GreyMatters 2016


KidsMD App from Boston Children’s Hospital

alexaMany healthcare organizations are not waiting for tech companies to develop digital products and programs for them. As they recognize bigger trends emerging in healthcare—the integration of digital tools, patients taking more proactive roles in their own care, and hospitals seeking ways to provide more value while lowering costs--these organizations are taking matters into their own hands. Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) joins the list of digital healthcare innovators with its KidsMD app, launched in partnership with Amazon Echo.

KidsMD is intended to bring the vast medical knowledge and experience of BCH to consumers, using any of the Alexa-enabled devices from Amazon: Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap and Amazon Fire TV. The app accesses cloud-based health content from BCH doctors. After installing the app, a parent or caregiver can simply ask an Alexa device about symptoms the child is having and if a call to a doctor is appropriate. Other information provided includes dosing guidelines for over-the-counter medications. Dosing information is very important in children, because the dose is generally based on the child’s age and/or weight.

As the app develops and matures, information about more medical concerns will be added, such as gastrointestinal conditions and information on poisons. The app’s language stresses that it is not to be a substitute for medical care, however.

Development of KidsMD is part of a broader digital health push by BCH aimed at supporting in-house innovation and startups, forming more partnerships with outside tech companies, and spreading the hospital’s expertise beyond its physical presence in Boston.

Reaching Millennials

millenialsA lot has been made over the past few years about the millennial generation. Because this group currently makes up about one-quarter of the US population and isresponsible for 21% of consumer discretionary purchases, millennials have become a focus for marketers because of their perceived value. But what is the best way to market to this group?

Millennials are all over social media. In the past couple of years, Snapchat has emerged as one of the group’s preferred social media platforms. Although millennials use Facebook and Instagram more, marketers have noticed Snapchat, and in fact, of senior ad buyers looking to add a new social platform for advertising in 2016, 22% chose Snapchat over Instagram or Pinterest (12% each).

Although millennials currently use Snapchat more for text and video chats, two of the platform’s features – Live Stories and Discover – are gaining ground with this group. As a result, brand managers are moving towards using these features to engage with Snapchat users.

Here are some examples where brands have had success in getting the attention of millennials:

  • It’s not just about the sale. Millennials are interested in more than just a product or service – they want to be entertained and informed. Travel is a means of both entertainment and information, and Airbnb has managed to capitalize on this. Airbnb has a blog that has the look and feel of Instagram, plus it generates a true community feel.
  • Go where the millennials go on social media. Snapchat is considered to be a rising platform for this group. Domino’s in the UK decided to join the Snapchat party, after finding much success with its Twitter campaign allowing users to order a pizza using emojis. A short film called “Dough to Door” was developed specifically for Snapchat use.
  • It’s the experience. As mentioned above, millennials crave memorable experiences – they want to be entertained. With its longtime “Just do it” motivational message, Nike packs its Instagram page with inspirational images.
  • Personalization is key. You cannot pigeon-hole millennials. They may be part of the same generation but there are great differences in their experiences, opinions and perspectives. Humor can be widely appealing and Carlsberg beer (UK) found a way to appeal with its “Are you beer body ready?” campaign.

What strategies are you using to appeal to millennials?

Clinical Education Via Smartphone

smartphoneAn important part of providing excellent patient care is keeping clinicians and staff updated on protocols and regulatory information. Hospitals and health systems must not only provide educational opportunities, but they must also document successful completion of educational activities. Rather than having physicians, providers and other staff schedule time away from patient care to attend a classroom session, there is a new option available: The Smartphone.

Using Qstream, a gaming platform that can be used on a laptop or mobile device, quizzes on specific topics can be pushed out several times over a period of 1-2 weeks. The questions must be answered correctly a set number of times in a row before they are retired, which aids in knowledge retention.

In addition, posting scores helps to improve knowledge retention by creating a competition among clinicians or departments.

Although Qstream has been mostly used for training in medical programs, it is also beginning to be used for training nurses and other staff. The VA is developing a program of quizzes for its nurses, for example.

What kinds of innovations are being used at your organization for training and education?

Get Your Content Production on Track

contentYou know you need content for your Website and other channels. But how do you make your content stand out in a crowd populated by your competitors?

Here are some suggestions for ramping up the quality of your content:

  • Develop a content production calendar. This simple step can get you organized and underway. It’s not necessary to plan for huge content projects at first. Start small with a light schedule for a quarter, then evaluate your progress before stepping up production.
  • Use your subject matter experts. Using clinicians from your organization to provide information on specific healthcare topics is a great way to add trustworthy content. And this kind of content can be repurposed. For example, if a clinician is interviewed by local media, that interview can be posted as news, but can also be rewritten into a blog.
  • Identify team strengths. Look at your content team members. What do they bring to the table? Perhaps one person has a journalism background and has experience with interviewing. Another person may have project management experience and can help direct the content development process. Are team members better at writing or graphic design? You may want to start with articles and blogs if the strength is in writing, or with images and videos if the strength is in graphic design. And be sure to have a clinician directly involved with your content plan!

However you choose to start with your content plan, creativity is the key.

HCIC Registration is Now Open!

20th-HCICNovember is only five months away, which means the 20th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference will be here before we know it. We're happy to announce that attendee registration is now open. This year, HCIC will be held at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, November 7-9.

In addition, a Greystone.Net/Healthgrades Client Event - Let's Talk Engagement - will be held on Sunday afternoon and evening, November 6th. If you are a client of Greystone or Healthgrades, plan to arrive early to attend the special Client Event. More information on Let's Talk Engagement will be announced soon. The HCIC registration fee also covers the cost of attending the Client Event but you must register for it as well.

Early-bird registration rates are available until September 9th, so you’ll want to take advantage of the discount, as the regular rates will apply after that date.

And, the official hotel for the conference, The Cosmopolitan, has now opened the reservation room block for HCIC attendees. Be sure to reserve your room by Friday, October 4th, to get the discounted room rate. After that date or once the room block fills up, prevailing rates will apply if rooms are still available.

To reserve your room:

Call 702-698-7575 (local) or 855-435-0005 (toll free) and reference the “20th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference” to secure the discounted rate. Be sure to use group code "SANNH6."

Or, you may reserve a room online.

Please visit for the latest information about the conference, to register for the conference and book your hotel stay.

HCIC Exhibitors/Sponsors: Early-Bird Discount Ends Soon!

If you are planning to exhibit and/or be a sponsor at the 20th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference, you have two reasons to sign up ASAP:

  1. The early-bird signup discount ends on June 24th.
  2. Over half the exhibit hall booths have been sold already.

If you are a Web, Information Technology, Internet consultant or vendor seeking to connect with Marketing, Web, Information Technology and Planning professionals, this is your chance to reach nearly 700 eHealth leaders from leading hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, children's hospitals and physician practices.

Learn more about exhibitor/sponsorship opportunities with the Exhibitor/Sponsor Prospectus. If you are ready to sign up now, you can do so online.

HCIC Keynote Speakers Schedule

speakersWe are proud to announce the keynote speakers for the 20th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference. This is one of our strongest-ever speaker rosters, and we can’t wait to hear them in November!

The keynote sessions for HCIC are:

  • Tim Eades, Chief Executive Officer, vArmour, and Jon Russell, Senior Vice President and Associate CIO, John Muir Health: Protecting the Digital Transformation of Healthcare - speaking on Monday, Nov. 7th, at 4PM.
  • Scott Stratten, President, UnMarketing and Best-Selling Author: Everything Has Changed and Nothing is Different - speaking Tuesday morning, Nov. 8th, at 8AM.
  • Zubin Damania, MD (aka ZDoggMD), Founder, Turntable Health: Healthcare, Remixed  - speaking Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 8th, at 12:30PM
  • Dalal Haldeman, PhD, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Aaron Watkins, Senior Director of Internet Strategy and Digital Content Marketing, Johns Hopkins Medicine: Turning the Ship — How to Move Your Brand Forward in the Digital Age - speaking Wednesday morning, Nov. 9th, at 8:15AM
  • Paul Ten Haken, President, Click Rain: Life After Google Glass and the Future of Wearables - speaking Wednesday, Nov. 9th, at 12:15PM to close out the conference.

Register soon for #HCIC16 – you do not want to miss these speakers!

Backstage Pass Web Clinic for June

backstage-passSeason 1 (of 2) of the 2016 Backstage Pass Web Clinic series ends this month with a free demo session for gSightSM, a healthcare survey tool to help your organization “go on the hunt” for areas needing improvement on your Website.

On Wednesday, June 15th from 1-2PM, Mike Schneider, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President at Greystone.Net, and Rob Klein, Founder & CEO at Klein & Partners, will share a gSight demo. Traditional satisfaction surveys often fail to provide useful information on how to improve user experiences. That's where gSight - an online experience survey and analytics service -- comes into play. Learn more about gSight and how it can help you evaluate your users' digital experiences and identify and prioritize areas of needed improvement.

Please RSVP to reserve your spot for this entertaining and informative free demo.

Also, stay tuned for details about Season 2 of Backstage Pass!

Save the Date: CRM Workshop in October

crmThe CRM Workshop will be held in Chicago October 4-5, 2016. The initial CRM Workshop held last year was very successful, and that success is sure to be repeated this year!

This healthcare MarTech workshop, co-sponsored by Corrigan Partners and Greystone.Net, will be a deep dive and open dialogue on the challenges of selecting, implementing and optimizing a CRM solution for your health system.

Registration will open soon, and will be announced via email and social media. Also, the workshop schedule will be release soon, so stay tuned!

Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame Nominations Are Open

hihofOne of the most memorable experiences at the Healthcare Internet Conference is the introduction of the new class of inductees into the Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame. This year should be no exception as we honor individuals and organizations that have made outstanding, long-lasting contributions to the healthcare Internet industry.

Nominations for the 2016 class are now open and will be accepted through July 31, 2016. Potential candidates are exceptional individuals and organizations whose work and accomplishments have brought innovation and honor to the healthcare Internet industry. You can find more details regarding candidate criteria, the nomination form, the panel of judges and more at You can also check out the inductees from the Class of 2011, the Class of 2012, the Class of 2013, the Class of 2014 and the Class of 2015.

The Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame is pleased to announce five new judges have been selected to fill the vacancies left on the Board of Judges when the terms of prior judges expired.

New HIHOF judges are:

  • Lannie Byrd, Chief Operating Office, Team SI
  • Aaron Clifford, Senior Director of Digital Marketing Solutions, HCA
  • Joy Jarrett, Senior Director Marketing Services, Community Health Systems
  • Michael McCauley, Director of Corporate Communications, Meridian Health
  • Aaron Watkins, Senior Director of Internet Strategy & Digital Content Marketing, Johns Hopkins Medicine

The full board of judges will begin meeting this month to start planning for the nomination process for the 2015 Class of Inductees.

On the Road With Greystone!

28th Annual Conference of Healthcare Call Centers, June 8-10, 2016 - Chicago, IL. Kathy Divis, President, Greystone.Net, will speak with Suzanne Herman, RN, from UNC Healthcare on Thursday, June 9, at 3:30 PM. Their topic will be “Just How Important Do You Want To Be: Growing the Value of Your Call Center.” 

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