Perficient Healtchare Solutions Blog


Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Getting Scientific About Healthcare Social Media: Microblogs

hashtag3-ccIn this blog series, we are highlighting the social media categories presented in “Social Media: A Review and Tutorial of Applications in  Medicine and Health Care.”  This was a study conducted by the University of British Columbia, which offers an extensive digest of the vast uses of social in medicine and healthcare.  Today we’re going to talk about the emergence of Twitter as an important communication medium in this industry.

The study correctly titles Twitter as a “microblog.”  With microblogs, we take many of the same concepts found in my previous post about blogging, namely community and collaboration, and we widdle them down to 140 characters or less.  Twitter is that place where communities of people that are interested in a similar topic, be that interoperability or Oscar night, digest a lot of information quickly together.  I rely on Twitter heavily to keep me up to date on everything related to #hitsm (health it), #hcsm (healthcare social media), #mhealth (mobile health) and #connectedhealth (I’m sure you’ve got that one without need of assistance).

The study gets extra points for classifying three broad categories of tweeting styles:

  • Substantive Tweets: a tweet that is independently understandable (e.g.,  title of a paper or blog, a brief comment, and a link to the publication)
  • Conversational Tweets: fragments of a new or ongoing conversation that draw on professional or personal interests or comment on current events. (e.g., there is no greater example of this than the Twitter discussion at HIMSS (#HIMSS14)
  • Hybrid Tweets: substantive and conversational at the same time (e.g., “let’s discuss patient engagement tonight at Sidewinder Coffee”)

According to the study, there have been over 140 documented uses of Twitter.  I’ve not met the person that is actually documenting these uses, but some favorite examples include:

  • The Pennsylvania State College of Medicine has used Twitter to augment peer-to-peer and instructor-to-student learning by stimulating topic discussions, providing feedback on critical thinking, conducting course evaluations, disseminating writing prompts, soliciting class responses, and monitoring student progress.
  • A junior doctor and a medical student started a Twitter Journal Club that functions in the same manner as traditional journal clubs, except that the means for discussion is Twitter. By using a combination of blog posts, where the paper and discussion questions are posted in advance, along with the hashtag #TwitJC, students, doctors, and anyone interested in the subject can engage and interact in a meaningful way.
  • Live tweeting surgeries and medical procedures.  Henry Ford Medical Center was the first to live tweet a surgery back in 2009.  Swedish Medical Center in Seattle has used this tactic very successfully.  One notable example was an overnight tweet up they did on sleep disorders.  Those impacted by sleep problems were able to watch what happens during a sleep study.

As mentioned above, the use of Twitter at conferences is powerful. Not the least of these examples is taking place this week in Orlando at the HIMSS conference.  At these conferences, Twitter is used to enhance learning through real-time interaction.  See for yourself by following the #HIMSS14 thread.

HIMSS 2013: An Interview with John Lynn

Last week at the HIMSS 2013 show we spoke to John Lynn, Founder of Healthcare Scene blog network and Influential Networks. In the first video, John gives a description about the role of each website in the healthcare IT world. John also discussed the hot topics he has heard at HIMSS, including interoperability and the newly created CommonWell Health Alliance, as well as what he believe healthcare organizations should focus on in 2013. John, an active member of the Health IT Twitter world, shares his thoughts on the power of Social Media in healthcare.


Top Trends at HIMSS 2013:

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Recapping the #ePatient Tweet Up at HIMSS

This past week at the HIMSS Conference, Perficient was lucky enough to be able to host a Tweet Up on Patient Engagement. Our own Martin Sizemore emceed the event, which attracted several members of The Walking Gallery.

67303_10151772016988502_185703559_nAttendees of the Tweet Up discussed what patients are looking for in a portal, engaging patients who do not have internet access, and the roles of gamification and Meaningful Use in the ePatient movement. We also talked about the future of patient engagement and its impact on healthcare. At the Tweet Up we gave away a Nike Fuel band and a FitBit One to the top two crowd-voted Tweets. The participants of the Tweet Up were truly equipped, enabled, empowered and engaged.

We appreciate the many participants in the Tweet Up, both in person and virtually. To read a transcript of the #ePatient Tweet Up, click here.

Nike Fuel and Fitbit One Winners at HIMSS13

UPDATE: Congratulations to our winners, Jon Mertz and Sherry Reynolds!

Here are the winning Tweets:


The e-Patient movement is sure to be a hot topic at HIMSS this year. In fact, in addition to releasing a new Patient 360 white paper and hosting an #ePatient Tweet Up, we’re hoping to help a lucky two winners start tracking their health. Perficient will be giving away a Nike Fuel band and a Fitbit One in two contests.

Nike fitbitHow to win the Fitbit One: Send out a tweet that explains what patient engagement means to you. Be sure to mention @Perficient_HC and #HIMSS13. We will pick a winner by the close of the show – you do not need to be present to win.

How to win the Nike Fuel: Participate in Perficient’s #ePatient Tweet Up on Wednesday, March 6 at 11am CST. The best tweet, as determined by the organizers, will win the Nike Fuel. Again, you can participate remotely and still win.

Winners to both contests will be announced and contacted through Twitter.

Be sure to download the Patient 360: The Complete View of Patient Engagement to learn more about e-Patients and visit us on the HIMSS show floor in Booth 1555.

Get Social at HIMSS 2013

The #HIMSS and #HIMSS13 hashtags have been generating more and more buzz as we pass the two week mark before the show opens. The annual HIMSS conference is a very social event, and the long list of Tweet Ups and Tweet Chats reflects this. Here are a few of the social media events that Perficient will be participating in:


Monday, March 4, 2013:

Join some of the most influential women in health IT to discuss industry trends and effective communications strategies. The conversation will focus on the unique challenges and advantages for women in health IT, and best practices for integrating blogging and social media into your efforts. Hosted by Jennifer Dennard (@SmyrnaGirl), Melanie Hilliard (@MHCHIME) and Julie Moffitt (@HIEChick).

Don’t miss the SearchHealthIT and Health IT Exchange’s Tweet ‘n Meet at HIMSS13 at the W Hotel New Orleans’ Whiskey Blue bar. Hosted by TechTarget’s dedicated resource network and online community for health IT decision makers, and theHealth IT Exchange, the editorial team, contributors and Twitter followers will be on hand, ready to mingle. Hosted by Jenny Laurello (@jennylaurello @HITexchange).

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Top 5 Technology Trends in Healthcare – November 2012

The healthcare IT field is rapidly developing and changing. Emerging technology and updated regulations put pressure on healthcare providers and health plans to stay ahead of the curve. Perficient creates a monthly list that explores some of the current topics and issues in health IT. This list examines the most talked about issues and technologies that are currently affecting the industry.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics are able to help healthcare organizations manage clinical issues in a timely manner and analyze statistical data to identify potentially preventable conditions. Doing so can not only help organizations meet accountable care objectives, it is also able to reduce costs, waste and fraud. Providers are able to proactively provide better care, reduce costs, and more effectively meet industry standards.

Social Media

Social networking and collaboration tools provide one-to-one streams of interactive communication which enable patients to seek out information about diseases and treatment options. Social tools can also be used to facilitate collaboration within the enterprise between clinicians, researchers, and partners.

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Online Behavior of Healthcare Consumers: From WebMD to Twitter

The rate of consumers using social media in their healthcare journey is growing exponentially. A recent survey shows that consumers looking at health information online, and they’re using various sources to do so. Consumers are looking to the web not only for clinical information and guidance, but also for support communities.

In many industries, mobile is the preferred method for looking up information. However, healthcare is behind the ball in this trend – 90% of these online health queries are done from a personal computer, while 7% were via a mobile phone and only 4% on a tablet. PC and mobile device users also have different browsing habits – 52% of desktop searchers versus 31% of mobile users visited medical websites after a doctor’s diagnosis, while 43% of the mobile group and only 24% of the computer group visited such sites after only experiencing symptoms. Read the rest of this post »

Join us for the #HITsm TweetChat!

Tomorrow, August 24th, at 11am CT, Perficient will be moderating the #HITsm TweetChat. The acronym #HITsm stands for “healthcare IT social media” and these weekly chats center around current topics in healthcare technology, health IT, and the role of social media in healthcare. This week’s topics center around connected health. For a preview of the questions, visit the HL7 Standards blog.

Join us by logging into the #HITsm TweetChat room, which will automatically tag tweets with the #HITsm hashtag. Or, search Twitter for the #HITsm hashtag and add #HITsm to your Tweets to join the conversation. We look forward to chatting with you tomorrow!

Think Social Media and Healthcare don’t mix? WRONG!

Dan Bowman, in a recent article, quotes a family physician who feels social media has no place in healthcare.  He asserts busy physicians don’t have time to add yet another technology to their already busy schedules.  I see his point, but I have to challenge this.

Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many other sites has drastically changed the way people (a.k.a patients) communicate with each other.  Accountable care, population management, and chronic disease management activities are all about enhanced communication with patients.  It would be borderline negligent to ignore social media as a vehicle to enhance this communication.

Patients have been trained from birth to delegate their healthcare decisions to their physicians.  Most completely ignore healthcare issues and activities until they get too sick to overlook their healthcare trajectories.  Reaching and training these patients before their disease becomes chronic is needed desperately to improve outcomes.

I can see a scenario where Facebook threads between the care team and the patient are used as reminders, updates, and information gathering tools for patient data.  There is far less cost to train one or five care providers than to encourage hundreds of patients to learn a new system.   Facebook is sticky.  Today’s model is to build a patient portal site that requires patients to actively connect, sign-on, and interact.  Most of them only do this when they have a specific need.  Since they are already actively using Facebook, why not build sites that meet them on their own turf?  This can still be done securely, easy to use, and relatively quickly.

Physicians have a great opportunity to market their services and reach their patients if they embrace Twitter.  The key here is to build a following.  Twitter is based on sending small sound bites to a group of followers.  Followers are people who have chosen to listen to what the sender has to say.  This is a marketer’s dream that the healthcare industry should consider embracing.  Once a physician has built a group of followers, they should post links to wellness and diet tips, new practice offerings, and other general health improvement ideas.  These posts will be immediately received by a list of patients who want to receive this kind of information.

Physicians who are too busy to learn about social media are missing a giant opportunity to educate and reach patients on their terms.  The good news is some of this can be delegated.  Hire an intern who already knows these tools and let them build an outreach.  Assign this to a computer savvy administrator.

Social media has the potential to make a huge impact on healthcare.  With some creative thinking, they not only mix, but can be a catalyst to drastically change patient motivation and interaction.

HIMSS 2012 Interviews: Why Social Media in Healthcare [VIDEO]

We asked social media influencers at HIMSS 2012 to explain the importance of social media in healthcare.

What “Angry Birds” teaches us about Mobile Apps

Once upon a time, when you took a stroll down the aisle of an airplane in mid-flight, you would see lots of people playing solitaire on their Windows laptops.  Today, you see many, many more people engaged in intense concentration on game of “Angry Birds.”  Angry Birds is an addictive, fun, easy to play game that, in my humble opinion, teaches some important concepts that are applicable to building successful mobile applications, especially for healthcare.

One of the questions that I get asked frequently about mobile healthcare applications is “What can we do to make physicians, patients, or plan members ‘lock in’ to our organization?”  When I hear this question I immediately think of the concept of stickiness. The concept of the stickiness factor comes from Malcolm Gladwell’s book called The Tipping Point and it is explained as an approximation of churn – the secret sauce that helps an organization understand their customer’s lifetime value and maximize revenues.  According to Gladwell, there is a simple way to package information that under the right circumstances can make it irresistible; all you have to do is find it.  One of the clever ways that Angry Birds gets this stickiness factor is to package the game play for easy starts and stops.  One round only takes a few minutes – win or lose.  The game player can start and finish a game while waiting on their lunch to heat in the microwave.  The take-away is that user experience makes a big difference in stickiness to keep them coming back.

The second thing to learn from Angry Birds is the power of incorporating social media into the experience. The ability to share game results with friends, brag on success of the various levels of difficulty and share the experience is another key strategy.  Focus groups and opinion leaders, called mavens by Gladwell, within your target demographic are powerful ways to learn how to influence key members of society that, in turn, influence the masses.  Feedback from the fanboys to improve on the mobile experience is key – listen, improve and repeat.  Angry Birds quickly adapted in the early days to add more interesting birds, tougher forts and more challenging levels.

The third key concept that Angry Birds taught us is to treat the mobile application as a platform.  Platform is a term that is often used incorrectly, but in this instance, a platform is defined as a series of components or modules that can be extended over time.  A demonstration of the platform concept was Angry Birds Seasons.  The original Angry Birds platform was extended using themes – holiday themes in this second version of the game.  One of the key principles of a platform is the idea that what the end user had learned so far transfers to the new game – no big learning curve for something new.  The ability to extend the application without forcing the user to start over with new skills is critical to the successful of a mobile application, and maybe any application.

Finally, my favorite lesson from Angry Birds: Allow people to fail, fail fast and start over easily.  How often have you used a mobile application that the slightest error was a massive set back sometimes meaning you lose all of your hard work.  All mobile apps should have the Angry Bird big counter-clockwise “do over” icon.  People will make mistakes, struggle with mobile applications and suffer from learning curves.  A great mobile application will make it easy to fail, fail fast and start over on the right track.  And you thought it was only an addictive game…

Perficient Webinar: How to Protect Patient Data in an Increasingly Social Healthcare Industry

Join us Thursday, January 26, 2012, at 12:00 p.m. CT for the Perficient Webinar “How to Protect Patient Data in an Increasingly Social Healthcare Industry.” Register now!

The role of the patient within the healthcare industry is evolving. The growth in more collaborative healthcare models is being driven by a massive and growing group of healthcare consumers popularly dubbed “e-patients.”  This new generation of e-patients are equipped, enabled, empowered, and engaged.  They are demanding a more robust health care environment that is collaborative in nature.

As these patients use the internet and social media to enhance their health, their demands for electronic medical record access, doctor competency scores, hospital infection rates, procedure prices, etc. are also on the rise. As a result, healthcare organizations are increasingly examining how social media fits into their business model.

However, as health care professionals venture into this new space many red flags and warnings are being issued.  The same collaborative nature that makes social media appealing also increases concerns for patient data.  Unfortunately, there is little in the way of advice on the matter, and healthcare organizations have been shy with advancing social media policies of their own as a result.

Join Perficient as we explore how to use collaborative technologies to enable patients in a partnership with their providers through HIPAA compliant channels of communication.  If done properly, then the benefits of online communication will far outweigh the costs.

Register for the webinar and you will be entered to win a Perficient client badge to the February HIMSS conference in Las Vegas!