The Medical Moderator- What is it and Do You Know one?

Healthcare is transitioning from a process where patients passively got all their medical information from the consulting doctor, to one where an individual must wake up to the reality that he or she must take a more active role in their own healthcare. Those who sit idly by may  be in peril of “falling through the cracks” as more demands are placed on the physicians in the number game.

Clearly, this can be a problem as physicians are educated and trained in medicine but the patient is not. How, then can patients make their own decisions?

A solution to this problem is the medical moderator.  This is the “go-between” professional who has a foot in each camp.

The medical moderator  represents the physician, understanding medicine and knowing what tribulations that health providers are now enduring and also representing the patient- an advocate for the individual.  The medical moderator is acting as a translator- one who can take the questions, options for a problem and the reams of information responding to that question and cull it down into language that the average person can understand.  Think of the position in much the same way as a computer interface program in technology where there are two distinct programs that are operating independently.  The interfacing program then allows both of these programs to communicate and run seamlessly.

A greatly experienced professional with a vast knowledge and experience in treating a wide gamut of diseases, the medical moderator works in a capacity of translating the information that you have obtained and explain it in such a way that you can better understand and select options that you would further like to explore for yourself and with your doctor.

There is an pervading perception that  face-time with physicians are statistically shortening now, and it is more difficult to spend a great deal of time sitting down and getting answers to your questions along with voicing your health concerns.

Those who object to this idea cite the national government survey (Mechanic et. al. 2001; NCHS 2001-2006 where the average time that patients spend with physicians during physician office visits increased by about two to three minutes from 1989–1990 (16.3–16.7 minutes) to 2003–2004 (18.7–19.7 minutes).  However, this data was taken by physician reporting (which may be somewhat objective) and the fact that these statistics were obtained before the age where digital recording of patient findings and treatment were established with electronic medical systems.  Whether or not these numbers will change, remains to be seen.

In another national survey, one of five patients said that they did not spend enough time with their physician ( USA Today/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health, Health Care Costs Survey.Menlo Park, Calif.: Kaiser Family Foundation,. KFF 2005). The idea that time between healthcare providers and patients may stem from the demands placed on doctors now to provide a more extensive explanation of a larger range of treatment options available as more questions are elicited by patients in combination with preventative care.

In the interim, the medical moderator is there to help you and fill in the gap.

Going Viral Helps Get You Noticed

Regardless of your niche, whether you are into writing about  health or promoting another type of small business, a great way to get noticed is by “going viral”. There is no easier way to do this, than to make an entertaining video.

In February alone, 179 million internet users in the United States watched almost 38 billion online videos…38 billion! Many of these videos were not produced professionally, nor had some profound message. Clips of babies or pets have garnished millions of views. If it can happen with shots of endearing family events, realize that you too can create a viral video- just by using your smart phone or digital camera.

So, what features make for a successful video?  Like the stories that we like to hear and tell, it is the video that elicits emotions, the ones that make us cry or laugh or even say “Aww”. These are the ones that stay with us like a giant hug.

But since a video needs to be brief, your message must be short and focused.  Figure out the one message that you want to convey to your target audience, one that will resonate with them.  A good video is simple and lasts less than 2 minutes.  This is not the time to brag about your company or products.  People are much more attracted to learning about something or just plain feeling warm and fuzzy. If you can associate this with yourself, you found the key.

A crucial element to the video is one that many newbies forget, however.  This is your call to action.  It’s great when your video goes viral but your purpose is to do more than simply entertain.  You want the viewer to then follow with a particular action- to seek you out and contact you, whether it be by phone, email or stepping into your establishment. This will bring in new leads and prospective clients.

Giving people additional knowledge or reaching into their hearts, also helps to convert leads.  Everyone wants to do business with those they like.  Release your videos onto multiple sites, ones that your prospective clients and target audience currently come into contact with.

Your video can precede you and do the marketing work for you…but it need not be work.  Enjoy making the video and others will enjoy it too!

 

Are you falling on deaf ears?

Email is a great tool to keep your patients informed and as a marketing tool in healthcare. It is relatively cost free and is highly effective….usually.

Your health writing will go unheeded if you wind up in spam or have a dull, lack-luster subject line. With so many emails clogging up our inboxes, it is too easy to be deleted and too easy to wind up in the spam folder which goes unmonitored by the majority of people.

Spam folders will suck in your email if you use all capital letters or capital letters for each word of the subject line. Additional words that signal a spam filter include:
-Free
-Deal
-Discount
-Money
-Win

Make your subject line not only compelling in 50 characters but contain keywords that are SEO attractive.
Don’t make the subject sensational- people want to be helped and informed, not sold to.
Have one message, don’t muddy the waters and confuse your readers.

As a health writer, you want to help with help. Make your subject interesting so that you’re heard.

Opt In Pages for Health Writers

Health writers, like health care workers are nurturing by nature.  They like to provide information to help individuals and promote health.

But just like unwanted information falling on deaf ears, sending information through the internet to those who have not requested it and do not want it, can cost you.  It can mean taking down your email server or even website.  You can be viewed as spam and your information may never reach your intended target.

So, how do you avoid this?  With an opt-in page.

Like a landing page, an opt-in page allows you to capture visitors who are interested in hearing more from you, whether you have gotten the request through your various social media sites, your website or even through a brick and mortar establishment. Simply, it is a way to build your data base or email list with a name and email address in trade for a premium or bonus.

A synonym for landing or opt-in page is a lead capture page, a place where web surfers land in response to clicking on a hyperlink, page or advertisement related to it. The landing page is to acquire viable leads and convert visitors into active leads.

Sending out information without capturing those who are interested in hearing more from you or wanting to acquire your services or goods is like shouting into the wind- while a noisy train is going by.  How much better if your prospective clients tell you they are interested.  The better for both of you!

 

Get Your Website Up With NO Cost- For Health Writers or Any Other Niche

Today I am highlighting a blog written by David Kline which I feel is very helpful to everyone.

 

Just Another WordPress Confession

 

Just Another WordPress Confession

I came up through the media and advertising business believing that technical people did technical stuff and creative people did creative stuff. For example, when I was in radio, the engineers fixed things and the on air “personalities” (like me) did all the things that people could actually hear on the radio.  When I made the transition to the world of advertising, the same principle, I felt, was true. Typically, the video guys were “technical” and the film people were “creative.” I confess to you that that line of thinking carried over into this modern era of website construction.

I have preached that all websites have three major (and separate) components: 1) Content, 2) Design and 3) Technical. A good site needs all three to be done well. However, keeping fresh and relevant content on a site is so important these days, that content management became a necessity. No longer could we wait for the “web guy” to update our site. But content management systems allowing non-web people to make changes were pricey and out of the reach of many small businesses.

I’m not sure of the history, but somewhere along the line, people decided that WordPress, although designed for bloggers, would make a suitable content management system. In other words, if you sold widgets and weren’t interested in a blog, you could build your site using WordPress and just not use the blog feature. Eventually, web designers started picking up on this and WordPress has become an industry standard for web construction.

Nevertheless, WordPress still seemed rather “techie” for me, at least in the beginning. Just downloading it seemed liked more than I wanted to tackle. Remember, I’m the creative type and the tech side of things has never been a strength or an interest.

But I’m here to tell you, WordPress is absolutely awesome. They have made many changes just in the past few years, and now it is relatively “user friendly.” It isn’t as easy as drag and drop, and it isn’t “idiot proof,” but it is very doable for the average non-techie creative person like me if you are willing to invest some time in learning how to work with it.

Like all software of all time, my abilities just scratch the surface of what can actually be done. Even Word, which I’ve used since the beginning, I only have a limited knowledge base…just enough to do what I need to do. It is way more powerful of a program than I have ever experienced. The same with WordPress.

It wasn’t long ago that I firmly believed that the technical part of building a website had to be left to the technical buy azithromycin walgreens gurus. And although, believe me, we still need the tech wizards, WordPress allows those of us who are more into content and branding to actually build websites without knowing (or caring about) HTML code. Yes, there is still some coding that one needs to know to do highly customized designs, even on WordPress, and there are many people out there who can do it…but now… now we (the creatives and branders) can at least get in the game. Instead of the tech people having to do everything, we can build it, brand it, and get their help as needed.

There are thousands of premium WordPress themes available… the only way to go unless you are one of those tech people. You can find one that will accommodate almost anything you want to do. And don’t listen to those who will tell you that to use a WordPress “template” or “theme” looks cheesy. That is absolutely not true anymore.

WordPress and a premium theme are somewhat analogous to the foundation and structure of a new house. You get to pick the flooring and paint and decorate it the way you want, but you can’t change the floor plan. If you want something extraordinary in your house, you will have to custom build it. Same with a website. If you need an extremely custom site for some reason, you will have to have it custom built. And, like the house, you will pay for it. But there are very few small businesses that need that much customization. In fact, a lot of very sophisticated web developers are using WordPress.

I’m referring, of course, to WordPress.org not WordPress.com. If you want a blog  without any commercial interest at all, WordPress.com is probably the way to go. I have a personal blog on a WordPress.com site… it really is virtually idiot proof. However, there are many commercial limitations, so if you are going to build a site for a business, then I strongly recommend WordPress.org. It is FREE software. It will be very helpful  if you use a web host that is WordPress friendly (BluehostHostGatorare two examples).

For now, just let me say that I am a former skeptic who now really, really endorses WordPress.

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So for those of you who would like to start a website but it is not within your budget or you fear getting sucked into an abyss of costs by web writers, take this information to heart.  It is now time to jump in.

While you may not want to be found on a personal level, being found on a business level is crucial.

Remember…if you can’t be found on the web, you DON’T Exist!

Professional Speaking in Your Health Care Niche or Any Business

Professional speaking is much more than just standing in front of the room and “giving a speech”. Those that succeed, know that it is a business and as such should be run as a business.

In an interview with Lois Creamer, she shared some great ideas on establishing your position, picking a niche, finding and reaching decision makers, and much more!
Here are 3 of the simple (but powerful) ideas she shared.

Idea #1 – Position yourself by concept and outcome, not what you do. Let them know how you can help them and what benefit they get after you work with them. This gets them interested enough to want to learn more about you and how you do it.

Idea #2 – The biggest mistake speakers make is not leveraging every presentation. There is plenty of business to be had just by properly following up from each and every speech. Follow up with audience members, ask for referrals, find out what other associations the company you are presenting for is a member of, find related companies and organizations, etc. Each gig should set you up for many more! And get testimonial letters!

Idea #3 – In Corporations, the VP of Sales is the best person to approach, even if you don’t speak on sales. They are the ones with budgets and meetings. If they aren’t the person organizing the meeting, they should be able to point you to the person who is.
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Remember, it is not just a speech but a message that you want to get out…one that will help others. You can’t get your message out unless you can market yourself and position yourself as well.