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HootSuite in the Hospital -- Twittering a Surgery Case Study
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HootSuite in the Hospital -- Twittering a Surgery Case Study



A hospital demonstrated a commitment to innovation and patient education by live Twittering a surgical procedure direct from the operating room using HootSuite and Ow.ly. ...

A hospital demonstrated a commitment to innovation and patient education by live Twittering a surgical procedure direct from the operating room using HootSuite and Ow.ly.

This campaign included some unique challenges including ensuring patient comfort, uploading surgical photos in realtime and choosing a useful #hastag.

This case study prepared with High Point Regional Hospital in North Carolina (USA) explains the objectives behind the campaign and reasons why they chose HootSuite for the broadcast.

Additionally, the report outlines social media tactics used for connecting potential patients and medical staff for a conversation about health. Thanks to Interactive Media Specialist Kelley O'Brien.



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  • You make sure you have the patient's full approval and have a signed special release is the first step. We've attended several webinars and held meetings about how to abide by HIPAA regs and utilize social media. We also observed other surgeries online to make sure that we are following the industry standard.
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  • A very interesting and insightful case study, thanks to their org for sharing. As someone from the healthcare industry, how did you prepare/what you did to share and abide by HIPAA regs? Thanks and again appreciate the share!
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    HootSuite in the Hospital -- Twittering a Surgery Case Study HootSuite in the Hospital -- Twittering a Surgery Case Study Document Transcript

    • HootSuite in the Operating Suite: 1 Situation A hospital demonstrates a When an opportunity to broadcast a surgery arose, High Point Regional Health System decided to use a social media tools commitment to innovation and to share the surgery with potential patients. patient education by live According to Kelley OBrien, Interactive Media Specialist at Twittering a surgical procedure High Point Regional , "We had discussed some other live direct from the operating room options, but decided to proceed with carrying the surgery live via Twitter using HootSuite." using HootSuite and Ow.ly. The campaign presented unique challenges including sterilizing laptops and Ethernet cables, as well as sharing useful information while ensuring the patients comfort during an important surgery. 2 Objective High Point wanted to showcase their state-of-the-technology "da Vinci Si" surgical equipment to a target audience of potential patients. Additionally, they sought to experiment with the possibilities of new media as a patient education and outreach tool and demonstrate the hospital’s progressive-ness inside and outside the operating room. 3 Why HootSuite? High Point chose HootSuite as the primary campaign tool for the ability to quickly post multi-media and short links from "Tweeting the surgery with HootSuite within the dashboard as well as the built-in reporting capabilities. demonstrated the health system’s progressiveness inside and outside the operating room."High Point Regional Hospital is a part of a not-for-profit, community-based group Kelley OBrien, Interactive Media Specialist,offering a wide variety of inpatient and outpatient care. High Point Regional Health System highpointregional.com ow.ly/user/HPRHS twitter.com/hprhs youtube.com/HighPointRegional 1/2
    • in the HospitalCampaign Tactics In the Operating RoomOBrein actively provided play-by-play of the delicate To accommodate the extra personnel, the surgery wasprostate removal surgery starting with the preparation and performed in the hospitals largest surgical suite. Kelleyincluded medical-related facts. Her resulting 44 updates OBrien (@kelleyob), worked from a laptop on a sanitizedfeatured photos shared on Ow.ly/HPRS which showed both metal desk behind the surgical robots monitors allowingthe operating room and the internal organs as viewed for the best view of the surgery and easy communicationthrough the robots viewing screens. with the team. Measuring Results Despite a short lead-up time to the campaign, there was dozens of participants in the conversation and during the approximately 2 hour procedure, the hospital gained 28 additional followers. @HPRHS:  Photo  of  Dr.   Local newspaper,"The  News  and  Record" covered the event #HPRHSLIVE  Heres  a   Hall  positioning  robot   in "Follow a local surgery live via Twitter" http://ow.ly/26s2s snapshot  of  the  staff   #HPRHSLIVE   preparing  for  surgery   Fact:  There  are and included the patients motivations: http://ow.ly/i/16El thousands  of  nerves http://ow.ly/i/16AZ on  each  side  of  the   prostate  #HPRHSLIVE The attention doesn’t faze patient Philip Vincent too much. He hopes the spotlight will promote both the need for prostate cancer screening and the optionsTo encourage participation in the conversation, the hospital available to men who contract the disease. If followingused a hashtag #HPRHSLive which allowed easy tracking the tweets convinces one man to get tested who turns outfor campaign archiving plus is generic enough to be reused to have the disease, “then that’s worth it,” Vincent said.on future campaigns.These 40+ RTs and mentions resulted in valuable positive What’s Next?brand sentiment. The hospital is planning more social media driven From  @easbrooke:  High  Point   campaigns including live workshops to, “start relating to Regional  @  HPRHS  is  tweeting   patients in new ways” (O’Brien). These Twitter-centric From  @donnie_T:  Fascinating.   High  Point  Regional  Health   a  surgery.  Are  you  following?   campaigns are supported by other social channels including #HPRHSLIVE Systems  using  Twitter  to  provide   (unexpectedly humorous) videos about serious issues like live  play  by  play  of  a  surgery.   about stroke awareness, on Youtube. Follow  #HPRHLiveTheir participation resulted in a narrative with the surgeon More HootSuite:Craig Hall, M.D. who answered medical-specific questionssent by the online audience. You may find more info sheets and case studies in our library at blog.hootsuite.com/library @  HPRHS:  Image  of  removing  the   You can also find more information about HootSuite bladder,  which  will  be  reattached   on our website hootsuite.com and/or you can follow us after  the  prostate @  HPRHS:  Dr.  Hall  "The  patients   is  removed  #HPRHSLIVE   on Twitter @hootsuite prostate  is  twice  the  normal  size"   http://ow.ly/i/16GW #HPRHSLIVE 2/2