Sunday, June 29, 2014

Transforming Power of #Hashtags

Power only exists in the form of organized particulars.


In scanning today’s news I came across 3 stories that showed the power of instant information, social media, and #hashtags to transform commerce and world events.

One was the collapse of shopping malls confronted with online shopping.

Two was the rise of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) triggered by use of #hashtags to mobilize Islamic militants.

Three was the use of the Internet by a large health care organization in Pittsburgh to define its customer base and to keep its hospitals profitable.

These stories got me to thinking how hashtags are changing the world.

According to Wikipedia,

“A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the number sign ("#"). It is a form of metadata tag. Words in messages on microblogging and social networking services such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Instagram may be tagged by putting "#" before them, either as they appear in a sentence, (e.g., "New artists announced for #SXSW2014MusicFestival")or appended to it.”

“Hashtags make it possible to group such messages, since one can search for the hashtag and get the set of messages that contain it. A hashtag is only connected to a specific medium and can therefore not be linked and connected to pictures or messages from different platforms.”

“Because of its widespread use, the word was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in June 2014,[defined as: hashtag n. (on social media web sites and applications) a word or phrase preceded by a hash and used to identify messages relating to a specific topic; (also) the hash symbol itself, when used in this way.”

This definition got me to thinking how the Internet and the social media, using the power of #hashtags, has transformed health care.
Centralized institutions – government and big health organizations in the medical industrial complex like hospitals – have recognized that the Internet and the social media, using hashtags are a powerful way of adjusting to the waves of centralization and decentralization occurring everywhere in societies and nations across the globe.

With health reform in the U.S. and no doubt elsewhere, it is now recognized that people, i.e., health care customers, prefer to treated in outpatient ambulatory settings away from institutions with inpatient populations, hence the rise of decentralized ambulatory care diagnostic and surgical centers, more home care and outpatient hospices, the movement towards more direct care in physicians offices, the acquisition of decentralized physician practices, and the emergence of free-standing emergency rooms.

The irony of this is that it takes centralized power - organizational and management and marketing skills - to make decentralization work effectively and efficiently. In a sense, many acquired physician practices have become hospital and large organizational franchises.

On the other side of the coin, independent physician practices and organization need centralized guidance and support to remain independent.

I discuss the importance and inevitability of this interdependence of centralized and decentralization in my new E-book , Direct Medical and Surgical Care, which will soon be available on Amazon and Nook, and in 3 books I am now writing which will be called the ObamaCare Triology. This triology will be published after the November midterm elections. These elections will likely determine the shape and fate of ObamaCare.

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