Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mayo Clinic Launches Center for Social Media

How Mayo Clinic Uses Social MediaEveryone is trying to figure out how to use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to market their business or handle public relations these days, but some companies have been doing it for years - and quite successfully. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently looked at how Mayo Clinic is doing just that by talking to Lee Aase, the Clinic's manager of syndication and social media.

Yesterday, the Clinic announced that it would be launching a Center for Social Media, which according to the WSJ, "will expand social media tools beyond the traditional P.R. and marketing functions to use by staff, physicians and patients." Aase will be a leader at the center.

According to Aase, the center will "[look] for ways to increase the use of social media throughout the practice at Mayo...to provide in-depth information for patients in a much more comprehensive way, and to create connections between researchers, physicians and staff." It will have about eight full-time employees.

The interest in social media is not just from the business staff; the clinical staff is hoping they can use the platforms for business and training. One example cited was an introduction video for the head of one dental department. The video offers some background information on one of the doctors, as well as what patients expect from that specific specialty department. Mayo hopes such videos will make "consultations more efficient" and help patients know what to expect before being thrown into the process.

Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and the center’s interim medical director, Victor Montori, had this to say about the new center, "Staff at many hospitals wanting to get involved in social media have pointed to Mayo Clinic’s activity and experience to help make the case for engagement with their senior leaders. Some have even consulted with us informally and asked for advice on implementation. One of our goals for the center is to provide a mechanism for this consultation and sharing, so we can help colleagues in health care everywhere break down the barriers to involvement."

Aase also mentioned some consulting Mayo Clinic has been doing for a few other medical providers and organizations. They hope it will help build their relationships with other hospitals, as well as create a blogging platform for those organizations. The goal of this effort is ultimately to help patients, according to Aase. Not only will it help them get information more quickly, but it will help get information to the medical community, as well.

To hear Lee Aase talk more about the center, check out the video below:

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