Image by Esthr via Flickr
There are many health care professionals who don’t blog. Some don’t blog because they’re cool people who just aren’t nerdy enough to blog. At least until they figure out that blogging isn’t what MSM makes it out to be.
Others, however, are concerned about the liability consequences of using social media and they believe that shuts out what’s most important (Beth’s blog is worth a drop into your reader.)
I understand that perspective but I don’t agree with it. The healthcare industry perhaps offers more interesting blogging content than any other topic.
There might be a nursing shortage but there’s no shortage of things to blog about the healthcare industry.
WHAT HEALTHCARE BLOGGING CAN BE
Healthcare blogging isn’t about compromising patient or coworker dignity and confidence. It’s just common sense not to blog personal and confidential information. There’s more to it than that. If you’re a stunad, you’re on your own.
Here are some off-the-cuff examples of what healthcare bloggers can cover:
- The economics of healthcare (e.g. exploring the elasticity of demand and supply curves of various healthcare services)
- The need for appropriate healthcare technologies
- The success and failures of good and bad HIT systems
- The growing shortage of willing nurses in the profession
- The growing shortage of family physicians entering practice
- Mentoring the next generation of healthcare workers
- Discussing the day-to-day problems facing health care workers (generalizations will do fine)
- Emphasizing the strengths of the healthcare system and highlighting its weaknesses
- Covering political discussions about healthcare reform
- Debating the proper roles of private enterprises and governments in healthcare provision
- Providing high-quality, up-to-date content for practitioners
- Providing a sharable platform for the progress of on-going research projects
- Providing regular, clinically accurate and practical medical knowledge
- Contributing proposals on how to improve healthcare
- Healthcare fiction is an un-tapped blogging genre (no shortage of inspiration)
- Hammering the need for HIPPA and liability reform
- Educating the public on the need to protect their privacy AND the potential benefits releasing their stories to the public in a dignified context
The list can go on for miles. If you have topics to add, type in the comments below (and get a Disqus account if you haven’t already). Each step has liability implications, of course. Hurdles are meant to be jumped. It’s hard work. So is blogging. Get over it!
HEALTHCARE BLOGGING IS NECESSARY
Healthcare imposes more limitations on public discussion on certain matters. By no means, however, do those limitations preclude intelligent, creative, insightful dialogue. In fact, the blogging platform is a powerful way to raise public awareness.
Healthcare blogging is a specialized niche and requires extra skills that most other blogging niches need to succeed.
My advice for healthcare professionals who are discouraged from blogging because of liability matters is to forget about blogging the details of confidential experiences. Those details, interesting as they may be, are not at all the foundation of consciousness-expansion.
It’s more important to find the meanings of those experiences, connect those meanings to the public at large, and convey relevant opinions and information.
Public discussion certainly would benefit from the insight gained from colorful illustrations. Then again, the public had no idea about every gory detail involved in our visit to the moon. The public still supported the mission and we got there.
Time will tell if we accomplish for healthcare what we accomplished for inter-planetary travel. I sincerely hope that we get healthcare right. Blogging is a small part of getting right. But it’s a part.
HEALTHCARE WILL EVOLVE INTO ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BLOG NICHES
In the meantime, if you want to become a healthcare blogger, use your brain, your imagination, your passion, your dreams. Work hard to say something meaningful to the public. Just because you can’t talk about that fecal impaction and the exploding colostomy bag, doesn’t mean you have nothing to say.
Don’t be discouraged by the limitations. In fact, use them to offer high-quality, interesting and socially-redeeming online content.
You who deeply care about using the web to improve healthcare: things aren’t going to change without your voice.