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Filtering by Category: Channels

Police department horror story illustrates why your practice needs text messaging.


Recently a practice manager expressed a frustration about her staff.  They were using their personal phones to text message with patients about appointment scheduling.  No matter how many times she told them to stop, they wouldn't listen. Meanwhile, she wasn't listening to the message her patients were giving: they wanted to be able to schedule their appointments via text messaging. The practice had not provided any way to do this, so the staff were going behind her back to make the patients happy.  The good news is that this is solvable.  The bad news is that it needs to be solved quickly for all of the obvious HIPAA and legal protection reasons, as well as the simple factor of providing one clear professional voice from the practice to the public.

A recent example from law enforcement provides a compelling image of why a medical practice needs to control their own communication:

When 30- year-old Ricky Lamb died, Clayton County Police Department detectives were unable to locate his mother.  One detective eventually sent her a message on Facebook from his personal account to notify her of the death, as reported on Today.  Because the detective had no relationship with the mother in Facebook, the message went to the infamous "other" folder.

When the mother did see the message she showed it to her daughter.  The message came from account with an image of rapper TI as the profile picture, so they didn't think it could possibly be serious.  It was only when Mr. Lamb continued to be missing that his mother called the phone number on the unprofessional Facebook profile.

Now there were some other problems here, like why the police could not find a woman who lived such a stable life that she had had the same job for more than a decade. But the Clayton County Police Department has learned some lessons. They have realized that they need to take control of how their staff communicates with the public and they are going to set up their own Facebook page and their own social media review policies.

Your staff is more likely to use their personal phone to text message a patient than their personal Facebook, so the medical application of this story is on text messaging.

A New York Times article from last year provides some great examples of pediatricians using texting and social media to connect with their patients.  Several solutions exist to access text messaging via a computer workstation and logging text messages. Clinical Research Performance, Inc. can work with your practice or research program to assist in developing your texting solution.  Give us a call at 919-890-5513.

--- Originally posted by Mary D'Rozario on the CRP Blog. Photo by hugovk used under Creative Commons licence.

Preparing for a conference? Don't forget to pack the social media.


Returned home a week ago from the SoCRA Annual Conference, and still digesting. The conference specializes in delivering training content companies can feel confident sending their staff to receive. One of the plenary speakers was Cancer Research Advocate Leslie Hammersmith speaking on the “The +1 Patient: Social Media and the Disease Experience.”  Patients are on social media, in particular Twitter, but clinical research professionals are not.  I'm here to discuss what these professionals are missing:

Health 2.0, and the Society for Clinical Data Management gathered on the same weekend. These conferences didn't touch attendees at SoCRA (less than five of whom were participating on Twitter).  SoCRA attendees did not touch the conversation in the next room. One attendee said to me, “I wish I could go to one session and know what is going on in another session!” If you attend a conference where participants are engaged and generous on Twitter, knowing what is going on in every room of the conference is exactly what happens.

The number one reason clinical research professionals tell me they are not on Twitter is that they are tired. It just so happens that during the SoCRA conference, an article appeared in the New York Times about the burdens of continuing education. We’re not just tired, we are exhausted.

Twitter is one of the best solutions to that exhaustion. Imagine developing a network that curates the information you need for you. When you take time off work to attend a conference, you attend four conferences at once.  Instead of listening passively to a speaker, you interpret and interact with your colleagues. This solution already exists, but the value for you and for others is only there if you are there.

To facilitate expanding the reach of clinical research professionals on Twitter, I have prepared slidecasts on increasing your engagement with Twitter.  Become a Twitter lurker by listening to presentation #1.