Social Media

Social Leadership in HealthCare

2 Mins read

By now you must be sick of reading about social media on the Health Train Express. However I have more reason than ever to believe social media will continue to gain ground in healthcare….Doctors love technology however are mostly late adopters. They like certainty and want others to  work out the quirks. That is how most of us were trained. Primum non nocere.  Whether this applies to social media, I cannot yet say but it appears to be going in that direction.  We saw it with HIT as electronic health records entered the user market as a consumer product rather than a techie experiment.  HIX is at that point now for hospitals.  Not many doctors or hospitals want to use a non-FDA approved drug.  So this pattern is well understood.

It has taken medicine close to 30 years to absorb practice management systems, then electronic health records for routine usage.

The pattern will be the same with social media. Social media will gain traction in general and health care, doctors and hospitals will repeat their pattern of late adoption.

In a study in Forbe’s Magazine:

“IBM Study: If You Don’t Have a Social CEO, You’re Going to be Less Competitive

When IBM (NYSE: IBM) conducted its study of 1709 CEOs around the world, they found only 16% of them participating in social media. But their analysis shows that the percentage will likely grow to 57% within 5 years.

Why? because CEOs are beginning to recognize that using email and the phone to get the message out isn’t sufficient anymore.

The big takeaway:That using social technologies to engage with customers, suppliers and employees will enable the organization to be more adaptive and agile.

Simply put, Physicians,  CEOs and their executives set the cultural tone for an organization. Through participation, they implicitly promote the use of social technologies.  That will make their organizations more competitive and better able to adapt to sudden market changes.

Other key findings of the study include:

CEOs are changing the nature of work by adding a powerful dose of openness, transparency and employee empowerment

Companies that outperform their peers are 30 percent more likely to identify openness – often characterized by a greater use of social media as a key enabler of collaboration and innovation

While social media is the least utilized of all customer interaction methods today, it stands to become the number two organizational engagement method within the next five years, a close second to face-to-face interactions.

More than half of CEOs (53 percent) are planning to use technology to facilitate greater partnering and collaboration with outside organizations,

CEOs regard interpersonal skills of collaboration (75 percent), communication (67 percent), creativity (61 percent) and flexibility (61 percent)as key drivers of employee success

  • The trend toward greater collaboration extends beyond the corporation to external partnering relationships.Partnering is now at an all-time high. In 2008, slightly more than half of the CEOs IBM interviewed planned to partner extensively. Now, more than two-thirds intend to do so.
  • CEOs are most focused on gaining insights into their customers. Seventy-three percent of CEOs are making significant investments in their organizations’ ability to draw meaningful customer insights from available data.

The IBM study shows that CEOs and the companies they manage must constantly evolve to stay competitive. Partners, suppliers, employees and customers want CEOs to communicate with them on a personal level to build trust and to help align them to the organization’s strategy. There is a lot at stake here. And if CEOs continue to hide in their Ivory Towers under the guise of some old command ands control mentality, the next chapter in their career might be written somewhere else.

You and I do not want to be left behind.

This is becoming all ‘too true’ in the healthcare space as we are witnessing with accountable care organizations, past events with HMOs, PPOs, and the emergence of major health reform bills.



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