The web never ceases to amaze me. I’ve gotten to the point if I can’t find something I’m looking for, no matter how obscure, I figure that I did something wrong in how I framed the search.
For example, I was trying to reconnect with a high school classmate, someone I hadn’t spoken with since before Al Gore invented the internet. This guy received a pair of boxing gloves for his 14th birthday. We each wore one, and we jousted only long enough for us each to land a blow on the other’s nose. It hurt—a lot. We gave up boxing.
In tenth grade biology, we bet this same individual five dollars that he wouldn’t jump out of the second floor window. The teacher, who knew of the bet, turned her back to write on the blackboard. He jumped. Go straight to the office, do not pass GO, do not collect $200. We used to see how fast his red and white Mach II Mustang would go railing down Route 40. He was the guy voted best person to keep away from bright shiny objects. The last I heard he went to a teaching college.
Anyway, I Googled him—from the imperative verb Google—I Google, you Google, he, she or it Googles. I can’t tell you his name for reasons that will soon become apparent. Google responds to my query by spitting back links to things like military intelligence, think tank, counterinsurgency, small wars, and army major. I think I’ve made a spelling mistake—this cannot be the same guy who jumped out of classroom window—and I add his middle initial to the search criteria. Up pops a link to CNN’s Larry King—the air date—just days after 9/11. The topic of the show; ‘The hunt for Osama Bin Laden’. To quote Lewis Carroll, “things keep getting curiouser and curiouser.”
The Internet. Google. Social networking. A great tool if you’re one the outside searching, deadly in the hands of your customers. If they wrote something about your hospital it is out there…forever.
If your hospital is targeted using social media by dissatisfied patients, your hospital is pretty much defenseless. Each patient is capable of creating their own digital memoir of your hospital. True or false, makes no difference. Patients are like little thunderstorms popping up everywhere. Healthcare providers scurry around like frightened mice passing out umbrellas and pretending it’s not raining. They’re late, their patients are wet, and the patients are telling everyone about their experience. Very few hospitals can put the rain back into the clouds.
Sort of reminds me of the line in the movie Young Frankenstein, “Could be worse, could be raining.” It’s raining, and even the best among us have run out of umbrellas. What is your hospital doing about it?