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Five Twitter Accounts Worth Following

Social networking sites such as Twitter can give you steady access to the thoughts of your friends, family and even celebrities. But Twitter can be just as powerful for gathering career intel as it is for social networking. In fact, if you're interested in health care, you can follow executives and others within the field, gaining access to their experience and personal insights and learning the information that's most important in health care right now.

Twitter has some advantages that other formats don't offer. While press releases can be wordy and blogs can go off on long, personal tangents, Twitter allows for short updates that provide important information quickly. It might be just a quick thought or a link, but you won't have to spend a lot of time searching for what you need.

According to Gerald DeLoss, a health lawyer and Chair of the American Health Lawyers Association with his own Twitter account, Twitter also allows for more unfiltered opinions and insight than official company statements can provide.

"Most individual tweets are less rehearsed and less polished than the traditional corporate PR. The information is much more personalized," DeLoss said, "Readers would be able to gain real insight into the health arena."

On that note, here are five Twitter accounts in health care worth following:

--@gdeloss/hit. DeLoss' own account is a good resource for finding pertinent business articles and government-related updates. Some of the tweets focus on Illinois, but the information is relevant to anyone interested in learning about topics like data security updates, medical billing and electronic prescriptions. Health administrators will need to know about new business ideas and what methods are working, and this account lets you get quick updates in those areas. You can also read more about those topics if you're interested: Many tweets send readers to the HIT Blawg, which provides links to articles on news sites.

--@bobcoffield. Bob Coffield is an attorney, and his Twitter account focuses on the legal aspects of health care, including important changes and how they affect health care providers. He was appointed by West Virginia's governor to serve on their Health Information Network due to his experience with technology and how it affects law and medicine. Hospital administrators don't have to be lawyers, but they do need to understand how the law affects health care and this account is a good resource for new legal developments in the world of health care.

-- @hitpol. HealthIT Policy usually updates several times a day with a wide variety of information. In one recent day's worth of tweets, followers learned about an initiative to reduce patient falls, a study regarding how pay incentives and health benefits can improve productivity and profits, methods for dealing with disruptive practitioners and a review of satisfaction scores for the hospital industry. Every day brings something different.

-- @TexasHealth. Texas Health Resources is a faith-based, non-profit network of 12 acute care hospitals and one long-term care hospital. Followers of its Twitter account, recently read a play-by-play of cardiovascular procedures as they were happening. The account also tweets about recently-uploaded YouTube videos on topics such as improving care management, senior safety and fall prevention, among others. These videos are professionally-done and the twitter account updates followers when new ones are uploaded. Administrators are always looking for innovative uses of existing tools, and Texas Health Resources is using its twitter account to educate and inform.

-- @hospitalgroup. Hospital Group serves as a portal to other health care facility accounts. When cancer centers, medical centers or other health systems enter the world of social networking, you can often find their information here. It could be a new account on Twitter or Facebook, or it might be a new blog. You'll also find information on YouTube channels. By following Hospital Group, you'll be alerted to new social networking accounts as they open. Then you can pick and choose which accounts you'd like to follow, expanding your knowledge based on which accounts most appeal to you.