Mayo Clinic is #WINNING When it Comes to Social Media

8 04 2011

After being fired from his hit show Two and a Half Men last month Charlie Sheen reminded everyone of the power of social media when he set a new Guiness Book of World Records by attaining over a million followers in less than 24 hours after joining Twitter. A month later he has increased his following to over 3,500,000. We see the power in reaching that many people in just seconds but how can it be used in a productive manner? This is a question Sheen couldn’t answer despite his magical brain and instead looked for a social media intern. In true Charlie Sheen fashion he has set up the interview process as a contest with contestants tweeting, making videos and most recently in the third round answering the question “what is the best company using social media today and why?”

Surprisingly, the answer from one finalist, came from the healthcare industry as she answered with Mayo Clinic. As Lee Aase, director of the Center for Social Media at Mayo Clinic stated “healthcare has lagged behind other industries in social media use, so it’s nice to have Mayo Clinic mentioned among those doing it well.” Shannah Henderson, the #tigerbloodintern contestant from Minnesota, didn’t focus on the negatives in her two-minute video but instead talked of the user-friendly interface on the Mayo Clinic website, the links to YouTube videos, and the option to speak with a professional through a virtual chat. One of the most impressive features for Henderson is the ability to have a personal patient account where she can schedule appointments, refill subscriptions, and join in conversations with other users.  

I think this is a great example of a company that despite has not let the industry they are in hold them back from using social media to keep loyal customers. The Mayo Clinic has found ways to use social media to their advantage despite being in the healthcare industry that is notorious for being behind the times. This is definitely a company many others should look to.

 Do you know have another example of a great healthcare company using social media? Please share by posting in the comments below.


Videos, Pictures, and More Coverage – #hcsm

4 04 2011

Last week I gave a quick recap of our “Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Healthcare Communications” event but now I have finished editing the video and uploading pictures so you can check it out for yourself. Pictures are available by going to the Racepoint Group Facebook page or Picasa album. You can find a video from the event on the recap page or check out one of the two blogs written “Health care social media is still in its infancy says panel” or Healthcare 3.0. Let me know what you think!

Ubiqi Health – Creating a Community of Migraine Sufferers

1 04 2011

As I mentioned in my earlier post, today was the “Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Healthcare Communications” event I have been working on all semester. At the end of the event there was a small networking event and a book signing by our Chairman, Larry Weber, who just released his latest book Everywhere. One person I got a chance to talk to was Jacqueline Thong, co-founder & CEO of Ubiqi Health. I was fascinated by her company and thought it definitely deserved a little more coverage. Ubiqi Health is an app for migraine sufferers that has been become a huge success since it launched last year.

Migraines are a serious problem for many Americans and are often dismissed by those who have never experienced the pain as a simple headache. And unlike other diseases such as diabetes there is not as much information out there about them or support groups for those who do have to deal with them to meet up and talk about treatments. This is why Throng thought the app was such a good idea. It allows users to track migraines, triggers and treatments. It also allows users to build a network of other migraine sufferers to share the pain and also treatment options and tricks they have used to help them through.

It is now available for the iPhone and Blackberrys and Throng says it will be available for all other smartphones soon. If you are an active Ubiqi Health user, or have used the app in the past please share your story! This seems like such a great idea and I can’t wait to see the company grow.

#hcsm – Event Today in Boston, MA

1 04 2011

So today was finally the day!!! I woke up bright and early to get into Boston for our “Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Healthcare Communications” event. Despite the calendar reading April 1st, it was not an April Fool’s joke that it was snowing, and snowing hard. I thought for sure this would result in low attendance records and was shocked when there were close to 50 attendees.  Not only did so many people but they were all fully engaged, many had laptops or mobile devices that allowed them to participate in the discussion through Twitter by using our the designated hashtags #rpgsm and #hcsm. I have to admit I would sometimes stop paying attention to Twitter to ensure I didn’t miss anything but it was definitely interesting to return to the office and see how many people were tweeting back and forth and diving down deeper into some of the issues the speakers touched upon. Once again I was amazed by the power of social media. In a room of strangers, social media was connecting all of them. Below are just some of the tweets from during the event.

KevinMD; pulling back the curtain for patients

20 03 2011

As I continue to prepare for “Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Healthcare Communications” event on April 1st, I will continue to feature our panelists in my blog. I am extremely excited to hear Dr. Kevin Pho of talk.  Known as social media’s leading physician voice, KevinMD has 7,199 likes on Facebook , 33,179 followers on Twitter and 46,000 RSS subscribers. He is cited regularly by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, TIME, American Medical News and has been named one of’s five recommended healthcare Twitter feeds.

Not only are his credentials extremely impressive but what impresses me more is the content he publishes. Unlike Sermo, which is a network exclusively for physicians, KevinMD publishes his content for the patients. He says he “aims to pull the curtain back” giving patients a glimpse of what is going on behind the scenes in the healthcare industry.

Sometimes posting over ten posts a day, it could get confusing how Dr. Pho ever has time to actually practice medicine but he only writes a small percentage of the posts himself and instead spends about an hour each morning going through posts sent to him often referring to physicians he is familiar with and has reposted before.

I think one of the most impressive things about is the interaction with patients. Not only is it a blog specifically for them, really giving them great insight, but the number of comments on each post along with the number of times each post is tweeted, especially considering the number of each posts each day is unbelievable. Have you checked out before? If so, what did you think, if you could ask him one question what would it be?

Sermo – Connecting Doctors Across the Country

12 03 2011

For my next couple blog posts I am going to feature each of the guests we have coming to our event on April 1st – “Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Healthcare Communications.” Ashley Serotta from Sermo will be the first. Ashley is the senior director of membership at Sermo. She leads all membership acquisition, engagement, product and support activity for the physician-only community.

Unlike most social media platforms that target people of almost all age groups and income levels, Sermo is specifically for physicians. Similar to the idea that was presented in my Grey’s Anatomy post on March 1st, Sermo is a community where practicing physicians from all different disciplines across the United States can collaborate. With over 115,000 members it is the largest online physician community in the US.

Before doing research on Sermo for the panel I had never heard of such a company. I loved the idea that doctors would have a place to talk about different issues they were facing, learn from each other, offer tips and even possibly lend life-saving equipment that was presented on Grey’s Anatomy but as I said I did have some reservations. There would definitely be some legal issues involved regarding privacy and also about whether or not a doctor would be giving the patient full attention if they were narrating tweets to an intern. But is a community such as Sermo the solution? Many privacy issues seem to be taken out of the equation when it is a private community that isn’t open to the public. And maybe doctors won’t have the app pulled up on their phones during an actual procedure like Dr. Bailey did, but they could still use it to seek advice while prepping for a surgery or when just stuck on a difficult issue in a case. From the very beginning of our schooling we are taught to work in groups, learning that many minds are better than one. It seems to me that Sermo has found a way to connect some of the greatest minds in the country – forging a makeshift study group. If this is just the beginning I can’t imagine the places where it could go. This is a great example of how social media is connecting people to really improve our systems.

Ask the Healthcare Social Marketing Guru

11 03 2011

The company I intern for is hosting a healthcare and social media event in Boston on April 1st. My job today is to create questions for our panelist to facilitate a discussion. We have leading experts in the field from KevinMD, Sermo, Imprivata and FairCareMD. Right now my questions are focusing around two main topics: how social media has helped them communicate with patients and how it has allowed them to collaborate with other healthcare professionals. If you could ask these healthcare social media guru’s anything, what would it be?