A "HealthTweep" Pulse Check

Exploring transformational potential of social media

Posts Tagged ‘ed bennett

Who Should Manage Your Social Media Strategy [Accepted for publication in The Physician Executive]

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By Kent Bottles, M.D., aka @kentbottles and Tom Sherlock aka @coloradohealth

Hospital and medical group leaders are facing the most challenging healthcare environment in recent memory. The need to decrease per-capita cost and increase quality to respond to federal healthcare reform and the global economy is a daunting task that requires two-way communication with a broad range of stakeholders. As reform unfolds, hospitals and medical groups of all sizes are embracing social media tools as soon as they realize that they’re no longer optional.

At least since the first quarter of 2010, analysts have been reporting that websites and search engines no longer dominate online communication.[i] Deloitte’s Social Networks in Health Care [ii] recently concluded that healthcare executives:

“who do not consider how to incorporate social networks into their future strategies risk being run over on the super-highway of health information sharing.”

Your social media strategy will work more smoothly when no one department has control, because it’s likely that before long employees in many of your departments will be using social media to do their jobs. It’s time for your Internet strategy to be managed by a qualified person — definitely one of your best-and-brightest — who reports directly to senior management and works with all department heads as an equal colleague.[iii]

You no longer have the opportunity to be an early adopter, but you can give yourself a big advantage by having people in every department who’ve been trained how to use social media intelligently, and who follow the lead of your social media manager. It’s essential that you understand that each of these tools is designed to nurture personal relationships and thereby strengthen loyalty to your institution:

  • We use Twitter as our principal example because it’s a more important business tool for hospitals and medical groups than Facebook.
  • If your organization isn’t already on Facebook, you should wait until you have a specific strategic reason for using it.
  • Blogs can be particularly effective business tools if they let readers get to know and understand the blogger. Paul Levy’s “Running a Hospital” blog[iv] has shown how a CEO blog can be a powerful communication and branding tool.
  • Many of your people should be listed on LinkedIn. Each person’s profile will be unique, but a certain amount of coordination is necessary to make sure your institution is identified accurately and consistently, for example.
  • Your YouTube channel can present videos that let people get to know some of your key physicians and nurses, for example. Your social media manager can see to it that the content, style, and production values of your videos will send the right message about your organization.

You might conclude that you need to hire someone new to manage your website and your social media strategy. But don’t rush into a decision to bring in someone new to be your social media manager just because they have experience with these tools. It would be far better to find someone who is already thoroughly familiar with and personally committed to your institution.[v]

Note right away that social media is not something you use for advertising or marketing, and that it doesn’t duplicate or replace any of the functions of your website. When you reduce it to its fundamentals, social media strategy isn’t complicated. It’s social. It’s about establishing and nurturing authentic relationships in ways that will build loyalty to your institution. Your social media manager will:
Listen to what’s being said about you anywhere on the Internet, with special attention to your own social media channels.Respond by engaging those who are talking to or about your organization.Establish relationships by showing people respect, honesty, and enthusiasm, and then nurture those relationships by authentic personal interaction. Your social media manager will…..   (Read complete blog post, here).

To listen to Kent’s sage yet witty podcast, ‘Muddling Through The Week In Healthcare’, click here or on the BlogTalkRadio image.

Kent Bottles, M.D., is a former medical school professor, president and ceo, chief medical officer, and chief knowledge officer who is now an independent health care consultant, keynote speaker, and writer. kentbottles@gmail.com and http://twitter.com/KentBottles

Tom Sherlock is an Internet strategist, Website producer, and content developer who has worked with businesses and healthcare professionals since 1994. tom@aicolorado.com and http://twitter.com/ColoradoHealth

Ed Bennett on Trends in Social Media for Hospitals & Health Care Organizations

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Please join me for a conversation with Ed Bennett!

On the Wednesday, January 13th ‘Trends in Social Media for Hospitals and Health Care Organizations‘ broadcast I am pumped to chat with Ed Bennett of ‘Found In Cache: Social Media resources for health care professionals’ as well as his day job at the University of Maryland Medical System.

I affectionately refer to Ed (rumored to be a die hard Cowboy Junkies aficionado) as the Social Media for Hospitals ‘Oracle’ from Maryland. Ed is a leading voice, documentarian, and visionary change agent in the social media for health care organizations’ space. His tireless commitment to track, update, educate, share and vet emerging health care organizational participation in social media is a major contribution to the granular evolution of the space. Please join me in this conversation with Ed! You can call in with questions or active participation via 347.539.5527, or participate in the chat room;  or as many do, just lurk. All are welcome!

The program airs at 12 noon Eastern time, 9AM. If you can not make it live, it will archive here for rebroadcast or download. I like to subscribe to episodes and listen at my convenience via Google Reader. iTunes of other RSS feed burner.

Twitter No. 1 Social Media Tool For Hospitals

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According Ed Bennett’s “found in cache” the the most visible and credible source momitoring the adoption of various social media platforms including the heavy hitters of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter; Twitter is now the number one platform for hospitals. 

As of March 29, 2009, the stats are:

  • 128 on Twitter
  • 126 on YouTube
  • 82 on Facebook
  • 23 Blogs

Of particular interest in the mix is the slope of Twitter penetration, which is to say in a “hyper growth” mode, consistent with Twitter’s impressive viral history. Yet, this is a phenomenon which is in the very early stages of tech transfer and user adoption.

According to the American Hospital Association (AHA) there are 5,708 registered hospitals in the US, which translates into a 2.2% Twitter share with 128 participating “Hospital Tweeps”. Clearly most hospitals, whether as entities or aligned individuals (ie., employees, consultants, vendors, docs, etc), have yet to entertain such participation.

As is historically the case, innovation in the institutional health care and/or the hospital space, is  often measured in geologic time. As institutions populated with and driven by complex “governance trees” that generally assure a slow decision making process, such an unknown and unproven new technology can only be greeted with deep skepticism and distrust. 

In the social, or perhaps more accuately termed, “new age media” space, characterized by it’s “real time”, open and unmanaged tag cloud generated buzz, potential adoption of the technology can only greeted with even more skepticism and distrust than usual. One might ask why?

I will venture to answer that question in the subject of the next blog post “Social/New Age Media: The Antithesis of Brand Control and the Advent of Hospital Silo De-construction?

In other words, can social or new age media technologies foster the accountability and transparency from hospitals that every regulated effort to date has failed to accomplish? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by 2healthguru

April 3, 2009 at 9:05 AM