When Mayo Clinic Openly Values Social Media, Can Rest of World Be Far Behind?

Filed in Interview , Sharisax Is Out There 10 comments

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 BlogPodcast 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?

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   9 August 2010
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Comments
Aug 9, 2010
11:08 am
#1 Lee Aase :

Thanks for your great post, Shari. I think our Mayo Clinic experience with social media will help others get past the idea of social media as a fad, and more importantly we plan to provide resources and training that will help them move practically into this area. I appreciate you profiling our work.

Author Aug 9, 2010
11:45 am

My pleasure, Lee. I discovered the story via Shel’s podcast and have even told some of my health care social media guru friends. I expect to see a great deal more from you and Mayo Clinic. If I can be of further service in any way, please let me know.

Aug 10, 2010
7:15 am

Nice job Shari! I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn more and hope that you and I may play a part in supporting Mayo’s efforts. I’ve already signed up!

Author Aug 10, 2010
8:33 am

Right off the bat, Michaela, do you have any new suggestions for Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media?

Aug 12, 2010
10:54 am

I love social media. I use it frequently for my business just to convey information, start a dialogue or educate my followers. I don’t consider myself an expert or a guru because I am a forever student try to learn whatever I can whenever the opportunity presents itself. I am interested to know different and strategic ways that people use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to build their businesses. It’s definitely a testament to the Mayo Clinic to be progressive and foreward thinking enough to do this. Kudos to them!

Author Aug 12, 2010
10:57 am

DITTO, Kelly. I was almost blown away when I heard the announcement. The more I learn about social media’s power and potential, the more I understand that this is our future and it’s the Early Adopters [as usual] who will reap the greatest rewards.

Aug 12, 2010
1:52 pm
#7 Helene Zuili :

In France where I live, lots of organizations are still thinking social media is a fad. SO most of them are still in this position where they ask you to train and coach them, but deep inside they wont believe in it.

The maximum some would accept is a Facebook Page, but without really understanding what is going on after… Yes, we know it, it is difficult to see the lines change and move away from you…

This case of the Mayo Clinic is really interesting because it shows how by sharing knowledge with their pairs and with the patients, Mayo Clinic does not only push herself as a leader, but spread out new ways of sharing which in the matter of health, can really be crucial.

Author Aug 12, 2010
1:56 pm

Helene, we will just keep training and coaching and writing and evangelizing . . . we’ll get them there with us.

Feb 27, 2012
3:59 am

Great post with very nice discussion through comments… I think this is the brilliant way to spread information all around. Thanks for sharing.

Jun 22, 2012
3:44 am

Hurrah! At last I got a weblog from where I be capable of truly take valuable
facts concerning my study and knowledge.

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