Monthly Archives

November 2020

patient engagement at the point of care

Contextual Targeting without Third-Party Cookies

By | Heartbeat | No Comments

From the home office of Managing Director of Product, Chris Luken: 

As consumers, we may perceive ad targeting as nothing more than ‘background noise’ to our everyday activities. We know it’s happening and we’re used to it, so we don’t pay too much attention to how or why it’s happening. However, to media companies and brands, the ability to target ads to consumers based on their searches and browsing history is essential to be able to educate consumers on unique product/service differentiators within today’s ‘digital-first’ content consumption environment. 

In the spring of 2020, Google announced that Chrome plans to abandon support for third-party browser tracking cookies “within the next two years.” This change was prompted by increasing user concerns about privacy and new EU restrictions on individual-level tracking (GDPR), which gave consumers the power to better understand how their data is being used and when they are being tracked online. 

So how can brands make better digital ad purchase decisions moving forward? 

Know when to use audience targeting approximations vs. precision targeting

Understanding how each digital publishing platform identifies, leverages, and implements consumer data to best approximate targets with intent to purchase will be critical to digital advertisers seeking to reach a specific target audience. Not every digital publishing platform will offer the same ad targeting opportunities, but many will claim to be ‘the best’ for any given target audience. Identifying the foundational assumptions that inform the unique targeting logic on each platform is critical in determining which publishers are best able to deliver on advertiser objectives.

Improve ad content and its relevance to the viewer’s online journey

Beyond qualification of intended ad targets, advertisers should also think about the contextual relevance of the ad itself, as the ad’s context within relevant publisher content will play a more substantial role for converting unidentifiable digital visitors over the intermediate-term. For example, if someone is seeking more information about high blood pressure treatments, a better place to qualify and reach those targets would be on health-driven websites rather than on a website with recipes for loaded mashed potatoes. 

Asking well-informed questions of media publishers regarding their targeting and contextualization capabilities will become crucial as third-party cookies are retired. Brands and agencies should also understand what KPIs are collected and how they are being attributed at each level of the sales funnel to further optimize their digital marketing expenditures. 

Plan for the Future of Digital Publishing Measurement

We can expect to see digital publishers evolve into contextually-specific ‘walled gardens’ in the absence of third-party ad targeting metadata. Obtaining a detailed understanding of how each digital ad solution is uniquely poised to deliver high-relevancy content around each advertiser’s brand message will be essential to long-term success. 

It’s important to remember that the future of digital content consumption is (and will remain) personalized. How content personalization will extend to a digital visitor’s advertising experience will remain an open question, and it is likely to differ by digital publisher in the near-term. 

Here are some predictions for how digital ad strategies will shift as cookies are phased out:

  • An End to “Free” Content: Digital publishers that previously exposed their content without charge to anonymous online audiences will likely require users to be authenticated in order to access “free” content. This is already happening on many news sites and likely will become more commonplace. Users will have to opt-into first-party data collection, and publishers can then deliver personalized ad targeting. This authentication model will help advertisers and marketers work better with publishers, since publishers can verify who their customers are and can best monetize their audiences for their sponsors. 
  • Cookie-Free Targeting Solutions: Identity federation solutions (such as LiveRamp) and large consumer technology companies (such as Google and Apple) will continue to invest in developing alternatives to cookie-based tracking in order to target ads based on intent-based actions. These technologies will further entice advertisers and publishers to use their own unique tools to target their ideal customers. Conde-Nast has rolled out their own cookie-less contextual targeting solution, and we foresee others doing the same in the near future.
  • Risks to Precision Targeting: Demand-side platforms and data management platforms that are critical to programmatic ad buys will continue to offer segments to ‘overlay’ behavioral/ demographic/psychographic/intention-based data sets against digital ad impressions.  Their precision targeting, however, will likely get fuzzier in the intermediate term due to fewer third-party tracking cookies being supported in common web browsers. It is quite possible that the same amount of traditional digital ad spend will produce a lesser degree of brand awareness among intended target audiences as third-party cookies are retired, thereby reducing the expected sales lift or ROI that many brands historically observe following their digital campaigns.
  • Return to a Pay-for-Impressions Model: Ad frequency capping (i.e. setting a maximum number of times an ad is served to the same person) is likely to become very difficult for a purely ‘anonymous’ digital visitor if first-party audience data cannot be captured. Digital advertisers may have no choice but to continue to ‘pay for impressions’ if they choose to serve ads to unauthenticated viewers on digital content networks.
  • Fewer Performance Insights: Without knowing how, when, where, and how often an anonymous digital visitor saw an ad before taking the advertiser’s desired action, the ability to understand how a certain social channel or website performed at each stage of the prospect’s ‘conversion journey’ will be significantly impeded. It’s possible that we may return to a ‘last click attribution’ model for anonymous content viewers, providing substantially fewer insights to advertisers about what aspects of their campaign helped to drive audience actionability.

Despite the restrictions that continue to roll-out around cookies, we anticipate more innovations that will circumvent and/or complement legacy digital ad tracking mechanisms. In the meantime, asking smart questions about media buying tactics and ensuring that marketing goals align with contextual ad placement opportunities will need to suffice over the near-term while the advantaged industry players continue to fill the measurement gaps that third-party cookies have historically enabled.


Read more about Outcome Health and our own contextual solutions for health and lifestyle brands.

Learn how Outcome Health is evolving to support the next generation of healthcare. 

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patient engagement at the point of care

Grow & Give: A cHAIRitable Tradition

By | Heartbeat, Partnership | No Comments

This article is written by Shawn K. Supers, Grow & Give Program Director at ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, one of our health advocacy partners. 

Grow for Prostate Cancer Awareness 

Each November, ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer — the nation’s leading nonprofit in the fight against prostate cancer — hosts Grow & Give, the only nationwide facial hair awareness campaign dedicated solely to prostate cancer. Every year at this time, men and women get funky with their follicles to raise funds for prostate cancer patients in need, and start conversations around prostate cancer risks and awareness. After all, few things are a better conversation starter than a blue beard or eye-catching wild wig! 

Since 2014, Grow & Give has become an annual tradition for ZERO and our supporters, and we encourage you to join in the hair-raising fun! No matter your gender or the state of your hair, there are many ways to get involved and get creative! Whether you dye, chop, shave, grow, or wig it out, whatever you choose to do will draw much-needed attention to prostate cancer and the 3.1 million men nationwide impacted by the disease.

One of the best aspects of Grow & Give is that you can partake solo or as part of a team! Whether you do your own thing or convince your entire family to don blue mohawks, Grow & Give is a great way to come (or should we say, comb?) together to show the love to patients who want to know that generous individuals and groups are supporting them in their hardest days.

Raise Money to Fight Prostate Cancer

Last year more than 750 participants and 80 teams raised over $185,000 for men and their families. Will you join them this year? Here’s what one participant said about why Grow & Give is so important:

“Grow & Give is a great conversation starter for men’s health — it makes men realize they need to get checked out. Many men avoid doctors and prostate cancer screenings, but we have to do it. Not only for ourselves, but for our families and our children, to stay healthy and be there for them.”

Grow & Give is more than just growing facial hair, it’s about raising awareness and having fun in the process! This disease affects 1 in 9 American men, and is the third leading cause of cancer death in men. Plus, the impacts of COVID-19 are having a devastating toll on men with this disease and their families. More than ever, patients need your support to raise awareness, funds, and spirits with your tricked-out tresses!

If you are interested in joining the fight, head over to to get growing and giving today! Registration is free and easy — it just takes a few clicks! Send photos of your new ‘do to or post on social media using the hashtag #GrowandGive. We can’t wait to see your new look, and are so thankful that you’re helping patients and families in need during this critical time. 


Outcome Health partners with organizations like ZERO Cancer to bring their important messages to audiences at the point of care. If you’d like to learn more about joining our network, email

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Patient Intake Solution

Reclaim Valuable Consultation Time with Patient Intake Solutions

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Chris Barakat, Senior Vice President at BetterConsult, has dedicated much of his career to understanding how to ease the administrative burden on healthcare professionals. In 2016, he helped found BetterConsult so that providers can spend more time doing the work they love.

As a reminder: BetterConsult is available to current Outcome Health customers at no charge. Schedule a meeting with us to get started. 


People go into medicine to help others. Having spent endless hours in Operating Rooms, I’ve seen first-hand how doctors treat every patient like they are the most important person in the world. The meticulous attention to each patient’s unique health journey is what makes medicine so human-centered and why doctors gain satisfaction from their chosen profession.

Yet we live in world focused on payments, documentation, and a host of KPIs; therefore, administrative work is also part of a healthcare worker’s responsibility. Dr. Rajat Bhatt, a prominent Rheumatologist in Houston (and one of BetterConsult’s first users in the US) said, “When I have the chance to provide patients context and properly speak to them about the pros and cons of treatment, patients manage really well. It is extremely frustrating when time restricts me from giving my patients the attention I know they need.” (Read more from Dr. Bhatt here.) How can doctors achieve their business goals without sacrificing building connections with their patients?  

Physician Burnout and EHRs

Before COVID, the “burnout” experienced by healthcare professionals was primarily due to the documentation required after every patient visit. Having built a successful Australian health-tech company where we spent years improving the clinical efficiency between patients and providers, our customers told us what to solve for next: 

Help us cut down on documentation and time spent on the “discovery” process with patients.

Our research indicated that this is a huge problem in the US. At HIMSS 2018, a representative from the American Medical Association spoke about physician burnout and the archaic and expensive recommendations to help providers and health systems. At that point, we made a business decision to build a US-centric solution to help providers gradually move away from some of the monotonous tasks, so they can focus on their purpose.

Supporting the HCP-Patient Relationship with Patient Intake Forms

BetterConsult was created by bringing together physician knowledge, expert developers and a team with a proven track record for building technology to improve patient consultations. BetterConsult uncovers patient concerns before their visit through a questionnaire that integrates with appointment reminder workflows.

Patient Intake Solution

Patients can complete their BetterConsult questionnaire on their own time for both virtual and in-person consultations. BetterConsult uses the patient’s input to outline their clinical concerns, ensuring the doctor addresses their needs.

BetterConsult is used for remote & in-person visits. It enables providers and care teams to plan for each patient visit while simultaneously cutting down on documentation. BetterConsult supports patients by walking them through a simple form that catalogs their symptoms, conditions, tests, and medications that their HCP can review before the consultation. BetterConsult also offers varying workflows for new patients, existing patients and regular patients. 

patient intake solution records

The patient’s answers to the questionnaire generates the HCP notes.

We continue to receive positive feedback from the healthcare teams who’ve implemented BetterConsult (85% of doctors surveyed reported having their expectations met or exceeded). Since implementing BetterConsult, Dr. Bhatt said, “The biggest value is the additional time and attention I can provide to my patients. I know that ahead of the consultation, patients have thoughtfully expressed their concerns, so when we are together we focus our time on solutions.”

Patient Engagement at the Point of Care

BetterConsult chose to partner with Outcome Health because we believe in their mission. Outcome Health is focused on delivering relevant and contextualized information to both HCPs and patients in the Moments of Care of the health journey, and our patient intake solution helps to personalize each patient’s visit. Outcome Health’s network is vast and wide; together we can help HCPs achieve their career’s purpose and patients can derive even more value from their time with their provider.

If you’re an existing Outcome Health customer, BetterConsult is available to you at no charge. Schedule a meeting to bring BetterConsult to your practice or health system. 

New to Outcome Health? Join Outcome Health’s nationwide network of provider partners. 

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