I'm back from my pilgrimage to Rochester, MN for the Third Annual Health Care Social Media Summit at the Mayo Clinic, presented by Ragan Communications.  I had a great time, and want to share the experience with you.  So please take a look at the archived #mayoragan tweets, my presentation on health care social media and the law, and my blog posts about the pre-conference and the summit itself posted at HealthWorks Collective.  Here are some excerpts:

Mayo Ragan Social Media Summit Pre-Conference

A recurring theme in my hallway conversations [today] was that it is impossible to transplant a successful program from one location to another without taking into account myriad local conditions (social media program, heart transplant program – same problem).  As I always say to folks who just want to copy, say, the Mayo Clinic’s, or the Cleveland Clinic’s, social media policy, change the names and be done with it, it is critical to take the measure of local conditions and customize an approach.  As I discuss[ed] in my presentation later in the conference, there are risks – manageable risks – inherent in the use of health care social media, but the risk tolerance of each organization is different, born of a whole host of factors, and those differences must be respected.

Mayo Ragan Social Media Summit:

This was multimedia day at Mayo Clinic.

Lee Aase, Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, kicked off the meeting with a rundown of the Mayo Clinic’s experience with social media, highlighting the “MacGyver” (i.e., jerry-rigged) approach he advocates, using free and low-cost tools.

He then premiered a soon-to-be viral video produced as part of the Mayo clinic's Cardiac health "Know Your Numbers" campaign:

Know Your Numbers Video

Chris Boyer closed out his presentation with a little song he wrote (he accompanied himself on the ukulele), about social media ROI.

Mayo Ragan Social Media Summit – Final Day

My gloss on the imperative to pursue [the] lofty goals [articulated by e-Patient Dave in his closing keynote, summarized in an understated way as "Let Patients Help"] is born of a stark economic reality: in the future (the very near future), health care providers will have to do more with less.  (Consider, for example, impending deep Medicare cuts.)  [Consider, also, the patient-centeredness and patient engagement laid out in the final ACO regulations.]  In order to do so successfully, they will need to work collaboratively with patients – and with each other — in ways that many have not (in large part) to date, because economic incentives to do so have not necessarily been there.  Social media will be a part of the solution to this problem.

I enjoyed meeting up with my fellow MCCSM external advisory board members, and I look forward to continuing the conversation with so many of you whom I met in person at the conference, including many folks whom I've known for years – but only online.

David Harlow
The Harlow Group LLC
Health Care Law and Consulting