#MayoRagan Pre-Conference Thoughts

Yesterday morning, I checked the #MayoRagan hashtag on Twitter to see that @jamiesundsbak had checked in on Foursquare at Starbucks. (This morning, he's at Caribou Coffee). We've been communicating a bit online and I've been looking forward to meeting him. Unfortunately, by the time I had finished my morning tasks, he had already moved on. Fortunately, however, @drmikesevilla had checked in. I hadn't met Mike before, but I picked him out at Starbucks, sat down and had a great conversation.

This goes to one of my favorite talking points about social media. One of the old criticisms of social media is, why don't people actually meet face to face, instead of having to communicate online all the time. Social Media is a gateway drug to face to face communications. It is a great way to jump start a conversation and a friendship.

After checking in at the conference and meeting with my boss, I returned to my room to plan for the day and get a little more done online. The next big event was the tour of the Mayo Clinic. This tour deserves a blog post of its own, but since I'll probably not have as much time to write as I would like, I'll put in some thoughts here, and not feel so bad if I don't get a chance to come back to a more complete description of the tour.

The first thing that was pointed out to me in the tour of the Mayo clinic was art. Art is everywhere, from the piano in the lobby, to sculptures and paintings everywhere. It was great to see art as an important part of the healing process. This was followed by a visit to the Center for the Spirit. Our religious beliefs are an important part of our healing journey, and it was great to see the Center for the Spirit in such a prominent role.

The tour proceeded past patient intake to the labs. The tour guide mentioned that two FedEx planes arrive at Mayo each day with specimens to be tested. Patients checking in typically get their blood work done as part of intake and have results by the time they meet with their doctors.

The next key focus was history. It is communicated strongly to all employees as part of establishing shared values. This was set in contrast to innovation. Mayo prides itself for its innovations, but those innovations come out of the shared values. As an aside, when I later mentioned the historical aspects, one Mayo employee rolled his eyes. Apparently there is some 1986 book on the history of the Mayo clinic that employees are expected to spend a lot of time with.

Mayo clinic provides consulting to other health organizations, but some what makes Mayo clinic so successful are things that may be difficult for other organizations to emulate. For example, it is an physician led organization and even the CEO still sees patients. I can only wonder what other health care organizations across our country would be like if they were led by physicians. There can be down sides to this, such as a slower decision making process, but it seems to really help keep the organization centered on the patient.

Related to this, the tour guide mentioned that the average doctor at Mayo clinic sees seven patients a day. There were gasps from the members of the tour as people pondered what that would mean for their organizations. There were discussions about how many patients the average doctors in their organizations saw, and the guess was probably in the fifteen to twenty range.

Since physicians are not compensated by the number of patients they see, they are also not compensated by the number of tests they run, and as a result, Mayo Clinic ends up running fewer tests. The tour continued through the Center for Innovation and Patient Education.

When the tour was over, we all rushed back to the afternoon session. I sat in on 'Engaging Physicians in Social Media'. It was a panel of four doctors talking about their experiences in social media. @EndoGoddess really ran away with the show, and according to #MayoRagan analytics was the most mentioned Twitter personality yesterday.

During the discussion, it was asked about how to make time for social media. Should doctors be given an incentive to be on social media? All of the panelists had a passion to be on social media and did not receive time or monetary incentives. People argued that you won't get the same level of passion from someone who is paid to be on social media. I was surprised that members of communications departments didn't object to this assertion. I certainly do.

Later, I was speaking with @MeredithGould. Meredith is a great writer driven by a passion to write. As we talked about it, it seemed like the real question is, how do you find and nurture the passion to write? How do you empower doctors to be good writers? When should you have a person who loves writing write for a doctor?

In the evening, I finally got a chance to meet @jamiesundsbak as well as @jsperber, two people that I've really enjoyed communicating with online and am glad to have finally met face to face.

All of this has provided a great setting of the stage for The Third Annual Health Care Social Media Summit at the Mayo Clinic. Let's see what today brings.

Think Different In #rochmn for #mayoragan

Exhausted, I sit in my room in the Grand Kahler in Rochester, MN and try to write. I am here for the Third Annual Health Care Social Media Summit at the Mayo Clinic.

The day started with a drive up to Bradley International Airport in Hartford. On the way, I listened to NPR stories about birding and "The Big Year". I listened to a story about a supernova and about Steve Reich. All of this came back to a theme, Think Different.

Not only, think different, but also perceive differently. See rare birds and supernovas. Listen to music that is structured differently from what you've been trained to hear. On the plane I read Michel Foucault's The Archaeology of Knowledge. It pushed my thinking even deeper. What is the relationship between "Think Different" and "Occupy Wall Street"? There is a lot that I could write about that, and hopefully, I will find the time and energy to do so soon.

There was turbulence taking off out of Hartford, and landing in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. Yet the final leg of the trip was smooth.

At the airport, I checked in on Foursquare and found there was another person heading to the conference. We ran into each other at baggage claim and shared a cab into the city.

After unpacking and settling in a little, my boss and I went over to "Chester's", which is really a fantastic restaurant. After dinner, we wondered through the local Barnes and Noble. Neal Stephenson has a new book out, which placed my mind into a science fiction framework.

As I walked back to the hotel, I saw an elderly couple walking in the failing evening light, with the aid of one another and a walker. By boss had commented about how he wondered what this town would be without the Mayo clinic here. I looked at the art in the Peace Plaza. I followed a walkway with colored lights shining up from the ground, and I thought to myself, this is science fiction. It is a scene right out of William Gibson, where people confronted by some great difficulty, come to try and extend their lives, in an artsy peaceful plaza.

Tomorrow, the discussions begin in earnest about social media and health care. Hopefully, Steve Reich, supernovas, rare birds and art will all echo in a mind mixed with Foucault and Stephenson and will help me think different.

#digiday Social - Pregame

This morning, I'm sitting on one of the new Metro North trains on my way into New York for Digiday Social. It's a conference I've been to several times before, but this time several things are different.

Starting off, the train is different. It is shiny and new. There are power outlets at every seat. It is also packed, so I'm not next to the outlet. I'm using different devices this time. Currently, I'm typing on a MacBook Pro. I've always used beat up old PCs running either Windows or Linux. It is a nice device. I have a seventeen inch MacBook because I got this, in part for doing video editing. The larger screen is nice, but it makes the device a little bulky.

I still have my old Nokia N900 smartphone with me, but with that, I also have an HTC Thunderbolt, a nice Android device. My N900 only supports 2.5G on AT&T and is getting a bit beat up. The Thunderbolt supports 4G, when it can find it. It is fast, slick, and really nice for social media apps.

These new devices are related to a new role I am attending Digiday in. Other years, I've been there as a freelance blogger and consultant. This year, while I look forward to writing about the event on my own, I am also going as the Social Media Manager for the Community Health Center, Inc.. I'm looking forward to finding information that I'll be able to use at work.

As I sat on the train, I checked my emails, and found one about the new Wall Street Journal Facebook App, WSJ Social. The Journal did a great job with their iPad app and a look forward to exploring their social app.

There are several interesting presentations I look forward to. Shiv Singh, Head of Digital for PepsiCo beverages is always an interesting speaker, and Adam Kmiec, director of Social Media for Walgreen's Hypebusters Presentation: The Social Media Gravy Train Is Over sounds particularly interesting. Since I'm working in health care now, I'll be particularly interested in what he has to say.

A personal interest of mine has always been the role of gaming, and I have high hopes for the Keynote Conversation, Gaming and Social Media, with Electronic Arts SVP of Global Media Solutions, Dave Madden and Zynga's Global Director of Brand Advertising, Manny Anekal.

Finally, it will be time for cocktails, and I look forward to seeing many of my old friends from previous Digiday conferences. Now, on with the show.

Healthcamp Coming to Connecticut #hcdc10

I am a big proponent of unconferences, so Matthew Browning’s Tweet this morning, “can anyone recommend a good way to archive and share tweets from HealthCampDC #hcdc10 ?” caught my attention. Of late, I’ve been thinking a lot about how social media could be used to help improve communities’ health and HealthCamp seems like an ideal setting to explore this. Healthcamps, like Podcamps grow out of Barcamps and a long history of unconferences and open space technology.

Instead of going into lots more details about unconferences, let me point readers to a few other blog posts I’ve written about unconferences. These were mostly around the organizing of PodcacmpCT.

Understanding Unconferences
What is the Difference between a Good Podcamp and a Great Podcamp
What Makes for a Good Podcamp Session

So, I sent off a few tweets and saved the tweets with the #hcdc10 hashtag and started reading around to see what sort of notes there are.

One of the most interesting artifacts of any unconference is a photograph of the session wall. Here are some of the notes on the wall from HealthCampDC

Redesign food labels to say what is in and what happens to get food in the box.
Helping Patient Organizations Utilize various Social media tools more effectively
Improving Patient Medication Adherence Through Social Media
Mobile and Actual Behavior Change
Mobile phone and Virtual Reality for healthier behavioral change
Interoperability of mobile medical devices
Infant PHRS - to educate new parents and capture a complete and accurate medical history
social media’s role in Health IT (taking into account privacy risks, HIPAA etc.)
How much do patients have to pay out of pocket for their care? Where will $ come from? How do they pay for?
Visualize Health Data
DC as Example - What can we do here in Washington DC to demo the power of IT to help people improve their health?
Provider Toolbox for remote vital signs monitoring
What is the patient generated/centered health IT roadmap?

This all got organized down into this schedule of events.

Hopefully, attendees will write up notes about the different sessions.

As a final note, later in the day Matt tweeted
“#HealthCampCt is scheduled!! 4/2/11 New Haven, CT #nhv #swct #yale #ct #pcct #RNChat #dreamnhv #mhealth #hcdc10 #MDChat”

I'm pretty excited about HealthCampCT

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Connecticut Bloggers

Recently, I’ve been in several discussions about Connecticut blogs, so I thought it might be useful to explore various ways people can find Connecticut blogs and ways that Connecticut Bloggers can be found.

To put things into perspective, Blogspot lists 59,900 bloggers using their software in Connecticut. Over the years, I’ve been picking out various Connecticut blogs that I follow in Google Reader and you can see some of them in my Connecticut section of Google Reader.

One of the oldest and best established aggregator of Connecticut blogs is CTWebLogs. More recently, newspapers are getting into the blog aggregation business. The political section of my blog appears in the opinion section of the Journal Inquirer. The Record Journal has a Community Blogs section on there website and other newspapers are starting to follow suit.

Politics is an area where a lot of blog aggregation goes on. LeftyBlogs has been around for a long time, aggregating blogs that are about local politics. Unfortunately, they have not updated their list in ages and it is pretty incomplete.

Ballotpedia is a wiki trying to provide a better list of political blogs. It does not have an apparent political leaning. Anyone can set up an account and modify it. So far, the modifications appear to be dominated by conservative bloggers.

Moving away from politics, an interesting list is New England Bloggers. They haven’t updated their list since last December, but you can still find many interesting Connecticut Bloggers on the list and in the comments.

More recently, Connecticut Bloggers have been gathering at various events. Wendy and Cheryl both wrote about their experiences at PodCampCT where various bloggers, podcasters and others interested in social media gathered.

Then, there is an emerging group of Connecticut Bloggers that plan on meeting regularly to share their blogging experiences. Wendy wrote about the first meeting and Lisa wrote about an upcoming meeting and listed blogs of some of the participants. Another participant, Christopher, wrote about the upcoming gathering in his blog as well.

As a final note, I would like to mention a few other Connecticut Blogs that I’ve been visiting regularly recently. Grampy’s World, Small Town Mommy and Moomettes Magnificents are Connecticut blogs I’ve found through various blog advertising networks like Adgitize and EntreCard. I particularly like Adgitize in that it brings in both traffic and a little advertising revenue.

There are probably several other good lists of Connecticut blogs. If there are some that you especially like, let me know.

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