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Hospitals and Social Media…Is that a good combination?

There seems to be social media tools for every industry under the sun. Is social media truly the next best thing next to sliced bread? Well of course, it depends on who you ask and whether or not their social media strategy has been successful or not.

The hospital industry has slowly moved into the social media realm. I know it is hard to believe that this industry that has so many privacy laws can be successful with social media. But there are some success stories out there.  

  • Using Twitter and Facebook for an OB practice to educate patients and encourage patient to patient interaction
  • Scripps used Twitter to turn angry patients into loyal ones
  • Children’s Medical Clinic in Dallas tweeted about a kidney transplant from father to son

Learn more about these and other success stories. http://www.launchyourmovement.com/2010/04/10-hospital-social-media-success-stories/

But what about garnering new patients? Can social media help hospitals do that? Well, according to an article entitled Patients pick Hospitals for their Social Media Presence stated that 57 percent of consumers said that a hospital’s social media connections strongly affect their decision to accept treatment at that particular location.

Would social media presence persuade you to choose a facility or doctor over another? 

While there are many success stories, there are also much risk. According to Social Media Usage by Staff Complicates Hospital Risk Managementmuch of the risk stems from doctors “friending” patients, doctors posting information about a patient and using Twitter to pass along information during surgery. I don’t know about you but I would be a little concerned about my doctor tweeting while he is supposed to be performing a surgical procedure.

There has been so much change within the social media world and hospitals are starting to catch on. Does this new trend mean that hospitals not engaged with the right social tool will lose ground and patients? Or will we see an increase in lawsuits and new laws being put into place to prevent too much information sharing online. We don’t know what the future may hold on these issues. Only time will tell.

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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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