Dec 3 2009
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 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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