4 Stories About Social Media's Awesome Power

Scott Mace, November 6, 2012

When a CIO I spoke with recently stated that Twitter scared him, I doubled my efforts to seek out a good story about use of social media by a healthcare provider. Within a couple of weeks, I found four.

Farris Timimi, MD, a cardiologist and the medical director for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, uses social media strategically.  Speaking at the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges in San Francisco, Timimi made those strategies come alive.

The first story involved Philip R. Fischer, MD, a Mayo physician and expert on Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Fischer's administrative partner, Lee Aase, made a 22-minute video of Fischer speaking about POTS.

A news station used 8 seconds of the footage. "If you don't have POTS," Timimi says, eight seconds is all you really need to hear. But if you have this disease, or have someone you love and care about who has it, you're missing out on some deeper conversation that has value."

To reclaim what the TV station hadn't used, Mayo's social media team turned the entire 22 minutes into a podcast. Five years later, that podcast, posted on Mayo's Web site, has been hit 60,000 times. It required no additional effort on Fischer's part, merely 90 minutes of editing work by staff.

To optimize search engine discovery of Fischer's expertise, Mayo created a blog post with a 4-1/2 minute video of Fischer telling the viewer what he tells his patients every day: "Your child has POTS, here's what I can offer you, here's what you can expect." That video has been viewed 44,000 times and helped numerous patients who never visited Mayo Clinic.

Scott Mace

Scott Mace is the former senior technology editor for HealthLeaders Media. He is now the senior editor, custom content at H3.Group.


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