Hundreds of Heads are Better than One

Last week we made the important distinction between Social Networking and Collaborative Networking in an attempt to assist you in deciphering which option is better for your organization.  This week I wanted to share an example of  a community using both.

The general rule of thumb for anyone seeking a diagnosis for any condition is to always seek a second opinion.  Well, now you can seek hundreds of opinions!  A number of ‘diagnostic’ medical sites have cropped up across the web, giving patients the opportunity to describe their symptoms to a network of medical professionals and seek diagnosis (This application would be considered social networking as it benefits the individual – see last post).

One such site “Doctors Lounge” not only provides visitors the opportunity to seek diagnosis from a large network of doctors, it also provides the health care professionals a space to collaborate on articles, projects and even patient care issues (This is collaborative networking – see last post).

The medical community seems to be leading the charge integrating Social and Collaborative networking into their practices.  This is an encouraging thought – I don’t know about you but if my doctor was having trouble with a diagnosis or treatment of mine I feel much more secure knowing that he/she has a network to collaborate with on solving this problem.  A diagnosis agreed upon by 100 doctors is by far more reassuring than one prescribed by a single physician.

The question is of course whether your doctor participates in these collaboratives?  It is likely that membership in medical networks will become a qualifier for selecting a family physician and perhaps even a licensing requirement………………………… I know I will be asking mine.