Paul Levy is the CEO of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
(BIDMC) in Boston, but that is probably not why you recognize his name.
In addition to his post as Chief Executive Officer of a major teaching hospital in a world renowned medical hub, he is also the founder and author of a health care blog called Running a Hospital
and is an active Twitter user from the handle @PaulFLevy
Paul feels, “All communications from a company should reflect that company’s values.” Agree. “At our place, the mission is to treat our patients the way we would want a member of our own family treated.” Agree again.
Given his position on corporate communication, and his company’s mission, in 2006 he decided he’d like to start a blog; a blog that reflected the company’s values and furthered their mission. Thus, Running a Hospital
One of the first blog posts Paul published that caused quite a stir, publicly disclosed central line infection rates
at the hospital. The hospital staff had set a goal to lower infection rates, and Paul wanted to share their progress. He didn’t ask permission, he just posted it.
The response did something miraculous. Knowing that their success was being publicly documented, the medical staff felt an additional resurgence and enthusiasm for meeting their goal.
Not only did he see the blog as opportunity to motivate and reward his staff, but he had another idea. What if all the other areas hospital also posted their infection rates? Let’s just say, the response was not positive. I believe the word Paul used was “hostile.” No surprise here, as the BIDMC team committed to reducing their rates and sharing their progress, other hospitals felt threatened and exposed. Hello, competitive edge.
While they may have started to position themselves uniquely from the other local hospitals by sharing information on the blog, did it impact their business and revenue?
You bet it did. The Vanguard health system began to send its patients to the BIDMC emergency room instead of a competitor they had long been referring their patients to. This referral shift caused a 10% increase in patient volume. Not too shabby.
While the medical community is clearly paying attention to the blog (it is currently ranked #11 on the Healthcare100.com blog list
), is anyone else?
You bet. When speaking to reporters at the Boston Globe
, New York Times
and Wall Street Journal
, Paul will frequently begin to tell a story and the reporter will interrupt and say, “I know, I read it on your blog.”
Paul Levy is a man who rather than fear the uncontrollable nature of social media has decided to dive in, learn, create, and share via the myriad of available social media tools and networks.
He has inspired his staff both inside and outside the workplace, he has challenged his competitors, and he has positively impacted his business’ bottom line. Now that’s called running a hospital.
To learn more about Paul Levy's social media savvy, read the full blog post on www.racetalkblog.com