(e)Merge - Helping medical practices grow


(e)Merging Practice Growth Trends:

January Update


One of Our Social Media Success Stories

When Johnson County Pediatrics entrusted their social media and customer service endeavors to (e)Merge, they were already a hit with their patients. What the services enabled them to do was take their patients' experience to another level, one that their competition couldn't provide. It also helped them to attract more new patients.

Today, Johnson County Pediatrics has a number of impactful customer service measures in place, including a flourishing social media presence. Their Facebook page hosts photos of their staff and events, fun questions to engage patients, kid photo contests and links to resourceful information, like how to perform the Heimlich on an infant. They also have discussion forums and a YouTube video library with patient testimonials, doctor introductions and informational clips.

Their patients are eager to use the new forums for positive feedback. "What a great practice," writes one mother.  "Dr. Decker is the best!" says another.  "He always makes my son feel like he's the only patient he has."

But setting up a successful social media presence isn't as simple as learning to log in. Those in the healthcare sector must learn to appropriately engage their patients, remain HIPAA compliant and become the sort of resource patients are looking for. That's why (e)Merge's  Growth and Development Director, Jamie Verkamp, is joining forces with healthcare attorney and social media expert David Harlow for a new webinar, "Social Media for Healthcare Leaders Workshop".

Beginning January 26th, participants will meet once a week for an hour and a half via webinar and video chat. Verkamp says they have limited space so they can give attention to all of the attendees. "You'll truly understand social media, not just know how to work the tools, but how to create your own successful social media campaign."

Webinar spaces are offered on a first come first serve basis and are filling quickly. Visit www.emergewithus.com or call 816-326-8464 to reserve your spot.


December's Highlights:

HIPAA and Your Social Media Strategy Webinar  

files.jpgSome of you may have missed out on our December 9th webinar, HIPAA and Your Social Media Strategy with Jamie Verkamp of (e)Merge and David Harlow of The Harlow Group.  Here is a list of highlighted questions, tips, quotes and interesting facts from the session:

Q: If a provider replies to a patient's post on a social media site, does that acknowledge that the poster was a patient? Could this turn into a HIPAA issue?

A: It depends on how you respond to the comment!  If the provider responds with specific information there could potentially be a problem.  It's best to remain vague by responding with, "I appreciate the comments" or "Thank you for the kind words" or "If you have any further questions or concerns please call our office at ..."

Q: Is it okay to conduct physician sessions on a particular health topic or Q & A via Twitter without violating HIPAA regulations?

A: If patient volunteers their information online during the discussion there are no concerns, unless you begin repeating the patient's volunteered information.

TIP: "You can limit liability by clearly defining roles and responsibilities in social media policies and procedures," says David Harlow.

TIP: It's important to provide and organic source of content for your healthcare organization's social media strategy.

QUOTE: David Harlow describes the importance of creating an online presence, "Why rob a bank? It's where the money is! Why use social media? It's where the people are!"

INTERESTING FACT: "78% of consumers trust peer recommendations, only 14% trust advertisements." -Deloitte Survey 2008

Would you like to learn more from Jamie Verkamp and David Harlow?  Register for our 4-part webinar series, Social Media for Healthcare Leaders Workshop

 Put it into Practice!

  • Don't just adopt a set of policies and leave them on the shelf, make your strategy a living document that can be modified as social media trends change

  • If you have multiple staff members who collaborate on your social media efforts, it's important they all know the internal rules and regulations of your organization so they can effectively maintain control of your organizations message while remaining HIPAA compliant

  • Social media is not just about marketing, there is so much more involved! Engage and communicate with your patients online to create loyal patients!

 How does your Practice Measure Up?

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With our exhaustive 130 point mystery shopping review, you'll know the answer. Give us a call or email Jamie today to discuss how our mystery shopping services can ensure practice growth in 2011!


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Where's (e)Merge?

January 13th

NSCHBC Winter Conference

January 20th

MGMA - Birmingham Luncheon

February 3rd

Enterprise Bank /Datafile Medical Lunch Series  - Kansas City, MO

March 2nd

Minnesota MGMA

March 3rd

Alabama MGMA Spring Conference

 March 16th

Greater Kansas City Medical Managers Association

March 31st

New Jersey MGMA Annual Conference - Atlantic City, New Jersey

April 2nd

Southern Oncology  Association  of Practices Conference - Austin, TX

April 6th

Greater Kansas City Medical Managers' Association Annual Conference - Overland Park, KS

April 14th

POMAA Orlando Conference - Orlando, FL

May 22nd - 24th

2nd Annual Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience: Empathy and Innovation Summit - Cleveland, OH


What's (e)Merge?

(e)Merge is a medical practice growth consulting firm specializing in providing innovative, patient-centric marketing initiatives and medical mystery shopping services that enhance patient experiences to increase referrals.  Our programs are designed to strategically achieve sustained patient volume growth for medical practices and health organizations.


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