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Engaging a wider audience in online communities

November 27, 2014

By Providence Health Care (@Providence_Hlth)

Providence Health Care is excited to moderate #hcsmca on December 3, 2014. Join us as we share our experience with Bloom, our online community, and help us discover ways to engage a wider audience.

Providence Health Care logo

Bloom Background

We created Bloom to bring together staff, physicians, researchers, volunteers, patients, families, communities and stakeholders in new ways. Our leaders wanted to use Bloom to harness the ideas and perspectives of the people most involved in health care.

Each month new questions are posted on Bloom to solicit feedback on specific topics. As often as possible, we act on top-ranked ideas/comments. If a topic area leads to change, that will also be posted on the home page of Bloom and shared through our other communication channels (i.e. PHC News), creating a feedback loop. This “crowdsourcing” of ideas helps us generate a broader range of ideas for innovation and positive change. Everyone is empowered to have a voice on questions posted and to lend their ideas and opinions to the topic at hand. This open forum also offers a window into the “life at Providence” for potential job seekers and students.

Bloom also acts as a “virtual water cooler” around which Providence staff and other personnel can “check in” on the happenings of Providence as well as its priorities and themes at any given time. From research to fundraising to daily operations, users have a one-stop location for all online activity of Providence related organizations, from research groups to foundations.

Finally, Bloom allows Providence to communicate its areas of emphasis and its priorities to all stakeholders in a consistent, robust and multi-faceted manner. And it does so in a transparent, open, responsive way that demonstrates Providence’s commitment to its motto: How you want to be treated.


Since Bloom launched in June 2013, we have had varying degrees of success depending on the season and the topic. We would like to engage more staff and increase participation of those who are currently active in the community.

Discussion Topics

On Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 10 am Pacific Time (1 pm Eastern Time), we’d like to explore three questions with the #hcsmca community:

  •  T1: How can we increase reach and engagement for hospital staff and physicians?
  • T2: How can we reach/engage people on Bloom who may not understand social media?
  • T3 : Would gamification (points, kudos for rewards) motivate people to engage on a crowdsourcing platform? What incentives would you suggest?
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