Social Media Medicine on CBS Local New York

The CBS TV affiliate in New York City ran a lengthy story late last month featuring a member of our Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media External Advisory Board.

Howard Luks, M.D. (@HJLuks), an orthopedic surgeon, and one of his patients were profiled in this piece:

A nice story helping to raise the profile of social media in health care.

Strategy on Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Health Care

Last week our Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media released Bringing the Social Media Revolution to Health Care, a collection of essays on various aspects of health care social media contributed by members of our External Advisory Board and others who are members of our Social Media Health Network.

The book includes a Foreword by our Mayo Clinic CEO, Dr. John Noseworthy, and a special section on legal issues from our Mayo Clinic attorney, Dan Goldman. Our Center for Social Media Medical Director, Dr. Farris Timimi, wrote the Preface. With ideas and insights from 30 thought leaders in health care social media, this book will help you make the case for using social media in your organization.

You can get it on Amazon, or go to our Center for Social Media site for significant discounts on multiple copies. It’s a quick and easy read, perfect for starting a discussion in your workplace.

In addition to working with Meredith Gould on the overall project, I contributed an essay for the Strategy section. To give you a taste of what’s in the book, here is my essay:

Seven Thoughts on Social Media Strategy
Lee Aase
Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media

  1. Start from business priorities and goals. Social media isn’t something to do for its own sake or because the tools are shiny and new. Think about what you were hired to do or needs you see in your organization and how these tools can help. In my case, social tools supported our media relations, my first job at Mayo Clinic.
  2. Become personally familiar with the tools. Develop deep familiarity with basic social media platforms by using them. Set up personal accounts before creating any for your employer to help you see how to best apply them for work.
  3. Start by watching and listening. Listen to what others say about your organization. Watch how others use the tools.
  4. Ask for help. People in online communities are generally welcoming of new members, particularly those who approach with a sense of humility.
  5. Pay attention to community norms. If you watch and listen and approach online connections with humility, it’s unlikely you’ll become “that guy.” Don’t act in ways wildly outside community norms for a community if you want to become a trusted member.
  6. Don’t be snowed by the purists. My friend Andy Sernovitz talks about “bloggers who blog about blogging,” for whom any deviation from what they consider the “right” way to engage online is viewed with contempt. They aren’t your audience. Don’t let purists’ opinions keep you from doing what’s right for your situation and organization.
  7. Planning is more important than plans. Think about priorities and why you’re engaging in social media, but keep the planning horizon short. Plan early. Plan often. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. The content of any plan isn’t as important as the thought process that informed its development. Our Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media works on a 100-day planning cycle. Don’t be afraid of having a similarly short planning cycle.

Strategy in social media isn’t appreciably different from other types of business strategy. You’ll address the same questions: What resources do I have? What tools are available? What could I accomplish with additional resources?

Still, here’s one key way social media business strategy is different:

Altruism pays. Social tools have dramatically reduced the cost of sharing knowledge, and the resulting relationships can be much more valuable than the knowledge itself. Keep costs low and you’ll be amazed at the benefits you’ll realize from sharing freely.


Taking (Triple) Aim with ICSI

I’m delighted to be working with Dr. Gary Oftedahl of the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement to present a pre-symposium workshop this afternoon. We’re going to be exploring how social media can support the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s “Triple Aim” :

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) believes that new designs can and must be developed to simultaneously accomplish three critical objectives, or what we call the “Triple Aim”:

  • Improve the health of the population;
  • Enhance the patient experience of care (including quality, access, and reliability); and
  • Reduce, or at least control, the per capita cost of care.

During the first part of the workshop we will be providing background and deepening understanding of social media tools along with examples of their applications in health care and in other industries.

After the break we will be brainstorming ways social media can be practically applied to solve problems and to meet one or more of the three aspects of the IHI aim.

Please join the discussion, even if you can’t be in the room. Share your ideas for how social media can help improve population health, enhance the patient experience and reduce (or at least control) per capita costs for health care. Here are two ways you can participate:

  1. Put your thoughts in the comments below, and we will share with the group.
  2. Otherwise, we will be tweeting from the using the #CoCreate2012 hashtag. Follow the discussion and chime in with your ideas.

What do you think? How can social media improve the patient experience, promote population health and reduce per capita costs?


Keynoting the HARC Forum in Sydney

I’m delighted to be in Sydney, New South Wales this week and presenting this evening at the HARC 7th Forum. HARC is the Hospital Alliance for Research Collaboration, and is an initiative of the Sax Institute in partnership with the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission and the Agency for Clinical Innovation.

As is my propensity, I will be going through a lot of slides during my 50-minute presentation, so to make it easier for participants to follow without having to take notes, I’ve posted the deck to Slideshare and have embedded below.

You can follow all the fun on Twitter with the #HARCsm tag. I’m glad also to finally get to meet Hugh Stephens, who is a member of our External Advisory Board for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media.

Here are a few links participants might want to check:

I look forward to continuing the conversation in the comments below, and in the social time after the event. We also have a tweetup with the #HCSMANZ gang Thursday night.



Studying a Rare Disease with Dr. Tweet

In the last few months I have had an exciting opportunity to be part of a Mayo Clinic project using social networking tools to assist in the study of a rare disease, and last week we reached a milestone with publication of a study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

One of our key team members is Dr. Marysia Tweet, so it’s almost poetic that we’re working with Dr. Tweet to use social media in medical research. You can’t make that up!

At any rate, the paper on our pilot study of SCAD (spontaneous coronary artery dissection) is published this month in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, as reported in the Wall Street Journal and described in this Mayo Clinic news release.

The really exciting part of this story is how the research was initiated by patients, and this Mayo Clinic Medical Edge story tells how it happened:

We’re continuing to use our social media tools to help with the ongoing research into SCAD, as the Mayo Clinic research team led by Dr. Sharonne Hayes is creating a virtual registry to study SCAD. This SCAD research post on our News Blog provides the information physicians and patients need to take the first steps to be included in the study.

The pilot study showed that this kind of virtual registry is feasible; 18 women signed up for the pilot within a week, and the initial 12-person study included participants from New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Canada as well as the United States. Dr. Hayes discusses the rationale for and the implications of the study:

Finally, here are some additional sound bites about the pilot study and its implications, from Dr. Hayes, Dr. Tweet and yours truly:

Our Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media mission is to go beyond the public relations and marketing uses for social media and find ways to apply these revolutionary tools in education, research, clinical practice and in the administration of health care organizations. I was really excited to have the chance to be involved in this first publication, and that we are having an ongoing role in facilitating this patient-initiated research into a rare disease.