Mar 26 2015
I recently took a journey halfway around the world. And while I love to travel, I had no idea that I would fall in love with a place that was so vastly different than what I’m used to – especially after 20 hours of flight time. If I’m being honest with myself there are two times others should avoid me – before 10 am on any given day and after approximately fifteen minutes on a flight.
I think most people know that Japan’s healthcare system is above average. In Japan, a person’s entire medical history is attached to their social security card. No faxing documents from one specialist to another (is faxing still a thing?) or making phone calls – all pertinent information is available to all doctors. And, even though I didn’t visit a doctor’s office while in Japan, I did notice other cultural differences that put them a “health grade” above the rest.
Cover your mouth.
Have you ever seen photos of Japan and noticed that a bunch of people may be wearing masks? For some, that’s an odd ritual, but when you’re there, it makes total sense. Japan may be one of the most considerate places…
Mar 19 2015
Last December, I offered four insights that came as a result of seven months of rehabilitation after back and knee surgeries. I admitted that healthcare from the patient’s perspective is quite humbling – and much different than what my 25+ years of healthcare experience had taught me.
Here are the four observations that I wrote about in that last blog post:
I withheld one other observation, because the jury was still out on my full recovery. Today, the jury remains out, but I thought I’d share anyway.
A smart doctor is a cautious doctor. My experience can attest to both sides of this truth.
When disks in my back ruptured and pinched nerves shut down my left quadriceps (thigh muscle), I was fortunate to already have a relationship with a top regional spine surgeon. He hurriedly “fixed” me and sent me home to rehabilitate. His instructions were to walk as much as possible and as soon as possible, and he scheduled physical…
Mar 12 2015
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending a Women’s Health Leadership TRUST panel where the topic was modern mentoring. The speakers discussed how mentor relationships today do not only benefit the mentee, but the mentor as well. Teaching and learning are now two way streets in modern mentoring, as age groups like millennials bring advanced digital knowledge to the table.
Mentor and mentee relationships are a crucial part of everyone’s professional development. The panel discussed the key pillars of modern mentoring:
Mar 5 2015
Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending Ragan Communications’ Social Media for PR and Corporate Communications Conference at Disney World. I was overwhelmed by the wealth of information I gathered, the caliber of the speakers, and of course… the magic of Disney.
Speaker after speaker addressed the need to humanize your brand – to put a face on your company and give outsiders a behind-the-scenes view of your organization in order to create connection. So, rather than give you a simple recap of the conference, I’m going to attempt to humanize my company’s brand. Inspired by the honesty and raw beauty of this post, I give you my story – the story of a girl whose own health struggle led her to a fulfilling career in healthcare communication.
In high school, after a run-in with a nasty case of mono that landed me in the ER twice, I noticed a change. Playing my favorite sports seemed harder than it used to, the comfort of my bed was more attractive than an evening with friends, and I started to get sick. All. The. Time. For three years I went from doctor to doctor searching for answers,…
Feb 26 2015
Marketing and communications professionals love, LOVE having proprietary data to use. For us, data is transformed into brand positioning, front page headlines, lead generation, thought leadership, engaging content and more. A research project chocker-box full of cross-tab data and qualitative insights is a pot of gold at the end of magical rainbow for a creative communications team. It is!
Before you write a research project, here are five tips to help ensure you get meaningful and useful insight. Your mom said it best, “do your homework!”
1. Determine what organizations are already doing research. It’s hard to find a research topic that no one has explored. Conduct an environmental scan to determine who is engaging and sharing research: your competitor, an academic institution, a consulting group, a non-profit or a foundation. Understanding what organizations are producing research will help you understand what voice is missing and how your organization fits into that landscape.
2. What are they researching? Simply put: avoid over saturated topics. In the case of healthcare, we have produced a library full of good research on…
Feb 19 2015
Last week, Fox News published the Hungry Girl’s guide to outsmarting Valentine’s Day overeating. It’s dedicated to recipes options that won’t “ruin your budget, waistline, or the mood”.
Valentine’s Day aside, the majority of religious and civic holidays have become synonymous with overeating. The national Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders even describes over-eating around the holidays and on special occasions as a “normalized” part of American behavior.
All you have to do is google “holiday overeating” and you’ll find hundreds of articles describing tips to avoiding binge eating and over indulgence – as well as one that includes five ways to avoid a post-holiday heart attack. But this got me thinking – are the holidays the issue? Or, are we causing the problem?
Let’s talk about food-specific holidays. According to The Nibble, a magazine dedicated to specialty foods, there is a food dedicated to just about every day of the year.
Here’s a taste of your food holiday options:
Feb 12 2015
Over the last two weeks, we’ve seen one of the largest data breaches in our country’s history unfold. The second largest health insurer in the U.S., Anthem Inc., experienced a “very sophisticated cyber attack” on Jan. 29, which exposed the names, birthdays, medical IDs, Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data, of as many as 80 million customers.
While this was not the first breach of health data – millions have been affected by previous health data breaches – the Anthem breach is by far the biggest and it will not be the last.
In the wake of this significant breach, we have been observing Anthem’s communications response. Here are some key learnings:
Feb 5 2015
Disclaimer: I believe in vaccinations, and my husband and I have chosen to vaccinate our two boys.
This post is not about whether vaccination is right or wrong. It’s about how the current anti-vaccination movement (post-1998) got its legs, and how the Internet may have contributed to it.
From smallpox in the 19th century to diptheria, tetanus and pertussis in the 1970’s to the current measles, mumps, and rubella controversy, opponents of vaccination (“anti-vaxxers”) have existed for as long as vaccines have existed. The current anti-vaccination movement arose in 1998 when Dr. Andrew Wakefield published the findings of a 12-person study to examine whether there was a connection between the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autism. The Lancet, which originally published the study, later retracted, and Wakefield lost his license to practice medicine.
Historically, the anti-vaccination movement has been rooted in specific communities, such as the town of Leicester, England in the mid-1800’s. Today, while there are specific communities with low vaccination rates, we’ve seen much broader reach due, in large part to the Internet.
Flashback to 1998 when the Wakefield study was released. Just 26.2 percent of American households had Internet access. Two years later, that number grew exponentially to…
Jan 22 2015
Health care played a starring role in the 2014 State of the Union address, with nine full paragraphs of attention. In 2015, while taking a backseat to issues like the economy, there were some key takeaways for health care professionals. Here are five things from the 2015 State of the Union address that may impact the world of health care in 2015 and beyond:
1) Precision Medicine Initiative - “I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to deliver a new era of medicine, one that delivers the right treatment at the right time.”
What is precision medicine? Likely to become a buzzword, it’s an already growing trend in medicine. You may have heard it described as “individualized” or “personalized,” but the key is treating people based upon their genetic material to identify the most effective approach for that particular patient.
What can we expect from government in terms of supporting the growth of precision medicine? New funding to subsidize new technology and the testing and approval of drugs. In The Washington Post’s To Your Health blog, Lenny Bernstein suggests, “Government also might establish databases for all the information yielded by the millions upon millions…