The Power of Blogging at Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Residency

I’m sitting in a room with 60 Social Media Residency students at the Mayo Clinic entering blog posts as part of our residency homework.

Yesterday I spoke to the group about social media strategy, and, although my friend Chris Boyer says I sound a lot like beloved Chicago baseball announcer Harry Caray (still trying to figure out whether or not that’s a compliment), it went well. Along with Reed Smith, a handful of us are social media chiefs, providing some mentoring moments for the residents.

Thankful for the leadership of Lee Aase

The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media is a pioneer in health care social media, and I am grateful for the leadership of Lee Aase and his entire team who are working hard to model social media adoption with a constant focus on quality patient care. Read more

Is Social Media Reminding Your Communities To Dislike Hospitals?

flickr: krossbow

Okay, full disclosure. I don’t like hospitals. I appreciate the kind people who work in hospitals and the healing that transpires there, but I still would rather not visit one. I’m with Chris Boyer on that. Dan Hinmon blogged about a conversation he had with Boyer. According to Hinmon, Boyer admitted that due to his type 1 diabetes, “my whole life is actively trying to stay out of a hospital.”

I’m not sure about Boyer, but what bothers me the most about hospitals is the scary beeping equipment, masked people, the potential of needles having to be placed in a vein, and the hallways where I always seem to run into a person in scrubs pushing a patient down the hall on a stretcher. Read more

Likeability + Credibility Make Nurses Natural Bloggers

flickr: Mike Licht,

For years, one of our hospital clients asked us to write a patient-friendly article about their patient satisfaction reports so they could publish it in their community magazine.

Year after year, I searched the reports for a new angle so the article would not read like the prior year’s article. However, the truth was, except for the years when the hospital was undergoing construction or unveiling new construction, the reports were similar. Patients usually felt they waited too long in emergency rooms, the food could always be better and the doctors were good, but the nursing staff was great.

When the nursing care was perceived as good, patients were happy and their satisfaction survey reflected that. When they perceived the nursing care as not good, overall satisfaction scores suffered. The most common types of comments on those satisfaction surveys…you guessed it…gushing about nurses. Patients love them. Patients even remembered the names of their nurses when they wrote about them in their survey comments. Read more

Open Access: A Budget-Friendly Tactic to Build Hospital Social Media Content and Credibility

New health-related research can stir up a frenzy of interest on social media platforms (think of how recently antioxidants or probiotics entered the general public’s vocabulary). When a new finding is reported, social media platforms buzz and hospitals often field calls from reporters seeking physician experts to comment on the latest findings.

Although there are many attributes of social media, one drawback is the difficulty in assessing the credibility of health information due, in part, to the vast amount available on the web.

The public is hungry for credible sources of health information. Using Open Access resources is a cost-effective way to locate new health-related information and use it to engage communities and build your hospital’s reputation as a credible go-to social media source.  Read more

A Lesson From My Social Media Sabbatical: Extend the Lifespan of Your Blog Posts


Last month, I took a “social media sabbatical” for nearly the entire month. I was defending my dissertation and needed the extra time to finish the written document and study for the defense with no distractions.

It was when I was absent from social media conversations that I learned an important lesson. The old adage “content is king” is still valid.

A few weeks before I “went dark,” I wrote a blog post on Pinterest, a new social media curation tool. It turned out to be one of the most read posts I’ve ever written. Even now, 12 weeks later, I get a few requests for Pinterest invites from that post each week.  Here’s my take on why it was a success (but I’d loved to hear from some of you who read it to see if I’ve missed something). Consider applying these five concepts to your next hospital blog to help lengthen the lifespan of your post. Read more