Mayo Clinic is opening a Center for Social Media to train other health care organizations to use Twitter, YouTube and Facebook to connect patients and doctors. The new center will run workshops, offer consulting and host conferences.
This article is actually about two topics and one question:
1) How a top U.S. hospital recognizes the power and the benefits of social media
2) How social media learners can keep up with the latest news and trends
and . . .
3) Why do some people/organizations still think social media is a fad?
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of virtually every type of complex illness. Continually featured in traditional media sources as one of the most reputable and advanced organizations in the hospital industry, the Mayo Clinic is advancing its leadership among health care providers by opening this new social media center focusing on health care.
“The real focus is looking for ways to increase the use of social media throughout the practice at Mayo — to provide in-depth information for patients in a much more comprehensive way, and to create connections between researchers, physicians and staff. Up until now we’ve had the equivalent of a person and a half working through the P.R. department, and we want to take that same model to the whole enterprise at Mayo. We’ll have the equivalent of about eight full-time employees, including a medical director,” said Lee Aase, Mayo’s top social media guru.
[Lee’s quote here and below from an interview with Wall Street Journal]
Mayo Clinic’s foray into social media began with podcasting in 2005
Currently, Mayo Clinic has the most popular medical provider channel on YouTube and more than 60,000 “followers” on Twitter, as well as an active Facebook page with well over 20,000 connections. With its News Blog, Podcast Blog and Sharing Mayo Clinic, a blog that enables patients and employees to tell their Mayo Clinic stories.
Mayo has been a pioneer in hospital blogging. MayoClinic.com, Mayo’s consumer health information site, also hosts a dozen blogs on topics ranging from Alzheimer’s to The Mayo Clinic Diet.
Mayo has also used social media tools for internal communications, beginning in 2008 with a blog to promote employee conversations relating to the organization’s strategic plan, and including innovative use of video and a hybrid “insider” newsletter/blog. This employee engagement contributes to Mayo Clinic being recognized among Fortune magazine’s “Best Places to Work.”
Why would a busy doctor want to spend the time to learn how to use YouTube?
“This is building on the interest that we’ve already had. There is immense interest from clinical departments — they want to be able to harness these tools to do their business. We want to create a curriculum that’s scalable and enables us to provide them with training when they want it.” Lee
What’s the goal?
“To help patients. Sometimes that means providing information directly to them, and sometimes it means disseminating information more rapidly to the medical community.” Lee
Social Media ethos: “You share what you are learning”
One of my favorite bloggers Valeria Maltoni wrote about the Mayo Clinic announcement in this post: CONVERSATION AGENT. Among her facts was that only 762 of the more than 5,000 hospitals in the U.S. have some social networking presence. Demand for health-related online information and support is strong and will only be increasing, according to Ed Bennett’s Hospital Social Networking List.
Shel Holtz, hugely respected corporate communication pro/podcaster/social media guru , interviewed Lee Aase for his August 5 podcast: Listen and hear how Mayo Clinic believes that individuals have the right to advocate for their own health care.
And now the $64.000 question: Why do some people/organizations still think social media is a fad?