Guest Blogger Tim Drinan

I’d be willing to bet that most of you have more “social media” experience than me. So, who better to ask to make a guest blog appearance on the WHPRMS Web site than the beginner, the novice … the neophyte?

Admittedly, I’m an old-fashioned type who still enjoys reading newspapers I can hold in my hands. And no, I don’t have a Facebook page (yet).

Like you, I’m a communicator. The tools for communicating have changed rapidly and dramatically in the past 15 years. To put my communication technology experience in context, (and to show my age), I took a typing class in high school (using actual typewriters), used a word processor in college to complete term papers, and created ads for my college newspaper on a Compugraphic machine (that was kind of like milking a cow when you’re thirsty for a glass of milk). The year I graduated from college, the Journalism Dept. sprung for new Macintosh computers. Talk about bad timing on my part.

Fast forward to today. After attending October’s WHPRMS annual conference at the Hyatt in Milwaukee, I was impressed by Lee Aase’s presentation on the Mayo Clinic’s foray into social media. If you haven’t visited SMUG University, check it out.

We’re in the process of creating our own social media outfit at Ministry Health Care (my employer). Ministry is now on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Flickr, and it’s exciting to see our senior management team begin to embrace these alternative ways of communicating with our varied audiences, in addition to our own employees.

Despite the fact that health care organizations tend to be a bit on the conservative side when it comes to introducing social media, hearing about Mayo Clinic’s experiences should give us some hope. I recently shared Lee Aase’s WHPRMS conference presentation with several of our system’s leaders, and it’s provoking a good amount of discussion.

Don’t worry if you feel your organization is not yet on the current “cutting edge” of social media. Your leaders will soon realize the potential in alternative ways of communicating. They can’t avoid it forever.

And … remember to join us for our next WHPRMS Webinar on Nov. 19.

Tim Drinan
Ministry Health Care
Past President, WHPRMS

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