Mayo Clinic to host social media-packed week

By Molly Merrill
03:26 PM

If you plan on attending the Social Media Summit hosted by Mayo Clinic next week get ready to experience your Twitter feed “in real life,” as one speaker puts it.

On Oct. 17 the Mayo Clinic will kick off the Social Media Summit, produced in collaboration with Ragan Communication. It begins with four pre-conference workshops and continues with a three-track conference made up of 35 speakers that will conclude on Oct. 19.

If you haven’t registered for the summit, which is currently expecting almost 375 attendees, more than was projected according to Lee Aase, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, don’t despair you can still do so here.

Aase, who says the attendees’ numbers reflect an "exciting level of interest,” is one of the keynote speakers. He says he will be making some “interesting announcements around new campaigns that we are launching that I think people will not want to miss.”

Some highlights of the summit will include a keynote about how social networking tools can facilitate research around rare diseases, and a session about physician involvement by Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, a member of the medical staff at Seattle Children’s Hospital and author of the hospital’s pediatric health blog, Seattle Mama Doc, and the closing keynote will be given by Dave de Bronkart, known on the Internet as "e-Patient Dave" and a leading spokesman for the e-patient movement.

“This is an exciting conference, Mayo is the leading hospital doing social media now. Their center for social media  is one of a kind,” said Ed Bennett, who will be speaking Tuesday, Oct. 18, on how social media has changed healthcare communications. Bennett manages Web operations at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and maintains a site called Found in Cache – a list of hospitals using YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and blogs to communicate.

Bennett will share the latest trends he is seeing from his site on hospital adoption. But what he thinks attendees will find the most interesting is looking at UMMC’s experience over the past two years from gaining access to using Facebook (it was previously banned at the hospital until Jan. 1 of this year), to using social media around patient support, to its viral power around a PR event.
Personally he says he is most looking forward to the summit as an opportunity to “network with people in the healthcare industry that are using these tools.”

Networking is also key to Howard Luks, MD, who says he is looking forward to the summit because he sees it as a “real-life Twitter feed” – an opportunity to engage and collaborate with his Twitter friends – in person.

Luks, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and an associate professor of orthopedic surgery at New York Medical College, is part of a panel of physicians who will be speaking Wednesday, Oct. 19, on how they engage their patients through social media.

“Social media is a way to provide patients around the globe with links to concise, meaningful, evidence-based, actionable information and guidance,” says Luks.

At the conclusion of the summit will be the member meeting for the Social Media Health Network, the Mayo-sponsored group of more than 80 member organizations that have joined together about applying social media to improve healthcare, promote health and fight disease. The network member meeting, which runs from Oct. 19- 20, will include member-led breakout discussions of common health social media issues. One panel will be composed of five patients who received scholarships to come and participate to make sure the patient perspective is represented, says Aase.

The week will then culminate in the center's first Social Media Residency, Oct. 20–21. The Social Media Residency uses a medical residency metaphor, complete with residency matching, chief residents, rounding and rotations covering each of the major "specialties" in social media. Registration for this is separate from the summit, but Aase says there are still some slots open.

Aase says attendess of the residency will be “getting hands-on, in-depth immersion in social media and how to think about it strategically."

Click here to view the summit's full agenda.

Follow Associate Editor Molly Merrill @writehit.

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