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Steering the Social Media Health Care Ship full-speed ahead


Lee Aase, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, and Dr. Farris Timimi, the center’s medical director, give the opening keynote at the 2012 Health Care Social Media Summit.

Lee Aase, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, said in the opening keynote at the Health Care Social Media Summit that he has learned to use analogies to help build support. For example, he tells people that social media is the 21st Century’s version of word-of-mouth. Made me think of J.D. Bruewer, social media manager for St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima, Ohio, who calls social media the modern version of the coffee shop.

To me, the center that Aase leads is like a big ship breaking through ice jams in the Arctic Ocean of misunderstanding and fear about Health Care Social Media. I’m piloting one of the ships following in its wake.

Analogies aside, here are some random highlights gleaned from Aase’s talk:

* Education is the key to building your organization’s social media business strategy. The Social Media Health Network will be offering an online version of the residency it started last year. A Fellows program is being created with several levels — bronze, sliver and gold.

* Want to know how many hospitals in your state are on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube…? See the new Health Care Social Media List.

* Help the healthcare world better understand what systems block (or don’t) access to social media by participating in the Health Care Social Media Survey. This will help inform a Network subcommittee working on an access white paper.

*Purchase Bringing the Social Media #Revolution to Healthcare on Amazon. Many of the participants in the Summit contributed to the book.

Yammer is a good tool for internal social media. Mayo used the unpaid version before getting the paid upgrade in February 2012. (I know this jumped out from nowhere. Random list, as I said!)

Dr. Timimi, meanwhile, spoke of the opportunity for using social media to help hospitals and health systems meet quality metrics. There is great potential for identifying problems and solutions and diffusing best practices through social media. By the way, Dabo Health has developed a free tool that allows you to see how your hospital is performing on CMS quality metrics. (There is a paid version for more advanced work.)

Glad to be a part of the fleet that’s in the midst of an incredible journey, one that ultimately will contribute to improved care for us all!





  1. November 9, 2012 at 2:27 am

    I had attended the 2012 Healthcare Social Media Summit and I must it was one amazing learning experience. I got to learn so much and meet such talented people.

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