Do Canadians talk about healthcare online? Do you want to join the conversation? Check out #hcsmca

If you are on Twitter, you know that hashtags have a powerful way of uniting people with common interests.  For months now, I have been following and participating in discussions with the hashtags #hcsm and #hcsmeu.  I even subscribe to their paper.li daily e-newsletters here and here.

But now, we have our very own Canadian healthcare social media hashtag, #hcsmca, thanks to the initiative by Colleen Young, who is also known as @sharingstrength on Twitter. Colleen manages Sharing Strength, a Canadian online resource and community for women with breast cancer.  She describes herself as a “plain language writer and e-patient advocate”.

Yesterday marked the very first #hcsmca Twitter chat.  Although I was only able to attend the first few minutes of the session (such is the life of a work-at-home Mom with a teething baby and active preschooler), I took the time afterwards to review the tweets that were posted as part of this Twitter chat.  From what I saw, there was a diverse mix of participants; e-patients, healthcare providers, non-profit organizations, health 2.0 enthusiasts and consultants and others.  In fact, there were a total of 75 tweeps who used the hashtag #hcsmca yesterday.  That is  very impressive for a first time event.  You can see the transcript of today’s discussion on Twitter here.  The discussions included introductions of participants, questions about how to use Twitter more effectively, exchange of ideas of how to manage social media for one’s own organization, and more.

Here is the link for the daily #hcsmca e-newsletter.  This will include articles that people on Twitter have posted along with the #hcsmca hashtag.  These posts are not all necessarily related to the #hcsmca Twitter chats, but rather articles that people thought other Canadian healthcare social media enthusiasts might find valuable.

Not on Twitter? Well, I would like to convince you to join Twitter because it is such an effective tool for meeting and talking with people with common  interests, but that is an entirely separate dicussion (but if you want to ask me questions about why and how to use Twitter, send me a note – I’m a big fan of this network).   You can view the discussions happening on Twitter that are related to #hcsmca.  Just check out the links I posted above.  They are available to anybody who uses the Internet.  The only thing is that you won’t be able to participate in the discussion, you’ll just be a listener.  Maybe once you see the quality of some of the discussions, you’ll see the benefit of joining Twitter (again, feel free to send me a note and I would be happy to help).  It also looks as though Colleen will set up a FaceBook page as well as a LinkedIn group, so you will be able to join in the discussion on those networks if you are a member there.  Once I get the links to the new FaceBook page and LinkedIn group, I will share them with you.

UPDATE: FaceBook page and LinkedIn group are now live. Join us!

Congratulations to Colleen for starting a great initiative which will allow Canadians with an interest in healthcare to connect and exchange ideas on the topic.  And who knows, maybe we can help improve Canadian healthcare one tweet at a time.

Do you talk about healthcare topics online?  If so, what do you get out of these discussions?  If not, is there something holding you back?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks Nat for this great article about the first #hcsmca Twitter chat. It was by all accounts a success, surpassing all my expectations and even my pie-in-the-sky hopes. I look forward to seeing the community grow, flourish and thrive.

    For those of you who couldn’t make it this week, I hope you’ll join the conversation in the coming weeks. #hcsmca hosts a tweet chat every Wednesday at 1 pm EST. (2 pm AST, noon CST, 11 am MST, 10 am PST)

    À noter : Le discours de #hcsmca se présente principalement en anglais. Mais les tweets en français sont les bien bienvenues. La communauté va faire de son mieux pour les traduire quand c’est nécessaire.

    Where else to find #hcsmca
    #hcsmca blog: http://cyhealthcommunications.wordpress.com/hcsmca-2/
    #hcsmca’s Facebook page: http://bit.ly/dkLVRs
    #hcsmca’s LinkedIn group: http://www.linkedin.com/e/27ejuv-gep04cis-5p/vgh/3487112/

    I hope you’ll join the conversation on your social media platform of choice. This is your community.

    • Thanks for the note Colleen, and for updating us on the FaceBook and LinkedIn groups. I am always happy to help promote social media for healthcare in Canada, and your #hcsmca initiative will play a big role in this movement. Keep up the great work!

  2. […] realize that my selection of tweets summarizing our chat is highly subjective. Here’s Nat Bourre’s perspective (@NatBourre). Be sure to read the transcript of the chat to get your full […]

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