Jeff Rowe, Editor, Future Care

Jeff Rowe is the editor of Future Care and a veteran healthcare journalist and blogger who has reported extensively on initiatives to improve the healthcare system at the local, regional and national level.

Aug. 27th Twitter Chat to examine social media in healthcare

hands with faces drawn on them and message blurbs aboveJoin Future Care and the Center for Connected Medicine as we discuss how to determine the best uses for, and the real value of, social media in healthcare.
August 7, 2014 AT 3:54 PM

Do you tweet?

Not so long ago, such a question would likely have resulted in people backing slowly away from the questioner, but that was in another era, long before the explosion of what we know as "social media."

Virtually unknown just a few years ago, social media can be found in pretty much every corner of society, including, of course, the healthcare sector.  In response to recent surveys, nearly half of consumers say social media tools influence their choice of hospital or physician, while more than half of surveyed physicians say that social media enable them to care for patients more effectively.  In addition, over 40% of large hospitals report using social media.  

Of course, the pervasive use of social media not only affects patient behavior, provider practice and healthcare system marketing. It also generates large amounts of data, adding another facet to the field of healthcare analytics.

But despite the wildfire spread of social media across healthcare, the exact value of it is still difficult to determine. As a result, many healthcare stakeholders are still uncertain as to how much time, energy and resources they should dedicate to building and sustaining a social media program.

On August 27th, at 12:00 PM EST, HIMSS Future Care and the Center for Connected Medicine, based at UPMC, will be hosting a Twitter chat, organized under #futurecare, that will take a look at, among other things, the evolving role of social media in healthcare, how "connected medicine" lends itself to social media and how social media can be leveraged to engage patients in meaningful dialogue.

Helping guide and inform the conversation will be guests Rasu Shrestha, MD, (@RasuShrestha) UPMC's Chief Innovation Officer, and Andrew Watson, MD, (@arwmd) Chief Medical Information Officer of UPMC's International and Commercial Services Division, and Medical Director of the Center for Connected Medicine. 

There's no doubt social media will play an ever-expanding role in connecting patients and providers and vast amounts of data.  We hope you'll join us on August 27th, at 12 PM EST, to discuss what the growing intersection of social media and healthcare could look like, and how it will benefit us all.