Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Opening Keynote at #HIMSS12 by Twitter Co-founder

HIMSS 2012 opened this morning with a keynote by Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter. He spoke about how social media can change the health care landscape.

These are some of the key questions that may be on people'a minds:

How can social media improve the delivery of health care? How can social media improve disease management? How can social media improve wellness and promote disease prevention? How do health care professionals use social media and protect patient privacy? How do you use social media in a HIPAA-compliant way?

Social media is another extension of health information technology.  Health IT is not simply about HIE, EHR, CPOE, or e-prescribing.

Biz shared several stories and assumptions about human nature and applied these to health care.

The first story was the Twitter story.  He left Google, did some work at Odeo on podcasts,  then started Twitter.  Would a person share a short status message? As they built Twitter, they found that people enjoyed sharing short updates,  even if it was not useful.  They were having fun and they saw the potential to move masses of people using a simple social communication tool.  They saw how a single person could send a Tweet and fuel behavior change. Lesson learned: more information is not necessarily more knowledge.

He also shared a story about being in a program called "boy rangers" when he was a child.  He was motivated to play sports and he started a lacrosse team. Lesson learned: opportunity can be manufactured.

Then, he shared a story about college where he got a part-time job moving boxes. He designed a graphic cover at the age of 19 and got promoted from a box mover to a graphic artist. He learned that creativity is a renewable resource. You will never run out of it.

The next story was about a German movie where an immortal angel falls in love with a mortal.  He thinks about becoming a mortal because he wishes to experience life as a mortal.   The lesson is this: to succeed, you have to be willing to fail completely.  You have to make the plunge.

His last story was about helping other people.  Growing up,  he thought that helping was something that was expected.  The problems were unsolvable. He then learned how inexpensive HIV medications can significantly improve health and allow people to and communities to experience renewal. Lesson learned: there is compound interest in altruism.

Biz wrapped up by sharing some key assumptions that organizations need to keep in mind when they do business. 

When it came to Q&A, Biz shared how different companies are using social media to help patients connect with providers.  Examples may include telemedicine. More empathy for patients. The more connected we are, the smaller the world becomes. People can improve general awareness about their personal health by leveraging social tools.

There are so many ways that social media can facilitate patient education,  health care professional communication,  and even the continuing education of physicians,  pharmacists,  and nurses.  However, most people who work in the health care community do not know how to effectively leverage social media in a safe,  appropriate way to accomplish these types of things.

HIMSS12 coverage is sponsored by HP. HP’s extensive portfolio of products, solutions, services and relationships can help your healthcare organization achieve quality business practices and provide quality patient care.

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