Friday, January 23, 2009

Mayo Clinic Hits the Blogosphere...

Maybe we should try this at the U of M and at Fairview-University Hospital?

From the Pioneer Press:

Mayo Clinic entered the blogosphere Thursday morning with a blog where patients and employees can post comments.

"People like to talk about their experience at Mayo, and actually look for ways to do that," said Dr. Thoralf Sundt, a heart surgeon and chair of Mayo's marketing committee.

The blog, "Sharing Mayo Clinic," ( will focus on positive patient experiences. But it will also accept criticism, along with family stories and posts from Mayo employees.

Mayo has begun using social networking options extensively as a marketing tools, including FaceBook and YouTube. More than 500,000 unique Mayo patients get treated yearly, the blog says.

"These patients and their families and friends, and 50,000 employees and students are part of a global Mayo Clinic community," the blog says. "The goal for the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog is to provide a virtual place for this community to connect and share their experiences."

Sundt said there's a queue of people waiting to make blog posts.

"This is exciting as it will enable patients and their families to tell their stories about their experiences at Mayo, and to offer a behind-the-scenes view of Mayo from various employee perspectives," said spokeswoman Elizabeth Rice. The most-popular Mayo Web links have been for patient stories, which led Mayo to start the blog.

More than 90 percent of people who comment about Mayo give praise, Sundt said, and each person with a good experience tells 40 other people about it.

Now, Sundt said, "we're just sort of giving them the platform to share." The blog is monitored for language and content. But, in general, Mayo wants an open forum that accepts most comments.

Mayo officials also hope for suggestions about how to improve quality of service. They expect patients to share tips about how to best use time between appointments, and about Mayo services.

"The quality of the experience is key," Sundt said.
Ah, openness and transparency, isn't it great? Now if Mayo could just get on board with their conflict of interest policy... But then, nobody's perfect, right, Bob?

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