HCSM Review #32: Patient Empowerment Edition

The HCSM Review is a peer-reviewed blog carnival for everyone interested in health care social media, and I’m glad to be moderating the 32nd edition. This time we’re focusing on the ways technology is improving the lives of patients, and how patients are taking advantage of social tools to improve their own lives.

Leading off, we have an essay contest through the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media for patients and caregivers to win scholarships to attend Social Media Week at Mayo Clinic. We published the first batch of the essays and opened the voting on Monday. So as not to play favorites, here’s the link to the page where all of the essays are featured. Check them out and cast your votes.

Some other posts you might find interesting:

Brian McGowan will be hosting HCSM Review #33.

HCSM Review #32 Call for Submissions: Patient Empowerment Edition

SMUG is again hosting the Health Care Social Media Review, the blog carnival focused on health care social media, curating some of the latest stories, research and resources shared by colleagues.

Because the financial cost of blogging and using social networking platforms is typically zero (or close to it), and because these tools enable people overcome barriers of time and space and to make connections, they have great potential to help patients find their voice. In Issue 32 of the HCSM Review, we’re looking for great stories of how patients are taking advantage of social tools to gain knowledge and find support.

Health Care Social Media Review

To submit your post:

Email a link to your post or posts (no more than two submissions per author) by  6 p.m. EDT on July 15.

Format your submission email as follows:

  • Email Subject Line: HealthCare SocialMedia Review
  • Blog Title:
  • Blog URL:
  • Post Headline:
  • Permanent link to post:
  • Your Name: Name, Username, Nickname, or Pseudonym
  • Description or brief excerpt:

You also may submit your entry online at Blog Carnival HQ. Learn more about the HCSM Review by visiting HealthWorks Collective or follow @healthworkscollectiv on Twitter.

We look forward to your posts!

Developing Social Media Residency Curriculum

I’m developing curriculum for our Social Media Residency program, which we put on through the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. The course I’m doing right now is Blogging 101: Getting Started with Blogging. So I’m writing a post to show how all of the formatting tools work… or at least to give a sense for the basics.

So while the rest of this post might not be particularly compelling or meaningful for you, if you participate in Social Media Residency you will get to see the end product. You also can get access to the module if you or your organization join the Social Media Health Network.

The WordPress formatting toolbar lets you make text bold, italic or underlined, and you can strike though to acknowledge your goof-ups instead of covering your traks tracks.

You can have bulleted lists…

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Indigo
  • Violet

…or numbered lists.

  1. Red
  2. Orange
  3. Yellow
  4. Green
  5. Blue
  6. Indigo
  7. Violet

Please don’t go overboard in using colors in your posts. Just because you can use colors doesn’t mean you should, any more than you would mix lots of fonts in a printed document.

Text can be


Centered, or


You also can have various header styles.

This is just an intro to the dashboard and writing a post, so I won’t go through everything, but I think it’s kind of cool that you can have special characters like these:®©

In a future post in the Social Media Residency curriculum we will deal with inserting images, videos and the like, but this will hopefully give our residents enough guidance to write their first post.


#HCSM Review – Oct. 3 Edition

The HCSM Review is a peer-reviewed blog carnival for everyone interested in health care social media.

As the Director for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, I’m focused on demonstrating practical benefits of social media for patients. So in my call for submissions, I asked for posts testifying to the ways social media has helped patients.

Some of the submissions related more to devices than social media directly, but here’s an interesting roundup:

A Dose of Reality

After 14 hours of beating myself up, I realized I wasn’t to blame for being the F-patient…

“I realize there is a lot of huzzah and hurrah about the e-patient out there—perhaps among those who have the skill or leisure to be so well connected to social media. At times, I believe I’m one of the fold. But what about the f-patient? The well-meaning, diligent user of social media who finds herself inexplicably … well, the most accurate way to put it is … “f’d” by the health care system?

“In a one-night stay at my beloved local hospital, I found myself – seasoned cardiac patient that I am – misconstrued as a narcotics monger, migraine patient, and generalized neurotic, gaseous female.

“I had my smart phone. But, no charger. As the hours progressed into double digits and I realized my predicament, the best use of my phone was to call my internist and cardio, because no one at the hospital had bothered to do so. I suppose I could have accessed facebook at some point and drained battery, but to what end? Would it have furthered my progress? Doubtful. And besides, I was preoccupied with my roommate’s ongoing constipation/diarrhea issues on the other side of the curtain.

“So, I battled my way through that hospital stay by enlisting the nurse, technician, charge nurse, and eventually, the cardiologists, to get some attention and eventual data. Upon returning home, bruised, battered, and covered in residual EKG/telemetry stick’em I realized my truth: F-patient. Or at least until I had some free time on my hands to google, facebook and tweet.” – Katherine Leon

Editor’s Note: I got to meet Katherine last year when she attended our Social Media Residency and participated in our Social Media Summit at Mayo Clinic. Read her story here in the Wall Street Journal. I was one of the co-authors of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings article about how she helped instigate rare disease research through social media. And I’m proud that through Social Media Residency we helped her start her blog.

Health Care Decision Aids

“Following is an interview with Dr David Arterburn of Group Health Research in Seattle, Washington.  Dr Arterburn and his team have implemented Decision Aids that help patients make important choices about medical and surgical procedures.  They have also done a study showing that these Decision Aids reduced costs for the hospital.  You can read more about decision aids and the study here.” – Joan Justice

Cell Phones to Screen for Hearing Loss

Sana AudioPulse, developed by the Sana international team of students from MIT and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Harvard, Northeastern and the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) in Brazil, allows healthcare personnel to screen for hearing loss with cellphones interfaced with specialized hardware.  Data is then securely transmitted  to a central database where a  trained audiologist will analyze it and store it in an electronic medical record.” – Joan Justice

Turning a Smartphone into a Healthcare Advocate

“So what does a family do when they need help and a private patient advocate isn’t an option? Currently, they might look for help from a community program, do some online research, or turn to their family and friends for answers….

“With your help, there will soon be another option: Grab your smartphones, or go online, and find help from the Pathfinder’s Virtual Advocate (PVA).” – Linda Adler

Happiness in the Real World

“So if you are not coping well what do you do to improve your ability to be resiliant and bounce back to at least a shadow of your former self?  How do you cope with pain, medications, numerous doctor appointments, and the feelings of guilt that you have for “letting people down” because you can no longer fill all of the roles that you could before?

“One place that you can find suppport is by talking to people who have similar problems to yours and these  days it is very easy to find them online, especially if you have a rare or less common disease.  I have been a member of a traditional online group for 7 years now and I get a lot of support and encouragement from the other members.” – Annette McKinnon

Also check out David Harlow’s roundup on Healthcamp Boston 2012.

The next HCSM Review host? SocialButterfly.


#HCSM Review Call for Submissions

How has using social media tools helped you maintain your wellness or manage a health-related condition?

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, SMUG will host HCSM Review—the peer-reviewed blog carnival for everyone interested in health care social media.

This edition will focus on the theme of practical benefits of social media in disease management and wellness.

Here’s my story of using social media relating to my Celiac Disease diagnosis.

What’s your story?

Submitting a post is easy. Simply email a link to your post or posts (no more than two submissions per author) by midnight (ET) on Oct. 2.

Format your submission email as follows:

Email Subject Line: HealthCare SocialMedia Review
Blog Title:
Blog URL:
Post Headline:
Permanent link to post:
Your Name: Name, Username, Nickname, or Pseudonym
Description or brief excerpt:

Learn more about HCSM Review by visiting HealthWorks Collective.