Denver TV station to Twitter local surgery
I’m pretty sure TV stations – like the rest of us — have no idea what they are really supposed to be doing with social networking, but here’s a place to start.
On Tuesday, April 14, CBS-owned KCNC Denver is going to cover a local surgery live at 11 a.m. MT and Twitter about it here. The station is teaming up with Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children to “offer parents, physicians and people across the country a unique educational opportunity and the ability to interact directly with physicians.”
Sophia Flowers, a seven-year-old girl with Down’s Syndrome is going to have her gall bladder removed via a procedural called a “minimally invasive laproscopic cholecystectomy.” This means the doctor will enter through a tiny incision in her belly button, locate her gall bladder with the laproscope and remove it.
CBS4’s medical correspondent, Dr. David Hnida, will be there watching the surgery and an overhead flat screen while Twittering about the procedure. The girl’s parents, Teresa and Kregg Flowers, like the rest of the station’s Twitter audience, will be able to follow the procedure and ask questions via Twitter.
“This is the first time any TV station in the world has worked with a hospital to provide the public with direct interaction during a major surgery,” said CBS4 News Director Tim Wieland in a statement.”
“Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit did this back in January,” Hnida told me on Monday. “We saw that they had done this and thought it might be a great thing for us to do. It’s in conjunction with a lot of the stuff we’re dong technologically in order to teach other. Twitter is a natural extension of that. We are inviting the public to come in and get educated about how surgery works.”
Beyond using Twitter as another way to cover the news, Hnida says it can also help inform loved ones waiting in the hospital coffee shop or those who couldn’t travel to be there.
“My father was a general surgeon,” said Teresa Flowers in a statement. “He never would have dreamed that one day gallbladder surgery on a child could be performed though the belly button.” Teresa believes that allowing people to follow her daughter’s surgery on Twitter will help educate them about the possibilities of minimally invasive surgery.
Of course, the operating surgeon, Dr. Steve Rothenberg – who is pioneering the use of this technique on children — will not be doing any of the Twittering, says Hnida, an ER doc and surgeon himself. “If my surgeon was Twittering during my surgery, I definitely wouldn’t want that surgeon.”
The station plans to have stories on the procedure and how all the Twittering went in its evening newscasts at 5, 6, 6:30 and 10 p.m., Hnida said.