A Pocket Guide to Social Media for Physicians, Nurses and Other Smart Heroes

This is the super condensed Pocket Guide to Social Media for Physicians, Nurses and Other Smart Heroes.

  1. Figure out how social media platforms and tools work – you can do this on your own. To get started, Google keywords, like “social media”, “Twitter”, “Facebook”, “Blogging”, “Youtube”, “API”, “Hashtags”, “Google Places”.
  2. Use your imagination to figure out how these media can be re-purposed in Healthcare, networking, professional development or anything else that interests you.
  3. Reflect on topics such as: Ethics, bedside manner, HIPAA, patient dignity, professional development, peer networking, collaboration.
  4. Become a better professional: call a patient or colleague whom you haven’t seen in a while and ask “How are you?”

There it is: your Pocket Guide to Social Media for Physicians, Nurses and Other Smart Heroes.

Now this isn’t intended to be a sarcastic post: these tips are simply about the rudimentary elements of being literate in the 21st Century.

The truly difficult parts of doing social media in the long-term while achieving success – well that’s something that comes from experience, determination and surrounding yourself with other smart heros.

The guide is available for download here and here.


Webinar – Healthcare Social Media: Perspectives in Practice

Health Is Social is excited to deliver its first Webinar on Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 1:00pm – 3:pm EST, 10:00am – 12:oopm PST, 6:00pm – 8:00pm London:

Healthcare Social Media: Perspectives in Practice will showcase the practical perspectives of four pioneers in healthcare social media.


If you’ve decided that Social Media is here to stay and you’re either planning or implementing your social media strategies and presence, but are still figuring out what to do or what more you can do, then you’ll want to attend this Webinar.

The purpose of the Webinar is to expand on the theoretical bases of healthcare social media with specific examples and views. Health Is Social believes that social media offers a robust array of possibilities within healthcare, requiring different perspectives on what can be done.

In this Webinar, we cover four of these perspectives: the patient’s, the provider’s, the healthcare organization’s and the professional’s (internal staff):

Hospitals, healthcare associations, practitioners interested in developing their online presence are encouraged to attend the Webinar. We believe Social Media goes deeper than just public relations – these new media offer opportunities to improve collaboration, help redesign internal processes and provide novel ways of adding value to all of an organization’s information customers.


We have four terrific presenters whose collective knowledge and experience offer a unifying blend of themes in healthcare social media:

Dave deBronkart – Patient Perspective

Dave deBronkart

Dave deBronkart, author of Laugh, Sing and Eat Like a Pig, will provide the Patient Perspective.

An accomplished speaker and writer in his professional life before his illness, today Dave is actively engaged in opening health care information directly to patients on an unprecedented level, thus creating a new dynamic in how information is delivered, accessed and used by the patient. This is revolutionizing the relationship between patient and health care providers, which in turn will impact insurance, careers/jobs, quality of life and the distribution of finances across the entire spectrum of health care.

Dave blogs regularly at e-patients.net and actively participates in community discussions on empowering patients. You can follow his wisdom on Twitter by following @ePatientDave.

Bryan Vartabedian, MD, FAAP – Provider Perspective

Bryan Vartabedian, MD

Dr. Vartabedian is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and attending physician at Texas Children’s Hospital, America’s largest children’s hospital.

Beyond practicing as a pediatric gastroenterologist, he has an interest in the evolving role of social media in health care.  Since 2006 he has been active in the health blogosphere and currently blogs at 33 Charts.  As an active speaker, he has addressed the AMA, American Telemedicine Association and the Texas Medical Association on the issue of MDs in social media.  He maintains an active presence on a variety of social media platforms and in between patients you can find him on Twitter.  In his free time, he serves as a strategic thinker for the next-generation physician social network, iMedExchange.

Erin Macartney : Healthcare Organization Perspective on Partnering Patients with Healthcare Team

Erin Macartney

Erin is a public affairs specialist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, where she coordinates the social media program, and is responsible for PAMF’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and online newsroom. She is also a regular contributor to Ragan’s HealthCare Marketing and Communications News. PAMF uses a variety of communications tools to create relationships with patients and further health education – helping people become active partners in their own health and health care team.

Previously, Erin was corporate communications manager at Quintiles, an international bio and pharmaceutical services provider; worked in corporate communications at Amgen, a pioneer and leading company in the biotechnology industry; and as a freelance writer and communications consultant. Erin is active in the #hcsm community and co-founder of HCSM Silicon Valley (@hcsmSV). You can follow her on Twitter at @emacartney.

Angela Dunn, Odom Lewis – Professional Development Perspective

Odom Lewis

Angela Dunn, Dir. of Social Media & Recruiting for Odom Lewis, helps you navigate social media for your personal and professional brand in healthcare and pharma marketing.  Angela has more than twenty years of experience in marketing communications.

In addition to helping place top leadership in healthcare and pharma marketing communications, Angela also helps coach CEOs and senior leadership on social media. She was recently featured on the American Express OPEN forum and interviewed by MSNBC at TWTRCON in NYC.

Angela was also among the top 12 bloggers asked to participate in “Best Strategic Learning Investment for 2010” for pharma and healthcare marketers. Angela blogs for Odom Lewis and is responsible for their Twitter account @OdomLewis and their newly developed Resource Hub for Healthcare and Social Media professionals on Facebook.


Order tickets below or visit the event page here.

Blogging Is No Longer…

…putting content on website in a reverse-chronological order.

Blogging is a process that takes place on and off the Web. Here’s the #hcsm-inspired tweet:

Health Is Social means that in order for the art and science of healthcare communication to be fruitful, the uses of any medium must be made as socially purposeful as possible.

Retweets don’t just happen on Twitter: When patients love what their providers do, they’ll probably tell their friends and spread good words – a process that’s otherwise known as Word of Mouth.

The same principles of conversation in social media apply to the offline world too.

You can now tweet about your experience with a physician…expound upon your tweet on your blog…update your Facebook status with a link to your post about your tweet…and then email your physician the link to your Facebook status (if it’s publicly viewable). You can even post a video of all that you just did on Youtube. All of those communications now comprise blogging, including the conversation with your physician.

Blogging is no longer blogging.

Blogging is a way of linking – and extending – the web of experiences.



Health Is Social is hosting it’s first Webinar called Healthcare Social Media: Perspectives in Practice. Announcement coming within days! Get updates by email:

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Ativan for Healthcare Social Media

Ativan for Healthcare Social MediaPatients want: connection…support…wisdom…help.

Healthcare providers (should) want: patients to get and stay well.

Given this simple and mutually beneficial set of conditions, it would be reasonable to conclude that the Healthcare and Life Sciences industries would fawn over emerging social and digital media.

Overall, however, the industries appear to be very anxious about treading into social media. Of course there are solid and valid concerns: HIPAA, FDA regulations, boundaries, patient dignity, proprietary information, etc. But concerns are different from fears. And therein lies a key opportunity for change agents within the industries to better reposition themselves with respect to social and digital media.


…Well, technically one could hook a bomb up to a Twitter account, message it and BOOM.

Other than that, it’s unlikely that providers are playing with anything more risky with social media than they are with surgery or liver-damaging pharmaceuticals or implantable devices or admissions to hospitals with high infection rates.

If ever there was an industry that had to manage high risk, it’s the healthcare and life sciences industries.

And perhaps it’s because of the need for conservative risk-management that what should be a culture of concern has become a culture of fear.

Fear can drive you in the wrong direction. Fear can reinforce your prejudices. Fear can replace strategy with blunder.

Every single day, smart business leaders orbit and fall into the gravity of fear.

Fear is one of the most common cultural traits of many enterprises – not just healthcare.

An organization that can overcome its fears is an organization that has a healthier view of the world. It can discriminate between true concerns and false alarms. It isn’t afraid of change because it’s accepted the fact that the world is utterly composed of change.


Addressing Fear – personal and professional – is one of life’s biggest challenges. It would be nice if there were a magic formula for treating fear. Ativan can treat Anxiety, but it doesn’t treat fear. If it did, every day would be casual day in the most conservative of organizations.

So what can be done to address fear? Well the most important step is assessment.

In every meeting, everybody should go around the room and ask “What are we afraid of?” If the answer is No to a demand for change, find out how much of a part fear plays.

Find out the underlying cause of the fear – is the object of the concern valid or based on a misperception? Is ignorance or awareness at work?

Do the decision makers understand the full picture of what’s at stake? That is: Do they know that nothing in life is without risk?

If you want to know what the Ativan for cultural fear is, here it is in one word: Understanding.

The proper response to a world that looks terrifying isn’t fear and denial and blocking it out. The proper response is to face it, figure it out and go forth.

In a world which is becoming increasingly connected, there is little room for fearful savants.

Today’s healthcare leaders need to be courageous polymaths.

by @PhilBaumann

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