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June 5th, 2015

Viewpoint: 12 Things We Should Stop Doing in HCSM

By Ed Bennett

get off my lawn.430x320pxEditor’s Note: I could have easily picked up the phone or met him for lunch because we both live in Baltimore, but instead I asked Ed Bennett to put his thoughts in writing. Here’s what an internationally-known health care social media thought leader and Platinum Fellow thinks it’s time to stop doing in health care social media. Want to argue with Ed? Use the comments section!


#1: Fighting to open staff access to social media at the hospital
Nobody cares anymore, almost everyone has a smartphone, and most would rather not have IT see their messages.

#2: The general hospital blog
Ain't nobody got time for reading or even writing the general blog. Focus on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you know, where your audience is and have you checked your blog stats lately?

#3: Freaking out about HIPAA
Can you name even one hospital that has been fined for HIPAA violations brought on by social media? Violations are immensely more common in the physical world than in the digital domain.

#4: Infographics aka The Tufte Nightmare
That small amount of contextless data projected into a huge, clunky, hard to scan graphic? Just stop.

#5:  This word:  "Engage"
If there's no ring involved, then stop going on about engagement. Use talking, helping, learning, or collaborating.

#6: Focusing on the Next Big Thing
Let's get up speed on the basics first, OK?  Don’t be these guys.

#7: Google+
There's nimble and there's nuts. Google, please stop trying – it’s not gonna happen and it’s getting embarrassing to watch.

#8: In-your-face social sharing tools like ShareThis crawling on your website
Have you ever used one of these things…to communicate about health?

#9:  Trying to get doctors involved
We’ve been using and demonstrating the value of social media for 10 years and providers are either on-board or not interested. Listen to this wise man, (another) Platinum Fellow, Bryan Vartabedian, MD.

#10: Complaining about the Facebook algorithms
Stop yelling at the tides, Facebook changes all the time. Deal with it. Or, peel off a few marketing dollars and just buy some views.

#11: Social Media 101
See #9.

#12: Listicles
Just tacky.  (Editor’s note: In his first version, Ed wrote, “Listicles” which I was too lazy to look up on Google. What are those, I asked? His response: "MG – a listicle is a list / article – like this one.")

Tags: Coffee Break, Facebook, HIPAA, Platforms, Software, & Tools, Strategy, Tactics & Best Practices

Liked by meredithgould, Matthew Katz, MD, Danielle Thompson, SunniHemingsen

Comment


Dan Hinmon, MCSMN Director
@DanHinmon

Posts: 2050
Joined: Apr 13, 2011
Posted by @DanHinmon, Jun 5, 2015

Love your list, Ed, but frankly I’ve found the best way to engage doctors is with infographics and listicles on Google+. Am I wrong to stick with these? Or should I be focusing on the next big thing? (Periscope!)


Ed Bennett
@edbennett

Posts: 48
Joined: Feb 08, 2011
Posted by @edbennett, Jun 5, 2015

Ok – I’ll make an exception for the doctors.

Posted by @LeeAase, Jun 5, 2015

Great post, Ed. I STRONGLY agree with #3 and #10.

For several of the others, I think are a matter of personal opinion (and I’m really glad you shared yours.) I’d love to hear what others think.

I think for #2 it really depends on the use case. A general hospital blog is a great way to make a relatively static hospital Web site more dynamic through content feeds, and a way to nimbly publish news.

#6 is right on when you emphasize the word “Focusing.” I think it’s good to explore new platforms, but the FOCUS should be on the basics – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (and as you know, I put Blogs among those four basic food groups, too.)

I disagree on a couple (#9 and #11) with a qualification. I remember starting podcasting in 2005 and personal blogging in 2006 and thinking I was already late to the party compared with other industries. In health care, I would say we’re now MAYBE into the Late Majority of the adoption curve. So there’s still a need to help those who are newly interested.

Where I do agree with you on these points though is that we shouldn’t be hammering on physicians to get involved. We need to provide an easy way for them to get the basic training when they’re interested, but instead of focusing on “getting them involved” we should just keep doing good things, and welcome them with resources and tools that will help them engage.

Oops, I mean learn.

Thanks again, Ed.


Ed Bennett
@edbennett

Posts: 48
Joined: Feb 08, 2011
Posted by @edbennett, Jun 5, 2015

It seems we agree on more points than not. As always YMMV – any of these tactics will work some of the time, and some folks have great success with blogging, Goggle+, etc. Heck, this post is doing OK and it’s an evil listicle!


Kristine (KS) Austin
@ksaustin

Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 04, 2014
Posted by @ksaustin, Jun 5, 2015

Hear, hear! I second your motion to stop blogging. The only person who cares is the author–and possibly their mother. (Truth be told, she probably doesn’t care either.)

To point #3: Yes, there have been documented cases of HCPs being fined for identifying patients online. Perhaps the most widely reported was a 2011 Rhode Island case in which an ER doc blogged about a trauma case without naming the patient. The RI medical board ruled that the patient could be identified from the published information. The doctor was reprimanded and fined by the board, and fired from her job at the hospital. Lesson learned: if you’re going to tweet about/photograph/blog about a specific case, get permission **in writing** to CYA.

Let’s practice safe social media, people.


Ed Bennett
@edbennett

Posts: 48
Joined: Feb 08, 2011
Posted by @edbennett, Jun 5, 2015

Yes, there have been several cases of HCP’s getting in trouble with Social Media (but still a very small fraction of all the folks in our industry.) My point is that the hospital as an organization didn’t get fined. They had policies in place to protect them.


Dan Hinmon, MCSMN Director
@DanHinmon

Posts: 2050
Joined: Apr 13, 2011
Posted by @DanHinmon, Jun 5, 2015

I’m still a big fan of blogs! After all, where-in-the-heck are you going to link all those Tweets and Facebook posts if not to a blog — such as this one? We need long form content — as long as it’s useful.


Kristine (KS) Austin
@ksaustin

Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 04, 2014
Posted by @ksaustin, Jun 6, 2015

Ed, sorry I missed that. Yes, there are cases of hospitals being fined or sued for privacy violations on social media. Two come to mind:

1 – The CEO of Shasta Regional Medical Center (Calif – 2012) emailed the details of a patient’s records to 800 employees after the patient took a complaint to her hometown paper. Yes it was email–not Facebook–but email meets the definition of social media. The hospital was cited by the CA Dept of Health for repeated patient privacy violations under HIPAA. Article here: http://bit.ly/1AQr1vK

2 – In Yath v. Fairview Clinic (Minnesota – 2009) a patient brought an action against a health clinic and two of its employees for invasion of privacy in connection with the posting of parts of the patient’s medical file on a MySpace page. The case eventually made it to the State Court of Appeals and was remanded back to a lower court for a determination under a *state law* protecting medical information. (Not HIPAA, but a privacy law nonetheless.) Article: http://bit.ly/1JtEBb2

I admit that my last compliance officer put the fear of God into me. I believe that if a medical professional posts patient information on their personal FB page or in Twitter, the employer–hospital, clinic or HC systems–can also be fined for a HIPAA violation. A social media policy offers only so much protection from fines or a lawsuit.

I’m no expert, though, and would appreciate any ideas and comments on this specific point.


Kristine (KS) Austin
@ksaustin

Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 04, 2014
Posted by @ksaustin, Jun 6, 2015

For longer posts, highly-trafficked sites like LinkedIn or Reddit.


Bunny Ellerin
@bunnyellerin

Posts: 17
Joined: Sep 05, 2012
Posted by @bunnyellerin, Jun 6, 2015

You can always count on Ed to be real and tell it like it is. It’s an excellent mark of where we are today. It’s funny how we talk about getting doctors to engage on social media. Some have done it because they find it fulfilling, an outlet for creativity, a way to comment on the larger healthcare picture, a patient ed tool – it has some ROI, however the doctor defines ROI. But most don’t engage. It’s no different in the rest of life. I know plenty of people in marketing, business, law, etc who don’t engage at all related to their profession. Thanks again, Ed.


uri goren
@urigoren

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 06, 2012
Posted by @urigoren, Jun 7, 2015

Hi Ed, liked your post and I wish that in Israel where i operate we could stop doing these things…’causemost healthcare players havn’t even begun doing most of what you wrote about 🙁


Lisa Wylde
@Lisa_Wylde

Posts: 54
Joined: Jun 08, 2011
Posted by @Lisa_Wylde, Jun 8, 2015

Ok, Ed. I like your list. But if we don’t do these 12 things, then what 12 things SHOULD we do in your opinion? I’m with Uri (who posted from Israel), here in Australia we haven’t even started most of these. A hospital blog??? You gotta be kidding. I’m happy to stop talking engagement since we can’t get most hospitals or doctors to engage. But we can’t get them to talk, help, learn or collaborate either. Personally, I find more and more that I concentrate on the basics with my hospitals: Twitter, Facebook (and yep, I peel off some marketing dollars and reap the benefit) and some with LinkedIn. Even instagram is too much for most people I work with.


Ed Bennett
@edbennett

Posts: 48
Joined: Feb 08, 2011
Posted by @edbennett, Jun 10, 2015

It sounds like you’re doing everything possible. If the basics are working, then keep your focus there and continue to try new new things in Facebook, etc. I’d also create regular monitoring reports for your hospitals. Show activity levels and topics.


MakalaArce
@MakalaArce

Posts: 71
Joined: Jan 31, 2011
Posted by @MakalaArce, Jun 9, 2015

Thanks for sharing your thought-provoking ideas, Ed. This has led to a great discussion! I really liked #6, because, while I think it behooves us to be abreast of new trends, I often feel the basics are not cemented. At a minimum, we must do the basics well.


Dan Hinmon, MCSMN Director
@DanHinmon

Posts: 2050
Joined: Apr 13, 2011
Posted by @DanHinmon, Jun 10, 2015

Oh my gosh — I found the perfect illustration for your #4 Infographics slam. Take a look at this infographic: What’s Your Content Marketing Challenge. Yikes!

Hmmm. Keep trying to upload this graphic but can’t make it work, so here’s the link:

http://www.graphlib.net/2015/06/08/the-best-content-marketing-tools/?ref=blog.limk.com

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