Healthcare Social Media 2.0

Mutiple Tweets Plain - mkhmarketingBlog post by Colin Hung

One of the first tweetchats I participated in was Healthcare Social Media Canada (#hcsmca). I quickly learned that #hcsmca was more than a hashtag, it was a vibrant online community filled with people who wanted to change Canadian Healthcare through social media. I was instantly hooked.

StanfordMedx2015The first person I met through #hcsmca was none other than founder Colleen Young @colleen_young. She welcomed me as a newcomer to the community and helped me learn the nuances of participating in the weekly #hcsmca tweetchat. I learned a lot by watching Colleen. Her energy, enthusiasm and dedication to building a strong community were amazing. Colleen and #hcsmca was what inspired the creation of #hcldr.

Whether she realized it or not Colleen has been a mentor…and a commiserator (there aren’t that many people who understand the challenges of running a weekly tweetchat). I have tremendous respect for what she has accomplished.

I was therefore thrilled when Colleen asked me to be a panelist at the #hcsmca Symposium being held on February 24th in Vancouver. This symposium is part of the pre-conference of the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council Forum and is the first time that the national #hcsmca community will be meeting in-person. If you haven’t registered, there’s still time! Click here for more information.

This meeting in Vancouver represents a watershed moment for #hcsmca. In October Colleen announced that the community would be changing. She let us all know that she was “taking a bow” and going to dedicate more time and energy to other projects.

This isn’t the end for #hcsmca – the community would continue to exist – but the format and cadence would be radically different. The tweetchats would no longer be a weekly ritual, the blog would not be updated as frequently and other social channels/venues might emerge. In short, #hcsmca would evolve into something different with the help of the community itself.

Ahead of the symposium, and what it represents for #hcsmca, I thought it would be wonderful to have Colleen as a special guest on #hcldr to talk about the current and future state of healthcare social media. Together I though we could explore questions like: Have we reached the plateau for clinician involvement in social media? Are we at the saturation point for patients? Or are we just in “pause” mode as the social media platforms themselves change/evolve? Are we having richer discussions via social media now versus 2 years ago? Are we more mature in our usage of social media?

Join us on Tuesday February 16th at 8:30pm ET (for your local time click here) when special guest Colleen Young will discuss Healthcare Social Media 2.0:

  • T1 How might we “score” a person’s healthcare social media usage? What criteria should we use to measure?
  • T2 Has clinician usage of social media plateaued? Has everyone who would adopt it, already done so?
  • T3 Has patient usage of social media plateaued? Who isn’t on social media?
  • T4 How might online communities like #hcsmca & #hcldr evolve in the future? Do they have to move past Twitter or can it remain core?


I’m one of the volunteer organizers for the #hcsmca Symposium. I’m also one of the panelists at the event alongside Lee Aase @LeeAase, Larry Chu MD MS @larrychu and Isabel Jordan @seastarbatita. The company I work for, Stericycle Communication Solutions is a Silver sponsor of the event. Oh and I consider many in the #hcsmca community to be my friends.


“#hcsmca: The Last Waltz (or…Not Last Tango in Vancouver”, Pat Rich, Healthcare Social Media Canada, January 7 2016,, accessed February 14 2016

“#hcsmca Time to Take a Bow”, Colleen Young, Healthcare Social Media Canada, Ocotber 4 2015,, accessed February 14 2016

“The Reason Twitter’s Losing Active Users”, Umair Haque, Harvard Business Review, February 12 2016,, accessed February 14 2016

“Social Media Tips far #HIMSS16 – More Than Just Tweets”, John Lynn, EMR and HIPAA, February 12 2016,, accessed February 14 2016

“Should Healthcare Organizations Use Social Media”, Computer Sciences Corporation, 2012,, accessed February 14 2016

“Reviewing social media use by clinicians”, Marcio von Muhlen and Lucila Ohno-Machado, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, September 2012,, accessed February 14 2016

Image Credit

Multiple Tweets Plain – mkhmarketing



  1. Certainly, at some point we may have to move off Twitter. I don’t think that time is quite here yet, though.

  2. Colin, you may wish to add the following to the resource section,
    Title: Just 5 Percent of Doctors Use Twitter for Professional Purposes [STUDY] July 17, 2014

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