Notes & Links: November 13, 2013

The Complex Relationship of Realspace Events and Messages in Cyberspace: Case Study of Influenza and Pertussis Using Tweets
Nagel, Tsou, Spitzberg, et. al publishing an original paper in JMIR examine the internet and real time surveillance. The authors focused on Twitter. They wanted to explore the interaction between cyberspace message activity specific to Tweets and real world occurrence of influenza and pertussis.

In general, correlation coefficients were stronger in the flu analysis compared to the pertussis analysis. Within each analysis, flu tweets were more strongly correlated with ILI rates than influenza tweets, and whooping cough tweets correlated more strongly with pertussis incidence than pertussis tweets. Nonretweets correlated more with disease occurrence than retweets, and tweets without a URL Web address correlated better with actual incidence than those with a URL Web address primarily for the flu tweets.

The authors concluded that keyword choice is critical in how well tweets correlate with disease occurrence. Makes sense.

Dead Man Walking
NEJM has perspective from Stillman and Tailor that speaks to the real reasons we need healthcare in the country and why the screaming voices wanting to shutdown the ACA or pointing out the problems with the web sites are missing the reality, we as a nation needs to care for and serve Americans, all Americans not just the ones who are lucky enough to have health insurance.

Public Reporting, Consumerism, and Patient Empowerment
Huckman and Kelley writing in the NEJM offer insight and hope for what we are seeing in the press and online. Perhaps, just perhaps we are at a tipping point in our American healthcare mess. Patients are becoming healthcare consumers and are beaming more and more empowered based on reporting by healthcare providers.

Consider this, healthcare providers are reporting cost and quality metrics. What the authors contend may be needed is data needs to help patients determine is the treatment/procedure the option for my need, budget, and personal and family situation?

The rub here is that who is going to explain this to the patients/consumers? HCP are not getting paid for cognitive services. And there is a cost associated with developing and sharing this information. And will they hire old marketing communications pro’s like me to do this so they can deliver care?

6 Lies We Tell Ourselves
No, two of them are not those. Digital Tonto makes us stop and take a hard look at our business strategy acumen. Here are the six. Hope over to see the details.

1. I’m Rational And Make Decisions Based On Facts
In reality, we rarely have the time or inclination to think things through, so we take shortcuts called cognitive biases.

2. I’m Above Average
Research in a variety of has consistently shown that when people are asked to rate themselves on just about anything—their professional skill, driving ability, honesty— a majority believes that they are better than most.

3. My Competition Will be Static As I Transform
“The same fundamental error is also common in business life.  Strategy sessions are big on charts and graphs, but you rarely see any scenario planning.”

4. My Employees Love (And I Inspire Them)
“The truth is that power relationships are inherently mistrustful because one side can more easily opt out.  People who work for us have a strong incentive to make us believe they like us a whole lot more than they actually do, but research has shown that employees opinions are rarely aligned with their superiors.”

5. I Have The Right Information
“We’re wired to jump to conclusions if our evidence is consistent, even if is incomplete.”

6. It’s Not My Fault And I Deserve All the Credit
“When things go well we feel a justifiable sense of pride.  We worked hard, we worked smart and we prevailed.  We believe that we should be rewarded and are angry if we are not.  On the other hand, when things don’t go our way, there are always mitigating circumstances and we don’t think we should be penalized.”

Greg does his usual excellent job at making us all stop and see the reality not the unicorn rainbows.

Quote: Uwe (Need I say More?)
Austin Frakt has a quoted from Uwe Reinhardt in JAMA. I will take the liberty of copying it here since it is some important that I would hate to see you not jump to it.

[T]he often advanced idea that American patients should have “more skin in the game” through higher cost sharing, inducing them to shop around for cost-effective health care, so far has been about as sensible as blindfolding shoppers entering a department store in the hope that inside they can and will then shop smartly for the merchandise they seek. So far the application of this idea in practice has been as silly as it has been cruel. […]

In their almost united opposition to government, US physicians and health care organizations have always paid lip service to the virtue of market, possibly without fully understanding what market actually means outside a safe fortress that keeps prices and quality of services opaque from potential buyers. Reference pricing for health care coupled with full transparency of those prices is one manifestation of raw market forces at work.

Why Local Marketers Need to Start Thinking About Their Instagram Strategy
Okay I confess I have been a long time fun maker of Instagram calling it Twitter for people who can’t read. ( I am hearing the G and T of GTFH reminding me that good marketing and communications that captures attention uses graphics with copy). Street Fight makes a great argument on why we, no I, need to consider it.

More than anything, Instagram presents an unparalleled opportunity to build and share a brand — to show a different side by leveraging this highly visual medium. Plus, the rate of customer engagement is off the charts compared to other social channels

Great read but I would guess most of you are already heavy users of Instagram. If not see why and what a local business, healthcare provider, physician practice, etc. should consider it part of a social media strategy.

Video Break for the Day
GoPro: Combing Valparaiso’s Hills

Just watch it. Makes you want to be a 20 something again this time sans the 60s drama. 

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