Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Mayo and the Telephone

January 24, 2011

Mayo has been committed to using the latest communication technology in service to patients since the earliest days of practice.

According to family tradition, young Charlie Mayo – 14 years old at the time – set up the first telephone link in Rochester in 1879. It connected his father’s downtown office with the Mayo family’s farm in southeast Rochester. A natural mechanic, Charlie worked without plans, simply following photos and descriptions he had seen in various publications. The telephone itself was a novelty. Barely three years before, Alexander Graham Bell filed a patent to develop “an apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically.”

Charlie’s father, Dr. William Worrall Mayo, quickly realized how the innovative technology could improve patient care. He became the first physician in town to install a telephone. Still, it was a challenge to get the public to accept this unusual means of communication. The Rochester Record and Union offered a helpful explanation on Dec. 12, 1879:

“The telephone line between Dr. Mayo’s office and his residence is now set up, the machines, or instruments, whichever they are, in position, and everything working splendidly. Conversation can be carried on just as rapidly and accurately as though the persons talking were only separated by a few feet instead of a mile, and familiar voices can be recognized as easily. Parties wishing to summon the Dr. between 6 in the morning and 9 in the evening can do so by making their wants known as Messrs. Geisinger and Newton’s drug store. After 9 p.m. and before 6 a.m., it will be necessary to find Mr. George Tilsbury, the night watch, who will operate the instrument between the hours named when occasion demands. This will prove not only a convenience but a positive benefit for the Dr. and his patients.”

The Mayo brothers were innovators in all areas of medical practice, finding the best way to serve patients more effectively, including use of the latest communications technology.

That’s why we see formation of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media as very much in keeping with the Mayo legacy. And it’s why we’re passing on the Mayo brothers’ wisdom through a social medium we believe they would have used if it were available in their day.

Check out the “What would Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie Tweet?” initiative, with new wisdom from our founders every working day in 2011.

If Charlie Mayo installed a telephone system at age 14, how could he not tweet today?

What would Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie Tweet?

January 3, 2011

When we were discussing creation of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media last year, our Mayo Clinic chief administrative officer, Shirley Weis, said something that struck a chord with me.

We had been talking about some of the ways our Mayo Clinic YouTube channel had helped patients get information they needed, and Ms. Weis said, “You know, if they were alive today, I’ll bet Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie would be using YouTube.”

I think that’s highly likely, especially given the Mayo brothers’ outreach practices and their approach to innovation. Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie regularly traveled to other medical centers to share what they had discovered about surgical practices and also to learn from others. They didn’t just travel within the U.S., but to Europe and elsewhere. And this was back when travel was much more arduous than it is today.

With the possibility of sharing in-depth information on a global scale without leaving home, I have no doubt that the Mayo brothers would have embraced YouTube. And I’ll bet they would have tweeted, too.

The Mayo brothers were well known for the kind of pithy, incisive comments that would fit perfectly on Twitter. Many of those quotes were gathered in book format in 1951.

So during 2011, we’re going to share a quote of the day from Dr. Will or Dr. Charlie (or occasionally from their father) via the Mayo Clinic Twitter account. We’ll also be gathering these quotes here on Sharing Mayo Clinic, on the Mayo Brothers’ Wisdom page.

In so doing, we hope to help renew appreciation for the timeless wisdom that helped to set the tone for what Mayo Clinic has become, while also answering the question that is the subject of this post.

Referred to Mayo Clinic by Twitter and YouTube

March 25, 2010

For five years, Erin Turner battled pain that ranged from nagging to excruciating in her right wrist. Turning a doorknob hurt. Opening a jar of spaghetti sauce was impossible. She repeatedly visited an orthopedic surgeon in Washington, D.C., where she works for a communications firm, and couldn’t get an answer for her pain.

That is, until she saw a “tweet” on Twitter on Nov. 12, 2009 about an online chat about wrist pain that Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon Richard Berger, M.D. was holding in conjunction with USA Today. That morning’s edition of the newspaper had carried a story about Jayson Werth, an outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies, who had just played in his second World Series after coming back from a career-threatening wrist injury. Jayson had credited Dr. Berger with saving his career by repairing a split tear of the UT ligament in his wrist. The story told how Dr. Berger had discovered this type of injury a few years earlier, and that it is quite common but almost always undiagnosed because it doesn’t look link the typical ligament tear, either on physical examination or through an MRI.

To enable readers with questions about wrist pain to interact with Dr. Berger, Mary Brophy Marcus of USA Today and her editors agreed to sponsor a joint Twitter chat with Dr. Berger and @MayoClinic.

That’s how Erin met Dr. Berger, as she tells the story here in her blog post. And on Monday of this week, six weeks after her surgery, Erin returned to Mayo Clinic to have her cast removed, receive physical therapy instructions, and be fitted with a splint.

Dr. Richard Berger with Erin Turner

Erin getting her splint fitted

After her appointments, Erin reflected on her story and shared her thoughts about its meaning as a patient and as a professional communicator:

Update (4/12/10): Last week the Phillies opened their season in Washington, D.C. against the Nationals, and Erin was joined by a reporter and photographer from USA Today in getting to meet Jayson Werth and thank him for sharing his story. Read the story on USA Today online.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

TV Story on Mayo Clinic Social Media

October 29, 2009

Picture 3

Regular readers of Sharing Mayo Clinic — or Facebook “fans” or Twitter followers or YouTube subscriberswon’t be surprised at what KAAL-TV reported yesterday about Mayo’s involvement in social media:

Social Networking is usually a no-no at work and more young people use it as a means of communicating in our ever evolving high tech world. But you might be surprised to know that Mayo Clinic is using all forms of social media to its benefit, as well as the benefit of its patients…

More than 25 percent of Mayo Clinic patients come from more than 500 miles away. As a result, Mayo has turned to social media as a way to communicate with those patients.

You can see the full story here. For more details on Mayo Clinic’s social media platforms and how you can get involved, see 10 Ways You Can Use Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Tools.

Tom Vanderwell’s Mayo Clinic Story

August 21, 2009

Tom Vanderwell is a Mayo Clinic patient from Grand Rapids, Michigan who has come to Rochester three times since 1978 for evaluation and care relating to an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in his neck.

I work with our social media team at Mayo Clinic, and I first connected with Tom virtually through Twitter in March, a month after his AVM treatment by a team led by Giuseppi Lanzino, M.D. Tom had mentioned his Mayo experience in a “tweet” and it happened that we were able to meet in person in Grand Rapids a few days later. When I returned to Grand Rapids this week (for my granddaughter’s first birthday!), Tom said he was glad to meet and share his story via video.

In addition to his patient care experience, Tom also highlights the ways Rochester residents, especially the staff at the two hotels in which he stayed, contribute to a positive experience for patients and their families: “Everybody is just much more concerned…in what they can do to help people who are in there from out of town and who don’t know where to go and don’t know what to do.”

If you would like to share your Mayo Clinic story, see this page for ways you can participate in Sharing Mayo Clinic. You also can post a comment on our Mayo Clinic Facebook page or, like Tom did, you can “tweet” about it on Twitter.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

10 Ways You Can Use Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Tools

April 16, 2009


Mayo  Clinic’s use of social media was highlighted this morning in a story on ABC’s Good Morning America (see the story). The story’s focus was on medical organizations using Twitter, but that’s just one of several social media tools Mayo Clinic is using to share in-depth medical information and to gather communities of Mayo Clinic employees, patients and their families. You can review posts in the social media category here on Sharing Mayo Clinic for some more detail on some of the platforms, but here’s a quick list of ways you can take advantage of these tools.

Mayo Clinic Twitter

March 28, 2009

Lee Aase (@LeeAase) is Mayo Clinic’s manager for syndication and social media.


In previous “Social Media Saturday” posts I’ve introduced Mayo Clinic’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Those are Mayo Clinic’s longer-established social networking platforms, and like the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog they have significant potential for sharing information, enabling patients and staff to make connections and bringing the worldwide Mayo Clinic community together.

Twitter is another popular and rapidly growing social site for making connections and spreading information rapidly. You’ve probably seen a lot about it in the news recently. YouTube now features Twitter among its ways to share videos with friends. Yesterday’s New York Times had an article about celebrities “tweeting” (the verb for Twitter activity), and ABC News has a similar story.

Mayo Clinic’s Twitter account has been active for about a year, established well before all the recent hype. Until now it has mainly provided a way for Twitter users to get updates on the latest Mayo Clinic news. But the rapid growth of Twitter’s user base now makes it potentially much more useful for connecting the Mayo Clinic community.