This past March, Sherman Health was the second in the country, first in Illinois, to “tweet” a live surgery. It was a hysterectomy procedure performed by our da Vinci robot, which is controlled by a team of our surgeons. Tweeting a live surgery helped us achieve two main goals:
1. Highlight how Twitter can be a way for families to stay informed while a loved one underwent a procedure.
2. Show that social media and healthcare can be a positive, helpful pairing.
Plus, on the PR side, it gave us a bump in Twitter followers and positive media coverage.
But shortly after the surgery, we were hit with this question: What’s next for Twitter and our hospital?
A board member forwarded me a presentation that helped answer this. Phil Baumann’s blog Health Is Social addresses using Twitter in healthcare, and his list “140 Health Care Uses for Twitter” will spark some ideas. Though not everything on the list is feasible (picture your Risk Manager's nicotine-stained finger hovering nervously over the corporate attorney's speed-dial button) there's a lot to pick from. I'm a big fan of the interactive suggestions:
#49: Internal facility customer service
#67: Real-time satisfaction surveys with immediate follow-up for problem resolution
#77: Connecting patients with similar disease processes
#105: Exposing medical shenanigans
So, what's next for Sherman Health?
Glad you asked. With our latest campaign, we're mixing #89 (publishing hospital-sponsored events in local communities) and #92 (issuing updates to hospital services to the public). We’re building a new hospital that is set to open this winter, and Tuesday, Aug. 11 @ 3 p.m. C.T., we are going to tweet a live tour of the new hospital. Feel free to join us here.