Editor's Note: Today's entry is a guest blog post from Reed Smith. He is the interactive media consultant for St. David's HealthCare in Austin, Texas.
There are a lot of hashtags on Twitter devoted to healthcare. So, imagine what would happen if pharam, hospitals, doctors, patients, students and agencies all came together to have one big conversation.
After careful planning, we all met at the Texas Hospital Association, right before South by Southwest. Called “Sharing, Exchanging, Social Health,” more than 75 people attended, with 300 participating virtually. Our hashtag, #sxsh was used 1,700 times.
So, what made it a success? Here are three reasons:
It was un-conferencesque
The conference featured Doug Ulman from Livestrong, Greg Matthews from Humana, and Marc Monseau from Johnson & Johnson. This gave the event structure, but we had plenty of time during the day for attendees to ask questions. We also had tracks about ePatients, providers, and Pharma.
Making new friends
We wanted hospital and pharma people to mix. The collaboration on the planning made it easy to network and to get to know each other. We were exposed to industries that don’t normally interact with each other. Now, we can use our new contacts as a way to develop something beneficial for the entire healthcare community.
Excitement about the future
New products, programs, and services can come from #sxsh. So, the next time a project comes up, we’ve got a whole new set of contacts to use for collaboration outside of the hospital industry.