Social Media’s Faces to Follow in Healthcare

Fierce Health IT recently published 11 Faces to Follow in Healthcare Social Media

Most healthcare organizations now use social media as part of their marketing strategy; some more effectively than others.  Many, if not all of the individuals on the Fierce Health IT list were early social media adapters.  I know that because I have connections through this blog to four of them. 

Supporting Safer Healthcare (originally called MSSPNexus) was established in 2004.  Medical blogging in the early days was a heady experience.  The number of medical bloggers was small, and we often found ourselves connecting through shared interests and through Grand Rounds, a weekly collection of medical posts started that same year by Nick Genes, MD, of

 In 2005 a few of us had the pleasure of being interviewed by an early podcaster, and #3 on the Fierce Health List Kent Bottles.  Kent asked leading questions and made the experience of a 20 minute telephone interview fairly easy. 

Number 5 on the list is Ves Dimov.  Dr. Dimov and I worked at the Cleveland Clinic at the same time.  He is the founder of one of the most popular clinical blogs on the web, CasesBlog.  Ves pushed us all to use technology in new ways through his innovative use of the latest gadgets and software.

Kevin Pho of KevinMD  fame comes in at #8. Dr. Pho started his blog in 2005.  From the beginning he was a prolific poster; we all wondered how he managed to fit in his “day job” of practicing medicine.  Kevin has always had a unique wisdom about how to manage and market his blog, and today his is one of the most well-read and often-quoted blogs online. 

I would say that #9, Mike Sevilla is a fellow Ohioan, but since I recently moved to Pennsylvania we no longer share a state.  Dr. Sevilla authors Family Medicine Rocks, which is primarily a video blog.  He was among the first to make extensive use of video casting on his site, even when he wrote as Dr. Anonymous.  It didn’t take long for the medical credentialers (me) and others to figure out Dr. Anonymous’ true identity from the clues he scattered through his posts.  Dr. Anonymous did a bit of soul searching and then began writing and posting videos under his own name. 

Blogs were “cutting edge” social media back in 2004.  Since then Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and others have captured our imaginations and increasingly short attention spans.  I don’t post here as often as I used to, but I just can’t bring myself to give up my little corner of the web.  On those occasions when an important story needs to be told, or I just find myself yearning to put thoughts to pixel, I like knowing there’s a place I can call home.

Congratulations to each of you on the Fierce Health IT list – through you and others like you, humans will continue to find new ways to communicate through technology.

Medical Staff Services Awareness Week, 2011

All it takes is one fraudulent or unqualified practitioner on your staff to bring enormous harm to both patients and your organization’s hard-earned reputation.

And sometimes, all it takes to keep them off your staff is one dedicated, qualified medical staff services professional.

November 6-12 is National Medical Staff Services Awareness Week.  If you work in healthcare, take a moment to recognize the work of the individuals who manage your credentialing and privileging process, as well as facilitate the work of the medical staff organization.  The work they do, along with medical and administrative staff leaders, helps keep your patients and your organization safe every day. 


Grief Will Come Soon Enough

She faced the worst of all enemies; the impending death of someone dearly loved.  She knew that her son would soon leave behind not only loving parents, but a lovely wife and young child.  There was precious little time left.

The enemy proved victorious, although with faith she looks to a time when even those chains will be broken. 

When asked later for advice in dealing with this most heart-rending of futures she replied, “Don’t live your life in anticipation of death.   Grief will come soon enough.  For now, live each day full of love and appreciation for just today.”


Radio Interview – Improving Patient Experience

Lisa Venn, JD, MA, author of “Improving Patient Experience:  50 Things Every Advocate Must Know,” a nationally recognized speaker and owner of Advocate Alliance, was interviewed on the popular “Coping with Caregiving” Internet radio program on Saturday, October 15th.  Listen online to the recorded program.  

Lisa shared tips on protecting patient rights and resolving patient concerns.

Based on twenty years’ experience as an attorney and patient advocate, Lisa believes that knowledgeable advocates can empower patients to make informed health care decisions, avoid medical errors, privacy violations, identity theft, billing fraud and property loss.

New Perspectives on Transfusion from HHS

Findings of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability, June 8, 2011:

  • Blood transfusion carries significant risk that may outweigh its benefits in some settings and add unnecessary costs.
  • Wide variability in use of transfusions indicates that there is both excessive and inappropriate use of blood transfusions in the U.S.
  • Medical advances and aging of the population are expected to drive demands for transfusions that could exceed supplies in one to two decades.
  • Improvements in rational use of blood have lagged behind improvements in the quality and safety of the products.
  • Additional data on blood utilization and clinical outcomes are needed to identify gaps in knowledge.
  • Programs at some hospitals have demonstrated significant reduction in blood use without increase in patient harm, based on expert decision-making

Joplin Medical Center Looks to the Future

“On that day in late May, a black-and-green monster swooped in, its shoulders nearly a mile wide, its savagery unimaginable. One of America’s worst tornadoes in half a century took dead aim at St. John’s Regional Medical Center, barreling through halls and ripping open ceilings. Concrete crumbled. Pipes burst. Windows exploded. The building groaned in agony…”

MSNBC reports on the devastation that struck St. John’s in Joplin on May 22, 2011, and reveals what has happened at the 367 bed medical center since.

Read the report: