November 12th, 2012
Hospitals use patient data to target ads
By Ben Sutherly
The Columbus Dispatch
You might not know it when you seek care from some of central Ohio’s hospital systems, but your health information makes you a potential marketing target.
OhioHealth and Mount Carmel Health System routinely mine health data from their patients’ records to decide who should receive certain mailings. The approach — sometimes called “ customer-relationship management” — has been used for six years by OhioHealth and two years by Mount Carmel. Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center hasn’t used it, but it plans to take another look at the tactic soon, a spokesman said.
OhioHealth has used such data to send messages to patients who are diabetic or have a history of heart disease. In other cases, officials said, the birth of a baby or a mammogram can put a patient on a list for future mailings.