The November issue of the Catholic Health Association's Health Progress Magazine includes an article on social media and healthcare. Social Media: New tools boost marketing, education, community, by William Sweetland and Susan Thomson is available on the CHA website as a pdf.

I had the privilege of being interviewed for the piece. I find being asked certain questions prompts me to think about my own work in a different way. That was abolutely the experience I had when Bill Sweetland asked me about the intersection of Catholic healthcare and social media. I am not catholic and have only worked in catholic healthcare for a little over 3 years. When I made my transition from the consulting world back to the provider side, joining a not-for-profit with an emphasis on customer experience and community health was a no-brainer. When we formed our social media program, the same tenants that govern our mission and values went into guiding our social media program. It was a fun exercise to see just how much overlap there is between social media and mission-driven, community focused healthcare.

At Bon Secours Richmond Health System in Richmond, Va., Nick Dawson, administrative director for community engagement, has so far figured out that his goals for social media include “improving the patient’s experience” and “giving away” the hospital’s “vast scientific medical knowledge to promote holistic healing and wellness.”

Wait, give away core expertise? Isn’t that counter-intuitive?

“Isn’t there a saying that tells us that if you give away your riches, your core competence, it will come back to you many times over? It’s a funda- mental truth when you think about it,” Dawson said. “And social media can help us do that” — educate patients and the public, in other words — “in a big way.”