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Next #hcsmca chat

Wed. October 22, 2014 at 1pm ET (2pm AT, noon CT, 11am MT, 10am PT)
hcsmca = Health Care Social Media Canada more info >>

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

When social media streams go silent – #hpm & #hcsmca combined chat

September 23, 2014

By Colleen Young, Christian Sinclair and Naheed Dosani

hpm hcsmca join 2014 09 24Increasingly people are chronicling their experiences with life-limiting illness online. They help us understand a phase of life that many find hard to face, making a tough subject slightly less taboo. If fact only last week, Charlotte Kitley, a blogger with Huffington Post UK, posted a blog posthumously And So There Must Come an End. There are other examples, like Doug Gosling and his amazing writings in his blog Dying Digitally or Kate Granger (@GrangerKate), a palliative care doctor & terminally ill cancer patient musing about life and death.

Often through sharing online, people build communities and we get updates from people who are connected to them in person. But sometimes. there’s just silence. In our next Tweetchat we’ll bring together the Twitter communities of #hpm (hospice and palliative medicine/care) and #hcsmca (health care social media Canada) to discuss some of the issues that emerge from the generous contributions of these authors.

Some of the questions to be covered may include:

  • What happens when their social media channels go silent?
  • Are they truly gone? Are they just too ill to write?
  • Do the people close to them take over the communication?
  • How does a writer’s openness about their illness and mortality differ from classic illness support/update blogs?
  • What obligations are unexpectedly thrust upon them because of a growing audience?
  • What blogs/vlogs from people with a serious illness have influenced and/or inspired you?

Join us, with our host Dr. Naheed Dosani (@NaheedD), Wednesday night (September 24th) at 9p ET. We’ll be using the hashtags #hpm and #hcsmca and meeting new friends as we bring these two communities together.

What: #hpm/#hcsmca joint chat on Twitter
When: Wed 9/24/2014 – 6p PT / 9p ET
Host: Dr. Naheed Dosani

Facebook Event Listing:

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
Cross-posted to Pallimed blog

Social Media: It’s getting crowded in here

September 15, 2014

Has Twitter gotten too darn noisy? How many blogs can you follow? Are you about to scream if someone invites you to Like yet another Facebook page or invites you to yet another social media platform to crowdsource, save health care, share your story?

Sometimes social media in health care just seems loud and crowded. This week on #hcsmca (September 17), I’d like to take stock and reflect on how you use social media. Before we dive into the topics, let’s spend more time on introductions (T1).

To introduce yourself, complete this statement:

I’m a __________________ and I use social media (sm) to ­­­­­­­­­­­­­_____________________.

For example, you might be

  • A researcher who uses sm to inform and recruit.
  • A patient who uses sm to connect with other patients.
  • An editor who uses sm to share journal’s publications.
  • A pharmacist using sm to stay up to date.
  • A communicator managing the institution’s sm presence.

We’re rarely one-dimensional as my examples imply, so you’ll have to be creative to fit it all into 140 characters.

Then let’s dive into these topics:

  • T2: Has your use of social media for health changed over time? If so, how?
  • T3: What does social media in health enable for you?
  • T4: What frustrates you or has disenfranchised you?
  • T5: What advice would you give someone who joining the hcsm bandwagon now?

Join the conversation Wednesday, September 17 at 1pm ET (10am PT, 11am MT, noon CT, 2pm AT).

Is it time for healthcare governance to get social?

September 8, 2014

This week on September 10, Jodi Butts will moderate #hcsmca, bringing a topic that we surprisingly have not examined from this angle. Remember, #hcsmca wants to hear from all voices. Does the question of governance intimidate you? No problem. Come and ask questions. No prior knowledge required. Got lots of thoughts on governance? Come share and help others learn. 

By Jodi Butts (@jodilhbutts)

headshot Jodi Butts

Jodi Butts

The name of Accreditation Canada’s report belies its conclusion: Quality Starts at the Top: The Pivotal Role of the Governing Body. Highlights of this study include two very important points:

  • The greatest opportunity for improvement related to governance is the need for governing bodies to regularly evaluate their own performance.
  • Organizations excelling in governance practices perform significantly better in aspects of patient safety, further emphasizing that boards play a pivotal role in enabling quality and safety.

Based on its review, Accreditation Canada found that while generally performing well, Boards are not regularly using a process to evaluate and benchmark their own performance and functioning. And yet, there is a large body of literature that reinforces the importance of governance and its influence on the quality of health care services.

Similarly, there is an abundance of evidence that supports the positive impact that transparency can have on quality. The authors of a 2011 McKinsey study entitled Transparency – the most powerful driver of health care improvement? note that transparency has already transformed a wide range of industries. They posit that, similarly in the healthcare context, transparency has the potential to enhance accountability, productivity and quality of service delivery; increase patients’ involvement in their own care and drive economic growth.

And if we are to pursue greater transparency, there has to be a better, or least an additional way, to access information about our healthcare system. From the individual’s perspective, freedom of information laws are expensive, limited and logistically clumsy at facilitating greater understanding of our system. From the providers’ perspective, they are expensive to comply with and offer an ineffective and distorted means of sharing knowledge. We continue to see more mandatory disclosure and reporting laws as a means of compensating for the shortcomings of “freedom of information” and “access to information” legislation but this probably isn’t the complete solution either.

It therefore seems to me that both governance and transparency are worth more effort than we are currently investing; that there is a need for “opening up” the governance process to more feedback and understanding; and some creativity never and probably wouldn’t hurt.

I’m therefore pleased to invite you to join me in Twitter conversation on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 1PM ET about the role social media can play in pursuing the improvement of the quality of healthcare governance and transparency in our system:

  • T1: How could social media be better than access to information laws at achieving transparency?
  • T2: How can social media be used in strategic or hospital design planning processes?
  • T3: Could live tweeting from Board of Directors or Medical Advisory Council meetings make for better governance?