If you want to know whos all a-Twitter about healthcare, go to twitter.com/hospitalgroup. Thats where the Web director at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore is corralling official hospital Twitter feeds to follow. As of late last week, hed gathered 101.
Outliers: Here a Tweet, there a Tweet
The free service allows users to post 140-character messages, or Tweets, via the Web or wireless devices, and follow the Tweets of others. Though media hype has created a sense that everyone on Earth is doing it, Outliers suspects the many, many people who dont Twitter have at best a vague idea of what it is or why anyone would bother with it. For many hospitals, its another marketing medium to announce community health fairs, support groups, new treatments and the like.
At 5:09 a.m. March 6, Paul Levy, president and chief executive officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Twittered a link to his personal blog, runningahospital.blogspot.com, where hed posted a frank message e-mailed to employees the previous day (and discussed in that mornings newspaper) on the hospitals financial outlook and coming pay cuts and layoffs. And at 5:44 a.m. he twittered, Radio interviewer just called on BIDMC budget issues. Sorry to call so early, they always say. But they always call nonetheless.
Henry Ford Health System Twittered a Feb. 25 tour of its new West Bloomfield (Mich.) Hospital and used the posts to link to a live video stream. In January, Henry Ford Twittered the robotic removal of a cancerous bladder (See the feed by searching #hfhor at search.twitter.com) and March 6, Twittered a hysterectomy (search #hfhgyn). Sample post: Suturing the vaginal cuff, along with a link to YouTube footage of said suturing.
Outliers enjoyed a feed by Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last month involving its family practice center:
Bowing our heads to pray together & remember the legacy of the building
7:59 AM Feb 28th from txt
1 minute countdown
8:00 AM Feb 28th from txt
Blast! sounds like shotguns going off building is down
8:01 AM Feb 28th from txt
Nothing left but a massive cloud of dust
8:02 AM Feb 28th from txt
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