Note: the article no longer requires a subscription for access (3/14/09)
The much anticipated health information technology issue of Health Affairs, and in it is an article written by Carleen Hawn about Social Media in Health Care. The links above to to the Health Affairs site, but it appears a subscription will be required to view it, so hopefully readers have access to an institutional or other subscription to read it.
The genesis of this article was a discussion that was started in July, 2008, at the American Board of Internal Medicine’s forum on Patient Centered Care, where i presented about some of these concepts. This was followed up with discussions with myself and other leaders in the field, such as Jay Parkinson, MD, from HelloHealth, Bob Coffield, a well known legal expert in the area of social media, as well as real patients.
I actually attended the briefing announcing the release of this issue in Washington, DC, and was pleasantly surprised to see that the article is billed on the front cover of a very full catalog of scholarly works. Who would have thought 4 years ago that an article about social networking/media would be front cover material for the Health Affairs issue on Health Information Technology. This says a lot about the impact that social media, or perceived impact, in this area of health care! At the same time, I think Matthew Holt correctly points out that there’s a part two (and three and four) to be written covering what’s below the tip of the iceberg.
In addition to the information mentioned in the article, Carleen Hawn also consulted with some of my favorite innovators in health care, including Scott Shreeve, MD, and the team at the Kaiser Permanente Sidney Garfield Center for Health Care Innovation.
In addition to these contributions, I would also mention the contribution of the California Healthcare Foundation, whose leaders, including Veenu Aulakh, MPH, Sophia Chang, MD, MPH and Sam Karp, stimulated the development of the crowdsourced definition of Health2.0 mentioned the article with a simple question to me: “Ted, what is Health2.0?” (my answer was, “I don’t know, let’s ask the crowd.”)
And, I would also like to mention that innovation like this comes from health care organizations and systems that are able to say,”Not everything has been tried before,” and in my case this is/was Group Health Cooperative, who have learned from our early blogging experience and now bring their physicians and staff online for the world to learn about what they are doing to reinvent primary care. I’ve been engaged in maybe a few conversations over the past few years about why health care organizations should be transparent and it’s helpful for everyone to have an example of why this works well for everyone.
Thanks again to Carleen Hawn, The Health Affairs Team, and The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation for taking the time to explore this topic for America’s patients (that’s all of us).