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When it comes to hospital and health system use of social media, “it’s less of a question about whether you should do it; it’s can you afford not to,” noted UPMC’s chief innovation officer, Rasu Shrestha, M.D. (@RasuShrestha), at W2O Group’s inaugural #HITsmCIO Reception on April 12, 2015, in Chicago. Utilizing the capabilities of our robust MDigitalLIfe #Healthecosystem and advanced social analytics, W2O gathered together some of the industry’s forefront thought leaders and social influencers to review the results of our third annual study and hear directly from provider IT leaders on how and why they are using social media.

Social media data and advanced analytics are providing a crisp, new lens through which to view this community and better understand the critical issues that hospital and health system IT leaders face today. Where do they look for information? What are the key issues being discussed? And how are provider IT leaders engaging with their peers and the #Healthecosystem as a whole? This year’s W2O Group report – What Healthcare CIOs are Really Talking About – provides key insights and notable trends on how this community is utilizing Twitter to advance the health IT conversation, engage with their networks and drive awareness and education throughout the industry.

Not surprisingly, when it comes to the most popular topics being discussed among provider CIOs, electronic health records (EHRs) take first place. Following closely behind is mHealth, with other key topics including innovation, big data and Ebola. Being that it was a physician, not a reporter, who broke the story about the Measles outbreak at Disneyland via Twitter earlier this year, the fact that Ebola was also one of the top topics in our CIO community supports just how important a role social can plan in terms of improving public health awareness and communication among both clinicians and provider executives.

Top 5 Topics

We also looked at the growth in trending topics among the community. As you’ll see, mental health and innovation had the highest growth year to year, a strong indicator of two areas that are becoming an increasingly important part of the healthcare technology conversation. The chart below also shows the rise in discussion about cancer, leadership and healthcare IT social media (#HITsm), as well as many others:

Percentage Growth

To better understand who CIOs are engaging with, we looked at both the most retweeted and most followed among the community. In terms of the most retweeted, they are:

  1. Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar), CMO at Extreme Networks
  2. Eric Topol (@EricTopol), cardiologist and Medscape editor-in-chief
  3. Brian Ahier (@ahier), Director of Standards and Government Affairs at Medicity
  4. Farzad Mostashari, M.D., (@Farzad_MD), former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and founder of Aledade, Inc.
  5. The New York Times (@nytimes)

CIOS

As you’ll also see included in the image above, the most followed CIOs and CMIOs are:

  1. John Halamka, M.D. (@jhalamka), Chief Information Officer, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC)
  2. Will Weider (@CandidCIO), Chief Information Officer, Ministry Health Care
  3. Luis Saldana, M.D. (@lsaldanamd),Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Texas Health Resources
  4. Dirk Stanley, M.D. (@dirkstanley), Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Cooley Dickinson Hospital
  5. David Chou (@dchou1107) Chief Information Officer, University of Mississippi Medical Center

In terms of the most @mentioned CIOs, Dr. Halamka is one again at the top of the list, with two Texas Health Resources’ social power houses coming in next. The top five list includes the following (though please be sure to check out the presentation below for more information and the expanded list):

  1. John Halamka, M.D. (@jhalamka), Chief Information Officer, BIDMC
  2. Edward Marx (@marxists), Chief Information Officer, Texas Health Resources
  3. Luis Saldana, M.D.,(@lsaldanamd) Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Texas Health Resources
  4. Sue Schade (@sgschade), Chief Information Officer, University of Michigan Health System
  5. David Chou,(@dchou1107) Chief Information Officer, University of Mississippi Medical Center

 Most Mentioned

Additionally, as you see above on the bottom half of the slide image, CIOs are sharing more information from top tier, national media outlets than trade publications. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Washington Post and Harvard Business Review produce the most frequently linked to content by this community. As for the most liked to trade media outlets, these include Healthcare IT News, FierceHealthIT, Becker’s Hospital Review, iHealthBeat and CIO.com

Being that this is social use that we’re analyzing, what about the blogs, you ask? In terms of the most linked-to blogs, Kevin Pho, M.D.’s blog (@KevinMD) was shared the most among this community, with top articles related to both personal health and healthcare technology, with HIStalk and The Health Care Blog coming in next. The top five most shared blogs includes:

  1. KevinMD.com
  2. HIStalk
  3. The Health Care Blog
  4. Gates Notes
  5. EMR and HIPAA

We also looked at provider CIO following patterns and discovered that our community is engaged with a mix of industry organizations, government entities, leading trade outlets and thought leaders, including HIMSS, ONC, Healthcare IT News, TedMed, and Farzad Mostashari, M.D. Additionally, organizations including Cerner and EMC Healthcare are among the top accounts who are following the CIO community.

Following Patterns

Still hungry for more analytics goodness? Please see the presentation below for our full research report be sure to follow @W2OGroup and #HITsmCIO for the latest findings, news and updates from our community!

For a deeper dive into the research and to set up media briefings, please contact:

At the inaugural W2O healthcare leadership event last month in New York, we had the chance to ask some notable clients, healthcare leaders, and journalists the following three questions:

  1. Does Amazon’s purchase of the Washington Post signal a new era coming for newspapers?  And what is the future of health/medical journalism?
  2. Do you think reporters have all the resources they need to cover complex health/medical topics?  If no – How can we improve the situation?
  3.  “Who is the must-follow person for healthcare on social media?  How active are you online?

Their responses reveal some interesting insight on how social media in particular is having a strong influence on how developments in the healthcare industry are reported on by journalists and absorbed by readers.  And we at W2O, continue to gain insight from our sponsorship of this unique event. Learn more here.

Jim Larkin/Lauren Barbiero – W20 Earned Media Team

There were two unrelated items involving copy editors in the last week. The first involved the Denver Post, which said that — as part of a cost-cutting exercise — that some of those cuts would come among copy editors. The internal memo announcing the change put it this way: the paper would be “consolidating steps in the editing process so that traditional copy editing is done at the content-generating level.”

That’s code for “reporters will now be editing each other’s work,” which is one of those things that makes sense if you don’t think about it. But those people who have had their bacon saved (repeatedly) by the copy desk know that good reporters don’t necessarily make good copy editors. And though the editors of the Denver Post hope it’s not the case, there’s a good chance that dismissing copy editors will harm the quality of the final product.

How could the final product be hurt? Ask Elizabeth Flock, a blogger for the Washington Post, who resigned last week after two errors came to light. Flock wrote the Post’s breaking-news blog, which called for a tremendous amount of re-writing of the content of others, all so that washingtonpost.com readers wouldn’t have to leave the paper’s site to get their fix of the stuff that was absolutely fresh. Flock’s task was daunting: she shoveled out thousands of words for the site every day. And in that mad rush, she made two mistakes: she amplified a story about Mitt Romney that — while buzzing online — was not true. And she failed to properly attribute one story. For that, she fell on her sword.

Flock did have editors looking over her shoulder, but it’s not hard to argue that better, tougher copy editing might have saved Flock’s job, and, perhaps, some small part of the Post’s reputation.

And it’s not just journalism where copy editing failures can lead to disease. Jim Edwards from Business Insider flagged a whopper of a typo in a Google ad campaign (Google Chome, anyone?).

The easy solution is to suggest that, perhaps, we need more editors across the communication continuum, and that would clearly be a good start. But the problem may actually start further upstream. In a multi-media world, fewer and fewer individuals see the mechanics of writing as the core skill set upon which their success depends. I am increasingly working with undergraduate communications students who are absolute wizards with today’s media tools: they have excellent graphic design skills. They can shoot and edit video with a professional’s precision. They understand the mechanics of tagging and posting and the new media ecosystem.

But there is hugely less interest in writing copy — not short stuff, not long stuff, not the stuff in between — than when I was studying the media forms back in the dark ages. That’s not surprising. And, in a YouTube age, it’s not automatically bad to see more communicators specializing in media that have become increasingly important. But the subtle shift away from the written word carries dangers that can’t always be identified immediately. It’s a lesson that the Washington Post and Google learned the hard way. And it’s one that the Denver Post may learn, soon enough.

* This post produced without the assistance of copy editors. So if you find typos or leaps in logic, you know why.

This was an exciting week within the halls of WCG. The analytics team, now approaching 40 people, was assembled in Austin for two days of training and development. It was the first time that the entire group has been assembled to talk about our models, our work and, most importantly, share our collective experiences with the goal of producing high quality work for our clients.

The WCG analytics team has grown tremendously over the last three years. When I joined the team in January of 2010 we were in a small office outside of downtown and there were only a handful of us doing analytics work for clients. Now, the team brings a wealth of experience beyond social analytics. We have a strong, and diverse team now with skills in web analytics, search, and traditional market research. These new team members have come in and built on our strong footprint in social analytics.

These two days in Austin have left me super-charged to be back at a firm that places such a high value on analytics. WCG is unique because everyone has bought into the idea that analytics is at the foundation of everything we do. It’s one of the reasons I was excited to rejoin the firm back in January. Want the rest? Well, here you go…

  1. Executive leadership has a deeply rooted belief in the power of analytics Jim Weiss, Bob Pearson, Tony Esposito, Diane Weiser, Paulo Simas, Gail Cohen, Jennifer Gottlieb, Leslie Wheeler, Craig Alperowitz and a host of others at the senior leadership level believe analytics is at the foundation of everything we do. They’ve invested time and energy in helping to build analytics models that benefit clients, and also position the firm as an innovative thought leader in a very crowded space. For someone who works in analytics and had their value challenged frequently, having senior leadership approval is a comforting thing.
  2. Jim Weiss and Bob Pearson – I know I mentioned Jim and Bob above, but I want to call them out separately for taking a chance on me – twice! I asked to come back to a place that I left, and they welcomed me back with open arms They have also given me a simple mission: “Help us do great work for our clients and continue to innovate.” How can you not be charged up by something like that?
  3. The best analytics team in the business – As I mentioned above, the team has grown and added some incredibly strong people like Tim Marklein, Seth Duncan and Amy Jackson. If you don’t know them, you should. Keep watching for what the analytics team develops. Shock and awe doesn’t even begin to describe it.
  4. Brian Reid – There are not many people in communications whose opinion on the media I trust more than Brian’s. It could be because he was a writer at the Washington Post, but more likely it is his intense curiosity to understand the evolving digital landscape. I have had some great discussions about the topic of online influence with people who you might know better than Brian, but I’ll tell you that few (if any) will make you rethink your stance on the topic more than him.
  5. Everyone who has welcomed me back or believed I could make a difference when coming back – Again, it could be seen as cliché to say that it feels like I never left, but it’s true. It really feels like I never left. This group of people is literally too long to list, and I’d be afraid of leaving someone off. If I haven’t thanked you in person yet, rest assured that I will at some point soon.

So there you have it… I could literally list 60 reasons why I am happy to be back at WCG, but that would make for the longest blog post in history. It’s great being in a place where I feel like I belong. Lets keep doing great work for clients, and making some serious thought leadership waves. It is time to GO. AHEAD.