Monthly Archives: October 2009

Social media examples in healthcare

Since moving to London and trying to get my life back again upright, I’ve fallen rather far behind in my blog postings. One such example of my delayed work is this list of social media use in healthcare, which I’ve been meaning to post for about a month. Sigh.

In gathering articles for a daily newsletter that I created, Media Monitoring, sent to 3,600+ subscribers, I came across many links and examples of Premier member and non-member hospitals and other health organizations implementing social media in interesting ways.

We’re now all familiar with tweeted surgeries, as pioneered by Henry Ford Health System. This new use of Twitter provided information to medical students, clinicians, and even the general public as we were, for the first time, allowed into the [virtual] OR to witness the first incision. There are plenty of other examples of how this new method of communication is connecting us and removing hurdles within the disparate world of healthcare. One needs to look no further than a quick scan of say, The New York Times’ health section or a healthcare media expert’s blog for new stories; there are plenty of ’em.

The list I’ve quickly put together is not intended to be comprehensive by any stretch of the means. Rather, its purpose is to highlight a few different concepts of use and mentions in trade publications. Another piece worthy of consideration in the list, I believe, is to¬† note the development and frequency of social media use. As it is in chronological order from November 2008 through mid-September, it’s easy to see the increasing mentions and interest in Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube as they relate to healthcare.

I believe social media in healthcare is not a fleeting trend; it’s here to stay. Obviously, we may alter today’s tools used in lieu of the next shiny object, but the fact remains that engagement, interaction and connection are all necessary to improving the health of our communities.

What do you think? What are some of your favorite uses of social media in healthcare?

As a p.s. to this post…Upon looking for Henry Ford’s Twitter link, I found another cool and October-appropriate example that they’ve created. It’s Pinky Swear, a Facebook app that lets users send “mammography reminders to friends, along with information about how to set up an appointment.” Cool-o.