@GetSocialHealth podcast explores the benefits of online patient communities

Janet Kennedy is an enthusiastic champion of healthcare social media.

She hosts the Get Social Health podcast each week to inspire hospitals, medical practices, healthcare practitioners and patients connect and engage via social media.

I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by Janet for today’s podcast. She is an engaging host with an inquisitive mind — and great voice to match. Here’s the link to the podcast and some of the questions I answer.


  • How do you gauge success in an online community?
  • What do we mean by return on community?
  • What are the main benefits of starting an online patient community?
  • Can online patient communities support population health?
  • What are the most important features inside a community?
  • How important is a community manager, and what skills are essential for good community management?
  • What are the most active types of patient communities?
  • What are the four steps to creating and maintaining a successful online community?
  • What is the CareHubs community platform?
  • How long should a hospital plan to support a patient community?
  • How should patient communities respond to trolls?
  • How do online communities help patient engagement?

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Twitter Training Wheels: Hospital Twitter Etiquette for Beginners, Part Two

flickr: Dottie Mae

Last week, I introduced beginners to some of the basic Twitter etiquette. Today, I’m taking that discussion even further.

What are hashtags and why should I use them?

A hashtag is the symbol “#.” It is used with words, short phrases, or abbreviations (ex: #hospitals, #giveback, #hcsm) in order to categorize Tweets and make their subjects easy to find.

If you click on a hashtag in a Tweet, Twitter will show you all the other Tweets featuring that hashtag. They’re a great way to focus searches and include your Tweets in conversations about specific subjects. You can see the plethora of hashtags in use at: Also, if you look on the right of your Twitter page, you’ll see a column called “Trends.” This column is constantly updated with hashtags most in use at the current time. Read more

Swedish to Hospitals: Surprising Insights Into HIPAA and Social Media

Dana Lewis is interactive marketing specialist at Swedish, a Seattle healthcare system, and the moderator of the #hcsm twitter chat each Sunday at 8 p.m. CT.

Swedish began implementing social media in 2009 and brought Dana onboard about a year ago. I wanted to know how Swedish approached one of the major barriers to many hospitals – fear of HIPAA violations – and Dana was kind enough to allow me to interview her.

She makes excellent points about HIPAA policy, training and keeping it all in perspective. Hint: Doctors are more likely to violate HIPAA on an elevator than in social media. And Dana offers some surprising advice to hospitals thinking of incorporating social media. (Some comments are edited for brevity.) Read more

100 Hospital Social Media Blog Posts: Our Favorites Revealed!

flickr: xsix

Today marks the 100th blog post for Hive Strategies. That’s pretty puny compared to Seth Godin, best-selling author and agent of change, who has published more than 3,000 blog posts.

But still, we’re feeling pretty good about it. Why? Because blogging is helping us fine-tune our thinking and share important, sometimes critical, information. We hope it is helping you as you work your way through the often overwhelming and confusing maze of hospital social media. Read more