Dr. Bruce Ruben of Encompass HealthCare & Wound Medicine was one of the first physicians in Michigan to use Twitter. Dr. Ruben embraced social media, Twitter specifically, as a way to educate his patients and the general public. One of the frustrations Dr. Ruben faced was Twitter’s 140 character limit. Today, Dr. Ruben, like millions of other Twitter users, is excited that Twitter has agreed to double the character count.
Double the character count to 280 characters? This excitement rivals my Mom telling me as a kid that school declared a “snow day!” Wow! More sleep! More fun with friends! A get-out-of -jail “free” card! And that wonderful feeling of freedom! Translate this into Twitter-speak: fewer limits on characters, extra words to express yourself, more fun with followers, and the freedom of not obsessing about the dreaded, decreasing numeral in the lower right-hand corner of the Twitter box!
Twitter doubled its character count, broke the rules and so did Dr. Bruce Ruben
Twitter had traditionally limited tweets to 140 characters, but on November 8th, they broke their own rules, allowing more flexibility and responded to customer desires. Just like Dr. Bruce Ruben, Founder and Medical Director for Encompass HealthCare & Wound Medicine, broke the old-fashioned rules of hospital-based intravenous (I.V.) medicine delivery.
[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Twitter had traditionally limited tweets to 140 characters, but on November 8th, they broke their own rules, allowing more flexibility and responded to customer desires. Just like Dr. Bruce Ruben, Founder and Medical Director for Encompass HealthCare & Wound Medicine, broke the old-fashioned rules of hospital-based intravenous (I.V.) medicine delivery.[/perfectpullquote]
In 1994, Dr. Bruce Ruben took I.V. antibiotic-delivery OUT of the hospital and into his outpatient office so that patients could receive their I.V. medicine without being shackled to a hospital bed. Dr. Ruben’s new-age thinking at the time was to allow patients to continue their daily lives in-between the usual twice-needed I.V. antibiotic delivery, whether it was treating a bacterial infection, a microbial infection, a surgical site infection, a skin infection, a bone infection, MRSA or another infection that we successfully treat in our office. For the first time, patients who came to Encompass HealthCare & Wound Medicine could get their first round of antibiotics, leave our office, go to work, pick up their kids from school, carry on with their daily hobbies and life, and return to Dr. Ruben’s outpatient office to receive their second dose later in the afternoon. Expanding their choices. Fewer limits. Flexibility. (Did I mention that we are open on the weekends?) More fun with friends. A “get-out-of-jail-“free” card. And most of all, that wonderful feeling of freedom! In today’s terms, one could say that Dr. Ruben “doubled the Twitter” count in the medical arena. A permanent snow day!
Additionally, more Twitter characters means more meaningful, elaborative Tweets where Dr. Bruce Ruben can continue to educate the public on infectious disease and wound care. Helping the public and his patients understand more about infections, the main reasons wounds won’t heal and how we successfully treat these medical problems have helped thousands of patients find relief from not only their painful infections and sores, but from their anxiety as well. I’d say that’s something to tweet about!
So the next time you get on Twitter, type in your message, and feel relieved that you now have 280 characters instead of 140, think of Dr. Ruben and Encompass HealthCare as the pre-Twitter pioneer. And ask yourself if you or a loved one needing I.V. antibiotics or wound care want a get-out-of-jail-“free” card. We’ve got one waiting for you.