The hottest fitness app of 2016 wasn’t intended to be a fitness app at all. A week after Pokémon Go launched in July, it had an estimated 7.5 million downloads, reported MobiHealthNews. And on average, users were spending twice the amount of time engaged with the enormously popular app than they were on apps like Snapchat and Twitter. Using augmented reality, phone cameras, and GPS, Pokémon Go requires players to move around in order to capture monsters in real life.

In August, a 29-year-old man told the Baltimore Sun he’d lost 10 pounds in his first month of playing Pokémon Go, and had increased his social interactions as well. “I’m getting more active than ever before instead of sitting on my butt and playing Black Ops 3,” he said, referring to a military-themed video game. “I think it’s made my overall mood a lot better, too. It’s made me feel a lot more positive.” Could mobile gaming be the future of patient engagement in health care?Read More

As the practice manager, you’re responsible for the team that is essential to the success of your medical practice. How can you motivate your medical staff to ensure optimal patient care?

Although health care staff face unique challenges around billing, complex medical technologies, and patient care, the same employee motivation strategies used in other businesses can be applied to your team. While many employers assume that incentives like higher pay and perks are strategies to get employees to work harder, Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School explains that although these external “hygiene factors” can certainly prevent people from hating their jobs, they aren’t enough to make people love their jobs.

If you want to truly inspire your staff, you need to tap into intrinsic motivators, such as having challenging projects, receiving recognition, having responsibility, and achieving personal growth. Here are some strategies:

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It’s that time of year, when we gather with family and friends to celebrate and reflect on what we’re grateful for. Like many of us, doctors are thankful for their health, their loved ones, and their jobs. But in a profession plagued with constant changes, challenges, and sky-high burnout rates, we thought it was a good time to take stock of what in particular health care providers are thankful for now. Here’s what doctors had to say.

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There’s a movement underway in health care. Some would even call it a revolution. Patient engagement, doctor-patient communication, and shared decision-making are growing by leaps and bounds, driven largely by technology. Gone are the days when doctors scribbled private and incomprehensible notes in medical charts, inaccessible to patients. Now, the OpenNotes movement is ushering in a new era of transparency in medicine, to the benefit of doctors and patients alike.

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As a doctor, your patients’ health is your top priority. You educate your patients on the fact that chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and obesity are the leading causes of death and disease in this country. You teach patients that prevention and a healthy lifestyle are key to reducing risk.

But do you also know that your patients aren’t just paying attention to what you say, but what you do – or don’t do? Research shows that doctors who practice healthy habits play a key role in helping their patients adopt healthy lifestyles. Here’s eye-opening evidence that doctors’ health has an impact on their patients’ health.Read More

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: your waiting room matters. It’s often the first impression patients get of your practice, and they may even spend more time there than in the exam room. Your waiting room can make the difference between anxious or relaxed patients and families. This is especially true if you have pediatric patients, or patients who bring their children with them to appointments.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating kid-friendly waiting rooms, but you can start with some simple steps and a few key considerations that will appeal to the younger visitors to your practice, and to their caregivers.

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