Why social media will allow Occupy Healthcare to be successful

This past week at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Practice Improvement Conference, I had the opportunity to experience one of the most significant benefits of social media – the connections. Many of us involved in social media often talk about the importance of engagement. We know that without engaging, there is not a high likelihood we will establish a relationship with the person we are connected with.

Dr. Mark Ryan has written about how his conference experience was enhanced through relationships he established through Twitter. Mark’s post got me thinking about how social media can be one of the reasons the occupy healthcare movement will be successful.

Here are the top six (please feel free to add more):

1) Social media allows for everyone, everywhere to get involved;

2) Social media allows for timely action;

3) Social media allows for seamless communication;

4) Social media technologies are often the first step in creating meaningful relationships;

5) Social media can be an organizer; and,

6) Social media disrupts.

From the beginning, our team has stated that occupy healthcare is a movement. It is not about one person, but rather the community. While there have been some faces seen more often than others, and some names listed more than others, this is only the beginning of our effort. The goal is to be as inclusive as possible.

But as Mark’s post hits on – the true power of social media is seen when we actually connect. When we meet in real life and see that behind that “avatar” there is a person who can make a difference; a person that we can relate to. While many may made this connection some time ago, it was not until this past week when sitting at a table with Fred Trotter (@fredtrotter), Gregg Masters (@2healthguru), Jay Lee (@familydocwonk) and Mark Ryan (@RichmondDoc) that the true feeling of connection and how we could collectively change something in healthcare was felt.

As I type this post, I am preparing for yet another trip where I hope to connect with more social media friends. These meaningful connections through social media are one the primary reasons occupy healthcare will be effective in uniting the community around healthcare change.

Are you connected with the occupy healthcare community? Come on in – the waters of change are nice and warm; and, full of friends.

Dr. Miller has his doctorate in clinical psychology and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine where he is the Director of the Office of Integrated Healthcare Research and Policy. His core task is to integrate mental health across all three of the department’s core mission areas: clinical, education, and research. Opinions expressed here are his own and not those of his employer.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in healthcare, Innovation