I [recently] participated in an interview for an upcoming publication. As the interview wound down, the dialog downshifted into small talk that included, among other things, hospital blogs.
The interviewer (who had recently been exploring the blogging community) asked me what I thought about Thrive’s (Boston Children’s Hospital blog) recent birthday nod to Seattle Mama Doc (Seattle Children’s Hospital blog). More specifically, did I think it was unusual that one children’s hospital would congratulate a competing institution on its one-year anniversary?
I thought the question was odd but it got me thinking: Do children’s hospitals compete in the social space? I don’t think so. They shouldn’t. And if they were competing, what would they be competing for?
Children’s hospitals are inherently regional. Parents of the northwest see Seattle Children’s as the end of the earth. In the northeast, Boston Children’s is the bee’s knees. And while specialty service lines like congenital heart surgery may draw patients from around the world, most kids come from their corner of the world.
Then there’s the broader question about the point of a blog for a children’s hospital. Is it a marketing gimmick or does it serve a higher function? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*
Wendy Sue Swanson, MD
Most physicians still don’t see the need to blog, Tweet, or spend time on Facebook. They groan when you ask if they participate on social media platforms. “I’m too busy seeing patients,” they say, “and why would I expose myself to legal risk? Someone might think that I’m giving medical advice, or disclosing personal information about patients online.”
While these fears are pervasive, early adopters of social media like Dr. Wendy Swanson (and yours truly, by the way) have a different view. Not only should physicians become active in social media, but they have an ethical responsibility to do so.
Wendy is a pediatrician, mother, and blogger at Seattle Children’s Hospital. My friend “ePatient Dave” deBronkart recently encouraged me to watch an excellent video of Wendy speaking at the Swedish Symposium 2010 conference. I’d like to summarize Wendy’s pro-social media arguments for you here, with the hope of luring more of my peers to join the conversation online! Read more »
A social media manager is becoming an imperative position for hospitals.
Medical institutions are waking up to the fact that they need to engage their patients and physicians online. Nowhere is there more fertile growth than in the various social media platforms that are prevalent today — like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
American Medical News recently profiled the phenomenon, highlighting the position of social media manager, which some institutions pay between $60,000 and $80,000 per year.
As it stands, many hospitals are tiptoeing into the world of social networks, guided by the able hands of select online mavens like Mayo Clinic’s Lee Aase and Swedish Medical Center’s Dana Lewis. However, convincing executives of the return on investment remains a challenge. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*