Dr. Bailey Tweets Her Surgeries on Grey's Anatomy

I just caught up on my Grey’s Anatomy, and in the episode from 2/3 I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had played a part in creating the storyline. See, a few years back we had a forward-thinking hospital client, Sherman Hospital, agree to having us do a live-tweeted surgery to show the benefits of their new da Vinci, a surgical robot used to shorten the recovery time for hysterectomies and prostatectomies. One of our creative directors had wanted to do a live-tweeted surgery for a while, and Sherman was bold enough to do it. We were only the second hospital overall to live-tweet a surgery, and the first in Illinois. I was at the hospital that day to escort the media (it was a big news story at the time, covered by WGN TV and the next week mentioned on Good Morning America).

Two Demi and Cooper employees (including my husband) were in the OR, tweeting live updates, picture, and video as the surgery happened. Fast forward a few years, and I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy, with one major storyline the controversy of a live-tweeted surgery.

Dr. Bailey, the mouthy, ambitious doctor is tweeting her surgeries as a teaching tool for 3,000 residents who are following. Dr. Webber, the old-school hospital chief, is officially against the idea, with plenty of objections—what if the patient dies, and she is broadcasting that to the world. Why publish something on a site designed for gossip?

Spoiler alert: Bailey runs into a problem with the surgery, and another hospital suggests a solution via Twitter. Another hospital that is nearby tweets that they have the equipment to help solve the problem. Twitter saves the day. Dr. Webber ends up helping answer residents’ questions while they are waiting for the equipment to arrive.

The lesson? While the Grey’s Anatomy version was a little contrived, the overarching message is something I couldn’t agree with more. Time to jump on board, you old-school fogies! Social media is more than just a way to gossip. At the beginning of the episode, Dr. Webber is telling Dr. Bailey that she can’t tweet her surgeries, and she explains that if he used it, he would understand. I am consistantly shocked at the amount of people who dismiss using social media tools (for personal use, but especially business use) without even trying them first. And if they do try social media and find it just isn’t for them, I am amazed at people who decide it isn’t a good way for their business to reach anyone. Social media tools can be put to good use—if we only take the time to think of how we can possibly use them!

Now I’ve gotta go, since I have to call my husband and let him know we are famous. Afterall, we helped write Grey’s Anatomy last week!

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