Perusing Twitter yesterday, I happened to see an SLP (speech-language pathologist) tweet a link to this ASHA Leader article. It’s a great article about a grassroots movement among SLPs and other healthcare practitioners to figure out a way to reduce stress on clinicians and foster patient-centered care in long term care facilities. It’s also a great example of the value of online community for associations.
What started as conversations among ASHA members on their online community and other social media channels turned into a live online chat facilitated by ASHA. Two hundred participants and over 650 comments later, ASHA’s president sent a letter to the presidents of two other associations (disclosure: I work for one of them), whose members work in similar settings and are experiencing similar issues, asking for an opportunity collaborate. ASHA said it also plans to propose opening a dialogue with associations representing the long-term care industry.
I think this is an awesome example of yet another reason online community is so important for associations, as is community management. What if ASHA wasn’t monitoring conversations on their private online community and other social media channels? What if they just dismissed the conversations as ranting or maybe made a note to add this to the agenda at a future, months-away face-to-face meeting? Sorry if I’m nerdy and possibly humble-braggy, but reading this article just made me happy, and proud to have been part of building ASHA’s online communities, which now facilitate collaborations across multiple associations representing many different healthcare practitioners, all in an effort to improve patient care. Community management in the association world has a long way to go, but hopefully stories like this one will help more association execs realize the importance of online community and see it as something worth investing in, staff-wise.