Traffic to Hospital Web Sites

Traffic to U.S. Hospital Web Sites (according to Hitwise)

Monthly Visits – U.S. Traffic Only

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Connecting Healthcare + Social Media Presentation

My presentation at the Connecting Healthcare + Social Media conference. Most audience questions were about opening access to social media, 50% of the organizations at the conference are blocking Facebook and related sites.


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Consumer Expectations for Healthcare Social Media

Price Waterhouse Coopers has a new research document called – Social media “likes” healthcare, From marketing to social business.
(PwC download page)

It’s based on:

The results are interesting:

  • One third of consumers now use social media sites for health-related activities
  • 40% of consumers have sought out reviews of treatments, physicians, and other patient experiences
  • 45% of consumers say information from Social Media sources would affect their decisions
  • 73% would welcome social media based tools like make an appointment, or ask a question – but expect a quick response
  • 54% are comfortable with their doctors using online physician communities for advice related to their health situation
  • Consumers are significantly more likely to trust social media  information from their doctors or hospital, less likely to trust insurers or drug companies

I’d like to see the actual survey questions before passing judgement, but it appears consumers are getting comfortable with Healthcare Social Media.

(but you already knew that)


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The UMMC Face Transplant Story

An amazing story – I’m so proud to be part of this organization.

This video tells the story:

More background

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Fall Mid-Atlantic PRSA Presentation

Presentation by Sharon Boston and Ed Bennett

PRSA – How to Create Videos to Benefit Your Strategic Goals

View more presentations from Ed Bennett

Links and Resources

Dozer’s pages

Hey! My Doctor Is On TV

UMMC YouTube Channel

Maryland Health Today videos on

CDC Public Health Image Library

The Hospital Social Network List

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The Backstory – How I got started in Healthcare Social Media

Note – the following essay was included in Mayo Clinic Social Media Residency Handbook 

My passion for social media was sparked by two events separated by ten years.

How It All Begins

In the late 1990’s, back when the commercial web began, I helped dozens of organizations develop their first web presence.

Many business leaders understood the radical changes a web site could bring, but they were in the minority. Most belittled the idea, sticking with business as usual. (“Our customers use the Yellow Pages.”) Sadly, the most skeptical industry was healthcare. Some major hospitals didn’t have a web site until 2006.

The second event was more personal – watching my daughter grow up as texting, MySpace and then Facebook became the glue holding her friends together. As I explored these services two things became clear and by 2008 I was convinced that:

1. Social media was redefining the web – providing tools people wanted and were using at extraordinary rates. It wasn’t going away and seemed to be in the early stages of something big.
2. Hospitals would, once again, stay behind.

That’s what motivated me in 2009 to build the Hospital Social Network List. A tool for hospital marketing communications (aka, marcomm) folks, it answered the critical management question, “You want our hospital to be on Facebook? Is anyone else doing it?”

Three years later, a significant percentage hospitals are active on social media and we’re just starting to understand the value for our patients, community, and organizations.

These trends are now converging within the healthcare industry:

  1. Workforce demographics – staff who grew up with social media are getting into more senior management positions.
  2. Patient expectations – patients use these social media to connect with hospitals and healthcare professionals for themselves and families.
  3. Patient communities – empowered patients use social media to take charge of their own health and encourage others to do the same.

What can you do to prepare for these changes?

  1. Learn these tools and become comfortable with the communities they build.
  2. Prepare your organization for change. Educate and encourage the participation of your peers and management.
  3. Healthcare has hundreds of topics/areas, what’s your special interest? Find your niche and become knowledgeable and passionate.
  4. Build a network of trusted colleagues beyond your organization. Share ideas, answer questions, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. (You are always welcome to call me – the telephone is still my favorite social media tool)

But most of all – have fun! There’s a reason 800 million people use Facebook


(photo credit – How It All Begins, by Greg Fallis)

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Three years later

Three years of hospital list data summed up in two charts. Any questions?

(Thanks to Josh McColough for the graphs)





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Hospitals and Facebook Engagement

Last week I presented at the Mayo Ragan Social Media Summit and shared data on hospital use of social media. One data source was the Ubicare Healthcare EQ Chart. This post provides more detail about the chart methodology and its results. (Full disclosure – I am a paid adviser to Ubicare)

Ubicare is a content and communications vendor for healthcare organizations. For the past six months, they’ve  monitored activity on the Facebook pages of 1,000 hospitals, calculating the interactions, and publishing the results. The goal is to go beyond simple fan counts and look for robust, active communities:

This Engagement Quotient (or “EQ”) Chart details activity on more than 1,000 hospital and healthcare-related Facebook pages. It offers a measurement of fan interaction with those pages by culling data from Facebook, which is then used to calculate an EQ percentile.

Because more fans does not equal more conversation, this calculation is used:

EQ = Likes + (7 x Comments) + (7 x Fan Posts) + (2 x estimated Clicks) / Fans (min. = 500)

…which balances out results between large and small communities.  (the FAQ has a deeper explanation of the formula)

Each week the chart gets updated,  the top 50 hospitals identified and links provided to their Facebook pages.  Take a look at the leaders. They are usually not large, well-known institutions but smaller facilities with  close connections to their physical community and internal staff:

Some Stats:

Ubicare is currently tracking 1,078 healthcare Facebook pages.

  • 67% of these pages have < 1,000 fans, 41% have < 500 fans.
  • Fan bases are increasing – about 1 percent per month for those with over 500 fans: The median of fans per page is now about 625, up from about 470 in March/April.
  • The average likes per comment is 7.4 to 1
  • Posts on these pages consistently get about 3 likes per 1,000 fans.
  • Pages in the top 10th percentile of EQ average nearly 8 posts per week.
  • Pages below the top 10th percentile average < 4 posts per week.

During the first 22 weeks of tracking healthcare’s engagement on Facebook:

  • 120,464 posts were made on the pages being tracked.
  • These posts garnered 651,053 “Likes and 104,321 “Comments.”

What’s Working for the Top Communities

  • They post at least 4 times per week, and up to as often as 3 times per day.
  • They post “eye candy”: videos and photos of people.
  • They post “interactive” things such as quizzes and contests.
As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.


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Mayo Ragan 2011 Health Care Social Media Summit

My presentation for the conference – Links and resources below.
Your comments and feedback are welcome.

University of Maryland Medical System Fundraising – Dozer the Dog
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Meet Virna Elly, Patient Advocate

I’d like to introduce you to Virna Elly – a transplant patient, diabetic and passionate patient advocate. I met her last week and was impressed with her background, knowledge and communication skills.

 Virna has applied for a scholarship to the Mayo Clinic Social Media Summit. If you have a moment, read her essay and give it a “I like This” or leave a comment (free registration required.) 

Here is her speech at the 10’th National Donor Recognition Ceremony:

From her blog Patients’ Perspective:

I have lived with type 1 diabetes for 31 years and chronic kidney disease, including dialysis and a successful kidney-pancreas transplant during the last 11.

I am committed through my work as a patient advocate (professionally in the past, now as a volunteer) to educate and inspire those with diabetes and kidney disease to leverage every available resource to create a healthier and more meaningful life.  I rely on my personal experience and professional background to create and deliver presentations that provide patients, caretakers and healthcare providers with useful ideas and strategies for improving communications, understanding and, ultimately, patient health.

I have lobbied on Capitol Hill, participated in coalitions such as Kidney Care Partners, delivered speeches and presentations  for groups such as Amgen Pharmaceuticals, the Washington Regional Transplant Community,Toastmasters International, the American Kidney Fund and the Department of Health and Human Services.

You can follow Virna on Twitter at @nograpefruit



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