#hcsmca – What Next?

ImageLast month, I posted a commentary musing aloud about the challenges in maintaining the vibrant #hcsmca community (#hcsmca: Is Yesterday’s Future Ready for Tomorrow)

This post is to serve notice for what I hope will be a wide-ranging discussion for addressing some of those challenges scheduled for the regular #hcsmca tweet chat at 1 pm EST, Wednesday, Jan. 8.

I noted in my earlier post that while this community focusing on the use of social media in health care in Canada has been hugely successful under the direction of founder Colleen Young, some recent weekly chats have been poorly attended and there has been a general decline in use of the hashtag for discussing developments in this area.

In response to that earlier post I received thoughtful responses from other #hcsmca stalwarts. Dave Bourne (@d_bourne) noted my perception may not reflect the views of others who are more new to social media, while Aliana Cyr (@AlianaBCyr) talked of how her own interests and expertise in social media has matured so some of the more general chats on #hcsmca are now less relevant.

I want to reiterate that given the lack of formal governance or resourcing to maintain #hcsmca, the success of the hashtag – and those of its cousins #hcsm #hcsmanz and #hcsmeu (to name a few) – has been exceptional.

I think this is important because as we continue to struggle to show the value of social media in health care delivery and with only a small percentage of health care providers making use of social media tools, there continues to be a strong need for an anchor such as #hcsmca to inform and educate both neophytes and social media ‘experts’.

But I repeat that I do think there are questions that need to be asked about how and why such a community with only a virtual existence and broad mandate that includes all areas of social media and health care can continue to thrive and remain relevant.

Personally – and these are only my own views – I believe we need to:

  • Keep referencing social media discussions about health care in Canada with the #hcsmca hashtag and encourage others to do so
  • Strengthen the ties between the strong hcsm communities and tweet chats (#hcldr comes to mind)
  • Discuss the ongoing viability of a purely volunteer-driven Twitter-based community
  • Revisit the tradition of weekly tweetchats

I invite both anyone with prior involvement with #hcsmca and those to whom the hashtag is a new discovery, to participate in the discussion next week.




2 thoughts on “#hcsmca – What Next?

  1. I have been thinking about this more and I had a similar thought to your first point. #hcsmca’s purpose is to bring out the Canadian context of healthcare and social media, yet I feel we don’t place enough emphasis on that. Being a Canada-centric chat is the selling feature of #hcsmca; without that focus, it becomes too similar to other tweetchats like #hcsm or #hcldr.

    I’m interested in hearing your other ideas hashed out a bit more, but I suppose this is what the tweetchat’s for. 😉

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