site stats
Welcome, register | help | log in

[NOW BOARDING] HealthTrain, the Open Healthcare Manifesto

Featured in:

Announcing HealthTrain, the Open Healthcare Manifesto. A vision and action campaign to really put healthcare blogging on the map.

If you have been wondering why there have not been too many big news from TMBN lately you have to wonder no more.

Many of the regular readers know that I kept talking about the "impact of blogs and social media on healthcare" and "developing a healthcare social media ecosystem" for a long, long, long time. So now is the high time to actually do something to make it happen.

The Answer is "Open Healthcare Manifesto" and it is here!

Now it is too big to fit into a blog post, so it is attached as a PDF file at the bottom (along with a press release) and what I will do in the blog post is just highlight a few key points to make you want to actually read and sign it. The post will not cover all details, if you want them please read the whole document.

First of all, why is it called "HealthTrain"?

In 1999, Cluetrain Manifesto made history by proposing a vision for how Internet communication will change business. This vision stimulated development of blogging technology itself. But healthcare is way more complex than "general business" and the stakes are human lives. Surprisingly, Cluetrain principles have not been "translated" for this industry. Till now. HealthTrain = "Healthcare Cluetrain".

Fine, you might say, but what does all this REALLY mean ?

In plain language, two things need to happen:

  1. Rise of "open media" means that the institutions, comprising the healthcare system have their work cut out to adapt to the changes. To see why, I suggest reading my prior post with a scary video about "grassroots transparency".
  2. Since we are talking healthcare, some sort of a new "integrity standard" is needed to help people sort through the junk that openness unfortunately tends to generate. Think of this as updating of earlier standards. Think "HONcode 2.0" .

OK, now where does the HealthTrain Manifesto fit in? It has a two-fold objective: take a first cut at the standard and use it to create an awareness campaign and stir debate within the industry.

Still think this is some kind of mumbo-jumbo?

Well, look at some of the people who endorsed the effort. People holding prominent positions in the industry:

  • F. Nicholas Jacobs, CEO, Windber Medical Center & Research Institute
  • Paul Costello, Executive Director, Communications & Public Affairs, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Greg Scandlen, President and Founder, Consumers for Health Care Choices
  • Frank Hone, Executive VP, Ogilvy Healthworld

Take a look at the press release for quotes and highlights. Of course the full list of supporters (to date) is longer and is tilted heavily towards the practitioners of open media (bloggers). Namely:

Signed supporters as of 10/20/2006

Now what exactly is the "standard"?

Here I will only include the list of proposed principles, which are further discussed in the document:

  1. Openness
  2. Empowerment
  3. Conversation
  4. Empathy
  5. Trust
  6. Critical Thinking
  7. Guidance
  8. Control
  9. Credentials
  10. Transparency
  11. Privacy
  12. Anonymity
  13. Scientific Validity
  14. Conflicts of Interest
  15. Sponsorship
  16. Promotion
  17. Controversy
  18. Civility and Respect

This has been the product of a collaborative effort and I want to thank all contributors and reviewers.

Next Steps: Please take action!

HealthTrain needs further review, debate and support. Comment on it, blog about it and if you agree with these ideas add your endorsement. You can use the comment form below or register on this site and fill out the HealthTrain form in your member profile.

When linking to this post please either use this shortcut URL: or install a web widget with logo that you can see on top of the right sidebar. Get widget code here:

Thank you for sharing these news with your friends and collegues

Final note. HealthTrain ideas will be discussed in depth at the first Healthcare Blogging Summit 2006 on December 11 of this year in Washingoton DC. Hope to meet you there!

HealthTrain - the Open Healthcare Manifesto - v0.1.pdf47.93 KB
HealthTrain - Press Release - 10-30-06.pdf15.87 KB

Trackbacks (4)

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:
from RBHBlog on Tue, 11/14/2006 - 5:19am

Found this via my openid planet feed . Anybody remember the Cluetrain Manifesto ? Well, this is an attempt to create a si...

from A Blog Around The Clock on Tue, 10/31/2006 - 12:02pm

Check out the freshly unvailed Open Healthcare Manifesto, designed to foster "open media" in healthcare and medicine and to implement "some sort of a new "integrity standard" ... needed to help people sort through the junk that openness unfortunately tend

from Envisioning 2.0 on Tue, 10/31/2006 - 8:32am

Over the past year, we have witnessed significant changes in the healthcare social media landscape – especially in the blogosphere. Healthcare providers are beginning to embrace blogs as a means of sharing information and their experiences with coll...

from Spare Change on Tue, 10/31/2006 - 12:52am

Social media has changed the face of healthcare communications. No longer is online health and medical information coming only in a one-way direction from "official and approved" gatekeeper institutions to consumers. Technology and new online tools...

Comments (9)

Submitted by hgstern on Tue, 11/28/2006 - 6:16pm.

by your post: you seem to be saying that you won't see a specialist unless someone else is paying for the privilege (or subsidizing it). Is this, in fact, the case?

I think you've also committed a logical fallacy: taking your own specific case, and then assuming that everyone else who has one of these "rare conditions" is in the same boat. I wonder if you could substantiate that for us?

Finally, it strikes me as counterproductive to conflate "rare" with "fatal."

Submitted by Medical Tourism (not verified) on Sun, 12/10/2006 - 4:18pm.

I was visiting your website and found the topics quite
interesting, especially your concern with the health care system. I would like to
see your thoughts on Medical Tourism as a way to relieve health care
costs.  Please feel free to visit my
website and leave a comment. My blog page is



Submitted by ATLGuy (not verified) on Sun, 01/07/2007 - 2:43pm.

Just read your manifesto.  Great stuff!  We have three healthcare professionals in my family and three business and technology professionals.  Whenever we get together and talk about the world's woes, the issues you raise in your manifesto are at the top of our list! 

In addition, to the issues you raise, I would like to see someone take on the following:

Physician Reviews
Somewhere out there, there should be a site providing a public source for consumers to evaluate their doctors and share experiences so we don't have to rely on the good old boy network for referrals. comes as close as anybody I've seen on this.

U.S. Protectionism and Physician Shortage
We are not training enough doctors to match our nation's population growth and maintain a diverse and competitive marketplace.  U.S. medical school's and residencies have a stranglehold on the supply of new physicians.  At the same time, they won't let any foreign physicians immigrate without going through the same system as U.S. physicians (thus controlling the supply).  It's outrageous that no U.S. State Medical Board approves any residency outside the U.S., not even the most advanced countries for healthcare in the world.  Granted, no one wants unqualified professionals moving to the U.S., but the current system is designed to control supply, not quality. 

Please feel free to refer me to any Internet Groups working on these issues. 

Keep up the good work!   

Submitted by John Norris (not verified) on Fri, 04/06/2007 - 2:43pm.

Good start...but it reads like much like a legal document and not a manifesto.

One of the best parts of "The Cluetrain Manifesto", besides being right, was that it was written as a manifesto. It was written with emotion, it was a call-to-arms, it had the authentic voice of an individual, it was over-the-top, it invited one to join the revolution, (it was written by someone who knew a lot about marketing.) That probably put some folks off, but also made it quite popular with others and gave the idea some additional energy.

It is a good cause.

(Owner of a signed copy of the Cluetrain Manifesto :-)

#5: blogs
Submitted by Carebuzz (not verified) on Mon, 11/16/2009 - 10:22am.

At this point in 2009, blogs have moved past journaling and into an accepted form of quality communications. A friend asked me to change the name of our Carebuzz blogs to something like site or portal... saying blogs don't get the same credibility as an article.

I would like to hear other opinions.

Thank you,

Submitted by business loans (not verified) on Sun, 08/07/2011 - 10:56am.

I opine that to receive the mortgage loans from banks you must have a firm reason. Nevertheless, once I have got a consolidation loan, because I wanted to buy a building.

Submitted by business loans (not verified) on Wed, 12/28/2011 - 10:58pm.

I took my first business loans when I was not very old and it helped my relatives a lot. But, I need the commercial loan as well.

Submitted by Toto (not verified) on Sat, 10/13/2012 - 6:35pm.

You don't need to have a bill in hand for it to meet the first test of whether it is csmiunmom or not.Do you decide, or does the government decide FOR YOU.Obama says it will cost YOU 700.00 per month. That's A LOT more than I pay for private insurance and I'm self employed. 700, eh? That's almost a house payment.When Hilary said that the Democratic party does not want any more rich people in this country I guess they meant it. I think by more rich people , she meant YOU.

Submitted by アグ ブーツ (not verified) on Thu, 02/21/2013 - 7:49pm.

Negotiations fail to reach conclusion amid rows and adjournment caused by lack of agreement on poorly worded texts

Copyright © 2005-2016, Trusted.MD Network, Trusted.MD Privacy Policy, UBM Medica Network Privacy Policy

User login