(by Patrick Talmadge Harris – CEO & Founder, PatEx)
As social media platforms become “the digital dashboards of our consumer lives,” I think it is important for organizations to become aware of what I call “critical mass” – a saturation level of followers/users and engagement opportunities for efforts to be beneficial for all – providers, payers, employees and patients. The link between the patient experience and social media platforms is critical and growing, but for organizations (big and small, linked and unlinked), meaningful engagement is key. There are a few basic principles all should follow such as posting relevant information targeted to a client base, frequent communication and multi-channel outreach. The technology is relatively new and should be a continuous process for engagement and better care. With this said, there is existing (and readily available and adopted) technology that can help social media engagement for long-term benefits.
Email Marketing -> Social Medial Critical Mass -> Future Enhanced Engagement
Chances are, as an organization, or as an individual, you are familiar with email marketing (and most of it is NOT spam). While I can go on and on about the benefits and applications of email marketing, let’s looks specifically about its usage to engage patients in better health and reaching critical mass:
•Provide links to targeted social media platforms in email marketing messages. Email marketing platforms usually do a great job of providing analytics for user so organizations should track these related to engagement to social media.
•Promote social media in marketing campaigns. Your email marketing strategy is part of your overall digital strategy – an integral part of your marketing, technology and overall strategic plan. Organizations should communicate their social media strategy plan and utilization means now through more familiar email marketing with patients to better build and refine strategy for the future. The campaigns should focus on better health for populations, clinical communications and operational efficiency.
•Email marketing and communications should include patient satisfaction surveys. Yes – organizations must show positive patient experiences across the continuum of care. This supports pay-for-performance initiatives and also provides process improvement data to drive organizational improvement.
Cloud Computing for Accountable Care
Again, I can blog about the benefits of web-based supported technology and implementing a cloud-based infrastructure to drive and support and organization’s communications, and as the driving force behind the formal technology strategy. If you have not already started, an up-to-date infrastructure will be necessary for the delivery of accountable care (and their associated organizations).
Electronic communications must be unified, synched and real-time. This is necessary to the entire digital ecosystem that will be an integral part of your digital strategy and infrastructure. If one part of the critical success components of accountable care is not ‘up-to-speed’ (so to speak) that organization is accountable and communications will suffer. This could mean that pay-per-performance metrics may not be met and all entities will suffer. This raises the issue of who is responsible for bringing discrete entities up to tech speed when forming an accountable care organization (but all I will say is that good leadership, strategy planning and the execution of implementation will lead the way). Successful organizations should adopt a web-based strategy. Cloud computing is the norm and has the support as the cost-effective infrastructure solution (from implementation, maintenance and growth perspectives). The cloud has the power to gain critical mass quickly so organizations should embrace it and utilize it.
Email marketing and cloud computing are just two tools organizations should leverage to attain and support accountable care through social media. Start now with creating your digital footprint!