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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Many Americans Still Confused About Health Care Reform

Lack of understanding linked to rhetoric that preceded the final vote in March, and the complicated nature of existing health-care system.

Not sure what’s in—and not in—the new health-care legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama in March? You're not alone. More than 2,100 adults were given a list of 18 reform items and asked to identify what’s included and what's not included in the law. Only four items were correctly identified by the majority of those polled.

Most (about 58 percent) know that the reform package will prohibit insurers from denying coverage to people because they are already sick; 55 percent know the law permits children to stay on their parents' insurance plan until age 26; and 52 percent realize that people who don't have insurance will be subject to financial penalties. Additionally, half are aware that employers with more than 50 employees will have to offer their workers affordable insurance.

These are some of the major findings of today’s HealthDay/Harris Poll, conducted between July 15 to 19, 2010 among 2,104 adults (aged 18 and over).

Among other findings: 63 percent of those polled either aren't sure or don't know if the new law will increase the number of people eligible for Medicaid, (it will); 79 percent don't know or aren't sure if drug companies will pay an annual fee, (they will); 73 percent don't know the law establishes a new tax on the sale of medical devices; 66 percent don't know or aren't sure if the legislation will result in insurance exchanges where people can shop for insurance, (it will); and about 82 percent think the bill will result in rationing of health care, or aren't sure if it will. (It won't).

"The problem for the (Obama) administration is health-care reform is fiendishly complicated because the health-care system is fiendishly complicated" said Humphrey Taylor, chairman of the Harris Poll, Harris Interactive’s long-running public opinion poll. Another cause of the confusion is due to the long and heated political debate that surrounded the bill before it was passed, Taylor said.

"It seems people are still reacting to the rhetoric, not the substance of what is in the bill, because they don’t actually know what is or is not in the actual legislation."

The complete findings of this joint Harris Interactive/HealthDay health-care reform poll are illuminating. Read the full report for all the details of the poll. HealthDay's news report is available here. Full data on the poll and its methodology are available at Harris Interactive.

Mayo Clinic Launches Center for Social Media

Mayo Clinic announced this week the creation of a Center for Social Media to accelerate effective application of social media tools throughout Mayo Clinic and to spur broader and deeper engagement in social media by hospitals, medical professionals and patients to improve health globally.

The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, a first-of-its-kind social media center focused on health care, builds on Mayo Clinic’s leadership among health care providers in adopting social media tools. Mayo Clinic has the most popular medical provider channel on YouTube and more than 60,000 “followers” on Twitter, as well as an active Facebook page with well over 20,000 connections. With its News Blog, podcast blog and Sharing Mayo Clinic, a blog that enables patients and employees to tell their Mayo Clinic stories, Mayo has been a pioneer in hospital blogging., Mayo’s consumer health information site, also hosts a dozen blogs on topics ranging from Alzheimer’s to The Mayo Clinic Diet.

“Health care has lagged behind other industries in applying social media tools,” says Lee Aase, one of the leaders of the new center. “Social media interest and activity among hospitals and health care professionals has grown remarkably, though, with the number of hospital Twitter accounts, for example, doubling in the last year. Still, according to Ed Bennett’s Hospital Social Networking List, only 762 of the more than 5,000 hospitals in the U.S. have some social networking presence. Mayo Clinic, which has been on FORTUNE Magazine’s 100 Best Places to Work For List for seven consecutive years, has been actively using social media tools to engage employees in its business strategies, manage change and share company news. Employees can comment on strategic efforts, ask leaders questions and share their ideas.

“Staff at many hospitals wanting to get involved in social media have pointed to Mayo Clinic’s activity and experience to help make the case for engagement with their senior leaders,” says Victor Montori, M.D., a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and the center’s interim medical director. “Some have even consulted with us informally and asked for advice on implementation. One of our goals for the center is to provide a mechanism for this consultation and sharing, so we can help colleagues in health care everywhere break down the barriers to involvement.”

In addition to reaching out, the center staff will work with Mayo Clinic colleagues to find new and innovative ways to apply social media tools throughout the Mayo system. “We see immense opportunities to use internal social networking tools for collaboration among our employees to improve patient care, education, research and administration,” Aase explains. “As we find new applications, we plan to conduct research into their effects so we can measure any cost savings, efficiency gains and improved effectiveness. And when we do, we’ll be sharing those findings externally to help the whole health system improve.”

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Patients at Orlando Health Join Marketing Campaign

When Orlando Health launched a new advertising campaign this past year, it invited patients and community to join in and share their own pictures, stories, and video clips representing the "Family Is" theme of the campaign. Hundreds responded through the health system's Facebook page. Read more at HealthLeaders and check out the "Family is e-Scrapbook".

Visit Orlando Health's Facebook page and learn more about how the health system is engaging its community through social media.

Orlando Health took the better part of a year in developing a strategy to participate in the social/digital environment. During that time, they studied some best practices (Mayo Clinic, University of Maryland Medical System) and took a measured approach to setting realistic parameters, guidelines for use, and expectations as part of a new communications platform that addressed the mix of traditional and digital forms of media. In November 2009, with full support of organization leadership they launched their new plan.

CMO John Marzano, vice president for external affairs at Orlando Health, will present the Orlando Health case discussion at the Chief Marketing Officers' Innovator's Studio July 26-27 in Chicago.

Orlando Health in central Florida includes Orlando Regional Medical Center, the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, and MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando and other hospitals and patient care services. Prior to joining OH, John was VP at MedStar Health (Baltimore/Washington metro area) where he led marketing, communications and public affairs.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Harbor Hospital Launches Mobile Marketing Strategy to Drive ER Business

MedStar Health’s Harbor Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland recently launched a mobile display advertising campaign targeting 20 Baltimore City zip codes to increase awareness of the close proximity of Harbor Hospital's Emergency Department to downtown Baltimore and surrounding neighborhoods.

"Time is of the essence when finding emergency care and we want to educate Baltimore area residents and business professionals in a compelling and innovative way that quality emergency care is only minutes away at Harbor Hospital," said Jean F. Bunker, AVP, Marketing, Community Relations & Philanthropy.

One of the first campaigns of its kind for a hospital in the Baltimore region, the 12-week mobile display advertising campaign combines mobile web advertising with the geolocation of smartphone users — such as BlackBerry®, iPhone, Palm, Windows® and Android™ users.

The hospital partnered with mobile advertising company Millenial Media to reach a targeted Baltimore City audience via advertising on mobile versions of popular news and consumer websites.

From May and through July, anyone in or around the downtown Baltimore area linking to specific websites via their smartphones may be greeted with a Harbor Hospital mobile web banner that will give them access to detailed emergency care information. By clicking on the banner, users will be directed to Harbor Hospital's mobile-specific landing page where they can enter their address via a Google™ Maps application that provides door-to-door directions to the hospital's Emergency Department. Users can contact the Emergency Department by utilizing the "click to call" feature also located on the landing page.

The mobile advertising campaign is one of several components in Harbor Hospital's new comprehensive Emergency Department marketing campaign.