Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Health Care

Posted on October 17th, 2012 by Admin

I can’t cook. By that I mean I can get dinner on the table, and feed my family, but I have no idea what “umami” really means, despite having watched nine seasons of Top Chef. Realizing this, shortly after proposing to my wife, I decided this was an “opportunity for improvement.”

Being a physician, I did what physicians always do when we find an such opportunities: I looked for classes that I could take, and shortly after getting engaged I signed up for a two-day cooking fundamentals course. One of the instructors was Andrew Zimmerman, and I still remember well one of his first rules:

  • The most critical and useful object that we have in our kitchen is a good and sharp chef’s knife, and
  • the most risky and dangerous object in our kitchen is a dull chefs knife.

Fundamentally, a sharp chef’s knife is safer than a dull one; a dull knife needs a lot more force to cut food and can easily slip off food on the chopping block and cut the cook instead of the food.

The same can be said for our employees and health care social media. Our employees are fundamentally are one of our most powerful assets, and their strategic engagement with patients and families online is a true paradigm shift in the way that we can leverage online.

The difference between our employees serving as our most critical and useful tool or our riskiest one centers on effective orientation: training and guidelines to “sharpen your knife.”

Today, the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media is launching Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Health Care, a new book that is aimed at providing health care professionals and organizations the pragmatic training and tools required to engage and walk with our patients where they are—online. With contributions from 30 industry thought leaders, it clearly makes the case for the strategic use of social media in health care.

For any organization, the human bandwidth represented by our employees is our most powerful tool for engagement and change. They are already online in social platforms, as are your patients (both post past patients and future patients). Bringing these two groups together strategically can serve as a powerful tool for health care change or a potential liability.

The line between your employees representing a risk and asset online is clear, and crossing that line to asset requires pragmatic training and guidance. Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Health Care can serve as the guide you need to effectively sharpen your organizational chefs knife.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a quickfire to prepare for.

Tags: #MCCSMbook, Farris Timimi, social media

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