Insights on Today's Healthcare Consumer

Unconscious Biases Could Be Hindering Culturally Competent Care

Posted by Brent Walker on Fri, Oct 16, 2015

A few years ago, Duke University physician and behavioral scientist Peter Ubel wrote in Forbes about an experience he had as an attending physician at the Ann Arbor Veteran’s Affairs Hospital. During rounds, accompanied by a number of medical students, he checked in with a middle-aged African American patient. In the course of the conversation, the patient mentioned his grandchildren, and the doctor turned to the patient’s wife and said, “Impossible! How could someone as young as you be a grandmother?”  He recalled it was a common compliment he’d used over the years, without giving it much thought. That day, however, a young African American student mentioned the discussion, making him think twice about whether an innocuous comment might actually be racially insensitive. She had suggested that there was a chance that “… as an African American, she would be insulted that you are, in effect, accusing her of having babies and grandbabies at too young of an age.” He realized then that culturally competent care requires, not color blindness, but the ability to see care from the patient’s perspective. 

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Tags: Transparency in Healthcare

What is mHealth and Who’s Using It?

Posted by Brent Walker on Thu, Jul 02, 2015

In its broadest sense, mHealth refers to any kind of mobile platform or application – smartphone, tablet, even laptop computer – that is used to support medical care. While mobile health is making its biggest splash among tech-savvy consumers, the use of smartphones and tablets are becoming more popular in clinical settings as well.

Our infographic below offers a snap shot of how mHealth usage is playing out – at the hospital and in the home.

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Tags: Transparency in Healthcare

Data, Analytics, Integration: Utility beyond Meaningful Use Deadlines

Posted by Brent Walker on Mon, Jan 12, 2015

With another spate of meaningful use deadlines coming in 2015, hospitals and other health care providers may find themselves thinking, as Yoko Ono once said, “The thing that would most improve my life is 27 hours in a day. I could meet all my deadlines.”

But, extracting meaningful use from EHRs is not just about the time between today and the next deadline; it’s about using the collected EHR data to improve the outcomes of individual patients and general population health. For example, how can your organization leverage patient data and insights into consumer attitudes about health to make a positive impact during this month’s recognition of Cervical Health Awareness?

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Tags: Transparency in Healthcare

Better Analytics Make Decision Support Smarter

Posted by Brent Walker on Fri, Dec 26, 2014

When it comes to the value of data analytics, fictional detective Sherlock Holmes offers a simple analogy in The Adventure in the Copper Beaches. “‘Data! Data! Data!’ he cried impatiently. ‘I can’t make bricks without clay!’” While Holmes was bemoaning his lack of relevant data to solve a mystery, hospitals are instead struggling to “make bricks” from an overabundance of data.

The key to honing in on the right data for informing decision-making is effective data analytics.

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Tags: Transparency in Healthcare

The Secret to Successful Wellness Incentives: Strategic Partnerships

Posted by Brent Walker on Fri, Dec 12, 2014

Workplace wellness programs are on the rise. Spurred on by a combination of ACA incentives and soaring health insurances costs, companies are looking to wellness programs to improve the health— and productivity— of employees while also controlling healthcare spending. In fact, according to the RAND Health Workplace Wellness Programs Study, nearly 50 percent of U.S. businesses employing 50 or more people offer wellness programs.

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Tags: Transparency in Healthcare

When Less Is More: How Hospitals Can Get Transparency Right

Posted by Brent Walker on Mon, Oct 13, 2014

Just last year, GE Capital Retail Bank’s Major Purchase Shopper Study found that 81 percent of consumers go online to research products and compare prices before making purchases valued at $500 or more– a 20 percent increase over the previous year. While the study was limited to consumers shopping for big ticket items like appliances, electronics, home improvements or lawn and garden equipment, the trend seems to be catching on in another sector– health care. Particularly among consumers with high deductible health insurance plans, shopping for health care providers that offer the best price and quality is increasingly common.  

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Tags: Transparency in Healthcare

Tech Partnerships May Be Critical to Improving Patient Outcomes

Posted by Brent Walker on Fri, Oct 10, 2014

As health technology rapidly evolves, healthcare organizations sometimes struggle to keep up. Implementing mandated technologies like EHRs and demonstrating meaningful use– while simultaneously providing quality patient care– is daunting enough. How can you also take on the challenge of developing your own products or systems to meet the demands of today’s uber-connected healthcare consumers?

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Tags: Transparency in Healthcare

HCAHPS Doesn't Tell the Full Story of Patient Satisfaction

Posted by Brent Walker on Mon, Aug 18, 2014

Only thirty-two questions. While brevity and efficiency are necessary to maximize patient participation, hospitals are being rated– and penalized– based on the relatively superficial analysis of HCAHPS patient satisfaction surveys. 

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Tags: Transparency in Healthcare

Transparency an Opportunity for Healthcare Marketing Plans

Posted by Brent Walker on Fri, Jul 04, 2014

In recent years, transparency has been a clarion call for healthcare providers. With the launch of the insurance exchange marketplace – and subsequent drama over online glitches, identity security, and subsidy eligibility – it’s clear that providers are not the only ones struggling with transparency.

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Tags: Transparency in Healthcare

Brazil's SUS Offers Cautionary Tale for Universal Health Care

Posted by Brent Walker on Mon, Jun 30, 2014

While U.S. soccer fans are watching the World Cup action in Brazil with great excitement, U.S. health organizations may want to pay more attention to country’s universal health care system.

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Tags: Transparency in Healthcare

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