The Aruba Chronicles: Best Practices in Health Care Social Media

ArubaSmThis week I’m in Aruba presenting to physicians, certified nurse midwives and nurse practitioners at the Symposia Medicus 17th Annual Conference on Clinical Issues in OB/GYN.

Thanks to a great client, Lisa Miller, CNM, JD, and Jim Goodrich, executive director of Symposia Medicus, for helping to make this happen. And thanks to the 140 providers who will attend the conference who have motivated me to sharpen my thinking as I’ve developed presentations on the critical role social media can play for OB/GYN health care professionals.

I have long felt that expecting and new moms comprise one of the most natural of all healthcare communities, and this conference is a perfect time to help these providers understand the amazing opportunities available to them. 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

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

Why We Love Celebrities with Diseases

flickr: lifescrip

According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes. So why is it such big news that Paula Deen, Food Network’s Queen of Southern Cooking, may have it to? I was listening to a business news channel today when they reported the rumor–business news, not entertainment news.

A report in The Daily on January 13 credits the National Enquirer with breaking the story back in May. reported a spike in Paula Deen hashtags around 5 pm on Saturday, January 14, and the Twitterverse has remained active since.

CBS news followed up with a story on January 13 that explored the rumors that not only did Deen have the disease, but she also inked an endorsement deal with Novartis. Not so according to the article. (And as of this post’s writing, Novartis hasn’t tweeted a response to the rumor or addressed it on their website. In fact, they haven’t tweeted since the story broke on January 13.) Read more

Interest in Pinterest? How Hospitals Can Use the Newest Social Media Tool

Recently I took advantage of an invitation that had been sitting in my inbox for a few weeks and joined the new visual social network Pinterest. If you haven’t heard about it yet, Mashable writer Stephanie Buck called it “one of the hottest new social networks on the radar for a few months now” in her article Pinterest: 13 Tips and Tricks for Cutting Edge Users. Pinterest describes itself as “a virtual pinboard.”

Its website explains that it “lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.”

As with any new social media tool in its initial offering … I see a lot of possibilities for healthcare communication…and some areas where I’d like to see improvement. Read more