Military Health System

Using social media to promote transparency and collaboration
Michael E. Kilpatrick, MD Matt Bado

Military Health System: A system of systems
A unique partnership of medical educators, medical researchers and healthcare providers • Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs • Military Medical Departments • Joint Staff Surgeon • Combatant Command Surgeons • TRICARE Providers

Who We Are
• Serves 9.5 million uniformed service members, family members and retirees • Executes a $42 billion budget

Casualty Care & Humanitarian Assistance

Healthcare, Research, Education & Training

Healthy, Fit and Protected Force

Healthy and Resilient Individuals, Families and Communities


Office of Strategic Communications
Coordinates with other MHS communicators and partner agencies

MHS Strategic Communications Workgroup Framework

Our Communications Strategy • Educate audiences about the MHS • Inform audiences on what the MHS is doing • Personalize the MHS for its audiences

The internet has rivaled physicians as the leading source for health information
Health Information Source…
Nurse/Nurse Practitioner Pharmacist Television Newspapers/ Magazines Relatives/Friends/ Co-workers Doctor Internet

In 2 rep 009, P ort ed EW 61%

Social media, an outreach component, is used to engage stakeholders around health promotion
Outreach Capabilities MHS Social Media Tools

Vital Signs e-Bulletin MHS Profiles

Social Media Outreach

• • • • • • • • •

Outreach & Events


Media GovDelivery Relations

Monitoring Podcasts Social networking Social bookmarking Video sharing Blogger outreach MHS Blog and Twitter RSS Widgets

MHS social media enterprise goals
Goal 1: Implement emerging media tools throughout the MHS to better inform and connect with stakeholders about military health (external)

Goal 2: Cultivate a culture of transparent, authentic communication throughout the ranks of the Military Health System (internal)

Social media integration

MHS on Facebook

Building relationships through Twitter…
My Life With Autism

The MHS YouTube profile

Healthy Debates on

If a woman is sexually assaulted, the emergency contraception takes care of one issue, but what about the risk of STD's or psychological issues stemming from the assault. Without the intervention of a health care professional, many women will have partial care rather than the holistic care we have been advocating.

Dot Mil Docs podcast delivers news and information to stakeholders
4,671 Dot Mil Docs downloads during the month of July 2009

Over 44,000 downloads to date

The MHS Engagement Protocol is the foundation for all online interactions
Outreach Messagin Consultation g

Protocol Guidelines
Outreach • Outreach will be conducted strategically when opportunities to advance the MHS mission are identified through the monitoring of discussion on blogs, message boards and social networking communities • Outreach communications should include a call to action • Staff conducting outreach will disclose their affiliation with MHS, making the source and intent of the messages transparent
Social media outreach defined: Engaging with external stakeholders via email communication or posting of messages on public-facing communities (e.g., blogs, message boards, social networks)

Protocol Guidelines
Messaging • Language will be crafted around pre-approved messages aligned to an overarching communications plan • Messages should always be respectful, on-topic and advance the MHS mission • Messages should be supported by MHS assets, such as videos, podcasts, news releases, reports and/or other collateral

Protocol Guidelines
Consultation • MHS communications leadership must be consulted when sensitive issues arise that cannot be addressed by pre-approved messages • MHS public affairs staff will be consulted when online discussion may attract mainstream media interest • Input from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) will be solicited when topics require technical expertise beyond a general level of understanding • Online discussion pertaining to other MHS components such as Force Health Protection & Readiness or TRICARE will be shared with appropriate personnel

The Engagement Flow Chart complements the Protocol

Adopted from the US Air Force

Online Engagement in Action

Assess critical success factors before integrating social media tools
• Strategy • People • Process • Resources • Relevant Content • Technology • Risks
Strategic Integration
Outreach/Public Involvement Internal/External Communications

Social Media Knowledge Management Customer Service


Risk vs. Reward
Trust Engagem entBrand Informati on

Liabilit y Securi ty Privac y


“Thank you for pushing this out to twitter. I didn't know that this service existed”
DotMilDocs Listener

Contact Information
Michael E. Kilpatrick, MD 703-578-8510 Matt Bado 703-824-7052

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