Posts Tagged ‘Social Networking’

Social Media in Healthcare Quality

November 1, 2013

Today I presented at the Texas Gulf Coast Association for Healthcare Quality on social media in healthcare. Slides are posted on my Slideshare. The video, Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care is below

Quality professionals in healthcare including risk management and patient safety are relatively new to social media. They have some realistic concerns about HIPAA and sharing proprietary information on safety issues.  However, they are receptive to learning and sharing best practices. But where to start?

I think there is real potential for healthcare quality professionals to share best practices on social media and begin to develop communities around issues like patient safety, risk management, and patient satisfaction.

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Book Review – Connected: The Surprising Power of Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

February 15, 2012

Connected

A colleague loaned me this bookrecently and I found it an easy read with some good concepts. Surprisingly, it is not just about online connectedness but broader concepts of connectedness in life including everything from bucket brigades to sexually transmitted diseases. The theory includes key terms, such as, contagion, connection, homophilia (the tendency to associate with people who resemble ourselves).  The contagion concept is particularly significant as it relates to health because of recent research showing that obesity is “contagious” in the sense that if your friends are obese, you are likely to be.  It made me think of the app ShapeUpandGo and other wellness apps that encourage the use of teams and competitions/games to encourage connectedness on  the path to wellness.

One of the more engaging chapters is on being Hyperconnected with a major example from World of Warcraft and how new features of the game had unexpected consequences that soon careened out of control. This is the unpredictability of the online world were rules are yet to written.

In addition to the book, the website has the usually videos and links to reviews but also a book club guide and a section called Touchgraph which includes some of the network diagrams which are in the book and slide sets relating concepts presented in the book.

The book reminds me of Clay Shirky’s work, Here Comes Everybody and The Wealth of Networks although not in the depth of that work.

In healthcare, we do need to understand how connectedness affects health. The book only covers this with a few of the many case studies. Perhaps another author will take up the task of expanding on this concept and suggest how connectedness can promote health and prevent or delay disease. Also, the concept of connectedness through social media needs more study in terms of how it can impact copying with chronic and live threatening disease. The connectedness of healthcare providers can have a significant impact on promoting best practices, patient safety and research. More on this in future posts.

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Interview on Social Media

January 5, 2010

My interview by Hope Leman on the Significant Science blog just today was rediscovered on Twitter resulting in significant activity. The interview, titled ”Maneuvering Medical Institutions Through the Wild Waters of Social Media” and covered the range of activities in social media at the Cleveland Clinic. This interview emerged from my presentation at Medicine 2.0 “Hospital Adoption of Medicine 2.0: A Culture Change.”

While social media strategy continue to evolve, new opportunities present themselves. Particularly significant shifts are toward participatory medicine and e-patients. As noted previously, I will continue to post about participatory research and the lethal lag time in research which may only change from patient-initiated advocacy.

Thanks again to all who have read the interview and follow this blog and my twitter posts.

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Managing an Online Reputation

February 25, 2009

Bertalan Meskó of Webicina.com has long recommended building an online reputation. It is worth evaluating one’s online reputation from time to time. Recently I discovered a few more places worthy of note:

There are probably others I am not recalling right now but I will continue to build on this foundation. I encourage others to assess their online reputation or get help with it from someone like Bertalan.

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The State of Physician Social Networks

February 9, 2009

In a new report from Manhattan Research discusses the adoption of social networks by physicians. Clearly there is growth in the number of these networks available which potentially dilutes their impact. The survey showed about 60% of physicians were interested in social networks and 40% not. Sermo and Medscape Physician Connect have 100,000 each but it is unclear how many of these are duplicates or active users. With any social network, the effectiveness can be measured by the activity rather than shear numbers of members.
Participating members were more likely to be:

  • primary care physicians;
  • female;
  • Own a PDA or smartphone;
  • Go online during or between patient consultations; and
  • slightly younger than the average physician.

To me, the most unique finding is that the participation of female physicians. I haven’t heard any previous report focusing on female physician participation on social networks. This topic is worth more research.

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Twitter for Healthcare

January 18, 2009

Phil Baumann has posted 140 uses of Twitter for healthcare. He does preface the list with challenges including privacy and the oath to do no harm. Yet his main point is the true potential for innovation using microblogging in healthcare.
It reminded me that my hospital has used text paging actively for years through the phone directory lookup, anyone can send a text page. But with the growing pervalence of smart phones, email and twitter are becoming more prevalent.

Two-way paging never caught on. The transition to smart phones has mostly meant a greater dependence on email. How to make the shift to Twitter’s possibilities in an organization that blocks YouTube and Facebook? As with blogs, the innovation will need to be outside of the official channels with individuals as champions on new technology by demonstrating its usefulness.

Perhaps I’m as optimistic as Phil. The outcome remains to be seen.

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Hospital Social Networking

January 8, 2009

Ed Bennett of the University of Maryland has put together a very comprehensive list of social networking sites hosted by hospitals including their use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  YouTube looks like the most common but many are moving forward with Twitter. Some have clearer strategies with Twitter and other Web 2.0 tools than others. Most are using Twitter for health advice, others as an abbreviated version of press releases. It remains to be seen where this will go in the future – how it might be used in emergency communication (MD Anderson during the hurricane) or employee communication.

Once hospitals begin to really exploit smart phones, the possibilities are endless except for the limitation of paying attention to patients first.

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Social Media Works

October 23, 2008

In a posting on WebScope, Marc Needham reports on “Whys Social Media Works.” Examples include companies monitoring Twitter to respond to customer complaints, companies like Scripps creating Facebook identities, others using YouTube for “Human Resources promotional material to physician interviews.” He sees the future as pursuing social media optimization and syndication opportunities rather than search engine optimization.

All organizations including health care organizations, need to join the social networking and Web 2.0 awareness and exploit these communication tools.

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Beyond Health 2.0 Hype – How Clinicians Find Value

October 10, 2008

There are many Web 2.0 applications but a few which can benefit physicians directly are:

  1. RSS feeds from their favorite medical journals or news sources. The ability to scan many article titles quickly for those of interest can help them sort through medical information overload. Using an RSS feed from a Medline search is another way to bring in the latest publications on specific topics of interest.
  2. Social networking among physicians. Within3.com has the best product, I think. They have a private network with private or public groups which allow discussion and profiles for physicians and other healthcare professionals using real names instead of screen names. And they don’t sell their information. Can be used for case consultation or to get introduced to other physicians who may help with a difficult diagnosis or treatment.
  3. Google Maps and other mashups. Can be specifically to map disease outbreaks.

This are just a few places clinicians can start. More to follow.

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Social Networking for Research

September 11, 2008

Clinical or basic research can both benefit from social networking. Especially in clinical research when multicenter studies are being managed throughout the country or internationally, social networking tools have the potential to enhance communication in a closed environment. Harvard has launched Catalyst which has several helpful features including publications from PubMed.

A more advanced tool is Within3.com which provides several different customizable modules which can be used to develop any physician or research group but because it takes place in the context of a closed network, the site can be a gathering place for clinical trial coordination. Moving beyond fax, email and even conference calls, new Web 2.0 communication tools can enhance the collaborative work of clinical trials and other clinical research across the street or the ocean. My prediction is that social networking and other Web 2.0 tools will become best practices in clinical research collaboration.

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