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August 30th, 2010 Attention Healthcare Tweeters: TWTRCON Call for Presenters!

“We are looking for experienced, dynamic real-time pros to suggest and lead TWTRCON Workshops at TWTRCON SF 2010,” says Tonia Ries, CEO and Founder of Modern Media, “TWTRCON SF 2010 is our fourth TWTRCON, and we have always received an overwhelming number of great speaker and topic suggestions while we are building the program.  For our return to San Francisco (where we held our first event), we wanted to find a way to include more of those topics, and also to offer attendees the option of  participating in sessions that were more in-depth, how-to and educational.” TWTRCON SF will take place on November 18, 2010.

TWTRCON Workshops are designed to let experienced Twitter business practitioners explore real-time applications, tools and platforms. If you think you have an area of expertise to share, here are the details:

  • Topics should be related to the practical application of Twitter or other real-time tools in a business context.
  • The material should be presented in an interactive, how-to format. Think education, as opposed to presentation. If you can incorporate examples, worksheets and demos, even better.
  • All workshop instructors should be prepared to provide hand-outs or other session material that can be given to workshop participants onsite, and then posted online after the event.

If you would like to apply to lead a workshop at TWTRCON SF 2010, please submit:

  • your name and contact information
  • suggested topic for your workshop (“How to ….”)
  • a brief two-sentence description of why the topic is important, focused on the bottom-line benefits of your topic
  • what specifically attendees can expect to learn from your workshop

For examples, please see some of the  TWTRCON Workshop topics here.  Proposals should be sent to John Eckhouse at john@modernmediapartners.com and are reviewed as they are received.  Workshop instructors are asked to prepare a 40-minute session.  Note:  Instructors will have free admission to the conference, but will be responsible for their own travel expenses.

“We are really excited about this new part of the TWTRCON program, and are really looking forward to seeing what kinds of topics people suggest.   Our first workshop on Twitter Chats will be led by Angela Dunn, aka @blogbrevity and @odomandco — and we want to extend a huge thank you to Angela for helping us to develop the format and structure for the new TWTRCON Workshops,” says Tonia.

So, healthcare and pharma tweeters, what expertise could you share with others in the community?

Odom & Co would like to wish Angela Dunn well as she moves on to a consulting role providing her expertise in idea design for digital/social innovation to digital agencies, healthcare organizations and businesses.  Please welcome Heather Welch, digital assistant, who will keep you updated via our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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August 26th, 2010 May the Best Healthy Idea Win! 6 Days Left for BodyShock

BodyShock is a great idea!

IFTF’s BodyShock is the first of what is planned to be an annual competition to recruit crowdsourced designs and solutions for better health—to remake the future by rebooting the present. BodyShock calls upon the public to consider innovative ways to improve individual and collective health over the next 3-10 years by transforming our bodies and lifestyles.

Conceived by Rod Falcon of IFTF and Alexandra Carmichael of CureTogether, BodyShock is a call to bring unheard voices to the microphone. “We wanted to hear what the world thought would be positive designs for changing the future of global health. The ideas that are coming in are inspiring and many can definitely save lives and help us be healthier. We hope to inspire people to realize the impact that their ideas can have, and we will try to connect the winners to people who can help make their ideas a reality,” says Alexandra.

Right now, there are six days left to submit your idea or vote for your favorite!

Video or graphical entries illustrating new ideas, designs, products, technologies, and concepts, will be accepted from people around the world until September 1, 2010. Up to five winners will be flown to Palo Alto, California on October 8 to present their ideas and be connected to other innovative thinkers to help bring these ideas to life. The grand prize winner will receive the IFTF Roy Amara Prize of $3,000.

Entries may come from anyone anywhere and can include, but are not limited to, the following: Life extension, DIY Bio, Diabetic teenagers, Developing countries, Green health, Augmented reality, Self-tracking, and Pervasive games. Participants are challenged to use IFTF’s Health Horizons forecasts for the next decade of health and health care as inspiration, and design a solution for a problem that will be widespread in 3-10 years, using technologies that will become mainstream.

“Think ‘artifacts from the future’—simple, non-obvious, high-impact solutions that don’t exist yet, will be among the concepts we’re looking to the public to introduce,” said Rod Falcon, director of the Health Horizons Program at IFTF.

“Health doesn’t happen all at once; it’s a consequence of years of choices for our bodies and lifestyles—some large and some small. BodyShock is intended to spark new ideas to help us find our way back to health,” said Thomas Goetz, executive editor of Wired, author of The Decision Tree, and a member of the Health Advisory Board that will be judging the BodyShock contest in addition to votes from the public.

“BodyShock is a fantastic initiative. Global collaboration and participation from all voices can produce a true revolution,” said Linda Avey, founder of Brainstorm Research Foundation and another Advisor to BodyShock.

BodyShock’s grand prize, the Roy Amara Prize, is named for IFTF’s long-time president Roy Amara (1925-2000) and is part of a larger program of social impact projects at IFTF honoring his legacy, known as The Roy Amara Fund for Participatory Foresight, the Fund uses participatory tools to translate foresight research into concrete actions that address future social challenges.

Odom & Co says: Check out Regina Holliday’s idea! “Would you eat off a toilet seat?” Regina Holliday is a medical advocate muralist. She uses paint and brushes to promote health reform and patient’s rights.

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August 17th, 2010 Managing Your Personal and Professional Digital Brand

Flavors.me from Jack Zerby on Vimeo.

Flavors.me is one example of how to organize your digital identity.  Angela Dunn of Odom & Co has analyzed the various ways healthcare and pharma communications professionals are managing their personal and professional digital brand .

Health is Social is presenting its first in a series of Webinars on “Healthcare Social Media: Perspectives in Practice” on Thursday, August 26th, 2010, at 1 pm – 3 pm EST, 10 am – 12 pm PST, 6 pm – 8 pm London. The Webinar will offer four healthcare social media perspectives:  1) the Patient, 2) the Provider, 3) the Healthcare Organization and 4) the Professional (staff).  Angela Dunn, Director of Social Media for Odom & Co, will present the Professional Development perspective and showcase the many ways communications professionals, especially in healthcare and pharma, are managing their personal and professional digital identity.

Dunn also plans to showcase tools and resources including those for organizing personal digital content and assets.  (See flavors.me in the above video, The Digital Business Card WordPress Theme, and card.ly .)

“Your digital identity is shaping a personal digital brand, whether you realize it or not,” according to Dunn,  “The goal is to show real world examples, discuss the pros and cons of each, and help you decide what is most comfortable and authentic for you. It will be eye-opening for many people.”

Included in the case studies will be a look at the freshly released  Social Media Guidelines made public by Roche at “Roche and Social Media” . The Roche principles, summarized below, include guidelines for “personally” speaking “about” Roche and “professionally” speaking “on behalf” of Roche. Roche’s guidelines have “not only raised the bar for the pharma industry within the social web in general, but … have also heralded in a new era for healthcare communications,” according to Andrew Spong in a recent post.

Summary of Roche Social Media Principles:

Dunn’s presentation will also address:

•  Who owns the social equity of the fans, followers and/or subscribers?
•  Does your company’s social media policy address this? A look at best practices.

Look for lots of interest in this topic as individuals and companies navigate the impact of the ever-changing social landscape.

Health Is Social does have a small  fee for Healthcare Social Media:  Perspectives in Practice. Odom & Co is honored to be presenting along with: Dave deBronkart @ePatientDave– Patient Perspective, Bryan Vartabedian, MD, FAAP @Doctor_V – Provider Perspective and Erin Macartney @emacartney: Healthcare Organization Perspective on Partnering Patients with Healthcare Team. For more information on Presenters and the Webinar, click here. Phil Baumann is the impetus behind Health Is Social and the Webinar series.

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August 12th, 2010 Superheroes in Training: MedThink on ExL Pharma PR Summit

Dawn A. Crawford, Manager, Social Media, for MedThink Communications, a full-service healthcare communications agency in Raleigh, North Carolina, attended the ExL Pharma 6th PR and Communications Summit in NYC and shares a recap in this guest post. Follow @MedThink on Twitter and Facebook.com/MedThink.

Anyone who has ever read a comic book or seen a movie based on a comic knows the feeling of “MAN! I wish I could do that!” It is all about watching a superhuman feat in the name of greater good.

MedThink had that same feeling many times at the ExL Pharma 6th Public Relations & Communications Summit held at the Pfizer World Headquarters in NYC. It felt like we were getting firsthand knowledge from true pharma superheroes. These are the companies forging the way in social media, taking strategic risks and engaging patients.

In the conservative world of pharmaceutical marketing, pharma and social media are often in a villainous relationship. They are at-odds trying to find a way to work together, but the struggle ultimately ends in cliff-hanger tactics that always leave you wanting more.

At this conference, the leaders in pharma social media shared their success above and beyond the constraints of regulations. Each industry representative was careful to state they were working within the current legal framework, but was also proud to point out that no letters from DDMAC mentioned social media practices. Furthermore, there have been very few, if any, adverse events reported through social media.

One standout case study in social media super-skills was from Kate O’Connor, Boehringer Ingelheim’s executive director, public relations. She highlighted their program Drive4COPD, which is a multiyear public health initiative to screen the millions of people who may be at risk for COPD. The campaign is fully integrated with a website and sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Digg. The campaign enlists celebrities including Danika Patrick, Michael Strahan and Bruce Jenner to carry the message to multiple audiences with greater reach.

The biggest lesson learned was planning. Boehringer Ingelheim trained their spokespeople and internal teams with extensive messaging on what they could and could not say, ensuring all communications were within regulatory guidelines. They even trained ambassadors on FDA, FTC and social media guidelines, so they were fully prepared for all regulatory boundaries. As with any successful communications and marketing plan, preparation is always key.

The second takeaway was in combining online and offline events. While they leveraged celebrity Twitter accounts, including Bruce Jenner with his 39,000+ fans, they also held interactive offline events at NASCAR races across the country. This smart integration of both virtual and real-life experiences truly set this program apart, demonstrating the power of a fully integrated communications program.

Another intriguing session was the Health Care Blogs session, which included Dr. Alanna Levine, a pediatrician and parenting expert blogger for MomLogic; John Mack, the publisher and editor-in-chief of Pharma Marketing News; and Gina Maisano, a patient-advocate blogger and president of the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation. Each of these bloggers welcomed more interaction from pharmaceutical companies and their agencies. They wanted more comments and questions. Being part of the conversation and being helpful to our blogger allies can be a huge win for pharma, and most importantly, patients.

The legions of professionals engaged in pharma communications have a lot to learn from the speakers at this summit. We all have the potential to be social media superheroes ourselves. We just need to take a confident step off the edge of social media and fly.

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August 10th, 2010 In Healthcare, Experience Matters

Bridget Duffy at Gel Health 2009 from Gel Conference on Vimeo.

In this guest post, Nick Dawson shares with us why “experience matters.”  Nick describes himself as “bridging the gap between healthcare operations and social media.” With more than 12 years of experience in hospital operations, he understands what makes healthcare tick. As the champion of a social media success story, Nick is the Director Community Engagement at Bon Secours Richmond Health System. In addition to those duties, he is also a Director on the Revenue Cycle team for the 14 hospital Bon Secours Health System. Nick blogs at NickDawson.net, and you can find him on Twitter @NickDawson.

For most of us, auto mechanics are a bit of a mystery. The oil light comes on, we drive to the dealership, they work some voodoo and we drive away under the impression that things are running smoothly under the hood. Unless you have the know-how, there isn’t a way to verify the quality of the work that is done. That is probably why savvy dealerships started offering fancy waiting areas – coffee, danishes, flat screen TVs and high speed Internet. If we can’t judge the craftsmanship, maybe we’ll make our service decisions based on the waiting experience. The interesting thing is that medicine is not much different.

I’ve written on my own blog about Bridget Duffy’s wonderful 2009 Gel Conference lecture before. In the talk, Dr. Duffy makes her point clearly, “Most patients want the high tech and a great quality outcome, but they can’t judge the quality of the [treatment]. They can judge the quality of the experience…” I often say that experience matters, and a double entendre that is two in two ways. First, we want to think we are taking our cars to a reputable service shop; the kind of place that does quality work. We also want to know that we are going to be well taken care of. Does it make a difference to the car if you are greeted by name, offered a nice place to wait and kept well informed about the work being done? Well, in a way, I think it does.

In healthcare, experience matters. We all want to believe that the person sticking the needle in our arm is skilled and qualified. You wouldn’t voluntarily go under the knife with a surgeon you didn’t have the utmost confidence in. Much to the consternation of some industry senior leaders I know, I submit that technical skill is an expectation for patients. Everything else positive about at the healthcare experience is often sadly the exception, not the expectation.

To illustrate the importance of the entire experience, think about something relatively simple like an annual physical. Does your doctor take the extra few minute to greet you by name and inquire about you as a person? There is an often quoted section of Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point where he examines the length of time physicians spend with patients verses medical malpractice suits. The difference of as little as one extra minute spent with a patient makes a dramatic reduction in the number of suits and even complaints that the sample study sawfound. The dots isare not hard ones to connect. The at extra minute is probably not some magical exam or test that only a few doctors know about, it is a moment of real human interaction.

A few weeks ago I was working late and walking through the hospital around six o’clock in the evening. (I like roaming around patient areas at that time of day. It is quiet, the hustle of hundreds of folks moving about their daily activities settles into a low background hum.) On this particular day, I passed a mother and teenage daughter waiting in our outpatient diagnostic area. The daughter lay with her nearly six foot frame scrunched up on a love seat with her head on her mother’s lap. They had that “we’ve been waiting a while” look. I took a quick detour through the emergency room where we keep a warming cabinet with soft blankets and pillows. Without a word, I quietly entered the waiting area, offered the pillow to the girl’s mother and gently draped the blanket over her body. Did that small act make a difference in the outcome of the diagnostic test or clinical procedure? Well, in a way, I think it did.

According to Dr. Duffy, when organizations make the patient experience their number one goal everything else follows – improved outcomes, increased revenue, market share, reduced errors, etc. Patient experience is an easy thing for every person in a provider organization to relate to. Imagine being in a meeting and being able to ask everyone at the table “what part of this plan do you play and how does that support an awesome patient experience?” If car dealers can do it, why can’t providers?

It is time to put the providing the best, most compassionate, experience first.

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