Hospital Sponsored Online Patient Support Groups

Hospital Sponsored Online Patient Support Groups

Tue, Jan 31, 2017
2:00pm to 3:00pm CT


Presented by Ed Bennett, Janet Gripshover, Nurse Practitioner at University of Maryland and Colleen Young, Community Director of Mayo Clinic Connect.

A few years ago, Ed Bennett helped hospitals adopt social media with his Hospital Social Media List. Now he's looking at how hospitals use digital tools for patient support groups (and building a new list!). Janet Gripshover founded one of the first hospital-sponsored, facilitated, online support groups back in 2011. Colleen Young manages Connect, Mayo's open patient-to-patient online community, also established in 2011.

Learn more about:

  • What is a hospital sponsored patient support group
  • The platforms hospitals use to host their support groups
  • Open, semi-open and closed groups
  • Examples of robust, successful groups drawn from his list
  • A look at the next generation of platforms
  • The decision on closed vs open access
  • The onboarding process for new members
  • What a typical week is like for a group manager
  • Challenges and success stories


In Person

This webinar is free for both Basic and Premium Members of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network.

Questions? Contact:

Questions? Email socialmediacenter@mayo.edu.

We’ll be starting in about 25 minutes! Please post your questions for Ed, Janet and Colleen here.

Looking forward to talking about patient online communities hosted by hospitals. Get your questions ready!

Q: How have you tracked the impact of patient support groups on better patient outcomes? Thanks!

Do you believe that community guidelines should be posted openly on all communities regardless of the type? Also, how are community guidelines enforced (best-practices)?

Colleen – how much time do you spend a week moderating? How critical is the moderating function?

On Mayo Clinic Connect, how do you involve clinical staff in the assistance of moderation and responding to results? Do you find that clinical-led discussions have more engagement than those moderated by non-clinical staff?

Can someone who has power of attorney for a patient participate in a community when the patient is not able?

Colleen, in your staff, is there a doctor (resident) always available ? Or do they only are available for live chats and respond to posts certain days of the week?

Members are visible to anyone in the open and closed groups on Facebook. Does that create any privacy concerns?

How do you see patient community networks support population health initatives at hospitals?

In Colleen’s HOCM patient example, I’m assuming you have some sort of PHI release/disclaimer on your community, as you tagged other users about their surgery/condition. Is that correct?

How many communities are realistic for one healthcare system to support? What criteria do you use to vet if there’s enough interest to support a patient community? (Got here at the half-way point so skip if you have already answered it.)

@ferarceamare The moderating team does not include healthcare professionals. Similar to our social media team. The emphasis is on patient to patient connections.

Yes Chris. Posting community guidelines is good practice. However few people read them. Therefore it is important to model the behavior you want on the community. That’s where the moderators and mentors play a key role. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/community-guidelines/

Janet – do you delete comments at times?

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