Monday, August 3, 2009

Call For Action to All Hospital Twitter Leaders

How many hospitals are on Twitter? How do I network with other "Twittering" hospitals? What are other hospitals twittering about? The questions go on and on...

According to Ed Bennett's ( last update - there were 213 hospitals with Twitter accounts. As this number continues to grow (explode) - it will become increasingly difficult to manually track what hospitals are on Twitter. While this list is manageable, I strongly believe that we need to adopt some standardization of where we begin to track social media performance and R.O.I.

My question to the twittering hospital industry is - "why not use a free service to link all of us together?" - is such a service - I have absolutely no financial arrangement with wefollow - nor do I even know much about the company other than they do a very good job of tracking twitter users by industry (tag). As you will see - there are only 118 twitter users currently in their "hospital twitter users" database. Based upon Ed's list and seeing additional users come online in the past several weeks, I would anticipate that this number is approximately 400 today.

Try to think about this from your administrators office - as your social media computer time continues to increase - I would anticipate some questions from your C-suite. Get yourself prepared for these questions by proactively monitoring and reporting where your facility stands among the overall "Hospital Twitter Users" list on You simply can drop you C-suite folks a quick email stating that your hospital is #27 on the list. The competitive nature of your C-suite will kick in and they will want to know where you stand as compared to your competitors.

Plus this service provides you with an excellent source for other twittering hospitals. I would highly encourage you to review what other hospitals are doing - are they reporting on overall health news? are they tweeting on health care reform issues?

In summary, I fully realize that Twitter is just one component of a social media campaign/initiative - but it is a very important piece. As social media continues to evolve in the hospital industry, we need standardization! As early adopters of this technology, let's set the pace and standards now for the future!


  1. Interesting idea! I like the idea of grouping all the hopspital accounts some how. How do you factor hospital size and market into the rankings, or do they even matter in today's world of SM and travel for care?

  2. thanx for the comment - excellent point - at this point in the twitter world - i do not see how to factor service area or hospital size into the equation - from my hospital's perspective - we are a small rural hospital and we are one of the top followed hospitals on twitter - our town's population is less than 10k..

  3. John,

    Challenge accepted.

    We've started work on where we'll visually aggregate all of the live hospital Twitter feeds and other social media feeds collected by Ed Bennett. We'll need about 48 hours to get all the features implemented and data entered. Check the link on Thursday.

    We'll set the initial listing order based on levels of activity/interactivity (not followers), then let interactive viewer polls influence page listing postion going forward. (Hospitals that don't provide any updates to the feeds after 30 days will be dropped.)

    If you have other ideas about features you would like to see used for this service, let us know.

    Tom Stitt

  4. tom - thanx for the comments and action steps - i am very excited to see what you are putting together!! i am just a hospital CFO - not an app developer - this sounds like an excellent tool to start accurately measuring hospital social capital... at least from the twitter perspective - i am going to start looking at the FB hospital presence as well.. i appreciate your work in the SoMe space - you do an excellent job!!

    take care..john

  5. this is right on. I think lists are good for a snapshot, and as I know Ed, even he would say that developed beyond what he originally thought.

    I suspect after the initial check box that most hospital marketers believed needed to be made they will now assess whether their being on social media is working. My hope is in those situations where they determine it isn't they will take a deeper dive on why. This will lead to an about whether they are using the tool effectively, instead of whether social media is worthwhile or not.

  6. albert - thanx for the comment - i as well think you are right on with your comments - to me - the "to do" for a hospital to join is a no brainer and we need to move past the check box into the realm of measurement, standardization, best practices, networkings..etc... i believe we are off to a good start - we just need a framework in place and some structure.. (i know kind of a contradiction to SoMe)...

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  8. Very interesting idea. There is more possibilities of success if this idea run.

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