MediaPost Publications Printer Friendly                                                        Page 1 of 2<< Back to Media...
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Michelle latta never mind self diagnosis

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Michelle latta never mind self diagnosis

  1. 1. MediaPost Publications Printer Friendly Page 1 of 2<< Back to MediaPostNever Mind Self-Diagnosis; Self-Treatment Is The NewChallengeMichelle Latta, May 17, 2011 09:31 AMIt should be no surprise for a healthcare marketer to hear that patient self-diagnosis is increasingat alarming rates. WebMD.com reported a 60% increase in traffic from 2008 to today with Q4 2010results showing a staggering 86 million users per month. An international report published last yearby British health insurer Bupa indicated that 46% of those who searched online for healthinformation were doing it to help them make a self-diagnosis.I would argue that no industry has been impacted by the rise of digital more than heathcare. Withthe Internet providing instant access to information, people are increasingly taking health mattersinto their own hands. Now, with the proliferation of smartphones and rapid advances in mobiletechnology, consumers are going well beyond self-diagnosis to actually treating their own -- notexcluding life-threatening -- injuries and other heath emergencies. Rich online content and state-of-the-art mobile apps are helping to save lives before a patient ever gets in to see a medicalprofessional.Pocket First Aid & CPR is a mobile app that provides individuals with clear instructions on how toaddress injuries and ailments, including emergency situations, such as heart attacks and choking.Fire Department App locates CPR-trained individuals in the vicinity of a heart attack victim whocan administer the procedure until the ambulance arrives.Interestingly, while more consumers are becoming their own first source of care, hospitals andhealthcare systems across the country are scrutinizing their processes and procedures. They areaggressively managing their practices in an effort to shave minutes off wait times and improveresponsiveness. A good example is Osceola Regional Medical Center in Kissimmee, Fla., whereoutdoor boards tout the current wait time in the ER. And, InQuickER.com is enabling "patientreservations" in one of the emergency rooms within its network of healthcare facilities. All of theseapps, sites and other programs are designed for one purpose -- to give patients access to fastercare.Todays more informed consumer wants to know what to do when the clock starts ticking, just asthe incident is happening and before an EMT arrives or you get to the doors to the emergencyroom. You can expect that more social networking platforms and apps will become available toconsumers every day to not only aid in self-diagnosis and treatment, but also to give them a forumto rate healthcare providers and medical professionals on everything from quality of care totimeliness to bedside manner.So, what is a healthcare marketer to do to continue to compete effectively as we enter into a newera of smarter consumers who have come to expect quick access to healthcare?  Healthcare providers must respond with a more aggressive approach to convincing patients you can provide them with faster and better access to care, whether in your facility or via technology that they can carry with them. And, yes, that probably means completelyhttp://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.printFriendly&art_aid=150551 5/27/2011
  2. 2. MediaPost Publications Printer Friendly Page 2 of 2 rethinking your marketing strategy.  Marketers need to work closely with physicians to ensure that any patient support initiative you provide doesnt interfere with the patients motivation or ability to seek care from a trained medical professional.  Healthcare marketers must collaborate with their counterparts in operations to utilize mobile technology to addresses this new patient-driven stage of pre-care. Start exploring opportunities to develop life-saving apps and other innovative programs that help patients through the period from when the injury or health emergency happens to the time when they are in the care of a first responder or medical professional.The good news is that being one of the first brands in your competitive set to address changingpatient expectations in innovative ways can provide you with a distinct point-of-difference, andbetter yet, a competitive advantage.http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.printFriendly&art_aid=150551 5/27/2011

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