The Marketing Team attended the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) conference in our backyard at the Marriott World Center. In between conversations with attendees at the PowerDMS booth, we managed to squeeze in a few sessions. Among those was “Transforming Care Through the Power of Social Media: The British Columbia Patient Safety & Quality Council’s Journey” presented by Christina Krause (executive director) and Ajay Puri (quality leader).


Check out what we learned: The session kicked off with the revealing of the Engagement Pyramid. Similar to the Food Pyramid that we all loved looking at pictures of in elementary school, the EP breaks down the way we engage and connect with people into six segments from top to bottom: observing, following, endorsing, contributing, owning and leading.

At the base of the pyramid, communications and relationships are technology-centric and automated. At these lower levels, you can make technology work for you, using websites, databases, email and social networks to reach lots of people at once. As the pyramid narrows toward its top, communications and relationships are labor-intensive and personal. Here, it makes sense to use more personal ways of communicating. While social networks and email can still play a role, there is no substitute for the human touch, Christina and Ajay explained.

Next up was the POSTE Method, a systematic approach to social strategy, which our friends at BCPSQC adapted from Josh Bernoff’s POST Method.

P-People. Assess your stakeholders’ social activities.

O-Objectives. Decide what you want to accomplish.

S-Strategy. Plan for how relationships with your stakeholders will change.

T-Technology. Decide which social technologies to use.

E-Evaluation. Determine how to measure success.

Christina and Ajay also really drove home the importance of having a social media policy to back up your strategies. If you’re on your way to creating one and aren’t really sure where to start, here’s a tool to generate a sample social media policy to help point you in the right direction. Making your staff aware of the expectations up front opens up opportunities for everyone to join in the conversations–responsibly, of course.

We also attended “Compliance as the Tool for a Culture of Transparency” with Cary Gutbezahl and Bonnie Thompson of William Backus Hospital. This session detailed the hospital’s journey to address challenges they faced. The facility set out to:

• Create a hospital wide performance management system

• Eliminate conflicting policies

• Develop mechanisms to proactively identify problems

• Develop mechanisms to gather information and share results in a meaningful time frame

• Engage staff and build in accountability

The hospital assembled a policy committee, and that team held what Bonnie called a Policy Amnesty Day. Policies were brought together from all over the facility with no judgement on presentation. There were policies in binders, electronic policies, printed policies, handwritten policies, and policies written on typewriters–about 4,000 in all.

WBH’s policies were whittled down to about half using this criteria:

• Was the policy really needed?

• Were we holding ourselves to impossible standards that weren’t required?

• How to figure out what policies needed revised when regulations changed?

• Who was responsible for updating policies?

The result and ultimate goal was to arm the hospital’s staff and stakeholders with data–real-time feedback that can improve patient care. This way, staff and management could see quickly if improvement efforts were effective. The data is shared within the hospital using charts, graphs, specific instances, department results, overall results, dashboards, checklists and grids.

Whether you need to manage your social media and other existing policies, or are looking to overhaul your current policies and crucial documents, PowerDMS, our all-inclusive document management solution, can help. Please visit our website for more information.