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hcsmca-logoAll you need to know about #hcsmca

#hcsmca hosts a tweet chat every Wednesday at 1 pm ET. The last Wednesday of the month is our monthly evening chat at 9 pm ET.

Follow Twitter SharingStrength@hcsmca to get notifications about upcoming chat topics, Meetups and #hcsmca-related events.

What is #hcsmca?

#hcsmca is an inclusive network for all Canadians passionate about health and health care. #hcsmca is a cross-disciplinary community with core values of respect, diversity and openness. Although #hcsmca’s geographical focus is Canada, the community has global reach.

Together we make health care more open and connected.

Our Vision

To drive social collaboration for better health and health care.

Our Mission

As a central hub of social health information, #hcsmca connects people, facilitates communications, and supports innovative and collaborative solutions to improve health and health care.

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

Read more on how the #hcsmca community created its vision and mission.

Who takes part in #hcsmca?

Anyone and everyone delivering and receiving health care who is interested in open conversation to help improve quality, access, value and effectiveness of health care. This includes: patients, caregivers, patient advocates, healthcare professionals, not-for-profit health organizations, educators, heath content providers, health institutions, health administrators, health systems and networks, government and health policy makers.

Join us. Tell me who you are and I’ll add you to the Twitter hcsmca list.

À noter : Le discours de #hcsmca se présente principalement en anglais. Mais les tweets en français sont les bien bienvenues. La communauté va faire de son mieux pour les traduire quand c’est nécessaire.

What do we talk about?

That’s up to the #hcsmca community to decide. Submit a topic you would like to discuss to #hcsmca Founder @Colleen_Young.

Find the transcripts of past chats in the #hcsmca Transcripts Collection.

How to take part in #hcsmca

  1. Get a Twitter account.
  2. Go to or
  3. Enter the #hcsmca in the box that says “Enter a hashtag” and press Enter.
  4. Sign in to participate in the chat. (note the hashtag #hcsmca will automatically be added to your tweets.
  5. Review this week’s topics. Feel free to add a topic yourself.
  6. Be online at 1 pm ET (2 pm AT, noon CT, 11 am MT, 10 am PT). Note: last week of the month is our evening chat at 9pm ET.
  7. Chat!

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83 Comments leave one →
  1. mikenstn permalink
    September 27, 2010 1:37 pm

    Kudos for taking on this project. I find that Canadian healthcare organizations are much more cautious about adopting social media than their US counterparts. In many cases, US healthcare organizations are looking for competitive advantages … something that generally is not a concern for Canadian healthcare organizations.

    Michael Martineau


    • September 27, 2010 2:22 pm

      Thanks Mike.

      You’ve added great questions to this week’s discussion. In fact, it looks like yours set the stage well for the question posed by Heather Sinardo.

      To see the questions for this week’s discussion, go to

      See you all on Wednesday at 1pm EST.


    • September 29, 2010 12:19 am

      I agree Mike, we have been lagging behind the US in adoption of Social Media and online engagement with both patients and providers. I’m not sure if it is a lack of ‘competition’ though, I think it is more to do with a fear of the unknown and high workload on providers. Hopefully #hcsmc will help to grow the community of patients and providers that are heading online.


  2. November 3, 2010 6:17 pm

    I noted the focus of your conversation today and was sorry we weren’t able to participate.

    That said, I can tell you that Canada Health Infoway is VERY interested in leveraging social media channels to engage our stakeholders, share information and garner insights from the ehealth community.

    We’re in the process of doing our due diligence (e.g. listening, following groups like yours), developing the requisite policies and procedures and will be active social media users in the very near future.

    We hope to learn from our initial efforts and will certainly appreciate any guidance or advice folks care to share as we progress down this path.


    • November 3, 2010 6:29 pm

      This is the exciting part about social media. Very rarely, if every, would a group holding a conversation about an organization be heard by that organization. Thanks so much for letting us know that you are looking to leverage social media in the future.

      By the sounds of it, you are more than on the right track with your preparation. I would really encourage you to open up that process, even discussing the planning stages, or what difficulty or barriers you are facing give people an insight into what the organization is dealing with. Also, you might be surprised by what those listening might be able to help you with.

      Keep up the great work and thanks for listening, can’t wait until you are able to participate!



  3. November 3, 2010 9:05 pm

    Welcome Kirk and Canada Health Infoway!

    It’s great to know that you’re listening and taking the preparatory steps to participating in social media. I trust that you are excited to find that people are talking about Canada Health Infoway and anxious to be talking with you via social media.

    I second Rob’s point about opening up your planning phase. Please consider yourself cordially invited to join the #hcsmca conversation and community. We look forward to sharing with you and learning from your contributions.


  4. mikenstn permalink
    November 3, 2010 9:10 pm

    Both Rob and Colleen make a good point … use social media to help you develop your social media strategy.

    Do you have a date for when you expect to be active social media users? Lurking for too long is considered bad form :)



  5. November 4, 2010 11:46 am

    Thank you everyone for your comments.

    I should explain that I head up Infoway’s marketing communications efforts. We see social media as an important tool that will be integrated with our communications efforts moving forward. It will also prominently play in our stakeholder engagement efforts.

    In doing so, as I’m sure you can appreciate, we’re going to have to undergo some significant change mgmt activities (cultural change as well as adopting/securing new skills). To this end, I would be most grateful to hear from anyone who has introduced and implemented social media in an enterprise setting.

    In terms of a progress update, we’ve just completed a social media audit of the eHealth community in Canada — which is how I became aware of the neat stuff you’ve been doing.

    Our first formal foray into the social media world will take the form of a blog aimed at helping us engage with the Canadian health IT community. Our intent is to launch the blog — which will feature bloggers from our executive team — in the November timeframe. In this regard, do you have any suggestions for content/topics that we should be covering?

    We see the blog as a pilot of sorts. Something we hope to learn from and to apply this knowledge to a broader social media strategy, which we hope to complete in December. I will take you up on your kind offers to provide input and commentary as we progress down this path.

    Kind regards,


  6. mikenstn permalink
    November 4, 2010 2:20 pm

    I think that blogs from Infoway execs are a great idea … I have suggested this approach to you directly and have mentioned it on my blog on several occasions. Some thoughts regarding this approach:

    – Will you be allowing comments? If so, will the author respond to the comments? I suggest that allows comments is good idea as it will promote interactivity. Do not use the blog as a one-way communication vehicle … true social media is interactive.

    – Have each author describe their role at Infoway and share their plans/priorities for the next 6 to 12 months.

    – Each author should find opportunities to solicit input from their readers to encourage dialog and to show that they are interested in hearing what people have to say.

    – Authors should find opportunities to share a little about themselves by talking about topics not directly related to their job. Dr. John Halamka, one of the most influential eHealth leaders in the US, regularly writes about his favourite gadges on his blog.

    – The communications team should resist the temptation to edit blog posts other than perhaps for spelling and basic grammar. People want to hear directly from each executive.

    – The executive team likely gets to see many innovative uses of information technology (not all of which are Infoway funded). I think that people would like to hear about these uses through the eyes of the Infoway executives.

    Michael Martineau


  7. November 4, 2010 2:52 pm

    Hi Kirk,

    I’m delighted to hear that #hcsmca registered on your social media audit. Can you believe that #hcsmca only started in September? Such is the potential of social media.

    I will invite others to respond here on this blog, but also encourage you to post a topic for a future #hcsmca Twitter chat where you can get input from a variety of stakeholders. Simply add your topic (140 characters or less) to this spreadsheet and then join the conversation on the given Wednesday at 1pm.



  8. shannonclement permalink
    February 15, 2012 10:57 pm

    Hi Colleen,

    Great presenters and discussion at the meet up today. Have you thought of creating a Linked In group? Linked In is actually where I heard about the meet up through a co-worker that shared the details in her feed. I think you could expand the group that way.

    Just a thought!


    Shannon Clement


  9. September 18, 2013 3:07 pm

    Congratulations Colleen on three years since founding and leading such an inspiring community.


  10. June 4, 2014 2:04 pm

    Hi Colleen!

    I’d love to participate in the next discussion this coming Wednesday! Question – when are the topics updated into the spreadsheet you’ve posted here? The day of?


    • June 4, 2014 8:27 pm

      Welcome Angela. Topics are usually updated in the spreadsheet by the Monday before the Wednesday chat. Often an accompanying blog post is published Sunday or Monday. I look forward to your joining the chat.



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