What’s Next Big Thing in Health Care Social Media?

It’s an understandable question, and one I’m frequently asked. In fact, it came up again this morning in a phone conversation.

Those who ask it typically are looking for tips on the new, cool platform that everyone will be using next year, and that currently is relatively unknown or obscure to the broader population.

The answer that came to me is one that I think will become my new standard:

The next big thing in health care social media will be that social media in health care isn’t a big thing.

I’m not saying that social media won’t be important in health care: I think it will be just the opposite. Social media tools will be incorporated throughout health care, and will be vital elements in all of our communications.

But they won’t feel big because they’ll just be normal. They will have become accepted as a standard way of working. They’ll be as unremarkable as email is today.

That’s when social tools will have realized their enormous potential: when using them becomes standard operating procedure.

Interestingly, just a couple hours after the first conversation, I had a wide-ranging and stimulating discussion with a gentleman from Germany, Peter Carqueville.

Peter PhotoWe enjoyed our video discussion via Skype, and I reminisced about my college days in the early 1980s, when I had to wait in line on Sunday night for the one phone on our dorm floor, to make an expensive collect call. I talked about how amazing it is that today we can talk across seven time zones and an ocean, and that it’s free.

But Peter topped my story: while I looked back on what seemed to be scarcity of telecommunications access,  he had grown up behind the Iron Curtain in what was formerly East Germany, where most families didn’t even have phones.

The next big thing in health care social media will be when we come to take use of social tools for granted as we do unlimited cell phone minutes and text messaging — and free video calls via Skype and Goolge+ — today.

Integrating Social Media in Your Hospital’s Communications

I’m presenting today at the Iowa Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations Spring Conference in Des Moines. I believe this is the third time I’ve been with this group, and so I’m looking forward to sharing some new material and perspectives. Here are my slides:

I welcome your questions and comments. And if you would like to pursue deeper exploration of this material, our Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Social Media Residency program provides a day-long immersion. The next session is May 12 in Rochester.

 

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Social Media: What’s all the Fuss?

Today I am starting a monthly series of two-hour sessions on social media organized through Rochester Community and Technical College. I hope the participants will find the series encouraging and empowering as they explore ways they can use social media tools personally and professionally.

Below are the slides from my first presentation, which will introduce many of the important social platforms and also sets the stage for sessions to be held over the next three months. Because I move quickly through the slides, I want to have them available for review here. Many of the slides include links to relevant sites or examples.

If you have questions or comments on any of the material, let’s discuss in the comments below.

A Fresh Look at Social Media

I’m in Orlando today for a presentation to FSHPRM, which is the public relations and marketing group affiliated with the Florida Hospital Association. I’ve spoken to this group a couple of times previously, the last time being in February 2009. It’s fun to look back at what I was saying then, and how far we have progressed.

Here are my slides for this morning’s presentation:

I’m organizing this presentation a little differently from what I’ve done in the last couple of years, and also adding some new material. What do you think?

Social Media in Health Care: More than Just Marketing

The Los Angeles Times had a nice article on social media in health care on Saturday, entitled “The doctor’s in, on Twitter.” I had participated in an interview some time ago, so was surprised when I got the Google alert linking to the article, which began…

Twitter. A popular online social network? Yes. A vital tool for medical research? Maybe.

“Until now, healthcare providers have primarily used online networks as a promotional tool,” says Lee Aase, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. “We think they can be much more.”

I think it’s an important message to get across: that if we see social media primarily being about marketing we will miss some of the most important benefits. In fact, we created the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media and the Social Media Health Network to help encourage use of these tools throughout the health care system, in clinical practice, research and education as well as administration. So I was really glad to see something of this emphasis come through in the Times.

And personally, it’s kind of a kick to be the first person quoted. Not gonna lie. 😉

Read the whole article.