Twitter Enters the OR at Seattle Grace Hospital

1 03 2011

Twitter was launched in July of 2006 and in less than 5 years has over 200 million users who generate approximately 140 million tweets per day. Although it was originally seen as a real-time version of Facebook’s status updates, Twitter has grown into platform that almost every industry is trying to take advantage of. With 460,000 new accounts being created each day, the ability to reach millions with just 140 characters gives great power to anyone that is able to use it effectively.

Grey’s Anatomy recently featured Twitter in an episode titled “Don’t Deceive Me (Please Don’t Go).” Dr. Bailey, an attending surgeon at Seattle Grace Hospital, brought Twitter into her operating room and had interns tweet about the surgery answering questions from other surgeons across the world. The Chief of Surgery, Dr. Weber, was originally skeptical asked it to be shut down stating the obvious legal issues. When Bailey disobeys, Twitter ends up saving the life of a patient when other hospitals are able to volunteer life saving advice and equipment. Check out a clip of the episode to see how Dr. Bailey really used it.

This seems like an unbelievable use of social media. Using Twitter to not only educate future doctors, but also share knowledge, tips, and equipment to save lives. I feel like it will be awhile before we actually see something like this come to life because of the obvious legal issues that Dr. Weber pointed out, but the possibilities it brings up are inspiring. How do you feel about it? Would you be comfortable with interns tweeting about a surgery when you were on the table?

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