If you're not on Twitter too often, you might think it's mostly a cluttered universe of self-promoting tweets and inane conversations about celebrities.
But that's not the case. In fact, if you follow the right hashtags (e.g. words with a # symbol in front of them), you'll learn from some of the sharpest minds in heallthcare, and get to follow issues as they emerge among industry pioneers. These are a few of the healthcare hashtags you should consider following.
One class of tags are the key to participating in intriguing conversations on Twitter. Not only are the tags used to identify relevant content, they're also used as a means to set up discussions. (People get together by following the tags at the appointed hour.) Here's some useful tweetchat hashtags:
1. #HCLDR—Healthcare leaders
2. #HCSM—Healthcare social media
3. #HITsm—Health IT social media
4. #QualityChat—Patient safety, quality improvement
These tags are used to categorize the tweets you write, so others searching for similar information can find you.. Obviously, there can be as many hashtags as there are Twitter users, in theory, but some are more widely used than others. Some examples include:
7. #ACA—Affordable Care Act
8. #HIX — Health insurance exchange
9. #PrimaryCare—About primary care practice
10. #FMRevolution—Family medicine revolution
11. #MedEd—Medical education
14. #EMR—Electronic medical record
17. #mHealth—Mobile health
18. #health20—Next-generation healthcare
19. #sm4ph—Social media for public health
Often, a good way to be the first to get information from your trade association is to follow their Twitter hashtag. Here's a small sample of trade groups that work with hashtags:
20. #AmericanMedicalAssociation—Hashtag for the AMA
21. #AAFP— American Academy of Family Physicians
24. #HIMSS—Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
After checking out a few of these hashtags, you might find out that you have topics to discuss which don't turn up in a search. By all means, go to the next level and create your own hashtag for what interests you. There's no rules as to who uses what hashtag, so don't be afraid to create. You're just adding to the richness of healthcare thought to be found on Twitter.
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