Panelists, From Left: David Kibbe, John Sharp, John Marzano
I attended the “Meet the Bloggers–Provider Edition” session yesterday at HIMSS 2011 where the goal was to understand the experiences of providers with social media. Rich Elmore (@richelmore and @allscripts), VP of Strategic Initiatives at Allscripts moderated the panel. His blog is Healthcare Technology News.
The panelists included David Kibbe, Senior Advisor at the American Academy of Family Physicians
(The Health Care Blog, Kaiser Health News), John Sharp, Manager, Research Informatics, Cleveland Clinic (@johnsharp, @clevelandclinic, Facebook), and John Marzano, VP and Chief Communications Officer of Orlando Health (Facebook, YouTube).
Here are my notes from the session. While these are not direct verbatim quotes from these experts, I think you will find their insights valuable:
Rich Elmore: How did you get started in social media?
David Kibbe: We started by meeting a desire providers had to find another family physician like him or her who had had success using EHR
Primarily used a list-serv via email, and meetings, phone, traditional communications, but the listserv went from 38 doctors to 1200 physicians in 1 year, creating thousands of conversations around EMR each month
John Sharp: Waded into social media over time. Initially independent efforts initially – a physician here, a nurse there, and a few people in IT, doing sort of unofficial things. Our Chief Marketing Officer really saw that this was going to take off. In Feb 2009, he developed a strategy with both public and corporate communication and marketing people and then bbrought in people like myself who were already actie in social media to develop a social media committee – work group – and a social media policy.
Approached doing a top down approach, because until that time had been a bottom up. CMO presented a strategy to the board of directors. Because we’re a healthcare organization trying to have a national presence, he made the case that this would help our national efforts as well. It is worth doing, he proved we could put the safety controls in place. Facebook presence, Twitter for physician chats, and a big emphasis on wellness, which is core to our organization.
John Marzano: Local economy was one of the main triggers for us. Florida was hit harder than a lot of areas of the country. Our local news media was disappearing. Reporters were getting laid off. There wasn’t a good resource there to pitch stories to. What are some other tactical options we can use to get our story out and tell our story.
We began to look at Facebook & YouTube because of the use of video. Our news team then became news producers instead of news producers. They began spinning our story the way we wanted to without having to pitch something in a controversial angle just to get the news coverage. I was blessed to have one of two twenty-somethings on our team.
We don’t look at this as the be-all and the end-all. It’s just another tacitc that we utilize as part of telling our story. We’re blessed at Orlando Health for having some great brands within a brand. To be able to effectively tell our story has been very advantageous for us. We’re just short of 9,000 fans on Facebook. Close to 59,000 hits on our YouTube site.
Rich Elmore: From a provider perspective, are you seeing much patient response?
John Marzano: The biggest hits we get on our YouTube site are prospective patients trying to get an idea of what the facilities are like. You can really show the facilities and really tell our story in less than 4 minutes. These are beautiful videos – this is our most popular type of video. It’s another way to communicate and interact with patients – people who want to learn about your services.
David Kibbe: About 25% of our members now use web portals in their services. With stage 1 and particularly stage 2 meaningful use in the next 5 years, this will grow significantly. What are the safety controls you’ve put in place?
John Sharp: Good social media policy should be in place. Also, limited or controled number of people who have access to the corporate accounts who know the party line and help stick to the party line. Complaints about their billing office, but they say you just have to respond.
Rich: What role will participatory health play in social media?
David Kibbe: That’s a huge question. As one of the co-founders of the participatory medicine movement. Participatory medicine is more than any particular kind of social media. It’s about real exchange between providers and patients and betweem patients and family members in a way that is real and meaninful. It is something that can be enabled by health information technology, but HIT and social media technology in and of itself is not sufficient to make it happen.
John Sharp: EMR and EHR have not yet converged with social media. I think this will happen i nthe net couple of years, nad I can envision a time when through your EHR you can actually be connected with others of the same disease or condition by decision – you have to choose to connect – a Twitter feed or similar. This is particulalr y in high demand in diabetes.
In rare diseases, we often see a lot of people interacting via Google groups and blogs. Our patient education people were very active in socail media. They connected with these communitieis and actually organized a meet-up at our hostpicatl. Patient meetups around a specific condition is a real opportunity in the future.
John Marzano: People fear coming to the hospital. It’s not always a desirable place to go. If we engage them in their home, it’s going to create a more synergistic relationship before the experience or utilization occurs.