Social Comatose? Time for Sleeping Leaders to Awake!

(This post is the 2nd in a five part series about participation in the world of Social Media)

Any leader who hasn’t embraced the social web by now must be near retirement or in a coma.

Either that, or they’re in China.

I don’t have a problem with 90 year old retirees ignoring Social Media.  However, the rest of us will have to learn to live in a world that gets its news and information from the internet and the millions of blogs, tweets, updates, and posts that are shared each day.  They are the mail, magazines, and conferences of a new age.

The rise of Social Media cannot be ignored.

Last year I volunteered to form the social media program for a large healthcare association. The goal was to engage the membership, improve communication, spark collaboration, and let non-members know what they were missing.

As part of the plan we began discussing upcoming conferences, sharing pictures, and sharing ideas and best practices.  All good things.

However, there is always someone who doesn’t get it.

The CFO of a large healthcare system informed me that he was irritated about this change.  His entire group of employees (thousands of people) was not able to access the association’s information on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter, but then he eagerly defended his policy of blocking all social media sites.  He didn’t want his employees wasting time.

He didn’t get it.

In reality, what he must have not wanted was informed employees, cutting edge information, reduced consulting costs, and free advertising or recruiting.  He was too afraid of letting go.

It looks like he’s in good company.

According to the the annual PwC CEO survey, only 57% of  CEOs indicate they will not “significantly change” their strategies to meet new realities of social media usage by their customers.  Even more disturbing, 10% of marketing leaders (the most educated on this topic) still indicate that social media is not important to their company.

They’re sleeping and won’t see the iceberg ahead!

Of the four types of participation on the social web, acting like you’re in a coma is the only one that I believe is wrong.

Here’s why:

So much information is available on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin to help organizations be quicker, smarter, and faster.  Ignoring this information amounts to leadership malpractice.  Using healthcare as an example, just look at these Social Media tools that are available for:

No matter what industry you work in, there are similar resources.  If you know someone who is asleep at the wheel of a department, division, or organization, it’s time to wake them up.

The world has changed.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Facebook for Healthcare 101

For the sake of keeping this short enough, I’m going to assume that you’ve registered on facebook.com and have gone through their quick setup process.  For help getting started, follow facebook’s recommended setup steps and check out this 8 minute guide for new facebook users.

Congratulations, you are now part of the largest social network in the world!

Here’s some basic info about the human network you’ve just joined:

  • Earlier this year, it was named #1 most visited website in the US (more than Google)
  • Every month 30,000,000,000 pieces of information (links, pictures, videos, etc.) are shared by its 500+ million users
  • People spend 700,000,000,000 minutes per month on facebook

That’s a lot of zeros! 

During the sign-up process, you should have gone through facebook’s step by step guide to setup your profile and find your friends.  Don’t worry if you don’t have many friends on facebook right away.  Believe me, they will come.  (An 80+ year-old relative of mine signed up a couple months ago and has at least 20 friends now on facebook) 

Now let’s bring the professional side into it.  I truly believe that facebook has the potential be a major force in supporting healthcare professionals to reduce burnout, share best practices, and get quick answers to issues.  Using facebook as a tool, communities have formed to provide peer support and helpful Q&A.

Here are some of my personal favorite facebook communities:

Specifically, notice how the first two groups have a lot of people answering the questions of their group members on their “Wall” tab.  I would recommend using the search box on the top of the facebook screen to find other associations that you are a member of offline. 

Next step?  Jump in!  Comment.  Post questions.  Help others.  These communities are built on us, and they are at their best when you and I are sharing.

Have questions about facebook?  Post questions you might have in the comment box below and I’ll see if I can help.

Social Surgery? Your Patient is "Tweeting" About You…

Your patient is in surgery right now, and all day he’s been tweeting about your nurses, doctors, signage, and even your EMR. 

He’s also posting pictures of your facilities, equipment, and gowns as well as checking in on FourSquare for his 832 facebook friends to see.  

Is he a patient at your hospital?

http://www.Twiter.com/TRCochran

Our world has changed…

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About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare. 

A Salute to the 8pm Warriors Among Us

 

Still in the office at 8pm?

Unless your workday begins at noon, that’s a sure sign you’re probably working on something important.  It’s probably also a good sign sign that the project is probably in great hands.

While it’s probably not healthy to work in the office 8 to 8 every day, sometimes duty calls…and it’s the special people that answer.

Whether it be the deadline for that new building project finance package, the EMR implementation that has go-live around the corner, the new administrator helping to rally the staff on the NOC and PM shifts, or the hundreds of other scenarios we see at Clear Medical Solutions…it is important that someone takes the ball and runs with it.

You know who you are, and thanks for giving it everything you got when something important is on the line.  I’ve taken part in quite a few “after hours” adventures, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Thanks for being great, and if you ever need help we’ll be “8pm Warriors” right with you. 

 

Special thanks to our agents at our Clear Medical Agency division.  I am continually amazed and inspired at what you accomplish long after most have gone home for the day.  Keep up the great work, you’re starting to make a huge difference in the lives of the consultants, nurses, therapists, and hospital leaders you work with.

 

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About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.

A Mother's Gift

In addition to my mother and my wife, I’m celebrating all mothers around the world today. 

It’s amazing to think about what this world would look like without mothers.  I’m not just talking about act of childbirth or pregnancy, but what would it look like if each of our mother’s were not around while we grew up?

Where would we be today without mothers?

My mother supported my dreams, no matter how crazy they were.  My wife carried me (and our two children), through tough times and stressful career situations.  I’ve seen our nurses, therapists, consultants, and leaders working overtime to make ends meet or having to take time off to care for a sick child or family member. 

Everywhere I look…mothers are giving.

Yes, sometimes it hurts to be a mother and sacrifices are made, but I know that not one of my wonderful colleagues would be here supporting our “Culture of Caring” without their mother.  On behalf of the entire Clear Medical Solutions family, I want to say “Thank You” for making our world a better place, and for incubating our dreams, our careers, and our mission to make the world a better place…one person, one facility at a time.

Thanks!

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About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.

Social Media Savvy

(This post is part 3 of a short series on 4 Skills for Healthcare Leaders)

Just like the nurse I mentioned that was tweeting about her boring meeting, your employees and patients are probably tweeting or facebooking about things they don’t like too (or maybe things they do like). 

I would suggest that in order to maximize success as a leader at your facility, you will want to not only listen, but engage your stakeholders in a social way in order to learn more about them and their needs.  Listening to their needs shouldn’t be a new idea, it’s just nowadays when someone is unhappy, 10,000 people hear about it within 5 minutes.

There is no more hiding the bad…or the good!

Don’t believe me?  Check out http://www.SocialMention.com and try searching “Clear Medical Network” or the name of your facility in parentheses. 

Interesting?

The key issue is that your reputation matters for recruiting and retaining hard to find:

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Surgeons
  • Therapists
  • Executives
  • and others

In order to operate and flourish in an industry facing these shortages of skilled people, you (not just HR or Marketing) will need to find and engage your future doctors, executives, nurses, patients, and everyone else.  On top of that, you also have marketing to patients as well. 

That is why I believe that having Social Media Savvy will be a key skill.

We’ll see you tomorrow for the third skill topic: Caring.

 

Learn about Social Media:

  1. Guide to Twitter:  http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/
  2. Guide to Facebook: http://mashable.com/guidebook/facebook/
  3. Social Media in Healthcare:  http://www.ClearMedicalNetwork.com

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About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.

Learning on the Fly

(This post is part 2 of a short series on 4 Skills for Healthcare Leaders)

Question:  What do 32,000,000 new patients, FourSquare.com, ICD-10, and Audit MICs (Medicare Integrity Contractors) have in common? 

Answer:  They will all be important to our industry.  They are new.  And they’re knocking at your door.

Increasing shortages of doctors and nurses, social media usage, new regulations, EMR’s, reforms, technology upgrades, and on, and on…and on.  It never seems to stop, and it never will. 

Many people now say that we live in a world of continuous change, and when I see what our partners, suppliers, and government contractors are inventing every year, it seems quite obvious.  Change is no longer something to prepare for; it’s a way of life. 

Our new way of life 

Some people might say that I’m being dramatic.  However, if you look back just a couple years, it is interesting to think that there were no RAC’s, no Healthcare Reform, few EMR’s, no HITECH Act, no Twitter, no iPhones.  Change is now constant, and as developing countries only add innovation and  new technology, times and tools will change even more. 

In the world of continuous change, the only way to ride the wave will be to lead by learning, and learning quickly. 

That’s why it made my Top 4. 

See you tomorrow for the topic of Social Media Savvy.  Have a great day! 

(To have the next article sent to your email, subscribe to this blog at the top of the sidebar)

 

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About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.

Looking into the Eyes of the Future (of Healthcare)

This weekend, my youngest child (a one year-old son) and I spent time inserting different shaped blocks into the correct spots on one of his toys.  Half of the time my son was looking at me with this look of wonder and amazement as I showed him how to do it.  Simple stuff to me, but a big deal to my son.   

You could see it in his eyes.    

My son

 

As part of the leadership team in a healthcare organization, I see that same look from new graduates or interns I get to work with.  They know that they don’t have the experience, but they are grateful when someone shows them how to do difficult things that seem so simple to the veterans they work with.  (Big thanks to the many great preceptors and trainers out there!)    

However, with all the stress and staffing concerns in our industry, it is no wonder that we sometimes forget to remember that these rookies in our department are the future of healthcare. 

We are truly looking into the eyes of the future.   

What’s scary is that future might be more difficult than we imagine.  I’m sure the saying “Nurses eat their young” is not unique only to nursing, and with the baby boomers set to retire and healthcare reform now the law of the land, we’re going to need these unexperienced colleagues of ours to be confident, encouraged, and focused on a long-term career caring for patients.     

Unfortunately, with the economy where it’s at, finding graduates working in a hospital or clinic is not as easy as it was just a couple years ago.  Even new RN’s are having a hard time finding work in some areas that just a couple years ago were offering signing bonuses.     

I know RN’s that are volunteering to gain experience and relationships while they search and medical coders traveling across the country for their first job.  It’s crazy for high demand positions like those two (and many others) to have that sort of challenge to find work!  Especially since things were so different when they started school.    

Right now I see about 50 requests a week from new graduates with healthcare degrees looking for a place that will give them their first chance, despite the curse of the proverbial “no experience”.  With Spring graduation season coming up soon, that situation isn’t looking any brighter…    

One brighter spot is that I do see some places that are still hiring graduates if they have good attitudes and are willing to work hard, but those places are hard to find.  This was one of many reasons that we formed the Clear Medical Network to connect healthcare professionals for career guidance from their peers, as well as the fun stuff too (annual cruise, nights out, etc.).  We’re hoping to connect our industry to help share ideas and opportunities to make a difference.    

It’s not just for graduates, but that’s one group that needs it most this time of year.    

If you know anyone looking to hire new grads, we will gladly share the resumes we’re getting (for free).  Just have the hiring leader join the network or email me at Aaron@ClearMedicalSolutions.com.   Also, if you get a chance, please let me know what you think about the idea and help remind me and others of the important role that our young colleagues will play in our future.     

Have a great week!     

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About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives at Clear Medical Solutions, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He enjoys teaching, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.