Live Twittercast of a Transradial Cardiac Catheterization

One of the things that I love about my job is that I get to work on some pretty cool projects. Last week, I got to do just that when Dan Dunlop and I helped Signature Healthcare live-tweet a transradial cardiac catheterization.

Live Twittercast

Interviewing Dr. Tahir about the procedure

The event itself only lasted for about an hour, but it took a ton of preparation to ensure the Twittercast would run smoothly. We started by interviewing the interventional cardiologists and researching the procedure. We wrote a script – broken up into 140-character increments – that would walk readers through the procedure. We made sure to cover the benefits to the radial (entering through the wrist) approach and potential scenarios, including the possibility that the patient would need a stent. And, to ensure medical accuracy, we asked the interventional cardiologists to review and edit our tweets.

Having that script was essential to the success of our Twittercast. These procedures move – and change – quickly, so having a roadmap to guide us was essential.


We arrived at Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital a day in advance in order to meet with the interventional cardiologists and plan a few last-minute logistics behind the Twittercast. (Where would we stand? How would we prevent patient information from being shared?)

Live Twittercast

The local newspaper sent a team to cover the Twittercast.

The morning of the procedure, we Tweeted background information about the procedure before the actual Twittercast began. However, about an hour before the procedure was scheduled to begin, a patient in cardiac arrest arrived in the cath lab. Luckily for us, Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital is equipped to handle multiple procedures at once, so Dr. Geagea (Signature Healthcare’s chief of cardiology) jumped into action and performed an emergency coronary intervention. It took him less than an hour! It was exciting to watch the team jump into action, expertly handling an emergency procedure as if it was just business as usual.

Once Dr. Geagea finished up with his emergency patient, he joined us in the control room and our procedure began. Dr. Geagea guided me through the procedure as I Tweeted out step-by-step details of the transradial cardiac catheterization, performed by Dr. Tahir. To give readers a better perspective at what happens during the procedure, Dan moved between the control room and the procedure room, taking video and photos. The challenge was to tweet them out as quickly as possible so that they would fit in with the sequence of the procedure.

The Twittercast was a success. “Jen” came through the procedure fine. We witnessed a dissection of the coronary artery and saw not one, but two stent placements. Local papers covered Signature Healthcare’s Twittercast, and we made quite an impact on Twitter.


To get a more complete view of the event, visit the Storify we produced for the Twittercast. There, you’ll be able to see the running narrative of the procedure, as well as the videos and photos.

Kate Gillmer

Kate is our social media connoisseur here at Jennings, helping manage the social media efforts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs) for many of our healthcare clients. If you want to know the pros and cons of HootSuite versus Sprout Social, Kate can tell you.

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