Stargazing at Digital Pharma East

I am really looking forward to the 4th Annual Digital Pharma East coming up on October 18th in Philadelphia.  In addition to presenting, I plan to do some major stargazing while I am there.  I don’t mean ‘star’ in the manner of the cult of celebrity.  I am defining stars as people who have something really valuable and/or interesting to say.  It feels a little mercenary to go with the express intent of cherry picking knowledge from experts given the themes around sharing – but I guess that’s just part of the allure.

I’m also very much looking forward to reconnecting with Berci Mesko (@Berci) who I have not seen in a couple years, talking shop with social media flag bearer Bryan Vartabedian (@Doctor_V) who will likely be pressed for time from Co-chairing the event, having a face-to-face chat with Phil Baumann (@PhilBaumann) whose mind works unlike any other I’ve encountered in this space, meeting Gilles Frydman (@gfry) who is the final piece of the ePatient trinity, as well as Shwen Gwee (@shwen) who has both tweet cred and does great work.

In addition to those folks, I may be most eager to see presentations by representatives from Comscore and Within3, along with Cluetrain Manifesto author Doc Searls and futurist Ian Morrison.  Needless to say, I am planning to see every single presentation on the final day, which is dedicated to mobile/mHealth.  The rest of the time, it’s just a question of which Stream.  Finally, I am curious to see how the unconference activities and #SocPharm sessions play out relative to previous HealthCamp events I’ve seen.

As for me, I’ll be presenting “Social Media Research: Partnering with Academia”.  The link to the slides on the Digital Pharma conference site will be provided here after the presentation and will be available beyond that at SlideShare as per.  I’m curious to see the reception given that the composition of the audience is pretty different than who I have been interacting with recently.  I definitely have a (relatively) longstanding interest in the subject as one of the first articles we published on the topic was “Legal and regulatory risk associated with Web 2.0 adoption by pharmaceutical companies” in the Journal of Medical Marketing.  We’ve also published several other studies on interactions between different healthcare professionals and representatives from Pharma.  Ultimately, I am banking on the fact that I actually do what I will be talking about and have some concrete takeaways for those interested in the topic.  I’m also optimistic that using an audience response system and building in time for discussion will help make it legitimately interactive.  We shall see.

Overall, I am looking forward to reconnecting and making new connections, planting the seeds for future research collaborations, and learning from area experts that are rarely available in this concentration.  I hope to see you there, hear your thoughts, or cross paths via #DigPharm (or whatever the hashtag ends up being)!

@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

Pharmacists’ duty to warn in the age of social media

Healthcare in general and pharmacy in particular, is still finding its way with social media.  One of the least developed elements of Health 2.0 remains the legal aspect.  A few years ago several of us starting discussing scenarios in which a legally valid pharmacist-patient relationship might be created based exclusively on Web 2.0 mediated interactions.  This discussion has been aided, of course, by social media.  Also, as part of an interactive panel at Medicine 2.0 a couple years ago we posed this question (attendees’ responses here).

This discussion has recently been formalized as a Commentary published along with Matthew Seamon PharmD, JD and Brent Fox, PharmD, PhD (@Brent_Fox) in the American Journal of Health System Pharmacy.  An accompanying podcast has also been produced for it by AJHP.  Ideally the article and podcast help promote dialogue and encourage the profession to think proactively on the subject.

@kevinclauson

Federal Pharmacy Forum, PAHO, OAS, APhA and Other Acronyms

 
 

I love living in South Florida, but after this week DC may be my new mistress.  I find the magnitude of what is going on here bordering on unbelievable.  I’ve been here previously, but have never really had an opportunity to take a look around.  I was also struck by the sheer volume of living history in DC.  There are some pretty good restaurants as well from Matchbox (introduced to me by @lostonroute66) to Zaytinya.

Having just returned from a health promotion conference in Puerto Rico, I was able to visit with several folks at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to explore opportunities during this visit.  Some I had met here previously and some were new to me.  There was a common thread throughout the PAHO folks in that they are driven, but warm people…and it is always nice to see the face behind @eqpaho.  I also learned a lot about the Organization of American States (OAS).  I met with a couple people there as well to discuss some upcoming projects.  Finally, I had the opportunity to open the second day of presenters for the Federal Pharmacy Forum.  The Forum directly precedes the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Annual Meeting (thashtag #apha2010).  The Forum was very much an eye-opening experience for me as the attendees were primarily military pharmacists and technicians with other representatives from the Federal sector as well.  I presented “Debunking Myths About Generational Use of Social Media and Healthcare“.

The keynote on the first day of the Forum (Ginny Beeson) did a great job of laying the groundwork for a dialogue about generational considerations in military pharmacy.  There were also several other topics particularly of interest to me including telepharmacy in the Navy (apparently each branch has a different certification body making widespread rollout across branches almost impossible), pharmacoeconomic studies, medication therapy management (MTM), deployment of pharmacists and the current state of practice of US military pharmacy in Afghanistan.  It definitely made me more thankful for the setting I operate out of and appreciate the challenges of this segment of the profession.

Overall it was a great visit, I learned a lot (including how little I thought I knew), and am looking forward to my next visit.

@kevinclauson

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