Hospital Marketing using Social Media

Social Media has become a major component of hospitals marketing efforts to better communicate with patients, staff and their communities. As with any new emerging technology there are benefits and risks associated with social media marketing. ECRI has provided good information as your facility embraces social media.

ECRI Institute issues new guidance on social media in healthcare

The healthcare industry, driven by concerns about the many risks social media poses, has been slower than other industries in adopting social media. However, the rate of adoption has increased in the past two to three years. As of October 2011, over a thousand hospitals have recognized the significant potential benefits-most prominently, improved patient and community outreach and communication-and are actively using social networking tools. These hospitals’ 4,000 social networking sites include 1,068 Facebook pages and 814 Twitter accounts.

ECRI Institute has been closely following the rapid emergence of social media over the past five years and published a new risk analysis, Social Media in Healthcare, to help healthcare providers face the unique risks social media poses.

This research, part of ECRI Institute’s Healthcare Risk Control System membership, found that hospitals and other healthcare organizations use social media in ways that attempt to meet consumer demand. ECRI Institute recommends that in doing so, these hospitals must create and enforce social media plans that define how engaged the organization will be, who its audience will be, and who will be responsible for managing social media outlets, as well as establish policies and procedures for managing risks related to privacy, reputation management, and employment issues.

Paul Anderson, ECRI Institute Director, Risk Management Publications, has spoken extensively on the topic to risk management and patient safety professionals across the country. He states, “I won’t tell you that you have to join Facebook or set up a Twitter account, but your patients and staff are using these tools. Healthcare managers would be shortsighted not to consider both the risks and benefits that social media presents. Yes, there are privacy and reputational risks, but social media can present tremendous opportunities for hospitals to communicate with their communities, patients, and staff.” To watch Paul discuss this on YouTube visit here.

Importance of Capital Asset Inventory – Part 2

Manage Resource Group
News & Views
January 19, 2012
In our last newsletter we touched on the importance of capital asset inventory tracking and how a complete inventory (for capital assets) is recommended every 3-5 years. There are many important reasons to improve your current asset management program. One of the most important is the overall savings potential.

What many hospitals don’t realize is conducting a full fixed asset inventory can yield substantial tax and insurance savings in depreciation deductions. Just a little bit of planning can go a long way come tax time. Facilities may be paying property taxes, preventative maintenance costs, and other fees if out of service assets are still listed as active items.

Consider the “ghost assets” that may be at your property. Every hospital and health system has items that may be lost, stolen, unusable, or no longer owned. If your hospital does not conduct an inventory on a regular basis, these items may still be listed as active assets in your system.

According to Becker’s Hospital Review*, there are 5 ways in which hospitals suffer from inaccurate asset records:
1) Paying to insure non-existent capital assets
2) Carrying excess accumulated depreciation
3) Asset control
4) Unrecorded assets
5) Lack of valuable resources and expertise

On average, companies are overpaying taxes on approximately 12% of fixed assets recorded on their ledgers. The savings that can be obtained from hiring an equipment management consultant can more than justify the savings obtained on an annual basis.

With tax time sneaking up, be sure to ask your tax professional about other savings involved when improving your capital asset management program.

*For the complete Becker’s article, please refer to:

The 2012 Secondary Marketplace

As we turn the calendar to 2012 we find that the medical equipment marketplace has really evolved over the years. During the 1980s and 1990s, hospitals were unaware of their surplus equipment’s true value and happy to have it removed offsite by a local vendor. Dealers could flip the equipment 3-4x and every middleman would make money just for brokering the deal. Hospitals received a very low rate of return for their surplus during these years.

Then in the 2000s(during the internet boom) service companies and websites promised to resale all equipment for the hospital. This created an easy single source vendor approach for the facility, but also costly. Hospitals paid too much for companies to store, resell their equipment.

As we enter 2012, we have a hospital customer that is very educated in equipment resale. Most facilities now use a multi-vendor approach to equipment resale. Some vendors are used to purchase specific modalities, while other resellers are used to remove all general equipment. Hospitals have realized the market for used equipment, which demands vendors now work smarter, better with the hospital when dealing with surplus equipment. An Educated seller and buyer makes for a better transaction and partnership.

Here’s wishing luck to all involved in the medical equipment marketplace in 2012. It’s a constantly evolving place, which makes it so exciting to be around.

Nurses role with the new Health Care Reform

Nurses play a significant role in quality care and patient satisfaction with the new healthcare reform:

Working in healthcare, I’ve been reading a great deal about the impact of healthcare reform on the industry. Much emphasis has been placed on the physicians when it comes to quality care and patient satisfaction. I agree physicians are the ones who have the knowledge to diagnose our ailments and surgically repair our injuries but they are only a part of the equation to quality care and patient satisfaction.

Let’s not forget about those who have the most direct contact with patients during inpatient stays. My mother was in the nursing profession and I’ve had my share of hospitals stays. Sorry mom and dad. During my time in and out of hospitals 80-90% of my interaction was with the nurses who provide ongoing care 24/7. These professionals are the unsung hero of every hospital and are a direct links to what patients and healthcare determine is quality care and customer satisfaction.

The days of doctors and nurses working independently have long passed and a team environment has taken its place. In order for hospitals to achieve the best quality care and highest patient satisfaction this team approach will not just be welcomed but necessary to meet the goals outlined in healthcare reform.

I’m grateful for the doctors who can put me back together but I’m also grateful for the nurses who helped mend my wounds by the quality of care they showed during the 80-90% of time I was in the hospital. Here is a big thank you to the nursing profession! This patient won’t forget you.