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June 28, 2018 Shownotes:
Data collection and coding is essential to the future of patient relationship management, healthcare content creation and more. Robin Rogers, a healthcare data expert, shares her insight on this industry trend with Orange Label Agency Principal Debbie Nagel on The 19: Healthcare.
The 19: Healthcare – Episode 9
There’s Power in Numbers
This is The 19. In 19 minutes or less, game-changing Insights in Healthcare from Orange Label, the leading response marketing agency for established brands that are driven by a fearless entrepreneurial mindset.
Hi! I’m Debbie Nagel, Agency Principal at Orange Label. I just celebrated 26 years our agency. I know that’s a rarity these days. Being in the industry for over 30 years it’s interesting to look back on the marketing trends that have sort of fizzled out and the others that have really stood the test of time. One of the trends that has increasing become important is the influence of data collection and analysis on marketing strategies. More than 63% of marketers have increased their spend on data-driven marketing and one-third of marketing industry professionals say that data collection technologies are essential for better understanding their core audience. Data is particularly useful for healthcare marketers because it allows them to build stronger relationships with their patients. Tracking patient outcomes and delivering useful, personalized content are just a few of the benefits that come with healthcare data collection.
However (and this is a BIG however), there are some caveats that come with data collection, especially when it comes to patient information. Guidelines determined by HIPAA have set a new precedent for patient privacy, and one misstep could result in major fines or even worse. To help us navigate these healthcare topics and more is Robin Rogers. Robin is a healthcare professional with over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry. She has worked for some of the biggest healthcare brands in the country, including Health grades and the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. Also, a fun fact, she also happens to be my sister! Robin, welcome to The 19 – and thanks for joining us!
RR: Oh I’m Happy to be here thank you for the introduction.
So let’s start out with you telling us a little bit about your career in healthcare.
RR: Sure ahum, I began my career at a small preferred provider association, or some know it as a PPO in Houston, Texas. I moved on to work with other carriers, hospital systems, a healthcare consumer rating tool, and now with a major health service company private exchange here in Denver, Colorado.
Wow, that’s a lot of experience in different areas of that healthcare industry. What’s your opinion on the role that patient/consumer data plays in marketing and advertising, with health care providers being able to target consumers and the community at large?
RR: That’s a great question. Data allows companies to target marketing efforts ah, of course always with HIPAA in mind as you mentioned in the opening. And really providing relevant content to consumers as you know in print or on line. HIPAA regulations can make it a little bit more difficult as data starts to expand. So often seeing broader communications for audiences in areas like urgent care centers, or hospitals, even emergency rooms have become more common we have seen. Ah, and more than educational approach about which services that a patient will have savings at, has become a key in customer satisfaction.
As someone who has managed healthcare data collection and operations, what have you experienced to be some of the biggest challenges and or obstacles with maintaining patient privacy?
RR: Well there are obstacles and you mentioned that patient privacy really is number one. All organizations have gotten better at this and especially with regulations as well as companies focusing on the technology protect data as well as training. Training is really a challenge especially when you are in a high turnover situation. So the ongoing ability to make sure that the employees of every hospital, healthcare clinic, or physician’s office is very key in making sure that patient privacy is number one.
Makes sense. I know that you’ve also worked for Healthgrades, that is one of the companies that we mentioned in the intro. Which is one of the nation’s leading healthcare ratings services. In your opinion, what is the value of healthcare ratings for both providers and their patients?
RR: Well the value really is a foundation for healthcare consumers is to learn about the hospital and providers that they seek to get care from. And by using these ratings there is still and will forever be referrals from family. We call it the coven or aunt referrals. The friends who are more educated and may have the ability to research data over the years will allow the consumer to make a better decision looking at a broader context of data then to over a period of time that is longer and can be analyzed in a more detailed fashion.
So, for some listeners that actually may not be familiar with either Healthgrades or the service they provide. Can you explain what the what the rating process?
RR: Sure, so there’s many types of ratings right now in the healthcare industry. Some are satisfaction based, some are quality based, and there’s safety ratings as well. The majority of the organizations utilize publicly available data which is data from CMS which is the centers of Medicare and medicate services. And data that is available across many states, across the country. That is publicly available for use.
So with that when you mention ahum, patients ahum, Do you believe companies like Healthgrades and/or other forms of ratings have an impact then on patient’s choice of where and how they choose to seek out the health care they need?
RR: Yes, I do. I believe ratings are overall becoming key to where or how a consumer chooses where their services will be rendered. I do think that patient’s satisfaction survey results have improved over time. In the way of both positive and negative reactions. Historically over the past five and seven years patient’s satisfaction ratings were usually a negative experience. What we’re starting to see through consumer, mobile applications, or online surveys. There is a more balanced response to both positive as well as negative responses. So we’re seeing more praising of an office.
In today’s world, what do you believe are the key factors that influence the choice and/or opinions of people and where or how they fulfill their health care needs?
RR: Well, so that’s a good question. I mean today consumers are researching more and more when we get a condition or if we have a question we currently turn to the web for educating ourselves prior to receiving healthcare more than ever before. Obviously, a strong online presence ah is very important for healthcare providers. There’re three things that come to mind really one is a clear articulation of what a healthcare provider services are is vital. The ability to be found in a search functionality will bring up that provider in that area for that service that they render. I think another key is online appointment making. Online appointment making is really the future. People do not want human interaction anymore, and that is a generational thing. But I do believe that as we have the ability to have a mobile experience in the way of setting up an appointment that will be key for not only the large practices but for smaller practices as well. And then I do think the third of the three is the opinions of others. I mentioned it before people will commonly turn to their spouse, maybe a colleague, it could be a neighbor. And ask Where did you go? How was it? And what was your outcome? But also listening to the referring physician continues to be a very strong referral process.
With Healthgrades they give out awards for their ratings. What role does marketing have in this? Because those are companies like that that play a dominance in the industry.
RR: Yeah, Well I I would say that the receipt of an accolade if it’s an award, a star or a trophy. A variety of ways that hospitals and physicians are rated and receive some type of designation. Really can differentiate. So, the ability of utilizing that information, in website, in social media is really key it also keeps the online content up to date and relevant. And I think that’s key as well. These rating commonly come out on an annual basis and that allows these hospitals and healthcare organizations to then keep current with what their most prominent as well as recognized services are. As I mentioned before I think keeping this content short and simple on online is simple as well. WE all know we live in a fast-paced mobile world and we need to have less words which is key to decision making.
Okay, so going back to your personal career experience, you know your 25 years plus in in the healthcare industry. How do you see healthcare marketing differ from region to region? Cause you’ve been in some obviously been in the Texas region versus Colorado region. And I know over time you’ve spent a lot of time across the country. Have you seen that differ in those regions?
RR: I have and fun fact I’ve actually traveled to all contiguous United States. So I have seen a hospital in every state. So I have definitely seen that it does differ. And the things that differ are patient dynamics, the health and the lifestyle of the people who live in those cities, states or in those town. As well as economics and the ability to get healthcare including preventative healthcare not only just post care when they are ill or come up with a condition. I can also tell you that the marketing differs in a one hospital town who is a captive audience unless that particular population chooses to travel to another city or state. Compared to a large metropolitan medical center who may have similar services who are marketing to the same population. They have to find a different indicator to bring those patients to them.
So with all the regulations of HIPAA and obviously in the news so much about data and security. Where do you see the future of data collection going?
RR: it’s always evolving. I would say that every year data collection increases and becomes more specific. An example of that for your listeners who may understand hospital coding. Ah, we became more automated around ten years ago. We were on paper and we went into an electronic medical records world. And every word that was written by a physician had to be coded into what was called at the time an ICD9 code. Those codes are what are now translated into data that can be analyzed. About four to five years ago it changed from what I’ll call age coding to disease specific, diagnosis specific, condition and procedure specific. In what we now call ICDpen I don’t think it’s going to stop there. I think data collection will continue. And pretty much every office in one way shape or form is now using medical records. And I believe that technology companies are getting smarter every day in the way that they can analyze the data, and draw contents from the data, while still protecting the privacy of the patients.
So, I know personally that you spent a lot of time educating yourself on those codes. Do you think that’s something that every healthcare provider or anyone that touches the healthcare world. Will have to have that knowledge of all of that coding? Or is that specific to an individual within an office?
RR: What I have found is that the younger physicians are becoming much more savvy at coding. They are growing up in a medical world that is no longer truly medical its medical and a business. So they are learning this. I will say that some of the health physicians who did not need to know this during their practice. Are having experts do that for them. Because they either don’t have the staff to do it. Or their practice is in a position that they aren’t able to keep up with that progress. I will say many offices or small individual practices are starting to merge so that there are more resources for those physicians to draw from. To make sure that they’re in compliance with documentation and coding guidelines.
So you know with the changes in data collection just what you’ve seen over the years. Even from the start of your career. What other areas have seen or experienced that that might be changing in marketing for healthcare?
RR: I think the biggest change is online versus mail. I remember going to a mail production house for healthcare literature. And that company is no longer around. Why do you think that there is a generation who still likes mail. And I think it’s a very specific type of marketing towards that generation. But I think over all its evolving into an online presence in an easily consumable way.
So if you could change one thing about healthcare marketing what would it be both either from your professional experience or even from your personal experiences?
RR: I personally believe that prevention in what I would call traditional healthcare conditions like; heart, stroke, diabetes as examples. Has been forced to take a step back from the marketing lime light. To make way for the more glitzy and glamorous new technology and procedures. I don’t think we can forget about fundamental healthcare needs. And I would like to see that come back.
Alright Robin, wrapping it up its time for our final question. What’s one key take away that you’d like to share with our Orange Label listeners.
RR: Okay I think the leave-behind is that the world healthcare, marketing and technology continues to evolve every day. The ability to work together to create a meaningful story for patients and consumers that they can relate to and react to is so important. and it’s a journey that many of us are on and will continue to be on for the years to come.
I appreciate you spending the time with me today. And I will be seeing you soon.
RR: Thank you for having me
Host: thank you.
Thank you for listening to The 19: Healthcare – There’s Power in Numbers
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