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Hospitals are Singing and Dancing: Should We Hold the Applause?

by Jenn Riggle 

The singing and dancing craze made popular through TV shows like “Glee” and “Dancing With the Stars” is starting to infect our nation’s hospitals, or at least Portland, Oregon’s Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.

Is this worthy of applause? My answer is an emphatic “yes.”

Hospitals are known for being conservative organizations. Yet, with the release of the “Pink Glove Dance,” St. Vincent’s Medical Center, a hospital named a Top 100 hospital 10 times, became one of the first hospitals to master the viral video. The St. Vincent’s video shows employees from nearly every one of its department wearing pink gloves and dancing to Jay Sean’s hit song “Down” to raise awareness about breast cancer. One week after its launch, nearly 350,000 people watched the video.

A while back, I wrote about how hospitals need to develop a personality when they engage in social media – and videos like the Pink Glove Dance do just this.

A lot has been written about how hospitals have been slow to harness the “social” aspects of social media. Many hospitals are treading cautiously with social media because they’re afraid of breaking the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules. Yet by not fully embracing social media, they are limiting their ability to create new relationships with their community they serve, humanize hospitals (which can be a frightening place), and ultimately change the way people view hospitals. And the great thing about this sort of viral video is that as long as you make sure that everyone videotaped signs a consent form, you’re in no danger of violating HIPAA regulations.

I’m sure we’ll see other hospitals join in the act. Phoenix Children’s Hospital posted a video of its Emergency Department staff, which won the hospital’s We Got Heart Cheer Challenge. While this is an older video, it shows the spirit of its Emergency Department staff (and some of their funky moves).

To paraphrase the words of Cyndi Lauper, don’t be afraid to let your employees show their true colors. Just touch base with your legal department to make sure you’re not violating music copyrights before you post anything on YouTube.

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10 Comments on “Hospitals are Singing and Dancing: Should We Hold the Applause?

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  6.  by  Stuart Foster

    The biggest issues that I’ve seen regarding HIPPA haven’t come from hospital employees, but rather visiting news crews and media people filming something at the hospital.

    Recently saw a tweet from MGH that was both creepy and totally not cool on the persons part.

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  8.  by  Kerry Noone (Sodexo Careers)

    I love this and I love how it has been such a success. I work for Sodexo’s Talent Acquisition team and a video like this would be great for our recruiting efforts. It’s a great example of a positive, fun and safe work environment which in the end is what we are all looking for in a job, right? I had not seen your second video – hilarious. You can tell the employees had a lot of fun making these videos!

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