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

Step #4 Understand the Rules for a HIPAA-Compliant Social Media Strategy

This blog is part four of an eight-part series on launching your hospital’s social media strategy.

You’ve completed Steps 1, 2 and 3 of launching your hospital’s social media strategy. Now it’s important that you have a clear understanding of what you need to do to avoid HIPAA violations.

Some hospitals are allowing HIPAA anxiety to keep them from embracing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. LinkedIn, Foursquare and blogging. But there are now more than 900 U.S. hospitals engaging patients through these social media. And there is solid information to keep you on firm ground, if you follow these nine no-nonsense rules. Thanks to David Harlow, a healthcare law and consulting attorney, for many of these ideas.  Read more