received from the AMTRAK president. I found it quite moving and appropriate. But others might not.

Here it is:

A message from President and CEO Joe Boardman
View as a web page
A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT AND CEO JOE BOARDMAN ON TRAIN 188
The derailment of Northeast Regional Train 188 was a terrible tragedy that we are responding to with every resource we have available. The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation to determine the cause of the incident, and Amtrak is providing full cooperation.

With truly heavy hearts, we mourn those who died. Their loss leaves holes in the lives of their families and communities. On behalf of the entire Amtrak family, I offer our sincere sympathies and prayers for them and their loved ones. Amtrak takes full responsibility and deeply apologizes for our role in this tragic event.

We recognize that for everyone onboard the train, including those who suffered injuries, the healing process may be long. Within 24 hours of the incident, Amtrak set up a Family Assistance Center in Philadelphia to work closely with the family of passengers and crew on the train. We are also working with the individuals and families affected by this event to help them with transportation, lodging, and of course, medical bills and funeral expenses.

Amtrak is ever grateful to the City of Philadelphia—its first responders who bravely worked in difficult conditions, including the dark of night, to rescue and provide aid to hundreds; its hospital personnel who went into full alert as patients arrived at emergency rooms; its officials who quickly implemented a response plan; and its citizens who opened their doors to offer assistance.

Although our current focus is on the passengers and employees affected by this incident and the resulting service disruption along the Northeast Corridor, we must also take time to learn from this event. Passenger railroading is at its core about people; the safety of our passengers and employees was, is and always will be our number one priority. Our goal is to fully understand what happened and how we can prevent a similar tragedy from occurring in the future. We will also continue to focus on completing Positive Train Control implementation in the Northeast Corridor by December of 2015.

Thank you for your support of America’s Railroad during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Joe Boardman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Joe Boardman
President and Chief Executive Officer

Video + Emotion + Customer Experience = the Magic Mix?

YT 9 billlion health searches 5.17.15


The three inputs for this post are: Millennials’ overall growth in video consumption, the role of emotion in moving people to believe in a treatment, and the almighty Customer Experience which delivers it all.

We are all in the business of decision-making; in some cases, as marketers, we are in charge of creating decision-making moments and messages.

Is Video + Emotion + Customer Experience = the Magic Mix?

Just watch this video…why can’t we  Biopharma marketers use emotion? This YouTube commercial is compelling, functional, hopeful and joyous? And yeah, this is an App. The string that that ties this approach to using emotion for Rx marketing is that they both solve problems and help you.

https://youtu.be/T9BSdJBMXHg

With an economy and healthcare system so in flux, the real game is influence. People are making their own decisions. So, best we can do is work like hell influencing those decisions.

Le’ts start with Millenials — actually all ages — and video habits. From YuMe* and eMarketer**, digital video consumption is up to nearly 1 hour per day, across all devices.

What is noteworthy is both the higher level of video consumption and how device impacts intent to purchase — one could hypothesize many of those using a Smartphone may be in the middle of a retail experience making a decision. Another reason your analytics should show device/content/time of day; if you line this up you can often glean what the mindset was of the visitor to your web property or video content.

Now, the role of emotion. While video is the core approach to visual storytelling, animations, drawings, any creative execution that tells a story can be considered.

There is a wonderful article/POV on FastCompany*** (http://goo.gl/L41nrA) about the role of emotion in purchasing. To quote David Von Praet:

“One of the longest-running debates in marketing is whether to use a rational or emotional advertising approach in marketing—but cognitive science says that argument is pointless. While emotions overwhelmingly drive behavior, it is misguided to believe that thinking and feeling are somehow mutually exclusive. Emotion and logic are intertwined.”

Many leading edge Brands are already applying this approach, from luxury to cars to even Harley-Davidson motorcycles…here is their Community page:

So, this Magic Mix is obvious in mass market categories. But — other than in unbranded use — how does that translate to Biopharma?

While App and device marketing is very different from Biopharma, emotion is a universal need, best played out in video as the most compelling way to communicate, and differentiate your story from your competitors. Every Pharma Brand can have  a Position, an MOA, a CRM program on and on…but do they have a story?

Yes! Your employees can speak to their Mission. Your lead researchers can speak to their passion. Your patients can share their Journey.

Now go find your stories and own them before your competitors do. 

Last but most important is Customer Experience. I define Customer Experience as looking at all aspects of where your customers ‘touch’ you. They certainly expect you to think the same way. And the chart below form Watermark Consulting****

Usually I would focus on an infographic or a Web site to make my point, but Customer Experience — the analysis, the planning, the crafting of message and measurement — is too all-encompassing. So, to make the point, follow the money!

To close, let me quote an Accenture**** recent study titled “Is Digital Killing Loyalty?” (The answer is “YES!!”):

“Digital has revealed that what truly drives loyalty is the quality of the experiences customers have before, during and after a sale. Their loyalty to an experience, as opposed to a company or product, is evident in a number of Accenture’s research findings:

  • 65 percent of consumers use online channels—not primarily for price advantages, but for convenience, speed, the quality of information provided, and access to a broader range of choices
  • 60 percent find “being promised one thing and delivered something else” the most frustrating experience they can have with a company
  • 65 percent (nearly 80 percent in emerging markets) have switched at least one provider in the past year because of poor service
  • 82 percent of “switchers” believe companies could have retained them with better experiences and more accurate expectations.”

The folks at Accenture are very very smart. They know that truly engaging Customers and moving them emotionally and rationally to chose your product or treatment is a task becoming more difficult by the day.

So take a step back and review your company’s position, belief and focus on Customer Experience. If you are just rolling out new media channels, going Social, falling in love with Facebook Likes, STOP! Nothing destroys a singular focus that awful condition called “Shiny-object-itis.”

I have offered one formula to consider, but I am just using common sense, media habits and a synergistic mind. What can you come up with?

* Source/ YuMe: http://www.yume.com/insights/video-advertising-whitepapers

**Spource/eMarketer: http://www.emarketer.com/

*** Source / FastCompany: http://goo.gl/L41nrA

****http://www.watermarkconsult.net/

***** http://goo.gl/aPFEqo

Video + Emotion + Customer Experience = the Magic Mix? was originally published on Harbinger Associates

Part 2: HCP Marketing: The enemy is Time

Summary: On Part 1 I posted last week, I stated a number of factors that focused on why HCP’s are so hard to impact and engage these days. Yes there is plethora of means to do so, but there are also many barriers. The main one is they have no time!

This post focuses on the App-mania…the challenges HCP’s face as they try to work with their patients, satisfaction ratings and Outcomes.

Let’s look at mHealth App-Mania as I like to call it. Reports say upwards of 50% of doctors recommend Apps…yet only a slightly lower % also report they get bombarded by their patients FitBit etc, data.

The mHealth App world is a train wreck, only now starting to sort itself out. You can almost call mHealth Apps V.1, The Wreck. IMS late-2013 study* on 40,000 mHealth Apps tells it all.

Now, break it down by true need…

…and then you learn that 75% have been downloaded under 500 times; and that after 3 months, a gross majority of those Apps are abandoned! How is a doctor supposed to navigate that? Once again, it they have no time…

…then you need to be more customer-centric and perhaps reach out to hospital systems to develop better, more interconnected Apps; one’s that actually can evolve with a patient need, from tracking early on to “living well” later as they develop a more educated, less emotional relationship with their condition.

Or perhaps more large healthcare companies, Pharma, PBM, hospitals, should be creating consortium to negotiate with Apple HealhtKit. (I know, it’s already happening.)

App-mania is already around the doctor but with little guidance or time, how can they navigate what to recommend and what do they actually do with that data when a patient presents it? This would be a perfect time for a Pharma company with a portfolio of treatment aimed at a narrow list of doctors to partner with a health App company — likeMobileSmith — and work with hospital networks to create more standardized and effective creation and use of patient Apps.

The time has come to view the doctor as an Omni-channel creature as a key driving strategy. Then budget marketing that shapes and delivers against the insights, behaviors and attitudes and how they move through their day and job. xl marketing. This graphic does a nice job:

What’s more, the need for a dashboard approach that is Customer-centric and can track the HCP Journey through the day, week, month, and manage all the touch points, is one of the major challenges we marketers face in trying to market to and then measure this new Omni-channel doctor. Actually, the dashboard is the vessel — it is the creative, innovative, insight-based analysis that matters most.

Customer-centricity is more than a report or a dashboard. (Love the Wizard. Now he knew Marketing Automation!) I actually like the Cloudbridge dashboard:

As we finish off the year, new time-sucking challenges face HCP’s in 2015 — ICD-10 Codes, new Outcomes challenges from the government and Meaningful Use 2. All of these are going to distract the HCP from your Brand message.

But with all challenges come new opportunities. This may be the year where we marketers do three things to help HCP’s:

1. Make everything we send them (whatever platform, bite-size etc.) easy to consume and react to.

2. Never forget multi-screen UX.

3. Consider their challenges and how perhaps we can help them navigate them.

I sincerely hope my blog posts have been helpful to you who have taken the time to read them; they are meant to stir-the-pot but also provide inspiration. Thank you all!

* http://goo.gl/lHVwHr IMS Patient App Report, 2013.

Part 1: HCP Marketing: The real enemy is Time & poor Customer Experience

Summary: My last Linkedin entry spoke to the Omni-channel doctor. How did they become Omni-channel customers? What market forces have made them information-grazers? What can we do about it? There are many reasons – several of which I lay out here for discussion. This topic is complex and thus I am breaking it into several parts. This is Part 1.

Healthcare Professional marketing today? We’re in the age of No See, No Time, No idea what will work. If you are thinking of embracing Customer Experience as a holistic, grand and somewhat empathetic strategy, we need to understand that HCP’s are facing more difficult demands and challenges than ever before. What kinds? What does it mean?

This past few weeks, I attended presentations from ePocrates, Biopharmand Doximity. It was exciting to see all the new innovative ways to reach HCP’s. Having seen what Big Data tools likeDarkMatter2bd and Medikly can do to add deeper marketing Intelligence and I am even more amazed.

But what does all this market and customer intelligence tell us? While there are more ways to get to doctors, conversely they are harder to actually influence. People speak of the ubiquity of digital, the four-screen Doc. There is a squeeze play happening that we cannot ignore. Let’s look at their current reality and some recent reports that support why reaching and impacting HCP’s is so difficult.

Manhattan Research has repeatedly declared that when asked what HCP’s could use from Pharma Brands, it is practice support. But that’s the wrong answer to the wrong question.

The real need? Time. They have none. With each new guideline, EHR version 205, and burgeoning case-load, App-mania, formulary rules, they need 28 hours a day. not 24. For Pharma and Healthcare marketers, all these amazing media and data tools create the act of throwing more money on disparate tactics in the hope that one or more stick. Marketers are forced to interrupt, disrupt, do anything!

Just ponder these 4 market forces:

1. Practice dynamics: This year, only 35% of the respondents remained independent practice owners.*

2. Sales Rep lock-out: According to ZS Associates July 2014 Report on Sales Rep. access, the doors are closing to Sales Reps seeing doctors. They report the number of “No see” doctors was 23% in 2008 and has now jumped upwards to 49%. **

3. EHR’S: Once touted as time-savers, physicians in a recent survey reported losing an average of 48 minutes a day due to electronic health records.***

4. App-Mania: The number of Patient Apps out there exceeds 40,000; the gross majority of which have fewer than 500 downloads and 75% of which are abandoned after 3 months.****

Basically, doctor’s are not getting a break.

If you tie together private practices falling under the prescribing and satisfaction ratings of a hospital system, this also becomes a form of “No see.” You will not get your Brand drug on The List, except through contracting. It may look like a private practice but it’s not.

One possible solution: Long-term data is the best marketing strategy here. Phase IV Safety and Efficacy Trials need to be seriously integrated as part of the HCP marketing mix.

When you look at the EHR “revolution” and Meaningful Use 2, it seems that the game has changed forever — everyone walks around the hospital, clinic, office, carrying a laptop. Doctor’s are trained through patient observation. To see my doctor’s head bob up and down during a consult as he tries to look at me and type in data must be very frustrating to him/her. The poor EHR User Experience is often a major culprit in the doctor feeling as if they have lost valuable patient time to these new systems. Also lost is valuable time learning about a new treatment.

Once again, the tumult of their frustration has real marketing impact. By 2016, almost 50% of large hospitals will replace their current EHR, as reported by health IT research firm KLAS.***** As marketers, there has been a push to get into EHR’s — with intercept messages at prescribing moment, or adherence programs or savings cards. One marketer said to me recently they discouraged their client from spending too much on EHR’s by just showing them the interface they would be a part of: It was like a bad Escher painting — a classic poor User Experience. As marketers, we need to view EHR’s not as a media buy, but as a way to maximize a good User Experience.

(My idea of what an EHR interface must really look like.)

What is clear is that not all media that access doctors at point-of-care is worth spending on. True, what client wouldn’t say, “You can get my message into the exam room?” Yet, to be associated with a poor EHR to interrupt the doctor-patient moment with a sales message (even a co-pay!) could create negative impression by both association with a bad UX as well as the sanctity of the exam room. So, be careful!

Part 2 will be next week. The next post in this series on “HCP Marketing” will focus on App-mania.

If you would like to discuss this or any aspect of HCP Marketing, shoot me a note or call me at 215-688-7613.

*Manhattan Research: http://manhattanresearch.com/Research-Topics/Healthcare-Professional/Distributed-Service-Model

**ZS Associates. http://www.zsassociates.com/about/news-and-events/.VHD_4-oicV8.email

***The survey, which was conducted by Merritt Hawkins between March and June 2014, included responses from 20,088 physicians.

**** http://goo.gl/lHVwHr IMS Patient App Report, 2013.

*****http://www.klasresearch.com/

Business jargon: the new The Tower of Babel starts with “Consumer”.

tower of babel 11.12

Summary: A recent piece from HealthCare Dive focuses on the huge uptick in the use of certain terms in business and questions whether they have lost their meaning. I would argue in the Age of (needed) Authenticity, we all need to think harder about what words we are using to convey strategies and ideas and not just pablum.

We live in a verbal jungle of clichés and jargon — and we accept that because, in some part, clichés and jargon provides a common language, which is very important in culture and business. But can it get to the point where we are using the same word but construe two entirely different meanings? The legend of the Tower of Babel had everyone sharing one language until suddenly no one understood each other. Disaster ensued. We need to think about this: are we using terms with each other that at their heart are hollow? By overusing a word or term do they then lose meaning?

I bring this up because of the context of what we need to be focused on as marketers in a media and Social Media drenched environment. We now live and work in an environment where needing to understand Humanity and work to achieve authenticity is critical for Brand identity and success.

Healthcare loves jargon. We have our own bevvy of terms that are misused, overused and abused. A recent article in HealthCare Dive* using a Google tool offers a very thought-provoking POV on four terms they believe have been used so much in healthcare, they have lost their original meaning. Or any meaning for that matter!

The first word they question is “Consumer”. After a recent conference I attended, I agree.

My own “jargon” epiphany on the abuse of the term “Patient-centric”. I went to a major conference in Philly last Spring about “Patient-centricity” — man, was that term turned and twisted in 2 days! First off, you’d think “Patient-centricity” would be old coin by now, but presenter after presenter showed a myriad of case studies which were classic Brand-centric work with some “patient lipstick” thrown on; nothing was particularly insight-based on integrating true patient need into the work. The majority of work was about multi-channel not Patient-centricity — and most presenters had mashed them together. It was as if they all said, “If we are multi-channel, surely that is patient-centric.”

(First clue = they are not patients, they’re people.)

So, what were the four terms this article said were so over used that the repetition caused them to lose real meaning? Do you overuse them?

Consumer. Interoperability. Disruptive Innovation. Accountable Care Organizations.

I’d love for people to weigh in on this. These following charts show how these terms show huge upward adoption for the first three:

HC Dive chart 1 Cons

The use of “Healthcare Consumer” went up over 20 years by nearly 600%. When a word which is at the core of so much change in strategic thinking — “Healthcare Consumer” in this case — it can be twisted to whatever need you want it to serve. It would be easy to say this overuse or diminution of the power this word holds is an act of hypocrisy/ I have seen plenty of sincere marketing people who simple did not have the Emotional Intelligence to truly embrace the tenets of “Customer/Patient-centricity”.

Take for instance the use of patient testimonials. As an industry we should ban all patient video testimonials that show a set and couch. If we as Brand Marketers are not shooting ethnographic testimonials, or something more emotionally honest or engaging, we might as well not spend the money. Even a real patient can come off as phony.

American Corporations have always been somewhat phony in their message. How many companies spout “Patient first!” but then create communications where the entire experience is clunky, full of stock photos and lacks any authenticity or real emotion; or where they bury the Access information three clicks down because of some internal debate. Until the “Consumers'” true needs are at the center of every strategy, this is a term getting emptier by the minute.

I think this word should be used more, but in a meaningful way.

HC dive chart 2 Interop

Interoperability is not a word that marketers use that much. Truth be told, interoperability has a huge meaning and impact to healthcare marketers — the lack of interoperability among systems old and new is at the core of why the Digital Transformation in healthcare is so slow. The slow migration of CTO’s skill sets and budgets merging with Marketing is an example of why Interoperability is so important and so difficult. Technology used to be about, well, technology. Technology today is about Customer-centricity and User Experience, not plumbing and wires.

Personally, I would have thought CRM would have shown up on these graphs. . What is CRM anyway? Customer Relationship Marketing, Management, direct mail, email…? Or it is all of it wrapped up in a PowerPoint and then divided up by channel?

Disruptive Inn HC Dive chart 3

Is it me or have I seen “Disruptive innovation” used and abused when people opine about the need for the industry to develop new business models? Oh the angst! Create “excubators”, take down the silos, and broaden the eco-system. All true, just look at the huge investments in Big Data, mHealth devices, biometrics, diagnostic tools — Apple’s Heathkit just being the latest. Janssen Innovations is probably the most realistic application of this term being applied correctly in the Pharma industry: they took what they knew best and offered it to a hospital system to improve outcomes. This is Innovation without Disruption. But if anyone inside a conference room at a Big Pharma or Biotech company is presenting Big Vision’s and Grand Schemes to embrace this term, my guess it is with a small “d” and “i”. The core of innovation is human-based; it is not born of a spreadsheet but of a vision, however bold or small, to know that change is necessary and possible.

http://www.janssenhealthcareinnovation.com/

The last was the term “Accountable Care Organizations.” I had never pondered that there was a blurriness to the term but never really put much thought to it. They didn’t have a Google chart — too new a term.

But this was a good summary of their argument:

“The study, however, defines ACO “in the broadest sense.” This means it includes Medicare ACOs, patient-centered medical homes in the private sector and providers accepting pay-for-performance arrangements with private and public payers in its analysis.

Spoiler alert: That is a lot of really different models.”

I have to say, when I asked someone what an ACO was they hesitated and said, “Like a hospital.” Are we over complicating things for complexity sake?

So what do we take from this? Is this the ascendance of jargon and the descent of meaning? Do we sit in meetings and listen to a presentation but miss the point the person is making?

My worry is that healthcare and Pharma Brand marketing has become more and more driven by multi-channel tools, Big Data and infrastructure, while perhaps missing touch with what the true Mission needs to be. That Mission is to go opposite the path of jargon and instead make a singular focus on what moves, motivates and engages Humans.

If you’d care to chat on this or any topic — especially around how I can help use my extensive digital marketing smarts for you — give me a call: 215-688-7613.

*HealthCare Dive: http://goo.gl/IhH3X7