“The latest phase in the IT revolution is being driven by the convergence of social media- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Groupon, Zynga- with the proliferation of cheap wireless connectivity and Web-enabled smart phones and “the cloud” – those enormous server farms that hold and constantly update thousands of software applications, which are then downloaded (as if from a cloud) to make them into incredibly powerful devices that can perform myriad tasks.”
The SOCIAL Acronym
Friedman then goes on to quote Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce.com, who describes this phase of the IT revolution with the acronym SOCIAL.
• S is for Speed – This means physicians and patients can find anything and everything about health care (and each other),
. O is for Open – This means physicians are out in the open and can no longer hide their results or reputation.
• C is for Collaboration – This means physicians must organize among themselves or affiliated hospitals or into loosely coupled teams to take on the new challenges posed by society in general and health reform in particular.
• I is for Individuals – This means anyone – physicians, patients, and entreprenuers – as individuals can reach around the globe to start something or collaborate or consolidate to improve care – faster, deeper, and cheaper – as individuals.
• A is for Alignment – physicians with each other or with supportive health organizations to make sure all your ships are sailing in the same direction.
• L is for Leadership – This means physician leaders are going to have to mixs top-down and bottom-up forces – from public and private sectors – to provide what is best for themselves, patients, and society.
The Effect of SOCIAL Forces
SOCIAL forces will make it easier for physicians to become entrepreneurs and to have access the infrastructure and the capital necessary for true innovation and entrepreneurship.
SOCIAL requires that money and social capital be available from government programs, sparked by CMS initiatives such as the Innovation Advisors Program; from nonprofit organizations such as the Physician Foundation, which has provided over $20 million in grants to over 40 physician and social organizations; and from risk-taking private venture capital organization, from Silicon Valley and elsewhere, which demand profits for investors to survive and thrive.
Richard L. Reece is a retired pathologist and the author of The Health Reform Maze: A Blueprint for Physician Practices. He blogs about health reform, medical innovation, and physician practices at medinnovationblog.