digital transformation in healthcare

Why you shouldn't hate Zoom as a doctor

You could be the specialist who recently started streaming live and leads webinars. Or you could be the doctor who regularly states: ‘Oh how I hate Zoom’. Bear with me until we reach the end of this article because you may want to inspect that habit if you want your practice to start or keep thriving.
digital transformation in healthcare

Why you shouldn’t hate Zoom as a doctor

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

December 1, 2021

What is this digital transformation in healthcare about?

switch to a digital mindset

I spoke with Debra Jasper of Mindset Digital in Dublin, Ohio, because of her remarkable work with leaders and executives. She helps them transition to virtual. We can be brief about the context of this digital transformation in healthcare:

  • Zillions of conversations are now happening through video apps, not in real life.
  • Distance and distress are affecting many of our communication processes, including yours as a specialist doctor, with patients and referring general practitioners.
  • Attention is the big currency, more than ever.
  • Technology platforms are booming, expanding, and changing in front of our eyes so we all have an interest in being lifelong learners of digital skills.

The conversations I had over the last 12 to 18 months were often about the doctor. How they reacted to this overnight change to more virtual. And even as I kept working from a Covid-free state (Western Australia has kept its borders closed, no masks, no distancing, no restrictions except a virtually total ban on interstate or overseas travel), I saw two big trends:

  1. The innovative leading specialists I observed started streaming live, organising webinars, publishing DIY videos, adding telehealth and remote consultations to their offering and additional content to increase their visibility. More disruption in the private health landscape saw some of them double their patient volumes even in a year that had occasional short lockdowns and interruptions in elective surgery.
  2. The conservative surgeons and specialists I observed started stating how they had had enough of Zoom meetings, repeating that they were not tech-savvy and did not seem in a particular hurry to follow the trendsetting innovative private practice owners.

In my conversation with Debra Jasper, she mentions the importance of understanding the current audiences. And they include patients who are doing their online research, spending more time online, educating themselves before they make a well-informed choice.

The first step to becoming an authority in the digital era

learn digital skills as a doctor

By now, even my more conservative conversation partners have slowly reduced the intensity of their ‘anti-Zoom’ feelings. After all, if some of your patients, colleagues, suppliers and network connections keep sending you Zoom meeting links, there comes a time when you focus on talking to the people who matter…rather than expressing your contempt for the way the world is turning.

Leadership and authority – whether you like it or not – are now closely connected to the quality of your online presence, skills and how you use the tools. So much change is happening as we speak, that the ‘I am not tech-savvy’ excuse can barely be seen as a smart business strategy when you operate your private practice.

Take Debra Jasper herself. Transforming the communication skills applied in her journalism career, she founded Mindset Digital to train leaders in virtual communication. We spoke about what this means for doctors, what it means to get ready for this new era and why we need to focus on clarity, more than ever before.

Keen to connect with Debra Jasper?

Connect with Debra on LinkedIn. Or visit the Mindset Digital website.

The digital practice. What does it look like?

time for a new digital mindset

So what is it that makes a private health practice a digital practice? After having helped hundreds of specialist doctors, surgeons, hospital teams and colleges reach out to their target audiences, we see five key areas that make your practice digital-ready once you have done work on this transformation.

  1. Your visibility: When patients do a local search for general information about their symptoms, procedures and treatments or general healthcare services, they see at least one of your pages on Page 1 of the Google Search Results.
  2. Your profile: When patients visit your website, they get a positive first impression within 5 to 7 seconds. It works on any screen size, builds trust and rapport and shares information on why you love what you do for your patients and how that benefits them.
  3. Your content: When patients spend a lot of time online researching your niche, they come across web articles, blogs, videos, social media posts and images. The digital experience makes them feel as if they have already met you.
  4. Your personality: When patients go through your digital content, they learn more about the type of person you are. They have been able to decide if they like you enough, to make you their preferred specialist doctor.
  5. Your network: When general practitioners see that you are well connected on a platform such as LinkedIn, actively participating in local or national online conversations, it adds to the level of trust and rapport you have established with the other four key areas.

It all sounds simple. Focused and expert work is needed to start taking these key areas seriously and to catch up with the digital transformation in healthcare.

Why journalism is the new marketing

clear communication for doctors

During my conversation with Debra Jasper at Mindset Digital, I realised that we both came from an editorial background, organising information as journalists.

Quite often, our team reaches breakthrough moments when we build a strategy for our customers, based on that expertise. We are not in the business of ‘in-your-face’ advertising, particularly here in Australia where advertising regulations for healthcare professionals are more restrictive than in other parts of the world.

That is why journalism as a background makes a difference. The analysis of your information is the first step. The summary of the information at the patient’s level is the next step. Debra calls it short, organised and skimmable, this success recipe for clear communication.

Short: We can keep that short. You know what that means.

Organised: This is often a problem with doctors. The main challenge is their own expertise, which they can’t switch off. The information overload they create is something they can’t see. It needs the eyes of a content expert to speak up and tell them that the content needs to be reorganised for the patient. And did you know that Google looks at readability and punishes you for heavy wording, long sentences and complex copy? It punishes you with lower rankings compared to the same content in clear language. Our article on Google ranking will help you understand this in more detail.

Skimmable: Making your information skimmable again ties in with how the story is told. Medical journalists at Digital Practice use publishing and broadcasting logic to build the story of a condition or a treatment, so a page feels like a magazine article. It takes you from the introduction to the conclusion in a logical way.

digital transformation in healthcare

Double your amount of digital conversations

digital transformation for surgeons and doctors

My mentor always says that in business, the key is to double your amount of conversations. The specialist doctor in private practice benefits from this mindset.

There are so many ways to increase the digital conversations your practice facilitates. From using the Google Business chatbox functionality, to implementing video calls with patients to discuss results or reports. From posting educational videos on LinkedIn for GPs to organising a webinar for your referrers.

Once the anxiety and overwhelm are replaced by a sense of fun, innovation and excitement, the sky is the limit.

Let's meet

Take the first step and...let’s Zoom!

meeting about digital transformation in healthcare

Take the challenge! Let me show you how a Zoom call can actually be very effective and fun at the same time. Take a free consult, so we can go over the digital transformation opportunities for your practice. Whatever the phase your practice is in, we will look at palatable next steps so you can slowly become a digital practice, in tune with the digital transformation in healthcare.

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