@Live to tweet, tweet to live

February 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm (Uncategorized)

Could Twitter Save Lives? Tweeting in the Medical Industry

Picture this. You are in surgery and something goes wrong. Instead of the surgeon asking for extra hands to help, he asks for extra fingers to tweet. How would that make you feel? Would you want such a personal moment shared via microblog for the world to see? You might not have a choice. We have entered into an era in which the vast majority of information is shared through social networks like microblogs.

While the message hospitals send to the public is still the same, the way doctors and nurses share it is different. Previously, hospitals would send out messages for bone marrow transplants by alerting other hospitals in what they believed to be a time effective way. Now, with the use of microblogs like Twitter, doctors can instantly connect with other hospitals in 140 characters or less. Microblogging has quickly become the fastest and most efficient way for doctors to ask for help from sources all around the world. Microblogging is also an efficient tool to help with teaching interns and staying linked with patients.

For example, Thursday night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy depicted the positive aspects of microblogging in a hospital. The surgeons were not only able to save patients’ lives, but the head surgeon was also able to communicate with former colleagues and to share his medical decision making via live tweets. This article about the episode states, “Social media is not only becoming a part of our offline lives through traditional media. It is possibly opening our eyes to an awakening. It is unveiling a spectrum of promise that may be thought provoking in the present; or it could possibly be a highlight to what awaits us in the future.” Both the episode of Grey’s Anatomy and this article show how Microblogging has become the way to communicate in order to save a life.

Interested in following hospitals to feel like an intern?  Follow these top 10 microblogging hospitals on twitter.

By Courtney Brennan

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