@SeattleMamaDoc @ePatientDave @EndoGoddss @drmikesevilla @MeredithGould @LeeAase @westr @RAWarrior @jsperber @jamiesundsbak
Friday Evening. I’m home from the Third Annual Social Media Summit at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. By my calculations, I tweeted about 500 times during the week and picked up about 100 new followers. I am exhausted, but the experience won’t be complete until I do a shout-out to various people I saw at the summit.
Starting off the list is @SeattleMamaDoc. She’s a pediatrician from Seattle who is big on social media. People have always told me about her. I’ve looked at her tweets and her blog, and they’re good so I was looking forward to hearing her speak. However, her speaking far surpassed anything I’ve read by her. She was incredible, talking about the moral obligation physicians and other experts had to be on social media to counter celebrity driven misinformation. To help with this she called on medical journals to make embargoed material available to doctors so they could speak intelligently about new reports when they hit the mainstream media. She received a well deserved standing ovation.
One of the people who helped instigate the standing ovation via Twitter was @ePatientDave. He spoke the next day, and was also great. He started off by talking about when he was diagnosed with cancer. When someone is dying, he said, try and keep them off the internet. He spoke about his search for information and how it empowered his battle against cancer.
Some doctors I know seem to dislike it when a patient comes in, having studied their condition and with lots of opinions. It challenges the myth of the all knowing superior being called a doctor. Yet with 6000 medical journal articles a day being published, doctors cannot stay on top of all the medical advances, let alone the lethal lag between when research starts and when something is published in a medical journal.
I remember years ago hearing the saying, “A man of quality is not threatened by a woman of equality”. As I think of @ePatientDave’s reaction to @SeattleMamaDoc, the saying comes back in a new form. A doctor, committed to finding the best for her patient, like @SeattleMamaDoc, is not threatened by an empowered patient. Indeed cooperation between empowered patients and committed doctors are exactly what is needed confront the health issues we face today. It makes sense that @ePatientDave led the standing ovation for @SeattleMamaDoc
Two other doctors particularly jumped out at me as examples doctors that truly understand how to use social media the way @SeattleMamaDoc described. @EndoGoddess is a pediatric endocrinologist who is an incredible and compassionate mix between geek, doctor, and communicator. She was another star of the summit. @drmikesevilla didn’t have as much of a chance to shine in the spotlight, but I had several chances to interact with him, from our first Foursquare enabled meeting in Starbucks, to exchanging tweets back and forth throughout the summit.
I am glad to add @drmikesevilla to the list of other luminaries in health care social media that I’ve had the opportunity to meet, several of whom were at the sumit. These included @MeredithGould, @LeeAase, @westr, and @RAWarrior. I had met each of them at a previous #MayoRagan event at the Mayo Clinic’s Jacksonville, FL campus.
Added to this list, I want to include @jsperber and @jamiesundsbak, two people that I’ve met online via the Social Media Health Network and was very pleased to finally get a chance to meet face to face.
Ah yes, the power of writing. I was pretty tired when I sat down to write, but the words came into a much longer blog post that I expected, and even with that, there are plenty of people I would have liked to have mentioned. Perhaps I’ll write more about the conference and the people there soon.
After a busy day, and a pleasant dinner, I headed back to my room to relax. I looked at the pile of books next to my bed for a little light reading. I had been reading Michel Foucault's "The Archaeology of Knowledge", which has been though provoking, but I had had enough thoughts provoked during the day, so I went for something a little lighter, Jean Baudrillard's "Screened Out". It seemed somehow appropriate.
I scanned through the different articles in the collection. "AIDS Virulence or Prophylaxis?", "We are all Transexuals Now", "No Pity for Sarajevo", "Otherness Surgery". Several of them would probably be a great night cap to a great day. I settle on "The Powerlessness of the Virtual".
It was about when some students held a demonstration which delayed a high speed TGV train in France for ten minutes.
All they will wrest from the transparency of the rich is this ten minutes of immobility, this ten-minute freezing of the TV spectacle of which they are the victims.
I paused to wonder what Baudrillard would have thought of the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. He goes on to say
A scaled-down version of the clash between the real and the virtual and its fantastic consequences at the planetary level: the dissociation between a very high frequency virtual space and a zero-frequency real space.
This lead me to think about Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Pirsig, trying to make sense of his own life, sets out on a motorcycle, with his son riding along, to rediscover some of his past and his quest for quality. He choses to ride a motorcycle on the backroads to be more in touch with what is going on around him, instead of viewing the interstate out the windows of a sealed up car, not much different than watching a long television documentary about the land zipping by.
Okay, this is a long introduction to my reactions to Tuesday's sessions at the Third Annual Health Care Social Media Summit at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The final keynote of the day was @SeattleMamaDoc. She is as powerful and passionate a speaker at a conference as she is online and she received a standing ovation.
As more and more of our communication takes place online, takes place in the virtual realm, we have to worry about whether we are riding an information superhighway with Baudrillard similar to the drivers on the interstate that Pirsig spoke about.
@SeattleMamaDoc embodied something closer to riding the backroads of the internet on a bicycle (with a properly fitted helmet!), closer to the quest for quality that Pirsig writes about.
We cannot afford to let science online be dominated by celebrities that don't really know the topic. We need scientists, researchers, and experts to find their voice online, and find it as a voice that is meaningful and heard, and not just a ten minute delay of a high speed train.
How do we do this? It is similar to Pirsig's trip; joining in conversations about quality; storytelling.
@SeattleMamaDoc was not the only compelling speaker on Tuesday. There was a great panel about patients with spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) and how they had come together online to inspired medical research. One of the panelists used the phrase, "Patient Initiated Research". I thought that captured very nicely the power of the patients, the researchers, their connections online, and hope for new areas of medical research. I tweeted that as a great new potential buzz phrase, which ended up being retweeted by many.
"Patient Initiated Research", its a great idea whose time is overdue, and is also an antidote to the powerlessness of the virtual.
Yet the virtual continues to evolve, and with that, I should do a shout out to one of the other presentations that I thought was incredible. I tweeted that @EndoGoddess managed to fit about three hours of information into a one hour time slot. I don't have the time or energy, right now, to hit even a small subset of the points she did. Suffice it to say that she is doing some very interesting work with texting and apps to improve health outcomes, and when you get right down to it, the real power of this conference, no offense to people focusing on marketing or ROI, is improved health outcomes.
The virtual has changed dramatically since Baudrillard wrote his article, and perhaps with a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance sitting next to a health blogger's computer, the virtual can become a bit more powerful, especially for those running with ideas picked up at the summit this week.
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.
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.
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.