Can social networking help transform health care?

Online communities like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are an important part of our daily lives. They allow us to connect and share information with our friends, family, and colleagues, no matter where they’re located.

Recognizing the value of online communities, the Global Health Delivery (GHD) Project, a collaboration between Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School, created GHDonline communities. The communities are social networks that allow health care professionals around the world to share ideas about improving health care delivery. The GHDonline communities have been very popular.  Ten thousand members, representing more than 2,800 organizations in over 174 countries, have joined since the communities were created in 2008.

In June 2013, BWH announced the creation of the newest GHDonline community, the US Communities Initiative.  The new community was created with a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The first of six topics that the members of the US Communities Initiative will address is Innovating Health Care Delivery.  Health care providers, researchers, policy advocates, and entrepreneurs will be able to discuss all types of health innovation, including new technologies, patient-centered care, payment reform, and process improvements. Innovations in healthcare delivery are essential to increase access, reduce costs, and improve outcomes for patients throughout the US.

“The US Communities Initiative will enrich GHD’s online platform through a continued exchange of ideas between new and seasoned professionals across geographies,” said Dr. Rebecca Weintraub, an associate physician in the BWH Division of Global Health Equity and faculty director of the GHD.

Watch a video with Dr. Amol Navathe, a BWH physician, co-director of the Foundation for Healthcare Innovation, and co-Editor-in-Chief of Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation, to learn how innovation is transforming health care delivery. Or read about other BWH initiatives for improving health care:

– Jamie R

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