The Profound Pause: Hospital Social Media for Centers of Excellence

I called a very good friend of mine the other day and when she answered, I immediately knew something was wrong. “Are you okay?” I asked. “My younger sister has breast cancer,” she said. I drew in my breath.

My friend’s sister is young—mid-thirties—with two children, and the news was totally unexpected. The whole family was in shock while they discussed mastectomies and radiation and childcare and bills. At moments like these, there seem to be profound pauses in our lives—defining stillnesses, while the rest of the world continues on, much like a boulder in the middle of a rushing river. In these instances, there must to be time for absorbing the nature of the news, the choices, the consequences, the innumerable new feelings. Read more

Show Your True Identity: Why You Should Stay Away From Anonymous Blogging

A few months ago I wrote about several of my favorite healthcare blogs, highlighting the fact that storytelling is a big part of what makes a healthcare blog successful.

Since then I’ve stumbled across several more healthcare blogs, including one called “Anonymous Doc,” written by a doctor who remains genderless and nameless in a nameless city and nameless hospital. The blog is a collection of anecdotes and stories about what this doctor encounters on his or her rotation.

When I read his or her posts, I can’t help but feel that the Anonymous Doctor blog is the type that causes healthcare professionals to be wary of physician blogs. While the author doesn’t reveal a real location or even real patient names, he or she does write about very personal details related to caring for patients, and if you happened to know anyone the Anonymous Doctor wrote about, you could probably identify the patients described. Read more

10 Ways to Keep Fans Engaged in Your Hospital’s Facebook Page

Visit our What We Think page to download our free e-book.

Facebook is a growing form of communication between patients and hospitals, and while many hospitals are using their pages to effectively engage patients, sadly many are not.

It’s not enough to just add your hospital’s logo, a few photos, some event information and expect your fans to do the rest. Your hospital needs to engage patients effectively in order for your page to have the most success.

If you are new to Facebook, you may want to start by picking three or four of the ideas below and implement others as you become familiar with your fans and what engages them the most. Read more

Avoid Facebook Failure: Three Questions To Ask Before You Start a Facebook Page

Social media is definitely grabbing the attention of hospital CEOs. We can tell because of the number of marketing directors who are telling us “My CEO wants a Facebook page. Can you set one up?”

Response: Deep cleansing breath.

Although I’m glad that Facebook and other social media tools are getting the attention they deserve, simply launching a Facebook page to have a Facebook page is a big, big mistake. Read more

Unvarnished: What Healthcare Social Media Can Learn From Trolls

If you’ve spent much time online, you’ve probably encountered a troll–a person who uses an anonymous identity and seems to get pleasure from being obnoxious.

Their comments are highly inflammatory, written to provoke and are downright mean-spirited. Many studies indicate that the ability to hide their identity contributes to lack of civility in their comments. In Dan’s recent blogpost about responding to negative comments, he encourages hospitals to build a registration mechanism to avoid such trolls.  They are raw, unchecked and unvarnished. So what can we possibly learn from such nasty creatures? The power of anonymity. Read more