Healthcare Social Networking For The Professional

by Mark Wechsler | Arrow Systems Integration

Social networking is nothing new. What is new is the amount of valuable information it can provide in support of your business and clinical needs. In the last year or so the number of social media discussion groups focusing on the business of healthcare seems to have skyrocketed. There are healthcare social networking interest groups actively debating and sharing insight on all manner of topics that are relevant to your role in the organization.

I follow several groups and have found them helpful in identifying industry trends, understanding issues, and improving my knowledge of healthcare specific technology. The primary healthcare social networking groups I follow are Health Management Technology and mHIMSS, both of which are hosted on Linkedin. I also find @HealthLeadersMedia on Twitter to be useful. A scan of their most recent posts gives me a good idea of what is top of mind and what might be relevant with respect to the advanced communication services we provide. For example, within the last 24hrs I found several Health Leaders Media topics to be useful:

  • 82% of sr. leaders rely on internal resources for solutions for financial efficiencies. Report http://hlm.tc/GMf2Ud
  • most #physicians in survey expressed deep frustration w #EHRs that failed promise to improve efficiency. http://hlm.tc/18Pm7gE
  • @RandCorporation report found only 20% of #physicians want to return to paper medical records. http://hlm.tc/18Pm7gE
  • Why Performance Scores Will Matter More in the Future http://hlm.tc/1cwbd3w

I admit that I was at first skeptical of joining any social media groups. I thought their value would be minimal and they would simply deliver unfiltered noise rather than useful information. My concerns proved to be false. For the most part contributors to the healthcare social networking sites I follow offer thoughtful commentary, suggestions, and relevant anecdotes based on their experience.

And now a new type of social media services is rolling out that may provide even a higher degree of peer-to-peer collaboration and expertise. Next Wave Health introduced Next Wave Connect at the recent CHIME 13 Fall CIO Forum. This healthcare social networking site has community managers and advisors whose responsibility is to assist members to find and to collaborate with their peers. A number of organizations including Rush University Medical Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and 24 others are charter members. I have joined as an individual member. It will be interesting to see if this new breed of dedicated healthcare social networking site brings an even greater level of relevance to the discussion.

If you haven’t been participating in healthcare social networking give it a try. Like me, you may be surprised at the expertise and information that is readily available for healthcare professionals.

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The thoughts and opinions in these blogs belong to the individual blogger and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Arrow Systems Integration.