Interview with Ed Bennett – 5 minutes (& 31 sec) worth watching!
Ed was “doing” HCSM (healthcare social media) long before it was cool, back when folks like Dr. Kevin Pho (of KevinMD) were still in school. In fact, he was one of the pioneers who made it cool. And like most pioneers, Ed Bennett has worn many hats: programmer, designer, consultant, information architect, etc. But a common thread in all of those hats is Ed’s focus on how Social Media can positively impact healthcare.
As the Director of Web & Communications Technology at the University of Maryland Medical System, he is interested in improving healthcare by connecting patient communities with their care team. Ed was also one of the charter members on the advisory board for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, Fierce Health IT, and others.
The Hospital Social Network List
Ed developed the Hospital Social Network List – a list of those hospitals that have a presence on social media platforms; the list is now curated and managed by the Mayo Clinic. Ed began curating that Hospital Social Network List to compile examples of HCSM best practices, to provide models and motivation for hospitals to get involved.
For over a decade now, Ed has understood the power of “content marketing.” And he recognizes that it’s not really “marketing,” but connecting. He recognized that connecting with patients (and prospective patients) online required involving their doctors: patients don’t want to connect with your copywriter or your marketing staff – when they are looking for health information they want to connect with doctors.
Doctors Asking to Participate?
So Ed found ways to engage the doctors, ways to add value for them so they wanted to be involved in his content program.
While other hospitals are struggling to engage their physicians and other practitioners in their content programs, Ed has somehow involved eighty (yes, 80!!) doctors in their content programs.
In the process, he has quietly grown the University of Maryland Medical System into an example of Best Practices for HCSM content connecting. Considering that the University of Maryland Medical System lies in the shadow of one of the world’s medical powerhouses (Johns Hopkins, just a few blocks away), Ed’s accomplishments are truly astonishing.
Ed believes that we’ve reached a plateau of hospitals adopting HCSM, that all the early adopters are already on board; I would agree.
The e-Patient: Educated, Empowered, Engaged
Because patients now use the internet to find answers to their health questions (Pew Research tells us that over 70% of us do this), and that we even choose our doctors and hospitals based on their online brand (based on Google report, the Digital Journey to Wellness), those hospitals and medical practices that do not yet have an online content brand will be in trouble.
If your hospital or medical practice is still without a digital footprint … it’s time.
Come Hear “Uncle” Ed Bennett Tell Us How He Did It
Despite his amazing accomplishments, through it all, Ed Bennett remains a humble, sincere, likable guy – he’d make a good Santa; I like to think of him as “Uncle Ed.”
If you have anything to do with healthcare marketing, and you dream of having a “blogging doctor” on your content team, invest five-and-a-half minutes: click on the video below, and listen to Uncle Ed tell you how he did it …
I’d love to hear how you are engaging your physicians in your healthcare “marketing.” Please leave me a comment and share your thoughts!