A new kind of CEO (time to add an extra E)


In health care, there is almost no hotter topic than "engagement v. experience" — as in patient engagement and patient experience.

It's turning into an epic "which comes first" discussion.

A recent blog post by Frank Hone, Chief Engagement Officer at employee health and well-being consultancy Healthcentric Partners, makes a case for what makes a great CEO (as in Chief Engagement Officer).

The role would incorporate aspects of business discipline, strategic process and consumer marketing. … It has to embrace the process of behavior change, disrupt inertia and reinforce healthy habits.

Hone maps out seven key ingredients to an effective "CEO" (the engagement kind) — from strategic intent to targeted messaging to measurement to continuous improvement. All of these are right on, and in the right order (please see Frank's blog for more).

The real question is engagement or experience — which is the end goal?

Both, of course.

Except that patient engagement is a means toward improving the overall patient experience. 

As health systems gravitate toward meeting the Triple Aim, two of the legs — quality and cost — have received most of the attention and resources. Only recently has patient experience been a central focus, but mostly around raising HCAPS scores. 

And therein lies the problem — HCAPS scores do not tell the whole patient experience story. And by "teaching to the test," health systems are missing the biggest opportunities to reinvent and reimagine the patient experience placing patients and families at the center of the equation.

Engaged patients — and the patients' families! — are vital to an improved patient experience. Engagement comes in many flavors, but ultimately it must be a partnership between caregiver, patient and the patient's own support system.

So let's add another E and create a true CEEO — Chief Engagement & Experience Officer — who can be the driver, facilitator and champion of this cause.

Survey says: Remind me, please!

Americans want more reminders about their health — and they think technology may be just what the doctor ordered.

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A recent survey by the Varolii Corporation showed that health messages would be among the most welcomed used of push technology, either text messages or emails.

Some key findings, as reported by MobiHealthNews:

  • 32 percent said proactive messaging could have helped them avoid a health care issue, like a missed appointment or a forgotten medication.
  • 69 percent welcomed a reminder about an upcoming appointment or vaccination.
  • 57 percent mentioned a notice to reorder or pick up a prescription.
  • 39 percent would be happy with a message reminding them to schedule a medical appointment.
  • 80 percent trust companies to know when and how much to contact them. And they most trust health care-related companies, including providers, pharmacists and even insurance providers.

Health care currently has a high trust factor. We should use it wisely!

Download the survey here.

Source: MobiHealthNews


I was an Arrogant Healthcare Marketing Bastard, at least for a day #AHMB

I recently had the very distinct pleasure of joining the Arrogant Healthcare Marketing Bastards podcast crew on air for a lively and wide-ranging conversation.

We did our best to solve all of health care's problems. Well, at least we got them out in the open!

Three Arrogant Healthcare Marketing Bastards at SHSMD: Chris Bevolo, Jim Rattray and Robert Prevost.

Three Arrogant Healthcare Marketing Bastards at SHSMD: Chris Bevolo, Jim Rattray and Robert Prevost.

This episode was recorded live from SHSMD 2013 in Chicago on September 30 with hosts Chris Bevolo, CEO of Interval, and Robert Prevost, Senior Account Director. Joining us for a drop-in were Peggy Kane, Vice President of Business Development for GLC, and Warren Johnson, Corporate Marketing Director at MidMichigan Health in Midland, Mich.

The Arrogant Healthcare Marketing Bastards is a weekly show that dissects health care marketing and is hosted by Interval, a Minneapolis-based health care marketing firm. Thanks to Chris, Robert, Jackie Ritacco and Adam Meyer (back in the Twin Cities) for inviting me on the show.

It's always a great listen.

 Listen now: 

Patients score 2 wins at @US_FDA

Two recent items from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration show that someone at the agency has their eye on patients.

The first is the Patient Preference Initiative recently launched by FDA's Center for Devices & Radiological Health. The program aims to give a voice to "patient preferences" during FDA's regulatory process as it weighs the risks and benefits of the products it regulates.

The cool part about the Patient Preference Initiative is that it appears not to be a single point of review, but rather both consultative before products go to market and reflective after they are in the wild.

Michelle McMurry-Heath, MD, PhD, Associate Director for Science at FDA’s Center for Devices & Radiological Health, wrote in the FDA blog:

Patients, after all, are at the core of our mission and the focus of our vision. 

The second is FDA's decision this week to better regulate some of the quickly growing list of mobile apps that are dedicated to health. FDA "intends to focus its regulatory oversight" on apps that perform critical health functions and could lead to patient harm. 

Jeffrey Shuren, MD, JD, Director of FDA's Center for Devices & Radiological Health, said in a New York Times article:

“We have worked hard to strike the right balance, reviewing only the mobile apps that have the potential to harm consumers if they do not function properly.”

The two examples FDA gives are an app that would allow a caregiver to make a diagnosis by reviewing radiology images on a smartphone or tablet and an app that turns a smartphone into an electrocardiography (ECG) to detect heart rhythm abnormalities. 

Applause to FDA for both of these moves that clearly put patients first.


It's like throwing a scalpel at a dartboard

Where's the best hospital to have surgery? Maybe not where you think.

A new study by Consumer Reports ("Safer-Surgery Survival Guide," July 2013) shows that some of the best known hospitals may not be your best bet for surgery. 

“Consumers have very little to go on when trying to select a hospital for surgery, not knowing which ones do a good job at keeping surgery patients safe and which ones don’t,” says Lisa McGiffert, director of Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project. “They might as well just throw a scalpel at a dartboard.”
Our new Surgery Ratings are part of an ongoing effort to shed light on hospital quality and to push the health care industry toward more transparency. “Because patients and their families shouldn’t have to make such important decisions with so little information,” McGiffert says.

The CR study looks at the percentage of Medicare patients who underwent surgery and either died in hospital or had to stay longer than expected. The rankings look at 27 different surgical procedures.

Rankings are important — and many hospitals are tops in something — but rankings are not the only source you should be seeking when deciding where to have your operation. Rankings and quality report cards should be carefully weighed with other important criteria, including convenience, access and the skill, experience and bedside manner of the surgeon (or maybe a medical student in a teaching hospital) who is wielding that scalpel.

You need to be as close as possible to 100 percent comfortable with your decision before committing.

Source: WebMD