Hello. I’m back! Have been busy with other priorities, but wanted to share a link to a guest blog post I did about the great things that acre coming in health care social media (#hcsm). Please take five or 10 minutes to read this list I did for the new List My Social Media blog. Meantime, I continue to share via @MikeBoehmer57 on Twitter. All the best to you!
As 2012 draws to a close, I ponder what to do with this blog. For the first several years, I posted most Saturday mornings. This gave me the opportunity to share what I had learned about social media, public relations and digital strategy. And it presented me with first-hand experience as a blogger.
But, as personal and professional demands encroached on my precious time, this blog moved down the priority list. At times, I thought about just deleting it. I felt bad about not following my own advice of posting once a week. I really did.
But, then, I noticed that people were reading some of my old posts. Hopefully, they found them helpful.
So I’ve decided to just keep this here and post when I get a few minutes.
As 2013 starts, I’m really looking forward to implementing some of the concepts in books such as Smart Business, Social Business: A Playbook for Social Media in Your Organization by Michael Brito. My goal is to extend the efforts of a multi-disciplinary Social Media Task Force I had the fortune of leading at Catholic Health Partners. The task force went through an extensive process to revise and implement CHP’s social media policy. We’ve been working on many internal education efforts such as an I-Learn course, webinars, training videos, a social media toolkit that will help with presentations… Lots on our plates, for sure. I’m also planning to teach myself how to do more with online video shot from an iPhone. Should be interesting!
In 2012, I learned a great deal through the Social Media Health Network, led by Mayo Clinic. In Cincinnati, there seemed to be less offered, as New Media Cincinnati went defunct, and Cincinnati Social Media didn’t offer quite as many events. (People are busy with their day jobs!) However, Boot Camp Digital has stepped up and offered some great in-person and online sessions. And Cincinnati PRSA is always great.
Long story short, time permitting, I will periodically share what I’ve learned at work and through my attendance at workshops, meetups and conferences as well as the many books I’m always reading. Thanks for visiting my blog. It’s a pleasure to connect with you here!
During an excellent session at the recent Health Care Social Media Summit called Health care reform meets social media: Cultivating online communities to prevent and manage illness, Dan Hinmon of Hive Strategies and Willamette Valley Medical Center walked us through the challenges and opportunities at this juncture in our history.
It’s definitely an interesting time, as Hinmon pointed out:
* Healthcare profits are dropping, as costs are increasing. Medicare and Medicaid payments are below actual cost.
* Financial pressures are increasing, with people with insurance unable to pay high deductibles.
* Collaboration and wellness are among solutions to address the challenges.
* Payment models are changing from fee-for-service to global payments. It’s all about working better with communities.
Here’s where the opportunity comes: Patient education is important… delivering good information to help people make good decisions improve their health behavior, bringing together groups of patients for better care. The focus shifts to the health and wellness of the community over stealing patients from competitors. The goal is to keep people out of the hospital. Health care is no longer episodic; it’s something you think about every day. Price is the driver.
What skills are needed in this new environment? (1) Strategist, (2) Content, largely educational, (3) Community building, (4) Managing online patient communities.
Hinmon pointed to Diabetic Connect as an example of an online patient community geared to chronic disease management. He cited FeverBee as an excellent resource for those starting and managing online communities. He mentioned Wellaho, a community where patients and health systems pay to manage health conditions.
Yes, these are times of big challenges — and major opportunities!
As the husband of a metastatic breast cancer thriver, I jumped at the opportunity to attend a breakout session at the Health Care Social Media Summit called Online social networks: A benefit to patients, physicians. The panel, moderated by Dr. Farris Timimi of Mayo Clinic, included speakers from Inspire, CaringBridge and EmpowHER. All three have helped my wife at various points in her cancer journey.
Efforts such as these give me a passion to push ahead with health care social media. To me, patient communities comprise the heart of the health care social media revolution. Our family has benefited first-hand from the honest, heart-felt sharing of these online groups. We have been empowered with information to help physicians come up with better treatment options. We have heard from women from around the globe with the exact type of cancer who received the precise course of treatment. We have learned about their challenges with aspects such as insurance coverage… and how they overcame them.
So it was awesome for me to shake the hand of Brian Loew, CEO of Inspire, which has been particularly helpful lately. Lowe shared during the session about how patients create an enormous amount of value by sharing in this strong, safe platform. He spoke about how they are connecting to improve health. (By the way, it was interesting to note that Inspire moderates its forums to prevent craziness. Inspire bans 1 in 5,000.) He noted that Inspire does not replace the role of the doctor, a concern of some when it launched. I found it encouraging when an open-minded physician in the audience said that doctors could learn about new treatments outside of established guidelines by listening to what’s said in patient communities.
Meanwhile, Sonya Mehring, founder of CaringBridge, said she thinks doctors should direct patients and caregivers to resources such as CaringBridge. Mehring pointed out that 70 percent of the content is created by caregivers. She founded CaringBridge back in 1997 and has seen it become such an important hub of communication for families and friends as the Internet has evolved. In fact, soon mobile will surpass traditional web traffic.
A representative from EmpoweHER (sorry I missed her name) noted that nine of 10 women seek health information online. It’s important to ensure they find good information.
After chatting briefly with Loew, I bumped into Dr. Timimi. He said the discussion points to tremendous opportunity for healthcare providers — one that affects the bottom line, with metrics such as patient satisfaction and quality playing an increasingly big role in funding. He added that online communities can contribute to clinical efficiency, as educated patients come better prepared for conversations with physicians. And patient communities offer great potential for research, he noted. He encouraged me to identify and encourage early adopters in the medical community to embrace social media. I plan to do just that!
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