alienation3

A study in alienation: On the language that healthcare professional community owners use to describe their businesses

WorldOne is not perhaps a company name to suggest that the nurturing of the relationships vital to the success of every enterprise in the era of social business lie at the heart of the owner’s commercial proposition. For the record, this is how they describe themselves.

However, when I read this piece on WorldOne’s acquisition of healthcare professional community Sermo, these are the phrases that stood out, and this is what I thought:

The addition of Sermo, said the firm, will boost reach, client list match rates and research opportunities.

Where is the incentive for clinicians to participate in the community?

Sustaining an active, engaged community can result in higher interest in and response to market research as well as new promotional opportunities.

Where is the incentive for clinicians to participate in the community?

Sermo grew the most vibrant online physician community in the US and, more recently, provided clients more robust research and promotion opportunities.

Where is the incentive for clinicians to participate in the community?

Anyway, you get the idea.

I intend to test the language of this statement with the next generation of healthcare professionals that WorldOne will soon have to persuade to join in order to stay in business: medical students.

I will be interested to hear what they think about the stark manner in which healthcare professional community owners present their aspirations for their business, and the tacit expectation on the former’s part that healthcare professionals will for some obscure reason find it irresistible to sign up with them.

In my opinion, there is a breathtaking disjuncture between the expectations of the owners of healthcare professional communities and the interests of the healthcare professionals whom they will need to recruit.

This is the age of social business.

Business doesn’t happen ‘over there’ and community ‘over here’.

Your community is your business.

Healthcare professional aren’t laboratory animals.

Healthcare professionals aren’t numbers on a spreadsheet.

Healthcare professionals aren’t targets to achieve, objectives to attain, or markers to quantify.

Healthcare professionals are people.

Start treating them like that.

My thanks to Dr. Penzes Janos for sharing this story.

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3 thoughts on “A study in alienation: On the language that healthcare professional community owners use to describe their businesses

  1. Thank you for the mention, Andrew!
    Clearly they are focused on their clients. From this prespective if it’s not making dollars, it’s not making any sense – understandable.
    Never the less WorldOne CEO also said:
    “Combining Sermo’s technology and social media expertise with WorldOne’s global scale enables us to (…) offering the most enriching, collaborative online environment for physicians anywhere in the world.”
    So there is hope – I hope – and we will see how they live up to this promise.
    On the other side, intelligent users also might realise themselves that if they are not paying for a service, they are the product. Questions remain: how is that relationship set up, how does it operate and how do they communicate about it…

  2. Hi Andrew!
    Thanks for the post! What kept my attention was that as well as patients, healthcare professionals are despersonalized and are seen as many other things such as numbers, targets, etc. and not as people which is what we all are.
    Just a thought but maybe this has a lot to do why healthcare systems all over the world are having trouble now a days. Suddenly the health industry (including pharmas, hospitals, social security, etc.) forgot the most important part, that we are all humans before being anything else. IMHO it’s important that all the stakeholders start to remember we are humans and we deserve to be treated as such.
    Maybe this is the missing “link” to what we are trying to achieve with all the different communities being formed out there for both patients and healthcare professionals. Can it be so absurd that we needed all the power of virtuality to realize tha afterall we are just people and we want to be treated as such?

    (hope my English was good enough to make sense) ;)

  3. Pingback: Social Media's Not So Scary… Now for Social Business

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