Social Media and Meaningful Use

May 6, 2012
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Jennifer Dennard talks about “Blowing the Social Whistle on Patient Acquisition” Jennifer Dennard is Social Marketing Director for Atlanta-based Billian’s HealthDATA, Porter Research and HITR.com. Connect with her on Twitter @SmyrnaGirl.

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Jennifer Dennard talks about “Blowing the Social Whistle on Patient Acquisition” Jennifer Dennard is Social Marketing Director for Atlanta-based Billian’s HealthDATA, Porter Research and HITR.com. Connect with her on Twitter @SmyrnaGirl.

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Social Media seems a total disconnect from criteria for meaningful use of electronic medical records and the ability to qualify for incentive funding by Medicare.  Well, guess again. One of the Meaningful Use, stage II requirement is digital inclusion of patient involvement in access to electronic portals, and medical data.

Not only does Stage II of Meaningful Use call for patient portals and the like, it will require enticing patients to use them.

This is where Social Media becomes almost essential to a medical practice. “The ‘empowered patients’ respond to this type of marketing – they don’t even pay attention to traditional media. They are the influencers. As Stage 2 of Meaningful Use comes out and providers are required to activate patients online, they’ll need to grab the empowered patients they already have and turn those folks into evangelists.”

It’s a marketing concept not unlike that used in traditional consumer areas. Connect with consumers online, establish trust and credibility with those fans/followers, and then make them evangelists for your product. Eventually, their fans, followers and family members will also become your customers. That’s the simplified version, anyway.

Sengbusch and his team realize that providers will often jump out of their comfort zone to engage with patients in these more social areas. He stresses that it’s important docs realize “they don’t personally need to be on social media, but they need to be open to their brand being on social media so the can capture positive reviews and become aware of patient advocates.”

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