As the cost of healthcare rises, many agree the focus should be centered on the cost of care. One model that is being discussed in the Medical Home Model also known as patient centered medical home model. This model rewards physician for keeping patients health and out of the hospital.
The concept of the medical home has been kicked around for over forty years. Yet, the flavor the is currently being debated requires that both patients and primary care physician educate themselves. Regarding how this program would benefit all parties involved. Technology is a primary reason that even now this model could possibly be implemented.
A key to the success of this program is keeping patients highly involved in their care. One online resource that facilities patient engagement is howsyourhealth.org. This website educates patients and allows them to fill out an online health survey that becomes a starting point for their electronic health records. The website does not look like a web 2.0 site or for that matter a professional website that you would expect to see in 2009. However, over 100,00 people have used this site to provide medical information to their doctors. 695 of the users of this website are female and 33% of the sites users are over 50 years old.
While much debate will continue around this model, patients will continue to have an active role in the management of their healthcare and the internet will become the hub for both patients and physicians to exchange information.
Power is the ability to act or capacity to perform or act effectively. Power is most often used to control or influence. Without a doubt, Social Media has a great deal of power! Social Media is exerting a great deal of influence over traditional marketing, advertising, and communication channels. Social Media has also given a great deal of power to the average consumer as has been demonstrated time and time again. One single individual with a single post or tweet can change an entire company’s product offering, policy, or strategy. Consumers and individuals clearly understand the power of social media and they are not afraid to use it. On the other hand businesses have not gained power from Social Media as quickly as individuals have. Why is that It is because of knowledge.
Knowledge is defined as awareness or understanding gained through experience, observation, or study. The average consumer doesn’t need to have a great deal of knowledge to take advantage of the power of social media over businesses. All they need to know is that I state my case (whether it is valid or not) and if enough people hear or see it then businesses react and I win. This Power of Social Media is many voices (consumers) and the influence of one (business).
This formula works for consumers because it does not take much for a consumer to know what triggers a business to act. However, businesses on the other hand have to know the many triggers for the many individual consumers in order to influence them to act. For businesses there are many, many, many more data points to be collected and analyzed.
Knowledge is acquired through analyzing data. When it comes to Social Media this is called istening. In words that Marketing Execs and CEOs will understand, this is called Market Research, better put: Market Research on steroids. Instead of surveys or focus groups this is raw, uncensored potentially unsolicited viewpoints of real people. As you listen, you learn how to use Social Media to your advantage. Gaining power when you use what you have learned from listening.
What can you learn through listening to Social Media? Businesses can learn how to select profitable new markets to enter, create a Blue Ocean. Through Social Media, businesses can learn how to select and attract the customers who best match their organization. Businesses can also reduce the risk and severity of bad customer service claims. These are just a few of the many things that businesses can learn from listening to Social media. The next step is to put these learnings to use.
So to harness the power of Social Media you need to understand that many voices to become the influencer. For businesses this means that you have to get many voices to influence others that you feel are worth doing business with. To do this you must listen, learn and act. Contrary to popular belief, knowledge is not power. Power is the wise use of knowledge!