The Role of Healthcare Media

Blog post by Colin Hung.

2017 has been an exciting year for me. This is the first year where I have been invited to attend conferences as a member of the “healthcare press”. For me it’s a win-win. I love live-tweeting at conferences (a skill I learned by watching Wen Dombroski MD and Mandi Bishop) and I love writing about what I learn.

Whenever I attend conferences, I feel that I have an obligation to share the knowledge and ideas I hear with people who couldn’t be there at the event. I truly believe in my heart that it’s my duty to try and bring a little bit of the conference to the #hcldr, #HITMC, #HITsm and other communities. I have been told that this is how reporters and online media feel about what they observe.

As I stared down at my press badge at the most recent conference, MGMA17, it got me thinking about the role the media plays in healthcare.

I love telling stories – especially about things that interest or fascinate me – which is what every good blogger/reporter tries to do: be a good storyteller. But what stories can and should the healthcare media be telling? Do we need more patient stores? More stories about organizations that are successfully transitioning from volume to value? More stories about clinician resilience? Furthermore, should healthcare media and bloggers simply report the facts and let readers come to their own conclusions or is it better to offer an opinion?

The media can have a powerful role. Reporters and bloggers can put the spotlight on aspects of healthcare that would otherwise go unnoticed by the public. This can spur outrage, empathy, understanding and even action amongst readers. The media, however, can also have a negative role – spreading misinformation (fake news), stir dissent/controversy where none exists or put focus on a sensationalist issue when there is something more important to report on.

As I continue my media journey, I thought it would be helpful to gain some perspective from the #hcldr community. I want to make a difference in healthcare and I don’t want to be someone who just reports on healthcare news…at least I don’t think I want to do that. I would greatly appreciate your opinion.

Please join me on Tuesday October 17th at 8:30pm ET (for your local time click here) for the weekly #hcldr tweetchat where we will be discussing healthcare media :

  • T1 How do you stay informed about the latest in healthcare / HealthIT news?
  • T2 What role does media have in improving healthcare for patients, clinicians or administrators?
  • T3 What important topics or stories are not being covered sufficiently by healthcare media?
  • T4 What suggestions do you have to improve healthcare trade media & healthcare coverage in general media?


“Our media’s role in a modern healthcare crisis”, Tara Wall, The Hill, 20 May 2015,, accessed 15 October 2017

“Media’s role in healthcare debate”, Arthur Sutherland MD, Physicians for a National Health Program, 12 November 2016,, accessed 15 October 2017

“Media Influences on Health”, Rand,, accessed 15 October 2017

“Mass Media and Health: An Interview with Dr. Kim Walsh-Childers”, University of Florida, 20 December 2016,, accessed 15 October 2017

“Even if the mass media does ignore nursing or present it inaccurately, how can that possibly affect nursing in real life?”, The Truth About Nursing, 25 March 2005,, accessed 15 October 2017

“Role of Influence Marketing in the Health Care Sector”, Michael Manning, TG Daily, 30 January 2017,, accessed 15 October 2017

“Using media to impact health policy-making: an integrative systematic review”, Bou-Karroum et al, Implementation Science, 18 April 2017,, accessed 15 October 2017

“The Future of the Public’s Health in the 21st Century – Media”, US Institute of Medicine, 2002,, accessed 15 October 2017

“Using the Power of Media to Influence Health Policy and Politics”, Jessie Daniels, Barbara Glickstein, Diana Mason, Nursekey,, accessed 15 October 2017

“The Media and Public Opinion About Health Care”, Antonia Maioni, Health Innovation Forum, 2008,, accessed 15 October 2017

“The 5 Principles of Ethical Journalism”, Ethical Journalism Network,, accessed 15 October 2017

“Code of Ethics for Bloggers, Social Media and Content Creators”, Morten Rand-Hendriksen,,, accessed 15 October 2017

Image Credit

Reporters – Abevil

One comment

  1. Many thanks for this well written article on such an useful topic The role of healthcare media. Good insights you have shared.

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