A Personal Reflection on How Hospital Social Media Can Make Meaning from Death

My dad

Three weeks ago I returned from one of the most difficult periods of my life, and I haven’t been ready to blog about it until now.

My dad died after 23 days in intensive care as a result of complications from cancer surgery. He was 85, a former Chicago fireman, a devoted husband to his wife of 60 years, and an involved father in the lives of his seven children in an era when a father’s involvement in caregiving wasn’t the norm.

My family and I will miss him, especially my mom who now struggles with dementia and Parkinson’s, and deeply depended on my dad.  Read more

A Song of Understanding: The Music Video Explainer as a Hospital Social Media Tool

flickr: comedy_nose

I’m a child of the “Schoolhouse Rock” era.  Catchy music videos with words like, “conjunction junction, what’s your function? Hooking up words and phrases and clauses,” explained everything from grammar usage, multiplication tables, to how our system of government works.  The music videos made learning new concepts memorable and enjoyable.

This educational music video model is regaining popularity as one of the latest social media content tools.  The short, catchy music videos with an educational purpose are an emerging form of explainers. Sites like Explainer Music and Explainer.net highlight this new genre and provide models for new content. Read more

Does Facebook-in-the-News Matter to Healthcare Social Media?

In the same week, GM announced that it would stop advertising on Facebook (they spent $10 million last year), Facebook’s IPO made history at $38 per share (3rd largest in history), then made news again when the stock price began to drop. Then, to add to the already hyped-up hype, Mark Zuckerberg gets married.

It’s hard to avoid the Facebook news, and CEOs are paying attention. If you are in hospital marketing, you should be ready to discuss, and possibly defend, your Facebook engagement. Even if you do not spend advertising dollars with the social network, be ready to defend the staff time your department spends engaging with online communities through Facebook or other social network sources. Read more

Gatewatching: A Social Media Strategy for Hospitals

flickr: zoetnet

Most of you who have been considering social media use in your hospitals are likely aware that 80% of Internet users seek out health information online (Pew Research).

Before Internet dominance, the public only received information after it passed though the restrictive system of editorial boards. Editors and their boards served as gatekeepers of the news–deciding what was “news” and what wasn’t.

Today, the Internet offers greater access to information, and with greater access comes questions of credibility. The Internet has also created information overload. For example, a quick Google search of “cancer” gleaned 751,000,000 results. Read more