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Next #hcsmca chat

Wed. October 29, 2014 at 9pm ET (10pm AT, 8pm CT, 7pm MT, 6pm PT)
hcsmca = Health Care Social Media Canada more info >>

#hcsmca: The Future Beckons

October 29, 2014

By Pat Rich with Shirley Williams and Colleen Young

#hcsmca Vision: Driving positive social collaboration for better health and health care.

  • Is the above statement a vision for #hcsmca that resonates with you?
  • Is it a vision that provides the emotional and strategic underpinning to allow the community to build on existing strengths and grow over the next few years?

 These are the questions we are asking you, the #hcsmca community, as we complete this phase of a journey of reflection of #hcsmca’s purpose and future that began almost a year ago. When these and other questions are answered to the satisfaction of the community, we believe #hcsmca will have a strong organizational base to allow it to continue to flourish. 

headshot Pat Rich

Pat Rich

The questions we are asking now are very different the types of questions posed in a Dec. 2013 post – #hcsmca: Is yesterday’s Future Ready for Tomorrow – when I (Pat Rich) asked whether the model of #hcsmca remained relevant to the community it had grown to serve.

The post prompted tweetchats at the beginning of this year (Jan. 8 transcript) in which the #hcsmca community gave a resounding ‘yes’ to the main question I asked and then looked at what was working well and what could be improved. See #hcsmca: Taking Stock at 4 Years for a summary of feedback you shared and an outline of next steps.

As a result of those discussions, Shirley Williams, #hcsmca founder Colleen Young and I completed a process with volunteer advisory members to develop a vision and mission for #hcsmca.

We recognize that, like all successful organizations, even a virtual, volunteer-based organization such as #hcsmca needs to have collectively accepted underpinnings to survive and to continue to grow. We need a clear understanding of who we are, what we are doing, and how we are going to achieve those goals.

To help provide guidance on the vision for our  community, the #hcsmca vision-mission advisory members were invited to describe

  1. What success for the community would look like in 2017,#hcsmca avatar
  2. What the purpose of the community would be at that time,
  3. How the community would deliver on this purpose, and
  4. What is the value/benefit of the community.

We received many thoughtful responses, and from these responses Shirley conducted an analysis to identify key themes and common threads, which Colleen and I reviewed. From these responses we have crafted a draft vision and mission statement for consideration of the broader community.

The draft vision – a short statement that accurately reflects the aspirations of our community – is what you see in quotes at the beginning of this post. The draft mission statement – a pragmatic statement on our reason for being – has been crafted to read as follows:

#hcsmca Mission

The #hcsmca community is an inclusive network for all Canadians who are passionate about health and health care.

The community’s mission focus is to facilitate communications, provide a central hub of social health information, support innovative and collaborative solutions to improve health and health care delivery.

The networked #hcsmca community discusses, researches and problem solves current health care ideas, challenges and opportunities. The community leverages its diverse knowledge pool, social media and other digital collaborative tools to facilitate an open forum to share perspectives, best practices and new ideas

The #hcsmca is a community of respect, inclusion, diversity and openness.

The value and benefit of the community is access to a diverse network of people with a vast collective wisdom to support ideas, solutions, information , research and know-how.

Although #hcsmca geographical focus is Canada, the community has a global reach.

headshot Shirley Williams

Shirley Williams

Vision and mission statements are not easy things to do right, especially if they are to capture the aspirations and dreams of the type of forward-looking thinkers who spend time contributing to #hcsmca. Shirley deserves kudos for using her organizational expertise to take the initial thoughts from almost two dozen leading #hcsmca participants and synthesize them into one statement.

But we realize the statement needs to be one that resonates with the larger community. So on Nov. 5 at 1pm ET, the focus of the #hcsmca chat will be to get your feedback on the vision and mission statements.

Following this feedback, Shirley, Colleen and myself will fine-tune the vision and mission, and provide more detail on the final framework of the principles that will underpin our community moving forward.

Whether you are a regular participant on #hcsmca, a past participant, or just an occasional visitor, we encourage you to join the Nov. 5 chat and help crowd-source the future of Canada’s premier volunteer social media health network.

  • T1  Is the vision for #hcsmca the correct one? Does it resonate with you?
  • T2  Does the mission statement reflect #hcsmca’s reason to exist?
  • T3 Does the mission statement capture the key value of the community?

If you can’t make the chat or want to use more than 140 characters, leave your feedback in the comments of this blog. Comments will be included in the final analysis and contribute to our crowd-sourced vision, mission and future.

The Public Physician: @Doctor_V guest on #hcsmca

October 27, 2014
headshot of Dr. Bryan Vartabedian

Dr. Bryan Vartabedian

33 charts was one of the first blogs I followed and Dr. Bryan Vartabedian (@Doctor_V) one of the first people I followed on Twitter. Through his blog, I feel I get special access to the musings and contemplations of a physician — a perspective that wasn’t so readily and regularly available before social media. He writes about navigating health and social media as a physician, and the challenges, opportunities, and obligations physicians have as part of a world beyond their individual space.

Now, Bryan has published his thoughts and learnings in an e-book, The Public Physician – Practical Wisdom for Life in a Connected, Always-On World. The Public Physician arose from the awareness that physicians been looking to policy statements to understand how they should handle engagement in the networked space. Bryan says “In reality, the lessons of what we should and shouldn’t do can be found within the living networks where communities of public physicians are creating the standards. I’ll do my best to offer a sensible and strategic perspective on how these standards can be applied in your world.

Book cover of The Public Physician

And while Bryan states that his book is peer-to-peer advice, as non-physicians you and I are not excluded from that circle. Beyond merely organizing his writings from the past 5 years of blogging into book format, the content has been shaped by dialogue and commentary from his blog and Twitter followers – followers that include patients, caregivers, communicators, researchers, designers, IT specialists as well as fellow physicians.

And getting feedback doesn’t stop there. Bryan wants continued input. He plans to “pivot and revise, and adjust based on feedback. Is there a direction that I should take? What works, what doesn’t — from core content to editorial design. …what would represent a good chapter or subheading under a current chapter? I’m looking for brilliant input on helping doctors interface with e-patients, for example.

This is where #hcsmca comes in. On Wednesday, October 29 at 9pm ET, Bryan will join #hcsmca to talk about the public physician and The Public Physician.

Here’s the general arc for the chat, but open for revision.

  • T1: How does one “map” their public presence?
  • T2: Discuss the opportunity & challenges of negotiating your digital footprint, connections & relationships through social networks.
  • T3: How has online interaction shaped your thinking since 2008?
  • T3b: How do you plan to use feedback for future updates of your book?

What specific questions would you like to ask Bryan on Wednesday?

Evaluating the Evolution of Our Online Efforts

October 21, 2014

By Sara Hamil (@QuintePediatric)

Headshot Sara Hamil

Sara Hamil

headshot Dr Paul Dempsey

Dr Paul Dempsey

This past weekend Dr. Paul Dempsey (@drpauldempsey) and I spoke at a conference about the social and digital media work we’ve done at Quinte Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine over the past four plus years. This isn’t the first time we’ve had the privilege to speak on the topic, but every time we do we’re granted a really great opportunity to reflect on our progress. To prepare for a speaking engagement we start by looking back at where we’ve come from, and each time we do we’re better able to see just how far we’ve come.

Our practice has been highly engaged online for a while now. We set out with a mission to use social media to remove the walls of our practice and allow for our patient community to better connect to both us and each other. Over time we’ve taken cues from our audience to try new things and add new functions to our digital repertoire. Some initiatives, such as our online resource centre (inspired by the patients themselves) have been very successful. Others, like our use of online video, are plans that haven’t flown quite as high as expected.


But whether something works the way it was intended, better than expected, or not at all, we’ve learned a great deal along the way and have used these findings to influence the ever evolving role of social and digital media within our practice. So, with the spirit of growth and evaluation in mind, we’ve decided to dedicate this week’s #hcsmca chat (Wednesday October 22 at 1pm ET) to discus the ways in which each of our social media experiences (for better or for worse) have helped to shape the directions we’re taking now.

  • T1: How have your online/social media efforts changed or evolved over time?
  • T2: What online initiatives have surprised you with their success?
  • T3: What online initiatives didn’t go according to plan? Were you surprised by their failure?
  • T4: How has patient/community/audience feedback influenced any changes to your online efforts?
  • T5: Have you found that your patients/community/audience’s expectations have changed overtime?

Articles about Disclosure in Online Communities

October 16, 2014

Since presenting on the panel at Stanford Medicine X called Communicating the Experience of Illness in the Digital Age, I’ve been giving more thought on the importance and role of self-disclosure in building online health communities. I’d like to find literature on the topic and gather stories of experience from people who participate in online communities and/or manage them.

Here are a few papers that Jeana Frost, Meredith Gould and I found.

Of course, my go-to place to get practical information about building successful  online communities is Richard Millington‘s blog FeverBee. He states “... community managers … have a heavy influence over whether interactions between members turn into relationships.”  Here are a few of his key blog posts relevant to disclosure.

Prepping for MedX, I also wrote this post I want my sex life back! TMI? Or gold for online communities and their managers? which grew in richness through the comments people posted.

Do you have additional articles or stories to share about disclosure and 1) how it functions in online communities or 2) the effect of disclosure on the quality of conversation?

Why I tweet my presentations

October 13, 2014

This conversation took place on Twitter over the weekend. It was impossible to answer in 140 characters.

I often schedule tweets to appear during my presentations. I primarily do this to give credit where credit is due, not to pick out key messages of my talks. Takeaways, highlights, key messages of my talks that resonate I leave to the audience to tweet in 140 character snippets. In fact, reading their interpretations of my presentation gives me great insight as to what interests them or surprises them.

So what information do I schedule?

  • References: My talks usually contain references to papers or articles. I tweet the references and include URLs to the PubMed abstract or full article. Where possible I include the Twitter handle of the authors of the article.
  • People who inspire me: Often I gather information prior to my talks from my social network. If an idea came from someone else, I include an attribution to them in a tweet and include their Twitter handle.
  • Further information: Sometimes presentations are only 10-20 minutes long. There’s always more indepth information that we can share. When limited in presentation time, I’ll write blogs expanding on points that I’d like to go deeper on. I schedule tweets to coincide with that part of my talk and refer the audience to the relevant blog post.
  • Hashtags and people: If there are communities or thought leaders that I think my audience would be interested in, then I schedule tweets about them too.

Is this clever? I think so, but I also think it is useful to my audience. I believe in making it easy for people to find people and resources, to expand the networks of people who are interested in the things I’m interested in, and most of all, to give credit where credit is due.

#hcsmca: Taking Stock at 4 Years

October 8, 2014

By Shirley Williams, Colleen Young and Pat Rich

#hcsmca is 4 years old and has grown into a vibrant community where people gather to discuss all things healthcare and social media in Canada. This community has successfully leveraged Twitter to engage people across roles, professions and borders in health care.

To date:

photo by Jenn Sprung @mindthecompany

photo by Jenn Sprung @mindthecompany

  • 12,892 participants have shared
  • 149,859 tweets,
  • an average of 4 tweets per hour during
  • 192 chats creating
  • 395,952,022 impressions.

These are amazing statistics indeed. The community has matured and is ready to plan for the next stage of evolution. As a result, it is a good time to revisit its Vision, Mission and Strategy.

Early 2014, the #hcsmca community conducted a current state assessment. The community shared [via tweets] what is working well and what can be improved. This is a top-level summary of your feedback.

What is working well in #hcsmca:

#hcsmca is an engaged community for all Canadians concerned and/or interested in making health more open and connected, and in improving healthcare communication and delivery. It is a gathering place where interesting topics of social innovation are discussed. Members share and learn from each other, and return to their respective settings with ideas to put into action.

hcsmca-logoWhere #hcsmca can improve:

  1. Update the vision, mission and strategy
  • There is a need to revisit the mission, goals and measures
  • The community is ready to evolve
  1. Revisit the type of discussions
  • #hcsmca chats could be structured around controversial health care topics
  • #hcsmca chats could be held in partnership with professional medical conferences
  • #hcsmca could be a forum for case study analysis and feedback
  • #hcsmca could be a forum for problem solving and collaboration
  • #hcsmca could have moderated debates and featured guests
  1. Revisit discussion method/platform(s)
  • Consider using a mixture of channels to accommodate for different communication styles
  • Consider a monthly national webinar
  • Consider a community blog
  • Consider in person with chats
  • Consider providing a discussion forum platform
  • Consider an annual patient-friendly conference
  1. Establish a method of content creation, management and reporting
  • There is a need to manage the content that is produced
  • There is a need to have the ability to search chats and content generated
  • There is a need for reporting after each chat
  • Consider end of chat ratings
  1. Establish a method to resource #hcsmca
  • Consider to clearly define the value proposition of #hcsmca
  • Consider partnerships with professional medical conference
  • Consider guest hosts for #hcsmca chats
  • Consider a shared responsibility model for maintaining #hcsmca

As a result of the above feedback, we will be approaching a core group and the #hcsmca community to address some of the key suggestions above. There will be two phases for this work.

  • Phase 1 will focus on revisiting the #hcsmca vision and mission (Oct-Dec 2014)
  • Phase 2 will focus on improving the discussions, platforms and resourcing (2015)

We will be seeking input from an advisory group of #hcsmca members to draft a vision and mission for community discussion. Send me a tweet at @williampearl if you are interested in being included in the advisory group.

On November 5 at 1pm ET, #hcsmca will host a chat with the entire community to finalize our vision and mission. We look forward to your lively participation in mapping the future of #hcsmca.

Social media evolution: Moving from individual to organizational goals

October 7, 2014

By Robert Fraser, RN (@RDJfraser)

Rob Fraser, RN

Social media has made the proverbial leap from a mythical sea creature to flip-flopping on land. Years ago the consumerization of technology and connectivity created a web of possibilities and many services have evolved from it since. It has been great to see the growth of services and rapidly increasing adoption by all involved in healthcare (patients, care providers, administrators, researchers, etc.), yet it seems time to take it to the next level.



Initial adoption largely happened by convincing individuals to start to use specific services and/or tools for their own reasons whether personal or professional. Now that a growing number of users know about both the possibilities of social media and the goals of healthcare organizations, how do we evolve further? The number of online networks and communities based on interests or shared connections continues to grow. But the question I ask is:

How do we take our individual understanding of social media’s applications and translate them into strategic initiatives for our organizations and communities we live, volunteer or work in?

To answer this I want to host a discussion about how hospital and health-related organizations can use social media as a vehicle or catalyst to achieving their current mission and goals.

Consider your organization’s or team’s current mission or goals and what is measured and reported on publicly and internally. As a member of the public, consider the information about your hospital’s, family practitioners, other health organization that you would like to know about and see reports on. Keeping these in mind, let’s explore some of the following topics:

  • How does your organization develop and disseminate strategic initiatives?
  • What media does your hospital create or publish (research articles, videos, pamphlets, paper newsletters, etc)?
  • How could social media be applied to better achieve your healthcare organizations goals?
  • Do you know of any initiatives or projects should be as gold standards for organizational use of social media?
  • What organizational uses of social media should be avoided or dropped?

Join me (@RDJfraser), Wednesday (Oct 8th) at 1:00 pm ET. We’ll be using the hashtag #hcsmca to discuss and share ideas about how organizations can integrate social media into their strategic planning and initiatives.

What: #hcsmca chat on Twitter

When: Wed 8/10/2014 – 10a PT / 1p ET

Host: Rob Fraser

If you are new to Tweetchats, you do not need a Twitter account to follow along. Try using the search function on Twitter. If you do have a Twitter account, we recommend using or, for ease of following.

We will be posting the transcript and analytics here after the chat takes place. Chat Transcript and Chat Analytics courtesy of @Symplur