MCSMN Blog

March 22, 2011

Member Profile: Jamestown Regional Medical Center

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Editor's Note: This post is part of a series by and about members of the Social Media Health Network, organizations affiliated with the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media and interested in learning together about applying social media in health. For a list of members and information on how to join, see the Network tab.

Jamestown Regional Medical Center has served the South Central North Dakota region for over 75 years. We are one of 1,305 Critical Access Hospitals (25 beds) in the United States. The current hospital opened in 1935 and has had renovations as recently as 2001. The new Jamestown Regional Medical Center will open on August 1, 2011. We serve a community of over 58,000 people in a 9 county area covering 3,600 square miles. We are the only birthing hospital at the center of a 90 mile radius between Fargo and Bismarck, Devils Lake, ND and Aberdeen, SD. Our goal is to create a template for delivery of health care in rural United States.

Our social media has three elements. The Jamestown Regional Medical Centerfacebook page has over 3,000 fans from around the world. It keeps our local and worldwide fans apprised of hospital activities and progress on the new JRMC.

YouTube videos tell compelling patient stories describing how their goals were met with the help of a JRMC provider. More than 3,700 people have watched Lonna Schmidt, Speech Therapist, talk to Kevin Lesmeister, who suffered from a stroke that the doctors said involved two-thirds of the left side of his brain in March of 2009. With an injury that severe, the doctors weren’t sure if he would be able to talk. In the beginning he wasn’t able to say anything and had difficulty understanding a lot of words and sentences. After intensive therapy for many months involving reading, writing, and patterning his words, he is able to talk, work and live a fulfilling life.

A comment from a viewer: “Thank you for sharing your progress, Kevin. Our daughter had a massive stroke 3 days ago, and it is very scary. She can’t communicate at all outside of squeezing your hand, and we can tell she is very frustrated. Our hope is that she can make the kind of progress you have. Congratulations.”

We use Flickr to keep our internal staff and external partners informed on hospital activities and JRMC progress. In January, there were 8,500 views of the posted images.

We have had a dramatic increase in our web page hits since utilizing social media. In January 2011 there was a 42 percent increase in patient hits over 2010, driven by clicks from our social media sites.

The Web site is our encyclopedia, social media sites our short stories.

Bill Kennedy, MFA, is Marketing Director and PIO for Jamestown Regional Medical Center.

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