Friday, April 22, 2011

How social media is changing the patient experience and the future of health care

How social media is changing the patient experience and the future of health care 

OHA Today recently caught up with Colleen Young, Founder of the Health Care Social Media Canada Twitter Group #hcsmca (Health Care Social Media Canada). #hcsmca brings together individuals in the twitter sphere every Wednesday to discuss the latest in the health care community. Colleen shares her knowledge and experience with #hcsmca and how getting involved in social media to improve the overall patient experience is definitely worthwhile.

OHA Today: Why did you start #hcsmca?

Colleen Young: #hcsmca stands for health care social media Canada, a geo-chapter of the #hcsm phenomenon started by Dana Lewis in the US. It was a simple concept — bring people on Twitter together, regardless of profession or expertise, to discuss health care for one hour each week. After taking part in #hcsm and the European geo-chapter #hcsmeu for a several months, I wanted to explore similar issues with respect to the Canadian experience and wondered if others felt the same way. Since the first chat held Sept. 29, 2010 our community has grown to more than 500 people using the hashtag and taking part in the #hcsmca chats every Wednesday at 1pm ET.

OT: What were your strategies to grow #hcsmca?

CY: Like starting any community, it takes time and commitment. The work started before the first chat. I spoke to people on and offline to see if there was an appetite. Once the conversations started, I monitored people on Twitter who were tweeting about health and health care in Canada and invited them to join the chats. This was especially successful when I connected with people looking for information on a topic or someone who had an interesting case study to present to participants. One time our chat coincided with an OHA symposium about community engagement, which resulted in an amazing sharing between OHA and #hcsmca participants.

Our community really solidified and grew after the first pan-Canadian #hcsmca meetup on Feb. 24, 2011. There are also plans to hold more in-person events.

Click on the "via" link for the rest of the article.

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