MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Healthcare Scoop (http://www.healthcarescoop.com), an online consumer forum, based on real-life patient stories about healthcare, will now extend the conversation to include a dialogue with healthcare organizations, according to MaryAnn Stump, president, Consumer Aware. "Effective immediately, a number of leading healthcare organizations, including Courage Center, Mayo Clinic, The Emily Program, Physician Neck and Back Clinics and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, will offer their own profile pages on the Healthcare Scoop to connect directly with consumers who are part of this online healthcare community," she said.
"From the earliest stages of our extensive research work directly with consumers in over 100 focus groups, they have told us that they really would like to hear the perspective of their physician, hospital or health plan," said Stump. "They also told us that they wanted a chance to connect with each other to share their first-hand experiences, but they were very interested in having healthcare providers join this open forum."
The Healthcare Scoop's research is reinforced by an online survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation last month for the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study, which reported that 93 percent of social media users believe that companies should have a presence in social media, while an overwhelming 85 percent believe that companies should not only be present, but also interact with consumers via social media.
The profile pages, accessible from the Healthcare Scoop home page and from individual posts or stories, allow participating healthcare organizations to highlight stories that consumers have offered about them or their services, and to begin to share their perspective or their "Take on the Stories." In addition, consumers can find contact information, features and services about clinics, physicians or other healthcare organizations, and link directly to the sponsoring organization's website for more information.
"We believe that we have brought the Healthcare Scoop full circle, balancing consumer feedback and opinions with a dialogue involving healthcare providers that, until now, hasn't existed," said Stump.
"Courage Center is an innovator in meeting the health care needs of this community, especially empowering those with disabilities to realize their full potential," said Jan Malcolm, CEO, Courage Center, which sponsors a profile page on the Healthcare Scoop. "That's why we're excited to be a partner with HealthCareScoop.com, a new chapter in web technology that helps people make smart health care choices."
The Healthcare Scoop, which was launched last October in the Minnesota market, now offers nearly 800 personal stories, covering over 600 healthcare topics from allergies to women's health, and referencing 320 clinics, hospitals and organizations and over 400 physicians and healthcare professionals across the nation, according to Stump.
"The Healthcare Scoop acknowledges the value of personal references and viewpoints about what's working well in healthcare today and where there is room for improvement in the future," she said. "The diverse set of premier healthcare organizations and patient audiences represented among our initial launch partners confirms the broad appeal of connecting with consumers in a new way across all types of healthcare services."
"Our launch partners -- Courage Center, Mayo Clinic, The Emily Program, Physician Neck and Back Clinics and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota -- are true pioneers in this Health 2.0 phenomenon. By sponsoring profile pages and sharing their perspectives, they're joining the dialogue with consumers and encouraging their patients to post stories on the Healthcare Scoop," she added. "We anticipate many more profile pages coming online in the coming weeks."
HealthcareScoop.com is sponsored by Care Delivery Management, Inc., dba Consumer Aware, based in Eagan, Minnesota. The company is a research-driven organization that develops information tools to guide patients and consumers in making informed, "best-fit" healthcare decisions. Further information is available at http://www.consumeraware.com.
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