Yesterday, Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, North Carolina, joined the growing roster of hospitals that have now experimented with live tweeting during a surgery. The live tweeting event from the operating room at Rex Healthcare commemorated the hospital’s 2000th da Vinci Robot procedure. This was the first time the hospital engaged a live online audience during an actual procedure. (In the spirit of transparency, Rex Healthcare is a former client of mine and I am still loyal to their brand.)
In the communication I received from Rex’s PR firm, there was no indication as to the strategic imperative behind the live tweeting, other than commemorating the 2,000th da Vinci Procedure. On its own, completing 2000 robotic procedures is impressive. And it does seem appropriate to commemorate the mastery of one amazing piece of technology by experimenting with a leading edge communications platform like Twitter. Kudos to Rex for dipping its toes in the water. My advice to others thinking about venturing in this direction: only do this kind of thing if you are satisfying or addressing a business objective of your organization. There should be serious strategic intent behind your use of social media. Beware of PR firms that sell you on the sizzle of live tweeting, and hold any proposed action up against your strategic marketing plan.
Here are some stats on the impact/reach of Rex’s live tweeting (according to TweetReach):
- They reached 13,954 people via 47 total tweets (32 tweets, 2 replies, 13 retweets)
- 31 of the tweets originated from Rex Healthcare or UNC Health Care (Rex’s parent brand)
- Total potential exposure of 55,333 impressions
- One blog post from Dan!
It is worth noting that Rex Healthcare is still a relative newcomer to Twitter with just 603 followers. Including yesterday’s live tweeting event they have only sent 407 tweets/updates. They are also only following 199 people. Like many others in healthcare, it appears they are still finding their way. For Rex, this is the ideal time for community building, sharing and listening via Twitter.
Below is the transcript from the event. Tweets appear in reverse order – from newest to oldest. The transcript begins with the TweetReach graphs.