There is a dialogue going on around the country about how to engage patients in social media. Some of these conversations at the clinic level get started and stop just as quickly as soon as someone mentions HIPAA. Other conversations in the clinic involve one person who takes on the challenge of building the face of the clinic using various social media tools. The interesting common thread from my experiences with these folks in clinics is that this conversation about social media too often looks past the very nature of current communication between all clinic staff and patients. What currently happens with every patient phone inquiry that comes into the clinic? Do we always return messages with the patient’s best interest in mind? Whether its just one person in this role or a team of people, it is a very important starting point to what social media can add to this process.