Top 5 videos from HIMSS17

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Top 5 videos from HIMSS17

Healthcare organizations lag in digital marketing for cybersecurity strategies, study finds

The State of Digital Marketing in Healthcare 2017 report finds that many hospitals lack the infrastructure for deploying modern tools they need for crisis management, including data breaches. 
By John Andrews
07:57 AM
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Rob Klein said that healthcare providers must put more focus on digital marketing as part of their broader cybersecurity plans. 

Hospital executives are investigating new marketing automation channels, such as real-time computer buying, geo-fencing, text messaging and dark posts on social media, according to a new study.

But researchers compiling “The State of Digital Marketing in Healthcare in 2017” survey also found that participants are not up to speed on crisis management, a critical element of handling data breaches and the required notifications.

“Few respondents said their organization is effective at managing a crisis,” said Rob Klein, founder and CEO of Orland Park, Ill.-based Klein & Partners, which conducted the survey along with Atlanta-based Greystone.Net. “With breaches there is always a crisis.”

What’s more, the new landscape is rich with digital marketing channels for healthcare and that brings the need to understand the dynamics and impact of using these methods. 


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No longer are healthcare marketers just sending out a message and customers receiving it. “We are part of a process where we don’t dictate where the message goes and that is a very uncomfortable position for marketers to be in,” Klein added.

Respondents included digital heads of marketing, chief marketing officers and marketing directors and Klein noted that nearly half worked at a health system.

Topics focused on on marketing channels, physician relationships, automation, search engine optimization tools, return on investment and key performance indicators.

“ROI and key performance indicators are a big topic,” Klein said. “CEOs want to know the ROI and indicators. However, ROI is harder to gauge in healthcare because there is a lag effect.”

Conceptually, healthcare is pursuing some advanced ideas for marketing, yet the industry’s infrastructure is not ready for many of them, Klein said.

For instance, there is a lot of interest among marketing executives to upgrade their organizations’ virtual front door – the website – yet only 46 percent of respondents said their organization provides proper funding for it.

And while the majority believe social media is a valuable forum, six out of 10 organizations block employees from using it, he said.

The infrastructure and today’s crop of modern digital tools on top of it are an increasingly important element within not just marketing but also cybersecurity strategies.

“There must be more attention placed on cybersecurity,” Klein said. “It’s scary out there and it has only begun.”

Klein, along with Greystone.Net president and founder Kathy Divis, will reveal the comprehensive results of their survey to HIMSS17 attendees during “The State of Digital Marketing in Healthcare in 2017” on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 10:30 a.m. in Room 307A. 

HIMSS17 runs from Feb. 19-23, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.


This article is part of our ongoing coverage of HIMSS17. Visit Destination HIMSS17 for previews, reporting live from the show floor and after the conference.


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