Stop Waiting for Emerging Media to Emerge

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media , September 15, 2010

"You can't control the message in any media—this is just amplified," said panelist Stephanie Cannon, director of Web  communications and e-business at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH.

"You wouldn't decide not to do PR because there might be a bad story written about you," Browell added. "'They're going to be negative if we're [online] or not. We need to ask, do we want to be aware it's happening and do we want to have a vehicle to respond?"

Representatives from The Ohio State University Medical Center explained how they tackled that question in a session called "Going from 'Take It Down' to 'C-Suite Tweets' in Six Months." In mid-2009 hospital leadership blocked Facebook, YouTube, and other social sites throughout the organization—including patient-accessible wireless—after a nurse manager complained they had a negative effect on ED productivity.

But Ryan Squire, social media program director for the 980-bed organization, advocated reinstating access to social media to improve both patient and employee satisfaction.

"Every time you shut down Facebook you're telling employees, 'I don't care what you have to say,'" he said. "You can't create culture for patients if you don't create culture for employees."

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1 comments on "Stop Waiting for Emerging Media to Emerge"

john flores (9/18/2010 at 12:57 PM)
Back in the Dark Ages - the early 1990s - I was a fresh-faced college graduate helping physicians grapple with this thing Al Gore created. It was called the "Internet". I worked with a CME company and we created continuing education programs at meetings and via satellite broadcast (this was pre-broadband). It was interesting and exciting experiencing the dawn of a new digital age. If there's one benefit to aging (and that's a big if) it's that more time on terra firma gives you perspective. I think that we are just now moving beyond early adopter phase of emerging media and that companies that have held a "wait and see" attitude will be coming on board. In my experience, healthcare lags behind other industries, but for good reason - they are not peddling beer and potato chips. It doesn't hurt that web savvy generation of managers are slowly but surely making their way up corporate ladders. That said, there is always the far side of the bell curve. Those same healthcare organizations and physicians that begrudgingly built websites 5 and 10 years ago and then let them languish will be last to the emerging media party as well. But as long as they are caring for their patients and have a strong business plan, who are we to argue? There's more than one way to slice a pie, or something like that. I enjoy the column a lot. Thank you. john flores vp digital marketing AVOW Communications




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