I caught this picture in my Twitter stream not long ago. It shows some of the leadership of the Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus in Katy, Texas donning flag capes in preparation for an late shift employee town hall.
When was the last time your hospital leadership raised their game in the spirit of Captain America…then published it?
This is remarkable because too many health care leaders fear exposing themselves to the outside world. The balance of risk and opportunity that comes with social media is skewed by what might go wrong. If you watch these guys you’ll see what can go right.
Times are changing, for sure. As health care leaders become more comfortable with our public selves and we’re thinking about how public networks can be leveraged professionally.
I’ve had the opportunity to get to know the leadership at Texas Children’s West Campus. And what’s captured between the lines in this picture reflects who they are and how they function within their hospital. While the capes served only to push energy during their July town hall, the energy carries through to daily operations. It’s how they lead.
This type of public presence and engagement is evolving as an extension of leadership in health care. Here’s why:
Social networks offer a lens on who we are
Transparency is emerging as a core value in health care. Beyond infections and readmissions, understanding who’s behind a hospital is basic information. Seeing and hearing from those in charge offers a unique lens on a facility. Understanding the human side of providers and administrators reflects what they’re about.
Public presence reflects the culture of your organization
Your public self reflects the culture of your hospital. Better yet, it can shape the culture of your organization. When leaders share and communicate they are creating a map for the rest of the hospital to follow.
It’s where the patients are…
And the last time I checked, this is who we serve. The world and our patients now communicate, share, and learn on social networks. If you’re not in front of them your out of the picture.
…and It’s where the employees are
It’s where growing numbers of health care workers connect and feel connected. What’s cool is that if you dig into the feeds of these leaders and the hospital itself, you’ll see middle managers equally engaged. It has created a situation where every employee is a brand ambassador of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.
Social networks allow the development of a network/audience
Welcome to the attention economy. Where there’s attention there are patients. And beyond good business, the development of a presence on basic social platforms is becoming as important for hospital leaders as the maintenance of a CV.
I believe that the most effective way to learn the ropes is to find people in your domain who are using tools like Twitter and Facebook. Watch what they share and say. If you area a hospital administrator, follow and study these guys. Pictured up top are @cashenchanda (left) @mattschaeffer53 (front and center shooting the selfie) @amy_cress (upper right) @JBDiPrisco (right) and @JSanders_RN (top). You might check out our Chief Medical and Surgical Officers @GrafJeanine and @allenmilewicz.