How to Develop a Thriving Facebook Patient Community

Yesterday I presented How to Develop a Thriving Facebook Community to an enthusiastic group at the Healthcare Communicators of Oregon fall conference. 

KJ McAllister, HCO president, and her board organized a strong lineup, including a panel of Portland-area media all stars from Portland Busines Journal, the Columbian, and NPR; Mayo Clinic Director of Social and Digitial Innovation Lee Aase; Cambia Health Solutions’ Rachel Peters; and Dr. Vinay Prasad, a researcher from OHSU. 

This presentation covers the different kinds of Facebook groups, explains the benefits of online patient communities, and takes you through 7 steps to make sure your community is successful. 



It’s social media week at #MayoClinic

I’m thrilled to be in Rochester, Minn., attending social media week at Mayo Clinic. It’s my third year attending the week and I always enjoy learning a ton and reconnecting with some good friends I’ve developed as a member of the Social Media Health Network.

Tomorrow Mayo hosts a one-day social media residency that provides an immersion in everything from legal issues to strategy to Twitter to video to blogging. I’ll present a session on Facebook and play a role as chief resident, mentoring a handful of social media residents. I always learn a lot from these students. 

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Mayo partners with Ragan Communications to host the 6th Annual Health Care Social Media Summit.

And Thursday afternoon and evening we hold an annual meeting for members of the Social Media Health Network. I’m honored to present to that group “Tactics and Tools to Begin, Build and Sustain Online Patient Communities.”

If you’re not a member of the Social Media Health Network, I recommend it to you. Here is some excellent information on the costs and benefits. One thing you can do right now is start following the network’s Twitter account. Great stuff! 

After evaluating 800 U.S. hospitals, NurseJournal earlier this month named Mayo Clinic the most social media-friendly hospital in the U.S.

It’s a well-deserved recognition. Lee Aase, the director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, has been championing social media for several years and has been a key voice helping hospitals adopt best practices.

I’m so grateful for the work Lee has done. Social media, at its best, connects healthcare with patients and their families in ways that simply weren’t possible just five years ago. We’re all better off for it. 

What Makes a Successful Hospital Facebook Page?

By one measure, Adam Lee runs one of the most successful hospital Facebook pages in the U.S., and he does it in just two to four hours a week.

Adam is social media coordinator for Adventist Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, and the measure is engagement. The Facebook page he manages consistently ranks in the top 5% of U.S. hospitals for engagement, according to the Ubicare EQ chart. (We’ve written before about Ubicare here and here.)

In a recent interview, Adam shared some important insights into how to build engagement. Some of his comments are edited for brevity. (You can follow Adam on Twitter at @AdamLeeDesign.)  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

Flash Points and the Compounding Effect of Social Media for Healthcare

flickr: Sean MacEntee

My daughter is preparing to leave for college, and these last two weeks have been filled with goodbyes as her friends scatter across the country to attend various colleges.

Last week, one of her friends who had already headed off to college posted a Facebook photo of herself hooked up to an IV in the hospital, with the caption, “My first IV.” My daughter quickly texted her friend to find out the complete story and shared the story with me (and I’m glad to report it was only an allergic reaction and she’s fine). Read more