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bookshelfWhile participating in a conference call earlier this week, I caught myself staring at the books on my office bookshelf. It occurred to me that I’ve accumulated a number of excellent texts that have impacted my perspective on healthcare marketing. I thought it would be good to share a list of those books in this forum. The list is not meant to be comprehensive. These are a few that I truly enjoyed and found to be of value. I’ve reviewed some of these in earlier posts:

  • In the Kingdom of the Sick, Laurie Edwards
  • Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, Kelly A. Turner
  • Redefining Health Care, Michael Porter & Elizabeth Teisburg
  • The Emperor of all Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • Five Days at Memorial, Sheri Fink
  • Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Medical Practices, Kevin Pho, M.D. and Susan Gay
  • The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care, Eric Topol, M.D.
  • ePatient 2015: 15 Surprising Trends Changing Health Care, Fard Johnmar and Rohit Bhargava
  • My Mother, Your Mother: Embracing Slow Medicine, Dennis M. McCullough, M.D.
  • The Cost of Hope, Amanda Bennett
  • Mortality, Christopher Hitchens
  • The Thought Leaders Project : Hospital Marketing, Brian James Bierbaum
  • The American Health Care Paradox: Why Spending More is Getting Us Less, Elizabeth H. Bradley
  • Morton’s Fork: A Doctor’s Dilemma, Dale Coy M.D.
  • Joe Public Doesn’t Care About Your Hospital, Chris Bevolo
  • The Secret Language of Doctors, Brian Goldman
  • Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being, Esther Sternberg
  • The Baptist Health Care Journey to Excellence, Al Stubblefield

Maybe it is time to start a healthcare marketing book club? Who’s interested?

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Originally posted on Health Care Social Media:


Live-tweeting is a way of engaging your Twitter followers by sending updates about an event as it occurs. Live-tweeters use the hashtag relevant to the event they are tweeting about which can be located on the conference’s website or Twitter profile. Twitter followers who cannot be at the event in person can follow along using the hashtag and this in turn expands the reach of the conference.  Furthermore, live-tweeting is a means of amplifying the conference experience, generating international engagement and global reach and stimulating collaborative potential.

For more tips on live-tweeting a health event see this article.

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I’ve been fascinated with the rise of physician-only online communities for some time. The rise of the “digital physician” has significant implications for physician marketing and physician relations. It is a trend worth following. Today, approximately 1/3 of all physicians in the U.S. belong to a physician-only online social network.

One of the leading physician social networks is Sermo. Earlier this week Sermo’s PR team contacted me to share their latest news – the development of four new Social Hubs joining the current six specialties for Multiple Sclerosis, Oncology, Diabetes, Cardiology, Obesity, and Infectious Diseases. Each Social Hub is led by a group of more than 40 SERMO users that generate discussion topics and create authoring polls for members. They provide users with a platform for learning and a forum for professional networking and development. (SERMO is a physicians-only social network with over 270,000 U.S. physician members. It competes with the likes of Doximity and WebMD’s Medscape.)

The new Social Hubs cover the topics of Dermatology, Pain Medicine, Depression, and Bipolar Disorder. The Social Hubs provide member physicians with a multi-channel platform, enabling them to broaden their knowledge about some of the most innovative medical specialties and conduct in-depth peer discussions. Members within the Social Hubs can create disease or specialty-focused polls, post related video content, view related Twitter discussions, and learn about the latest industry conferences.

According to Sermo, its Social Hubs are the only forum for peer-to-peer collaboration among physicians which combines social content from multiple online sources with live crowd-sourced patient cases, guest contributors, and breaking news. Sermo compares its social hubs to virtual medical conferences – allowing physicians to interact with peers, learn and review their latest research and news, and discuss patient cases and clinical content in an engaging arena focused on specific health topics.

The strategy of launching these disease-specific or condition-specific social hubs makes a lot of sense. These online communities for physicians, much like those for patients, are most effective when they are focused on niche areas of interest. In the past I’ve written about the power of “communities of shared interest.” It looks like Sermo is finding that it can deliver more value to its community members by providing niche communities. I’m not surprised!

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This is an exceptional video that explains public health and its role in preventing chronic disease. The simplicity is what draws me to this piece. The video was created by UCLA Fielding School of Public Health PhD student, Adam Carl Cohen. This is a strong piece of communication!

Originally posted on Health Care Social Media:

What in the Health Is Public Health: Treatment vs. Prevention from UCLA Fielding SPH on Vimeo.

Video is powerful in getting across health messages. Here’s a public health video I came across recently which is a great example of this.

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Recently my Jennings colleagues and I were given the opportunity to produce videos of a number of nurse practitioners who work at Signature Healthcare in Southeastern Massachusetts. We produce physician videos quite regularly and thoroughly enjoy the interaction with the doctors. However, I have to say, it was a ton of fun working with these nurse practitioners. It makes sense that we would showcase these clinicians given so many of us spend a lot of time with them when we make a visit to a physician’s office. These professionals are on the front line of primary care but are so often kept in the background. As the AANP says, “NPs are quickly becoming the health partner of choice for millions of Americans. As clinicians that blend clinical expertise in diagnosing and treating health conditions with an added emphasis on disease prevention and health management, NPs bring a comprehensive perspective to health care.”

Note: One thing I learned in my research about NPs is that it is a mistake to call them “mid-level providers” or “physician extenders.” Check out this statement on the matter from the American Academy of Nurser Practitioners.

Today I am sharing three of the nurse practitioner videos we produced. These are really special people and they were so gracious with their time. I believe you will enjoy meeting them.

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Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.05.02 PMFor months now I’ve wanted to have one of those wearable health devices that measures activity and sleep. There are a few different options out there on the market: Fitbit, Jawbone Up, etc. I don’t know why, but I didn’t rush out to buy one. Truth is, I’m rarely the first person to jump on  a new trend. But I do get there eventually. (Of course, according to this article from c|net, the fitness band may already be a thing of the past!)

My wife knew of my interest in wearable health technology and bought me a Jawbone Up24 for Father’s Day. It was the perfect gift. Now I’m having fun learning how to work the thing, using the iPhone app. And of course, I’m going to share what I learn with all of you.

Here’s how Jawbone talks about its UP24:

“More than a band. More than an app. An integrated system built around you.

UP helps you understand how you sleep, move and eat so you can make smarter choices. The new app displays movement and sleep details from your UP24 or UP band and delivers insights, celebrates milestones, and challenges you to make each day better. Share accomplishments with friends by teaming up in the UP App.”

So far, the device has confirmed what I suspected: I don’t get a solid block of deep sleep. And I don’t get enough exercise throughout the day. Below are two screenshots reporting my activity.



My hope is that having these measures of my inactivity and lack of sleep will help motivate me to make lifestyle changes. It will be interesting to see. Right now I’m enjoying learning about the device. Here’s a link to an interesting article from The Huffington Post about wearable technology in healthcare. The article points out that wearable technology brings together “three distinctly beneficial trends to the table — connected information, community, and gamification.” That’s pretty powerful and may potentially impact population health management efforts that seek to engage patients in their own health. Let me know what you think.

If you’d like to read more about the “quantified self” trend, here’s a good article from Technorati: The Beginner’s Guide to Quantified Self (Plus, a List of the Best Personal Data Tools Out There).


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