Why your digital ads aren’t doing you any favors with doctors
- by admin
More than half of all doctors are still using paper-based advertising in their practice, even though a growing number of patients say they want to view their health information online, according to a new report.
The findings are part of a growing body of evidence showing that digital ads are hurting patients, doctors and patients’ relationships with their doctors.
A growing number patients are asking doctors to take digital ads seriously, but are also finding that digital advertising has a detrimental impact on patients’ interactions with their physicians, according the American College of Physicians report released Tuesday.
“It is not that the practice is not doing its part to keep its digital ads up to date, but the practice itself has been a big impediment to doing that,” said Dr. Robert Kocher, a co-author of the report.
Doctors are not required to keep track of all their digital ads and some are taking a wait-and-see approach, Kocmer said.
But he said the digital advertising industry has become a major force in the health care marketplace.
“The more that they become the dominant force in health care, the more we are going to see people come into the doctor-patient relationship with less trust and less trust in the system,” Kocer said.
“And we are seeing that as we are losing trust and trust in our physicians and in the medical system.”
The report was published at the Association for Health Information Technology and Innovation conference in New York.
The American College is the largest association of physicians in the United States.
Its president, Dr. Gary Shapiro, said the association’s members want to see doctors “share their knowledge with each other.”
He said the report should give doctors a chance to rethink their digital advertising strategy.
“I think that if we are to see meaningful change in how we work with our physicians, we need to have a conversation about it,” Shapiro said.
“It is certainly not the only way to improve how we treat patients.”
In the report, KOCer and colleagues wrote that doctors’ digital advertising was a factor in patients’ perceived health care costs and increased the number of hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
In 2016, digital advertising accounted for about 17 percent of the $3.3 billion spent in the U.S. on health care products and services, the report said.
In 2020, that figure rose to 30 percent, the most recent year for which figures were available.
Digital advertising has increased significantly in the past decade, according.
In 2011, digital ads accounted for 11 percent of total spending on health-related products and service.
In 2015, digital ad spending rose from $3 billion to $5 billion, the largest increase in that time, according with the American Hospital Association.
The digital ad industry is a big part of that increase, but not everyone is a fan.
“Digital advertising is just another form of propaganda that will keep you from being heard,” said Michael Tice, a physician and director of the Health Technology for the People project at the American Association of Retired Persons.
“When you are buying something that is designed to keep you quiet, that is the worst form of advertising.”
Some doctors are also getting rid of their digital ad business, citing lower costs.
In 2016, fewer than 1 percent of doctors were using digital ads to sell their services, according for the National Association of Attorneys General.
The rest of doctors opted for print and other forms of advertising.
“We do not believe that the use of digital ads is necessary,” said a letter from the American Academy of Family Physicians.
“Many physicians are choosing to continue to use paper-only advertising.”
Other studies have found that the number and quality of digital advertisements is improving.
In 2010, the National Bureau of Economic Research estimated that digital ad sales generated an additional $8 billion in revenue for the U,S.
economy, a significant portion of which went to state and local governments.
In the past two years, digital health ads have made up a larger percentage of the health-care marketplace, according in the American Medical Association’s 2016 report.
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