Editor's Note: Welcome to the first in an occasional series about healthcare-related chats on Twitter. Here I interview Colin Hung, co-founder of #HCLDR, a chat I've come to value for its wide range of topics and wisdom-generous participants.*
Founded: October 23, 2012 by Colin Hung and Lisa Fields. (Lisa has since retired from social media.)
Meets: on Twitter every Tuesday from 8:30-9:30PM ET
Chat moderators: Joe Babaian (@JoeBabaian); Colin Hung (@Colin_Hung); Bernadette Keefe, MD (@nxtstop1)
Meredith Gould: Ok, Colin, give me the “elevator speech” about #HCLDR chat.
Colin Hung: #HCLDR is an online community of people who are passionate about improving healthcare. We delve into current topics, challenges and opportunities in depth. We’ve become an online or “virtual” professional development/educational community where participants (and passive observers) can learn something new they can then apply.
MG: Who typically participates?
CH: Participants include patients, physicians, nurses, CEOs, IT folks, caregivers, policy makers and students from all over the world. Countries represented include Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, and United States of America.
Participants come from all sectors of the healthcare ecosystem. We have people who work at hospitals, private practices, insurance companies, healthIT vendors, government agencies, non-profits, and even think-tanks. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join.
Each week the chat attracts between 125 and 175 participants. Sometimes when we have notable guests on the chat, that number grows to well over 200 active participants
MG: What distinguishes #HCLDR chat from other healthcare-related chats?
CH: Every healthcare-related chat is different and I think that variety is a good thing. A few things make #HCLDR unique. First, #HCLDR attracts a wide range of people from around the world, which allows for an expanded field of view on issues. No single perspective dominates #HCLDR.
I also believe our growing success is due to how we engage people before, during and after the chat.
Before each chat, we publish a blog post that includes commentary, questions, and plenty of resources. We make an effort to attract and welcome new contributors each week. We curate each chat to produce a summary for those who may have missed a tweet and for those unable to attend.
People tell us that they find the range of topics we cover to be unique. We tackle everything from how to sustain innovation to motivating and retaining good people. We discuss technology-related subjects as well as issues around mindfulness and mental health.
We’ve also been told that the fast pace of #HCLDR is unique. We encourage newcomers view the chat like a giant party. Instead of trying to follow everyone or join every conversation, we recommend choosing and interacting with a few people, rather than engaging with everyone.
MG: How do #HCLDR chat participants typically use that hashtag in between scheduled chats?
CH: Beyond the Tuesday night, people use the #HCLDR hashtag to share healthcare stories, articles and posts. Topics vary, but most focus on a particular challenge or innovative solution within healthcare. Resources shared during the week tend to follow the topic discussed that Tuesday. People also use the #HCLDR hashtag to ask for opinions or help from members of the community.
MG: What else would you like readers know about #HCLDR chat?
CH: We’re always on the hunt for unique topics and interesting guests. If any of your readers has something they believe would lend itself to a group discussion, we’d love to hear it. Also, if they know someone who is doing or saying something in healthcare that they believe others would benefit from knowing, please contact us. We love bringing special guests onto #HCLDR to tell unique stories – patients, clinicians, caregivers, etc. – we welcome all!
* I would have kicked off this series by interviewing #hcsm chat creator and moderator, Dana Lewis (@danamlewis) but Christopher Snider (@iam_spartacus)beat me to it. Read his fine interview with Dana Lewis on Symplur.