Tag Archives: Ontario Hospital Association

Will eHealth 2011 be Social Media Friendly?

As mentioned in a previous blog post, I attended the annual HIMSS conference held this year in sunny Orlando.   Like Crysta Anderson who recently blogged about how social media friendly the event was, I too was impressed by the extent to which HIMSS encouraged use of social media.  From free wi-fi (something not available at the Toronto Metro convention centre except in select locations for last year’s OHA HealthAchieve conference) to a social media booth, bloggers and tweeters were made to feel welcome and were encouraged to share their views and experiences.

Will the annual Canadian eHealth conference scheduled to take place this year in Toronto be as social media friendly?  Hopefully the experience will be better than it was at last year’s event in Vancouver – hardly anyone was tweeting from the event.   COACH, are you listening?  Besides having a twitter handle, what will you be doing to encourage bloggers?  Also, vendors, take note.  A number of vendors at HIMSS held tweetups in their exhibit booths and GE Healthcare even treated a number of bloggers (including me) to an evening a Universal’s Islands of Adventure.



HIT Adoption as a Performance Indicator

The OHA Board recently identified the strategic performance indicators for its new 2010-2013 strategic plan.  Of particular note, “Health Information Technology Adoption” was selected as one of the performance indicators.  The complete list of indicators includes:

  • Number of Alternate Level of Care (ALC) Patients
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Staff Engagement
  • Patient Safety Composite
  • Adoption of Governance Leading Practices
  • Wait Times Composite
  • Health Information Technology Adoption
  • Cost per Capita

According to the OHA, the next steps with respect to use of these indicators include “a review of the eight indicators by selected industry experts and development of definitions, baselines and targets”.   I do hope that the Health IT industry has a role to plan in refining the indicator related to Health Information Technology Adoption.  ITAC Health, do you have a position on this matter?


EPIC – Community Engagement in Ontario

Following up on early post regarding LHIN use of social media, I was intrigued by the following item in the Ontario Hospital Assoication’s most Executive Report:

To address the growing expectation for accountability and transparency across the sector, the OHA, along with a number of partners in health care, has produced a unique “one-stop shop” approach to community engagement that supports both health service providers and Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) with new or existing community engagement strategies.
“Engaging People. Improving Care.” – or EPIC – has been developed as an easy-to-use website that includes over 60
useful community engagement resources. The first website of its kind in Ontario, EPIC allows users to search and tailor community engagement tools and resources specific to their needs, covering topics such as why community engagement is important, key steps to planning, and ways to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies. For further information, contact Sundeep Sodhi at 416-205-1307 or ssodhi@oha.com, or visit http://www.epicontario.ca.

I spent a few minutes scanning the EPIC web site.   I was surprised to find no apparent information related to use of social media or other Internet-based tools for community engagement.  Perhaps this information is contained in one of the many reference documents cited on the web site or I missed in my quick scan.  If there is no such resource then I suggest that the site authors seriously consider adding information about how to use social media as part of a community engagement initiative.  While technology is not the “magic bullet” to making community engagement work, it is certainly a powerful tool, one that is still relatively and for which guidance on best use is particular useful.


Social Media and Healthcare

I recently completed a discussion paper on Consumer eHealth for a client.  In my research, I found that the rapid adoption of social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter by the general public has not gone unnoticed by healthcare organizations and providers. Ed Bennett, a hospital web manager, tracks U.S. hospital use of social networking tools.  According to Mr. Bennett’s blog, 473   U.S. hospitals are currently using YouTube, Facebook, twitter, or a blog (up from 410 when I completed the report six weeks ago).

An article[1] in the Telemedicine and e-Health Journal listed offers some thoughts on how Twitter might be employed by healthcare organizations:

  • Disaster alerting and response
  • Diabetes management (blood glucose tracking)
  • Drug safety alerts from the Food and Drug Administration
  • Biomedical device data capture and reporting
  • Shift-bidding for nurses and other healthcare professionals
  • Diagnostic brainstorming
  • Rare diseases tracking and resource connection
  • Providing smoking cessation assistance
  • Broadcasting infant care tips to new parents
  • Post-discharge patient consultations and follow-up care

I noticed this morning that the Ontario Hospital Association is hosting a workshop on social media entitled “Social Media Demystified: Best Practices and Setting Strategy with Confidence” on 21 January 2010.  Clearly there is interest in the Ontario health sector and I look forward to seeing how Ontario healthcare organizations embrace social media.


[1] “Twittering Healthcare: Social Media and Medicine”, Telemedicine and e-Health Journal, Vol 15, No. 6, July/August 2009,