Did you catch Grey’s Anatomy last week? Dr. Bailey started to live tweet her surgeries. Or, as the Chief called it “teet” them:
At first, the Chief wasn’t so sure about this twitter thing. He was worried about confidentiality, liability and the world of unknown technology. While he couldn’t even figure out how to log on at first, he quickly saw the power of it when a couple of his residents started reading to him questions from the 3000 followers and one of the followers was one of his former residents who was “happy to be scrubbing in with him again”, albeit virtually.
He also saw how live tweeting could save lives. Via the tweets, life saving therapy was proposed and the treatment they needed was found right away. The value of instant communication was so powerful, even he was hooked.
While Dr. Bailey was off procuring the treatment, the Chief was starting to get into dictating his tweets and found it mesmerizing. By the end of the show, he was hunting for information from the legendary Dr. Grey herself to have Dr. Bailey tweet to the followers as a lesson.
Hospitals have been live tweeting surgeries since 2008-2009. Some feel it’s marketing others education but it’s been received well, overall. It’s a way to get out information on procedures that otherwise people would have to dig up online and not really know about. The medical world gets to know about cutting edge techniques and the patient world gets to learn who is doing what. If used judiciously so that patient identity is protected with HIPPA always in mind, twitter can be a powerful tool.
The Chief, a very old school surgeon, was able to embrace a new technology and come around. If art imitates life, this gives me hope that more old school, real world doctors will start embracing more digital technology for the care of their patients. I’m not suggesting everyone go out and live tweet. How about we start more simply with e-communication or learning the technologies our patients are using so we can communicate better with them in our offices. In the pediatric world, this means learning about gaming, cell phones and social media sites such as Facebook.
We live in digital times and health care is heavily technology based and digital. If health care is going to stay current and move forward, it’s important that real doctors practice medicine in the world they live in.
I’m glad the doctors on TV are so savvy and digital. Now it’s time for the real world doctors of all ages and training levels to catch up. This is how we all stay connected…and healthy.