Medical associations, health systems and research institutions wanting to improve how they interact with their members are increasingly turning to social media. But unlike other industries, healthcare hasn’t been able to reap the benefit this type of collaboration can provide, says one expert.
Lance Hill, CEO of Within3, which is based in Cleveland, says his company can provide these industries with “highly adapted tools” to help them build and maintain an online community.
Organizations such as the American College of Surgeons and the National Association of Public Hospitals use Within3 to offer their members a way to collaborate online securely.
The communities Within3 builds are invitation-only, and are always free for members, says Hill. He says the company offers, "a trusted place for healthcare professional where they can do work.”
The benefits are different for each organization but they all are “achieving very strong outcomes,” says Hill.
For example, he says, research institutions can provide more accurate advice about drug developments, hospitals can improve the level of education in rural areas and medical associations can improve how specialist connect with each other through referrals.
“We for the first time radically lower barriers that exist to allow healthcare professionals to interact with each other,” says Hill.
“The interesting thing about our solution, in terms of healthcare IT, is how well we have integrated a variety of channels into it,” he adds. Members can interact within e-mail, or apps or Web browser or the solution can be provided around live meetings or through kiosks.
“The speed to which members can get information is a consistent focus,” he says. “We are working with an audience that wants results in minutes,” and “we are very well-geared” to provide that.
Hill says the company’s business is “growing tremendously.” As for global expansion, he says, “global organizations have a strong demand. Communication collaboration is only exasperated overseas.”
As far as expanding to offer other industries their services, Hill says that “although the concept is applicable to other markets,” for the next couple years he foresees the company continuing to focus on healthcare and life sciences. He says he is excited about the potential to grow in these areas and make such a difference by offering organizations ways to “improve patient outcomes, education and reduce costs.”