Social media’s influence in healthcare is in its infancy. More and more patients are using social platforms to learn about diseases, find patients/groups with similar ailments, and engage healthcare professionals who may be able to provide information that complements traditionally available content generated by large, branded online health-information resources.
Professionals – from nurses, physicians, and advanced providers – are increasingly using social media to discuss research, policy, and practice-management issues with colleagues.
Finally, social platforms are also seeing accelerated use by medical trainees, now that many educational resources are expanding their content via social media outlets.
Conversations centered on various topics in healthcare are open-invitation on social platforms, which improves the diversity of content which is discussed. If appropriately organized and discoverable — all of the chatter, collective collaboration, and limitless connectivity spawned from social media helps identify the most pressing issues facing patients, physicians, and researchers.
Uniformly tagging content from social media channels allows those who want to join conversations to do so. It highlights issues facing professions while allowing for mineable data analysis.
Building upon prior work done by Matthew Katz, MD and others to create the patient-centric Cancer Tag Ontology and professional-centric Oncology Tag Ontology, we present the new Radiology Hashtag Ontology designed to connect people interested in topics related to radiology and begin organizing related social content and data in a meaningful way.
This is not one person’s view of how social media content in radiology should be organized. Rather, a number of people influenced the development of this ontology. Bernadette Keefe (@nxtstop1), Jim Rawson (@Jim_Rawson_MD), and Matt Katz (@subatomicdoc) initiated and led the effort from the outset. Also, opinions were solicited from many members of radiology’s online community to refine the list and include relevant hashtags that address both patient and provider issues. Thanks to Harry Jha (@RogueRad), Rich Duszak (@RichDuszak), Geraldine McGinty (@DrGMcGinty), Henry Knipe (@DrHenryK), Greg Mogel (@GregMogel), Larry Liebscher (@LLALO), Brian Coley (@bdcoleymd), Rasu Shrestha (@RasuShrestha), Paul Dorio (@DrPaulDorio), Ruth Carlos (@ruthcarlosmd), Tirath Patel (@TirathPatelMD), Neil Lall (@NULall), and Mick Brown (@aussiclydesdale) who’s input and feedback undoubtedly improved the final product. (Although the ontology remains malleable.)
#RadOntPro will be used to promote the ontology and hopefully catalyze its incorporation into the day-to-day social media vernacular. Together, let’s utilize the Radiology Hashtag Ontology as a mechanism that facilitates online collaboration for both patients and providers and drive online conversation about radiology.