Saturday, June 30, 2007

Being "Out There"

Here’s why this message differs from the others I’ve written each Saturday morning since 2002.1 I’ve switched from posting it on the CGH Web site to a posting it as an entry on a blog.

In one sense, blogs are no different from other kinds of Web sites – the messages are “out there” on the Internet, available to anyone at anytime. But a blog is little more “out there” than a more static Web site because readers can subscribe to a blog. Once subscribed, readers are notified automatically of any new entries on the blog via email or RSS feed. If you like, you can easily subscribe using the form in the sidebar of this blog.

Blogs are also more “out there” because there’s a blogging community that reports on blogs, comments on new entries, categorizes and rates blogs, and consolidates comments about blogs. In other words, there’s an active dialogue in the “blogosphere,” i.e., the "world of blogs."

I am not the first hospital CEO to write a blog. Credit for that probably has to go to Paul Levy, the President & CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. I commented upon Mr. Levy’s blog in an earlier posting. His commentary is remarkable both the subject matter he chooses and in the quality of his discussion. It is also noteworthy for its sheer quantity. In his first seven months as a blogger, Mr. Levy generated entries containing words equivalent to two years on my humble writings.

After I wrote about Mr. Levy, David Rothman, Information Services Specialist for the CGH Medical Library, asked if I'd like to convert my weekly “CGH Family Letter” to a blog. He offered to help and actually set up the template I am using, including the “More than Medicine” name, which is derived from CGH’s tagline.

For the past several weeks David helped me navigate the blog format in a “private beta” where only he and I had access to it (thank you, David). That has given me time to learn how the blog might look and feel – and to continue my education about blogging. A week or so ago, I suggested it was time to publish the blog for everyone to see, and David announced it on his own popular blog.2

Within days of More than Medicine blog going live, Paul Levy had added a link to More Than Medicine on his blogroll and I have since reciprocated. David has already called my attention to the first comment on More Than Medicine from John Sharp, an Information Technology manager who works at “a major medical center in Northeast Ohio.” Said Mr. Sharpe:

"Some of …[Quinn’s] posts are rather long but thoughtful and keep true to the More than medicine theme….Will be interesting to see how many more hospital CEOs hop on this bandwagon."
OK, so now I am “out there,” but it really doesn’t change my purpose – to comment upon the events and issues facing CGH (and health care generally), either as they occur to me or in response to comments or suggestions from others.

Please let me know what you think – and what you think I should be writing about.

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[1] I started writing a weekly letter to CGH employees and other members of the hospital family on October 20, 2002 – three weeks after I became President & CEO of Community General Hospital.

[2] David’s blog was recently rated one of the top ten health care-related blogs by the
Healthcare 100 index.

1 comment:

Tony said...

welcome to the blogosphere! actually I believe the first hospital CEO to blog is Nick Jacobs who blogs at both www.hospitalimpact.org and windberblog.typepad.com/nicksblog/

Looking forward to reading more here!