Social Media Strategy for Learning

In hospitals there seems to be a constant need for training–new drugs, new safety procedures, new equipment, privacy policy updates, etc.  In this blog, we’ve focused mainly on social media as a marketing tool, but it also has great potential as a learning, teaching and training tool.

Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner have taken on the challenge of casting a wider net with social media and position it as an effective way to create a dynamic and vibrant learning community within organizations.

flickr: michaelcardus

Their book, The New Social Learning, is a quick and informative read (sold as a pdf download). In each chapter, Bingham and Conner share a story in which social media was used to help an organization’s employees overcome a learning or training challenge or trouble-shoot a problem through collaboration. The authors share the story, outline the technology in easy-to-understand language, and then–probably the most important component to each chapter–they outline the critics’ positions and make recommendations on how to overcome those critics.

It’s a practical, hit-the-ground-running overview of the potential of social media to strengthen organizations by advancing learning and collaboration. In their recent webinar (which can be accessed from their website) Conner mentioned that they purposely selected examples from companies and organizations with a concern for security (such as the CIA) or mandated privacy regulations (such as the Mayo Clinic with HIPAA restrictions), to demonstrate that introducing social media in such organizations was possible.

Their website for the book is worth a visit, and you can read complete chapters there, including Chapter 4 highlighting the Mayo Clinic’s use of microsharing.

In their book, Bingham and Conner write, “Begin where you are and build where it suits your culture and environment.”  Maybe the place to start your hospital’s social media strategy is by harnessing the tools to advance learning, training or internal collaboration.  By doing so, the impact might be quicker and more evident, giving the critics one more reason to consider allowing these impactful tools to be adopted more widely in your hospital.

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