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Why Social Media in Healthcare?

Phil Baumann (@PhilBaumann) who can also be found at @HealthIsSocial had a great blog post this morning titled “A Note to Readers” in it he posits that

“…. it’s the emerging ideologies concerning Healthcare and Social Media that are giving me pause.

Why? Because I feel that we’re not taking enough alone-time to step back and critically think about what all this technology deeply means.”

Phil brings up some great points in this posts and one of the responses via Twitter was from Dr Howard J Luks (@hjluks) who reminded us of his recent posts “Social Media and Healthcare – Where are We?” and “Better…(and Time to Move Forward)” that refer to the circular nature of discussion that can occur in the Health Social Media space and include some great comments like this from Andrew Spong (@AndrewSpong)

Welcome to the summit of Mount Frustration. We puff and wheeze to get to the top, only to find that everyone is either still following along behind us, or has already begun their descent into the Land of Possibility that lies beyond”

I think this discussion is especially interesting with the Annual HIMSS Conference kicking-off in Orlando this week-end and with the huge focus that HIMSS (@HIMSS) is placing on Social Media with the Social Media Center on the exhibitor floor this year and at least 12 dedicated Social Media Focused sessions. Not to mention the increased number of vendors that have joined on the Social Media band-wagon.  I hope they are here to stay and that they join in & help to evolve the discussion…

In my opinion the way we do business is changing.  Social Media is a key part of the change.  We are headed back to an era where relationships matter and where trust is key.  The difference is that now when we look for information the first place we go might be Google or Bing (for me its Twitter). As both engines license Twitter data, social search is going to become more important.  If there’s a greater understanding of Social Media, how to engage and what kind of information to share, it should drive increased innovation simply because awareness will be heightened.  As there is increased innovation leveraging traditional IT platforms, health IT costs should decrease, hopefully freeing up funding for further innovation. Social Media can help drive this awareness.

So while the conversation may be circular in nature at times, it’s because we are evolving and learning from those that already understand and are willing to share their knowledge.  Knowledge that can lead to innovation that can benefit us all. Remembering of course how Nick Dawson ( @NickDawson) finishes the weekly #HCSM (@HealthSocMed ) Twitter chats “We are all Patients” and we are social creatures!

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11 thoughts on “Why Social Media in Healthcare?

  1. Pingback: 4 Benefits & 4 Drawbacks to Social Media in Healthcare | Healthcare IT Solutions

  2. DrV

    I’d like to see the ‘emerging ideologies’ delineated. This isn’t entirely clear to me. But the topic is nonetheless gripping.

  3. Varadh

    Great Post. I am passionate about “patient education” That can bring in the needed revolution on “patient compliance” leading to better healthcare. Let the tribe of Dr. Howard Luks grow. In my opinion, thats a sure way to bring Social Media to patients correctly. I already used his post on “second opinions” in my blog post and referred it to few patients. When a patient needs something with clarity in a short-time to make “shared decisions” Social Media can help a lot and looks set to go all the way. We need to make it happen.

  4. Leonard

    Hey guys,

    Great post. I think we need to get down to quantifying results with social media, and maybe that will get us away from these circular conversations. The bottom line is that social media has broad ability to save time, money and lives on a massive scale that (of course) hasn’t even begun to trickle into health care for the same old reasons IT has taken so long: cost shifting, few incentives to improve, our data is our asset, etc.

    I wrote about this (not in terms of health care, but I’ll get there) in a new blog I started this week. Love to have your input if you have a minute on where to take it next.
    http://ideasarecheap.posterous.com/43202887

    Thanks! Leonard

  5. Howard Luks

    Lisa…
    Phil’s post this morning really echoed with me too. Over the last few months I have posts which share many similarities to Phil’s. I always thought mine were coming from deep within my surgeon’s personality (maybe Phil wld be a gr8 surgeon too :-)!) But as you can see on the comment stream that followed my posts I am always reminded that new folks are joining in everyday and — I continue to learn from the followers I keep.

    Lastly… I do agree with Phil… there are potholes everywhere… some of which seem to lead into limitless echo chambers. As long as there are others who are breaking free from the confines of the chamber and putting their new knowledge base to *good* work I don’t mind visiting the echo chamber every now and then to help those who just joined on… or to assist those who are trying to break free as part of the normal evolutionary cycle that new technologies always bring.

    Thanks for the post!

  6. Liza Sisler Post author

    Thanks so much for the comment Phil – I learn so much every day from the healthcare community on Twitter and enjoy the diversity of backgrounds of the participants. It’s interesting to watch how the community is evolving and the perceived goals of different participants. How some come & go, and some endure. That said your post really resonated with me (as many of them do) and I think you have a number of very good points.

  7. Pingback: Tweets that mention Why Social Media in Healthcare? | Healthcare IT Solutions -- Topsy.com

  8. Phil Baumann

    Hi Lisa

    Well-put, and a important view of the evolution of all this stuff.

    We are all learning, but we also need to be careful of falling into meme-traps, and that’s my main concern.

    Kudos!

    Phil

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