Two Billionaires, The White House, The Rockefeller President and mHealth

The title of this post is shorthand for four of the keynote presenters at next week’s mHealth Summit (follow at #mhs10) in Washington DC.  In addition to these four keynotes by Bill Gates (@BillGates), Ted Turner, Aneesh Chopra, and Judith Rodin, there is a great lineup of speakers and moderators.  There is a dizzying array of tracks and talks to choose from, but for me there are a handful that are particularly relevant.  These include  Najeeb Al-Shorbaji, who directs KMS at the World Health Organization, @SusannahFox of Pew Internet & American Life and e-patients.net, who is asking the right questions and always has cool new data right around the corner, Matthew Holt (@boltyboy), who is behind THCB and Health 2.0 [and who will hopefully be bemoaning Chelsea dropping points the Sunday prior], @JoshNesbit whose video about Frontline SMS I regularly use in my informatics course and who presents one of the most compelling cases for mHealth [seriously, you may be dead inside if it doesn’t speak to you on some level].

I am also really eager to hear from @HajovanBeijma from Text to Change and Susan Dentzer, who has been very forward thinking as EIC at Health Affairs, as well as to meet Walter Curioso, whose work I have long admired.  Since some of the biggest issues facing mHealth deal with scalability, policy, and interoperability, the mHealth Summit promises to be particularly useful as this conference brings together most of the stakeholders necessary to enact change.  I am looking forward to it.  I plan to be livetweeting and possibly liveblogging some, but I may very well get caught up in the presentations and discussions so I can’t make any guarantees.

@kevinclauson

Digital Participation Guidelines and Social Media Policies

Social Media Governance,  by Chris Boudreaux (@cboudreaux), maintains a list of companies with linkable social media guidelines and/or policies.  He currently has 154 company entries in his database ranging from Ford Motor Company to The Ohio State Medical Center to MD Anderson Cancer Center. 

The topic of corporate and company social media guidelines and policies seems to be coming across my desk more often of late.  Although the Scribd (i.e., ‘social publishing ‘ site) item above is only a summary document with the friendly title “Digital Participation Guidelines” and not from a company focused on healthcare, it is still instructive.  I like the emphasis on transparency and in putting employees in a position to succeed when ‘participating digitally’.  The guidelines are promising in doing the following things:

  1. Recognizing employees’ propensity to make mistakes and trying to help them be proactive in avoiding them.
  2. Providing a clear idea of what circumstances support an individual employee’s qualified comments versus mandating a higher level response.
  3. Reiterating that digital now equals permanent.
  4. Encouraging collegiality and courtesy in communications.

Granted, from a legal perspective, they can be considered a little vague – but to be fair they spell that out along with the link to their more detailed, internal docs on the topic. 

A more formal example is from the Ohio State University Medical Center (OSUMC).


I also like this more detailed breakdown of institutional and personal use by OSUMC.  A particularly useful example it provides is when an employee creates a personal blog on their own time but mentions or describes themselves “in their OSUMC roles”.  Despite all other aspects being ‘personal’, once that staff member introduces OSUMC employeement into the equation on their blog, that blog is then “governed by the Social Media Participation Policy” of OSUMC even though it also carries the required, “The views expressed here are my own and not those of my employer” statement.

Another great resource is the CDC Social Media Tools Guidelines and Best Practices.  It actually has a breakdown by tool (e.g., Microblogs, YouTube, SMS) with separate documents covering each.

Bottom line: if you are using any social media/Web 2.0 tools and have mentioned or plan on mentioning your place of employment, you would be well-served to check and see if your institution has any social media guidelines or digital participation policies.  Even if they don’t (yet), conducting yourself as if they do and following common conventions in those spaces would not be a bad idea.  I suspect we may eventually see that social media policy training will be as universal as the sessions we get now on HIPAA and sexual harassment.  It may just take a major lawsuit to cross that barrier – here’s hoping it’s none of us that make history in that manner!

@kevinclauson