Mayo Clinic Launches Center For Social Media

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Mayo Clinic said today it is launching a Center for Social Media to create broader and deeper engagement by hospitals, doctors and patients.

"Mayo Clinic believes individuals have the right and responsibility to advocate for their own health, and that it is our responsibility to help them use social media tools to get the best information, connect with providers and with each other, and inspire healthy choices," said Mayo Clinic president and CEO John Noseworthy, M.D.

"Through this center we intend to lead the health care community in applying these revolutionary tools to spread knowledge and encourage collaboration among providers, improving health care quality everywhere."

Features of the Center for Social Media include:

*Training for health care employees via webinars, in-person and on-site workshops and boot camps, and online curriculum.

*Consulting and coaching to help organizations align social media strategies with business goals.

*Conferences and other events to bring people together to learn from each other and share their experiences.

*Resources including toolkits, manuals, books, white papers, policies and guidelines.

"Health care has lagged behind other industries in applying social media tools," says Lee Aase, one of the leaders of the new center.

"Social media interest and activity among hospitals and health care professionals has grown remarkably, though, with the number of hospital Twitter accounts, for example, doubling in the last year."

In addition to reaching out, the center staff will work with Mayo Clinic colleagues to find new ways to apply social media tools throughout the Mayo system.

"We see immense opportunities to use internal social networking tools for collaboration among our employees to improve patient care, education, research and administration," said Aase.

"As we find new applications, we plan to conduct research into their effects so we can measure any cost savings, efficiency gains and improved effectiveness. And when we do, we'll be sharing those findings externally to help the whole health system improve."