Having used social media to connect patients and providers for years, the Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic is opening a school of social media for other health providers. The new Center for Social Media will train physicians and health care organizations to use Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and blogs. Mayo, which began podcasting in 2005, sees social media as a means to disseminate health information to patients and as an extension of word-of-mouth marketing, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
“The real focus is looking for ways to increase the use of social media throughout the practice at Mayo — to provide in-depth information for patients in a much more comprehensive way, and to create connections between researchers, physicians and staff,” Lee Aase, Mayo’s social media expert, told the Wall Street Journal. Mayo is dedicating eight full-time employees plus a medical director to the project.