Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hospice and Palliative Online Efforts Featured in The Atlantic

As longtime readers will know, we here at Pallimed have advocated for social media being an effective change agent for issues relevant to hospice and palliative care for many years. With a thriving blog community (43! But we could always use more blogs!*), a strong Twitter presence of senior leaders and new leaders, a weekly Tweetchat since 2010 and several quality Facebook pages, the specialty which emphasizes communication skills at the bedside has done a good job communicating to the world as well.

Paul Bisceglio (@PaulBisceglio) from The Atlantic featured some of these efforts and the newer trend of being very open about end-of-life issues online and in the public view in his article, "How Social Media is Changing the Way We Approach Death."  The article is nearing over 1000 likes on Facebook in just over 24 hours, which is really impressive for what some might consider taboo.  But what the article and the social media stats on this article tells us, as a field, is that people want to engage on this topic. What a call to us to make sure we are available not only online, but to our communities offline as well.  We as professionals and advocates for quality care for those facing serious illness need to realize the power in sharing the stories and research that we find online.

Sharing is the first and easiest step.  The next is commenting and adding to a fruitful discussion, whether on a blog, Facebook, or every Wednesday night (9p ET) at the #hpm tweetchat.  Even though there are some uncivil places in the comment sections of some sites (not ours!) a smart and genuine comment can really add a lot to an article, so please ignore the loud barks from those impolite faux-raconteurs. And lastly you can contribute by adding original thought and content.  I know there are some brilliant minds out there with great ideas to share.  There are platforms to deliver your message, you just have to try.

* If you know any blogs not on the list, please share.
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