Healthcare Media

Podcast: The Provider’s Survival Guide to Digital Health

Question: Why should health IT marketers pay attention to what providers say?

Answer: OK, admittedly the answer sounds a little obvious, right? But do we sometimes need a reminder to avoid being too myopic in our focus?

Guest: Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a.k.a. @SeattleMamaDoc

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson

We were honored to have well-known online and TV personality Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a.k.a. SeattleMamaDoc, as a guest on the Health IT Marketer Podcast. She is a practicing pediatrician and well-respected provider voice for digital health nationwide.

Strap on your seat belts and try to keep up as Dr. Swanson gives a fast-paced, highly insightful look at how digital health keeps evolving and what providers must do to provide the best care for patients who are now using every resource at their disposal to research conditions and connect with caregivers. Digital health means more than just being on Facebook or using an EHR; it is being open-minded to partnering with patients and tech innovators.


What I really enjoyed about interviewing Dr. Swanson is that every word came from a place of passion and experience. She practices what she preaches! She couldn’t see me, but I was pumping my fist in the air in agreement when she gave the following answer regarding whether she gets offended when patients bring health information to her that they have found online:

If it offended me, I would be a total moron! I think that any physician that would be upset by a patient going online doing personal research and bringing those care points to the visit really better question what’s going on in their mind.

She concluded with an impassioned plea to do whatever we need to do to get the right care:

Trust your instincts. Use every resource you have; that is your crowd, that is the Internet, that is the specialized health centers in your region, that is the expert conglomerated aggregated care centers around the country, and those are even communities online — things like Patients Like Me. Use your peer networks. Go online and find as much as you can, and then be as squeaky as you need to be to get the best health care you can.

More Thought-Provoking Quotes from SeattleMamaDoc

  • “You can’t just follow health care people on Twitter. You have to follow Beyonce! And you have to follow JT. And you have to follow your neighbors.”
  • “If we can’t even tolerate a Google search before someone comes in, I think we’re rendering ourselves mute if we think we’re experts in that way.”
  • “We can’t provide health care the way that we always used to and hold all of the advice ourselves and not open up to let families to get and research information in different ways. It’s just too expensive and laborious to do it that way.”
  • “I think patients will get their information. Patients will do their research. Then it’s our [providers’] job to be there with them asynchronously, virtually and in person, and be relevant by being a really smart curator.”

About SeattleMamaDoc

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, better known online as @SeattleMamaDoc, is a practicing pediatrician and the mother of two young boys. She is on the medical staff at Seattle Children’s and is a clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington.

She is passionate about improving the way that media discuss pediatric health news and influence parents’ decisions when caring for their children. She is an executive committee member of the Council on Communications and Media and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. She sits on the Board of Advisors for Parents Magazine and on the board for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. I’m a weekly medical contributor with NBC affiliate KING 5 News in Seattle. She is an advocate on the topic of vaccines and was named a CDC Childhood Immunization Champion in 2012. She was named to TIME Magazine’s Best Twitter Feeds of 2013.

You can reach her on Twitter at @SeattleMamaDoc.

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About the author

Jared Johnson

Jared Johnson

Digital marketing pro, health care communicator, pianist, entrepreneur

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