Sept 24 Chat – Our Goal: Providing Professional Development & Leadership for Health Care Leaders

hcldr - 082413 - 1730-1845 pacific timeA post by Lisa Fields

This week’s questions:

  • T1: As members of our community could you share one specific way you’ve demonstrated information you’ve learned from #HCLDR?
  • T2: As Healthcare Leaders do you believe best practice for #HCSM Chats would include sharing any potential conflict of interest?
  • T3: As Healthcare Leaders please share specific way(s) you’ve seen our colleagues demonstrate leadership during #HCLDR?
  • T4: Do you believe #HCLDR is a type of flipped classroom for medical education?

When Colin Hung and I first began to talk about designing the Healthcare Leader Tweet Chat we knew we wanted to design a new and innovative type of chat.

We agreed our goal would be to build a tweet chat that would focus on the professional development of healthcare leaders. It was important to create a comfortable community where we could all learn and grow together. Colin and I wanted a place where our time would be valued, and after an hour was over we each could take something we learned or something further emphasized back to our area of influence with the goal of enhancing the lives of patients. We envisioned a type of wired classroom where no one would ever question that patients are our colleagues, our equal partners, as healthcare leaders.

We wanted a chat that would attract a wide variety of healthcare leaders including patients, physicians, nurses, clinicians, scientists, Healthcare CEO’s, music therapists, artists, etc. Colin and I both agreed success would come if we could listen and learn with healthcare leaders from all over the world. It’s no coincidence that together we represent both the United States and Canada.

Every healthcare social media tweet chat is unique and has its own culture. Symplur, our source for healthcare social media tweet chats, currently reports there are approximately 100 health care tweet chats registered (you can see the list here). I’m thrilled there are so many chats because there are so many reasons people are drawn to healthcare tweet chat communities.

We believe Healthcare Leaders’ tweet chat is a professional development and leadership model of education; one type of a flipped medical education model. Following are examples of how Colin and I have attempted to create a chat with a solid foundation of structure that brings value to all of our community. We’re interested in learning what you believe.

Syllabus vs Healthcare Leader Pre-chat Blog 
When I begin working with clients I share a syllabus that gives an overview of our time spent together. This syllabus includes the topic, methods we will use to measure our learning, and additional resources.

Each week Colin and I prepare our Healthcare Pre-chat Blog. This gives our community an overview of the topic we will cover, the three key questions we will explore during the chat, and provide them with resources to enhance their experience.

It’s never mandatory for folks to prepare in advance for #HCLDR, but it’s certainly an option for those who want to take the time to think about the tweets they will share and it also makes it easier to prepare to share other valuable information with the rest of the community.

During the beginning of our chats Colin and I share guidelines—the expectations we have for our time together. We believe this helps build structure into our chat, which in turn help gives us a better chance that we will all gain something valuable at the end of every chat.

MT=Modified Tweets.
If original tweets are changed we ask that our community members indicate this change by placing an “MT” after the name of the person who shared the original tweet. When a person shares their tweet it’s a unique way of communicating. There are a number of valid reasons why someone would change a tweet. It is, however, important to give notice you’ve changed it. You are giving a clear indication that the tweet is not in its original form. (When we’re writing a paper we give credit back to the source but also indicate how we have changed the original thought. We’d like to extend the same courtesy during our chat.)

Jim Cleary MD @jfclearywisc a member of our #HCLDR community) shared the following tweet:

jfclearywisc Tweet

“I think his question is really important; and as we have shared a number of times during our chat, listening is so important. I have included a deck of slides I designed that I believe help illustrate that indeed we can still listen while we tweet. When we slow down and read each tweet we can respond in a manner that shows that indeed we are listening.

Please Stay on Topic
We ask folks to stay on the topic at hand once we begin to focus on our first question of the evening. This helps minimize the distraction and also gives us a more valuable transcript when we’re finished. I like to think of our transcript as a document full of valuable notes and resources gathered by the entire community.

When you tweet please indicate which question you’re answering by placing T1, T2, T3
When I go back and read our transcripts, and especially when I make a visual transcript, it makes it so much easier to read and understand our work when I know which topic a person is answering. This also helps keep us on topic and helps with the flow of the chat.

RT= Retweets
When I first began participating in tweet chats I was the Queen of the RT button. As we say in the south, I was mashing that button fast and often. Because I was so new to tweet chats I thought RT(ing) was a wonderful way to show admiration for the tweets of others.

Phil Baumann, @philbaumann made a number of attempts to explain to me why RT(ing) as much as I did was not adding value to the chat. Phil was right and I wish I had listened to him sooner. There are wonderful reasons to RT. We do this when we agree with a colleague’s tweet. I sometimes RT when I want to show support or indicate that I’ve listened to someone. There’s no magic number of RT’s I can suggest that any of us use during a chat. I’m also not suggesting we never RT during a chat; I’m simply suggesting that our learning, leadership and transcripts will be more valuable when we become mindful of when and why we are RT(ing). My suggestions regarding RT(ing) are only shared in the context of our tweet chat. RT is a wonderful and appropriate way to indicate our appreciation of the value others have shared with us.

The speed of our tweets
The speed in which tweets are shared during tweet chats varies widely. The speed factor during chats might have to do with the size of the chat, the topic of the chat, the questions asked during the chat, etc. If we believe our goal is to provide a forum for professional development and leadership then I believe we need to explore slowing down our tweets in order to provide a little bit of time for reflection before responding.

I personally have observed that when the speed of the tweets goes too fast, the quality of tweets tends to go down. When the speed picks up I notice it’s really easy to miss tweets that are really on point. If I tweet in response to another colleague’s tweet, “I agree 100%” what does that tweet really mean? We lose value and the context. Many of the tweets I miss out on are from folks who are new to our chat. I don’t see their twitter picture and tweet because it’s like a super highway; tweets are speeding by so fast it’s hard to focus on one individual tweet.

Leadership call to action
To help reinforce our commitment to professional development and leadership we now close with the following question for the #HCLDR community.

“What’s one thing you learned tonight that will make a difference for a patient tomorrow?”

Colin Hung, Lisa Fields nor any of our guests have received any form of compensation for the work we provide for the Healthcare Leaders Tweet Chat. We believe best practice for Healthcare Social Media tweets chats would be to provide a Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest.

Image credit: Special thank you to Thomas M. Lee @tmlfox Partner at Symplur @symplur & The Fox Group for the #HCLDR Word Bubble. This word Bubble was created using our Tweets from our Patient Safety Chat Lead by Colin Hung

Source Material

Tweet Disclaimer, Healthcare Leader Matthew Katz MD

Can we listen while we tweet?, Lisa Fields @practicalwisdom, Inspired by Healthcare Leader Jim Cleary MD

Lecture Halls without Lectures — A Proposal for Medical Education
Charles G. Prober, M.D., and Chip Heath, Ph.D., The New England Journal of Medicine

Medical Students, Pew Find Improvement in Medical School Pharmaceutical Conflict-of-Interest Policies, but many Lag.
Kathy Melley, The Pew Charitable Trust


  1. One thing I try to do with retweets is not send them to #hcldr By doing this the initial sender is acknowledged and my followers are informed but I don’t clutter up the tweet chat with items they have already seen.

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