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10/8/2013
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Social Site Aims To Connect Healthcare Community

Next Wave Connect has potential to become the go-to professional social network for the healthcare industry, says Darren Dworkin, CIO of Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles.

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A new social network for the healthcare industry launched Tuesday, starting with a smattering of healthcare IT organizations but with ambitions to go broader, as a forum for discussing and collaborating on all sorts of operational and clinical issues.

Next Wave Connect promises to provide a mix of public communities and private communities, which might be limited to employees of a single healthcare system or specialists in a given area. In other words, its goal is to be both an enterprise social network for discussing private business and a peer community that spans the industry.

Next Wave Connect CEO Drex DeFord said the social community was custom designed to meet the unique needs of the healthcare industry. "This is not just about an organization connecting with itself but also providing the ability to connect with other healthcare organizations and collaborate with them, or connect with vendors and suppliers. It's a place to collaborate and work on best practices and solutions," he said.

[ Doctors already use social networks. Read more: Doctors Use Social For Continuous Medical Education. ]

Darren Dworkin, CIO at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles, said he has been working with Next Wave Connect to design and prototype the social site, which he believes has great potential -- although it's too early for him to vouch for it delivering on that potential.

"It's been a challenge for us to figure out the best way for us to use social networking, especially within healthcare," he said. He particularly likes the focus on "bringing together peers from outside of one's own institution." Being able to handle internal collaboration on the same platform is even better, he said.

Dworkin said he plans to use the platform initially for collaboration within his IT team and with IT organizations at other hospitals and healthcare systems. The platform would be worth participating in if bringing together healthcare IT teams from different organizations were all it accomplished, he said.

Beyond that, he hopes to get the users of health IT systems including doctors and nurses involved in giving feedback through the system. In the best-case scenario, use of the social platform would take root in other parts of the organization as a tool for discussing and collaborating on issues that might have nothing to do with IT.

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CedarSinaiIT
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CedarSinaiIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/16/2014 | 1:28:06 PM
re: Social Site Aims To Connect Healthcare Community
Hmm  You might want to do a follow-up. Just checked it out and I was the only one on and no one from Cedars was using it (posts appeard to be by staffers who reposted content from elsewhere).

Yammer is a much better internal tool and LinkedIn Groups are better for external networking
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
10/11/2013 | 7:54:08 PM
re: Social Site Aims To Connect Healthcare Community
They did mention that as an eventual possibility. They need to get it right for the core hospital constituency first. This strikes me as a potentially good concept, but the site itself looks beta quality to me.
Alex Kane Rudansky
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Alex Kane Rudansky,
User Rank: Author
10/10/2013 | 3:14:37 PM
re: Social Site Aims To Connect Healthcare Community
Is there any talk of expanding the network to patients (down the road)?
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
10/9/2013 | 1:29:28 PM
re: Social Site Aims To Connect Healthcare Community
Good news for these guys that you see this as a real unmet need. Thanks for commenting.
Ken Terry
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Ken Terry,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/9/2013 | 12:59:20 PM
re: Social Site Aims To Connect Healthcare Community
One great way to use this kind of network: Get IT departments talking to each other about the challenges involved in health information exchange, what they need from vendors to increase interoperability, and how their organizations can create the necessary governance agreements.
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