Beryl Blog Archive

Beryl Blog Archive

  • 04/20/2012
    Date: 
    04/20/2012

    If you’ve been waiting for the right time to get your hospital’s data storage in the cloud, the moment is rapidly approaching where you’ll be left behind if you don’t get on board.

    If you still aren’t entirely sure what cloud computing is, think of it in terms of how the ownership of home video evolved. 15 years ago, you not only paid for the purchase of the hard item (VHS tape, DVD), you paid for a cabinet for storage in your home, cleaning products to maintain the movies and the cabinet and then dealt with not being able to access those movies from anywhere except where they were stored. (And let’s not forget the soft case or tub that you put DVDs and VHS tapes in when you travel with the family. That’s a secondary storage method to be bought and one with a high susceptibility to a lack of security.)

    What’s the only way to increase your access to movies that are available to you? Buy more videos for your library. And then more storage. The cycle feeds upon itself.

    Now compare that to some of the offerings On-Demand services like Netflix. Instant access to a large library of videos. Pay at various levels that match your consumption. No need for storage, no need for cleaner, no need for maintenance or repair. Access from anywhere. An extreme reduction in the risk of theft. Want more movies? Upgrade the service. Need less content or a slower delivery method? Scale it back. The burden of access, maintenance and storage is shifted from internal to external. That’s the benefit of cloud computing in a very loose and fast analogy.

    Instead of investing in giant server rooms and the staff that are needed to support them, the cloud lets your hospital scale up and scale down your needs by using a network of servers that exist offsite. Data backups and recovery as well as site uptime and network speed are all increased with cloud computing.Your people get faster and more consistent access to the information they need, allowing them to focus on the compassion and care that defines their job. But unlike the behavior cycle that was dictated by the hard copy nature of movies, this loop only contributes to the patient care that’s delivered by your staff.

    “So what’s the greatest concern and barrier to adoption of cloud computing?” For hospitals, and other institutions with HIPPA and HITECH mandates, it’s data security. Withsensitive data is stored offsite in the nebulous network of cloud computer servers, hospital administrators have beenapprehensive about regulatory compliance and patient trust.

    Another potential hurdle is the availability of high-speed Internet access, which is essential for cloud computing; this has kept many rural healthcare facilities from being able to network in the cloud.

    However, with such tech giants as IBM, Microsoft and Google, as well as a host of venture capital firms, blazing the way forward on Internet accessibility and cloud networking security, many of the concerns of just a few years ago have been laid to rest and a new era of healthcare cloud computing is ready to launch. The VHS and DVD are dead; Hulu, Netflix, Apple TV now meet the content library and access demand. (Recognize the cost comparison of one new DVD versus premium access for those services. It’s about the same. Which should you choose?)

    For your hospital, it means cost savings in both technology investments, energy usage and time as patient records. It also means your hospital can take advantage of the many emerging healthcare-focused applications being created by entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley to Boston that are made possible by cloud computing.

    For patient experience, it means smoothing procedures and breaking the walls that exist between patient records and healthcare professionals. Imagine being able to tell your patients that you’ve invested in a way that, with their consent, their medical records can be assessed by another hospital should an emergency arise while they are on vacation or a business trip. No more soft cases. No more tubs. No more storage cabinets. No scratched DVDs. No worn out tapes. They get  HD quality information and servce delivered instantly and compassionately.

    At BerylHealth we have the knowledge, technology, staff and partnerships to make cloud computing for your hospital a reality. You deemed it cost and access effective to dump the DVD and VHS cabinet years ago, it’s time to do the same for your hospital system.

    Date: 
    04/20/2012
  • 04/19/2012

    Moving to a new city or state can be an incredibly difficult and time consuming task. Those on the move have to find a new job, get a new place to live, and move all their stuff while hopefully avoiding broken or lost items.

    The last thing most people probably want to think about during this moving process is having to find a physician in their new home city. At the most, the search is just another box on checklist of to-dos, and at the worst, the hunt for a new doctor could leave them feeling completely lost.

    As with many of the other trappings of relocating, new residents are using the Internet to help them find their new physician. According to recent statistics, there are 30 million (and rising) people searching online for a physician each month. Unfortunately, once the physician search begins, the depth browsers go is surprisingly limited.

    From the search engine’s results, 80 percent of clicks from potential patients are on the top five results listed. With web referrals between five and ten times as cost effective as other forms of traditional marketing, this is something physicians and hospital systems need to be active in addressing.

    So the question is this: Just what is your healthcare organization doing to address how easily and prominently your physicians are found?

    If your answer is, “Not much,” then BerylHealth and Vitals have a solution for you.

    Our new Vitals -powered program, called Enhanced Web Referral Services,  has been created to increase the number of physician referred calls by at least 30 percent. This is done by search engine optimizing each individual physician’s name. From there, all calls to action are forwarded to the BerylHealth call center, where potential patients are greeted by a compassionate, professional patient experience advocate who will then make a record of their vital demographic information and help get them on track to making an appointment at your facility.

    Additional benefits of the program include statistics on both web traffic and call history, as well as detailed ROI analysis to measure downstream revenue impact.

    Interested in how Enhanced Web Referral Services can move you to the front of the physician search? Be sure to contact BerylHealth today. We’ll put you first when people new to your area make a move to find their physician.

    Date: 
    04/19/2012
  • 04/16/2012
    Date: 
    04/16/2012

    Stress in the workplace is taking a toll on both employees and employers in very significant ways according to recent statistics. These statistics reveal that:

    • One million workers call in sick to work every day due to stress
    • Three out of four Americans say work is stressful
    • One out of every four say it is the most stressful thing in their lives
    • Workplace stress costs employers $200 billion each year in stress-related expenses

    In considering these stats to gain greater understanding of the extreme impact of work-related stress, we think it’s important to focus on the Patients Come Second philosophy and actively work toward preventing workplace stress. By combating employee stress in your healthcare organization, you’re investing in your devoted workers and putting them at the top of your priority list. With reduced stress, they will experience increased loyalty and be in a happier, healthier place. These positive feelings roll into the quality of service delivered to patients, creating a large ripple effect of patient loyalty and retention.

    Employee satisfaction and well-being is a value of BerylHealth. Here are some tips from how we focus on building a less stressful workplace environment.

    • Educate, encourage and engage employees about a healthy lifestyle.. Provide plenty of resources for employees to get familiar with workstation ergonomics, and consider implementing wellness programs and/or a policy for subsidizing fitness club memberships. A company sports league is also another way to encourage workers to get active.
    • Provide support and resources. Employees are often excited about picking up new skills and sharpening their current strengths, but it can be hard for them to work on improvements without resources. Foster their desire for continued education by doing on-site continued job training or even sending them out of the office to brush up on skills at classes within your community. Your employees will be grateful for the company’s investment in them, and the company will also reap benefits by having employees with a wide array of growing skills.
    • Build your team.  We understand there is work to do. But eliminating the notion of enjoyment in the name of quantity of work is disingenuous. Find the space to reward and uplift your employees.  Connect with their interests to get them involved in some fun social events, holiday celebrations or charity work. The improved morale and sense of camaraderie will be well worth it.

    For more information check out some of the publications from members of our own BerylHealth team.

    Date: 
    04/16/2012
  • 04/10/2012

    For all of the blood, sweat and tears spent in the care of patients, there’s something to be said about passion. Every person who’s entered nursing feels it and during my clinical career, it was a tremendously important part of who I was for my patients. I moved from the bedside to management, that passion still burned but on a different set of terms. In my role at BerylHealth, my passion has a channel, improving the patient experience.

    That passion for the patient experience is why I’m excited by BerylHealth’s new partnership with Phytel, the leader in physician-led population health improvement. Through this partnership, BerylHealth found a post-discharge solution for hospitals that by using technology and data to personalize and/or automate care, increases patient compliance, reduce readmission rates and improves the patient experience.

    So what does this all mean? The intersection of BerylHealth’s cloud technology and Phytel’s patient communication engine complement the passion with which you deliver care. The service will offer well-coordinated patient care that includes personalized follow-up calls to high-risk patients, as well as automated messaging to every single patient discharged from the client hospital. Depending on the client’s individual needs, calls to patients can be personalized, automated or as a combination of both. Technology  serves our passion for delivering for the ideal patient experience.

    So how does this help the discharged patients? It means the same caring, personal connection they get inside the hospital is delivered after they leave the hospital. With help from this service, measurable results show that patient compliance goes up and readmission rates go down, leading to deeper patient satisfaction. The patient gets better, stays better and reflects that back on to the hospital..

    And what does this do for the hospital’s bottom line? Deeper patient loyalty is achieved, Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey scores are improved and those lowered readmission rates help hospitals avoid Medicare penalties. As I said before, the patient gets better, stays better and reflects that back on to the hospital.

    Cynthia Hanna
    Clinical Director --  The Beryl Companies

    Date: 
    04/10/2012
  • 04/05/2012
    Date: 
    04/05/2012

    In an on-demand era, it is not surprising that consumers make quick, well-researched decisions based on their other experiences outside of healthcare. Health care and Starbucks consumers alike, expect quality (drinks or care), access (easy-to-use technology or location) and continuity (I want it right, and every time) of whatever it is you are delivering; but if you add that human touch-even better.

    Whether a nurse who knows you by name or a barista who can shake up your drink customized without you asking, it’s the same affect. It’s an experience.

    So you might ask, how do you bridge the gap between technology and human touch? It starts with foundationally believing that the product, service or commodity you are providing is actually touching a human being. Someone who is breathing has emotions and is driven to buy what you have based upon those emotions.

    It’s not a robot or an alien. As human and mommy, I use social media to determine where I want to go, what recommendations others are making and I look for the “Wow” factor; the experience. Where that happens, you will find me spending money on the premium product, no matter the cost.

    The other evolution that has forced hospitals to respond is the CMS reportable quality indicators and HCAHPS results. Over the course of the last 7 years, CMS has been monitoring the success from mandating top quartile results from hospitals. The astounding results show that only 3% of hospitals have actually reduced readmissions. Now hospitals are in panic mode trying to get a quick win with patients, especially when it comes to their perception about the hospital experience.

    BerylHealth knew the one way we could help answer this emerging chronic pain for our clients was to introduce follow up phone calls to patients. Not just any old call back to patients. We came up with a model that allows hospitals to align either a live non-clinical call to address HCAHPS-like follow up, a live clinical call for those higher risk patients who have conditions that need to avoid readmissions and last, the chronically ill patients who need multiple, ongoing touches.
    We also came up with a model that has proven a return on the patient experience by not only showing almost instant improvement, but also using a combination of the types of calls to target patients where it counts; for the patient and for the hospital.

    All of these services surprisingly are powered by cloud technology.  You can’t program compassion into the cloud, but you can drive how the delivery of the product by humans can be caring.

    In an age of Starbucks, iphones, Travelocity and Pinterest, it’s important to be where our clients’ consumers are. What’s non-negotiable in this space? Compassion.

    Date: 
    04/05/2012
  • 04/05/2012
    Date: 
    04/05/2012

    In an on-demand era, it is not surprising that consumers make quick, well-researched decisions based on their other experiences outside of healthcare. Health care and Starbucks consumers alike, expect quality (drinks or care), access (easy-to-use technology or location) and continuity (I want it right, and every time) of whatever it is you are delivering; but if you add that human touch-even better.

    Whether a nurse who knows you by name or a barista who can shake up your drink customized without you asking, it’s the same affect. It’s an experience.

    So you might ask, how do you bridge the gap between technology and human touch? It starts with foundationally believing that the product, service or commodity you are providing is actually touching a human being. Someone who is breathing has emotions and is driven to buy what you have based upon those emotions.

    It’s not a robot or an alien. As human and mommy, I use social media to determine where I want to go, what recommendations others are making and I look for the “Wow” factor; the experience. Where that happens, you will find me spending money on the premium product, no matter the cost.

    The other evolution that has forced hospitals to respond is the CMS reportable quality indicators and HCAHPS results. Over the course of the last 7 years, CMS has been monitoring the success from mandating top quartile results from hospitals. The astounding results show that only 3% of hospitals have actually reduced readmissions. Now hospitals are in panic mode trying to get a quick win with patients, especially when it comes to their perception about the hospital experience.

    BerylHealth knew the one way we could help answer this emerging chronic pain for our clients was to introduce follow up phone calls to patients. Not just any old call back to patients. We came up with a model that allows hospitals to align either a live non-clinical call to address HCAHPS-like follow up, a live clinical call for those higher risk patients who have conditions that need to avoid readmissions and last, the chronically ill patients who need multiple, ongoing touches.
    We also came up with a model that has proven a return on the patient experience by not only showing almost instant improvement, but also using a combination of the types of calls to target patients where it counts; for the patient and for the hospital.

    All of these services surprisingly are powered by cloud technology.  You can’t program compassion into the cloud, but you can drive how the delivery of the product by humans can be caring.

    In an age of Starbucks, iphones, Travelocity and Pinterest, it’s important to be where our clients’ consumers are. What’s non-negotiable in this space? Compassion.

    Date: 
    04/05/2012
  • 03/30/2012

    Let’s start with some numbers. But stick with us: We promise, we’re going somewhere with it all.

    According to the latest Pew research (PDF), 80 percent of adults who are online use it as a search tool for health information. And this number is rising as the new generation that’s moving into its senior years is more comfortable with technology. These people have been accustomed to using the Internet to find information and make decisions for everything from vacation rentals to new shoes and, yes, even hospitals and treatments.

    Going deeper into the research, 44 percent of Internet users are searching online for information about doctors and health professionals, and 36 percent are searching for hospitals and medical facilities. More than half are searching about specific medical treatments.

    All in all, health information online is now the third most in popularity in online search categories. With this much traffic online centered around health information, you need to have an acquisition plan for potential patients who have found their way to a physician in your hospital or health system.

    Physician searches, online registration for classes and events, requesting appointments or retaining patients who don’t have primary care physicians after an Emergency Room visit are key areas of revenue opportunity for hospitals and health systems. Patients and online consumers alike want access to everyday needs online, where they are already engaged.

    We have seen the rise of giant online retailers like Amazon damage or even destroy their competition by offering simple shopping that is available 24 hours a day. Your hospital and health network, too, can provide relevant and comprehensive information, and then close the loop from start to finish with a patient experience in the manner that is easiest for the patient and for you.

    Your online marketing strategy should include ways to guide patients through the information they are searching for by providing easy access to services such as physician referrals, online chat or class registration. It has to be easy.

    Of course, this also means you need online registration solutions, and that is where BerylHealth can help.

    With our online solutions, as well as our 24/7 call center for patients who want to talk with a live patient experience advisor, BerylHealth gives you measurable ROI on your marketing dollars spent, as well as consumer data housed in our Patient Experience Database, powered by cloud technology, that can be used to for your patient acquisition strategies today and into the future.

    If your hospital or health system has a strategy to engage the online consumer and funnel them to your offices or you are not experiencing the market share growth you expect, contact BerylHealth today and let’s find a solution that works.

    Date: 
    03/30/2012
  • 03/28/2012

    How up-to-date are your Web strategies? Has it been years since you overhauled your online marketing efforts? Or maybe, you are in need of a little tune-up or just want to keep up-to-date on emerging trends.

    Hospitals and healthcare facilities who ignore the importance of SEO and conversion in driving patient acquisition are missing potential customers from the beginning. Recent studies from Pew Internet state that:

    • 80 percent of Web users search online for healthcare information
    • 30 million search online for a doctor each month
    • 80 percent of clicks are from the top ten searches

    What this means is that more people than ever are searching the Internet for information on their medical questions and seeking physician referrals when they need answers. For new movers to an area, this is increasingly important as they are looking for a new, and potentially long-term, healthcare provider.

    Your Web strategies need to reflect recent and ongoing changes in search engine algorithms, as well as standing out and converting customers in an increasingly populated online arena.

    Interested in learning more about online consumer behavior, optimizing your Web presence -- including searches -- and increasing conversion rates to profitable physician referrals? Be sure to register for BerylHealth’s free webinar How to Leverage Online Trends to Drive Patient Aquisition on March 29, 2012 from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Central.

    The hosts of this webinar are Matthew Holz, Director of Product Management for BerylHealth, and Tatiana Nikitina, Vice President for Vitals.

    REGISTER FOR WEBINAR HERE

    Date: 
    03/28/2012
  • 03/23/2012

    First impressions are extremely important and rather difficult to predict. Malcolm Gladwell, journalist and author of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, said of first impressions, “We don't know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don't always appreciate their fragility.” This fragility is important to understand because it will not take much to sway a patient’s opinion.

    Along a patient’s journey, she or he will encounter many different representatives of your hospital. From the hospital website, to a patient call center, to a hospital welcome desk, then on to registration, waiting rooms, nurses, physicians and more, there are many people and settings making first impressions, and the sum of all parts creates the overall opinion of your hospital.

    No one stage of your continuum of patient care can make up for neglect at another stage. Your patient experience strategy needs to meet the needs of the patient -- both the information they require and in the method they prefer -- continuously and without interruption.

    Answer this question: What’s the average number of rings a patient will hear before someone answers the phone? This metric of success doesn’t make it into any health care providers’ mission statement, yet it may be the the most important first impression you’re giving to a patient.

    On the other end of the continuum of care is checking in with patients after their discharge, verifying that they are following physician instructions and also answering questions and scheduling follow-up exams, if necessary. These steps work to keep readmission rates down while keeping patients happy. In that way, this final step is the first impression in a new patient interaction.

    At BerylHealth, we call this “Closing the Loop.” When the continuum of patient care seamlessly integrates with your hospital’s mission, values, staff, outside call center partners and referral networks, you have created a culture of first impressions that keeps patient experience positive.

    At BerylHealth, we have the tools to give you clear and effective ROI on patient experience.

    For more information on Managing the Patient Experience Across the Patient Continuum, see this presentation at The Beryl Institute from Kristin Baird, RN, BSN, MHA of Baird Consulting.

     

    Date: 
    03/23/2012
  • 03/10/2012

    Webinar: How to Leverage Online Trends to Drive Patient Acquisition

    Thursday, March 29, 2012    12:00 -1:00 PM CDT

    REGISTER

    Speakers: Matthew Holz -- Director of Product Management, BerylHealth and Tatiana Nikitina, Vice President, Vitals

    Digital media and the Internet have become the norm for consumers to research their healthcare options regarding diseases, treatments and physician searches. Are your hospital’s physicians appearing among the top search results?

    According to Pew Internet:    

    • 80% of web users search online for healthcare information
    • 30 million search online for a doctor each month
    • 80% of clicks are from the top ten searches

    What you will learn from this session:

    • How consumers use the web to research heathcare information or physicians
    • Ways to optimize your web presence beyond your hospital website
    • How to convert online healthcare information searches to profitable physician referrals

     

    This webinar is complimentary.


    Date: 
    03/10/2012