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Social media – #hospitals

A recent issue of Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN) featured a gatefold article on hospitals’ growing use of social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. – not only to create a presence for themselves in that most fluid and intimate of communications market, but also as a tool to promote healthier habits in 140 characters or less.  According to the Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Health Network, there are just under 1,300 hospitals with active Facebook pages.  Other venues include Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and blogging.

But it’s not just hospitals who are using social media to discuss health care and health care services.  Consumers (a/k/a patients) are also sharing their experiences – both positive and negative.  A survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that consumers are only slightly more likely to share a positive experience as they are a negative experience about any one of the following:

  • The care they received at a hospital or other type of medical facility
  • Their experience with a particular medication or treatment
  • A particular physician, nurse, or other health care provider
  • The level of customer service offered by their health insurer
  • The cost of their health insurance
  • The coverage offered by their health insurance
  • The cost of care received at a hospital or other type of health care center

Social media: what your hospital should know.  Hospitals & Health Networks.  88(2):41-48, February 2014.  Full text available at http://www.hhnmag.com/inc-hhn/pdfs/2014/GAT_SocialMedia_feb14.pdf

Other sources cited in the article:

Social Media Health Network: http://network.socialmedia.mayoclinic.org/

Computer Sciences Corp.  Ready to Interact: Social Media Use by U.S. Hospitals and Health Systems.  2012.  Full text available at http://assets1.csc.com/health_services/downloads/CSC_Survey_Social_Media_Use_by_U.S._Hospitals_and_Health_Systems.pdf

PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Social Media “Likes” Healthcare: From Marketing to Social Business.  April 2012.  Full text available at http://www.pwc.com/us/en/health-industries/publications/health-care-social-media.jhtml (free registration required)

Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development.  Optimizing the Use of Social Media: A SHSMD Panel Study.  Parts 1 and 2.  Full text available to SHSMD members at http://www.shsmd.org/resources/prcomm/reports.shtml

EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT: Text your patients the next day

Edward Hospital (Naperville, IL) hired a dedicated clerk ten years ago to call patients the day after they would visit the emergency department.  This helped to resolve issues related to follow-up care and improved patient satisfaction.  Today, however, the preferred method of communication has switched to email and text.  The hospital has found that there is about a 30 percent response rate via text.  The most important question is: “how are you feeling compared to when you came to the emergency department?”  There is also a query related to need to information about home care and a quick assessment of patient satisfaction with care providers.

Source: Hospitals leverage nursing staff, IT tools to reach out to patients following discharge from the ED.  ED Management;26(2):17-20, Feb. 2014.  Click here for access to the publisher’s website: http://www.ahcmedia.com/public/products/ED-Management.html  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2003, rc@aha.org

Should your doctor text you? Probably not.

What ethical and professional factors should be weighed in how a physician interacts with patients via internet or by texting are discussed in this detailed position statement prepared for the American College of Physicians and the Federation of State Medical Boards.  By and large, the guidelines can distilled into three words, “Caution, caution, caution!”  Physicians are exhorted repeatedly to comport themselves in a professional manner vis-a-vis the social media platforms.  E-mailing is somewhat less problematic than friending on Facebook or texting.  To interject a little real world context here, I have to say that my dentist’s office emails appointment reminder/RSVPs, and I find this service helpful.  However, this article is primarily about electronic interactions that have the potential to violate confidentiality or provide misleading information.

Source: Farnan, J.M., and others.  Online medical professionalism: patient and public relationships, policy statement from the American College of Physicians and the Federation of State Medical Boards.  Annals of Internal Medicine;158:620-627, 2013.  Click here for full text: http://annals.org/data/Journals/AIM/926759/0000605-201304160-00007.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center, 312.422.2003, rc@aha.org

Social Media and Clinical Care

Social media offers patients ways to locate health information, interact with support forums, and share their illness/injury/healthcare experience.  Understandably, patients also want to use social media for communicating with their health care providers as well.

A recent article in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation reviews how social media is being used for clinical care and the implications it has on medical ethics, professsionalism, and society.

The article addresses patient communication via social media and the privacy/security concerns involved, writing about patients on social media, patient “friendships”, looking up information about patients on the web, commercial interests and patient exploitation, physician rating sites, and other legal liability issues related to discoverability and giving medical advice.

Source: Chretien KC and Kind T. Social media and clinical care: ethical, professional, and social implications. Circulation 127:1413, Apr. 2, 2013. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/127/13/1413.full.pdf+html

Related sources:

Should healthcare organizations use social media? A global update. Computer Sciences Corporation, Mar. 2012. http://assets1.csc.com/health_services/downloads/CSC_Should_Healthcare_Organizations_Use_Social_Media_A_Global_Update.pdf

Farnan JM and others. Online medical professionalism: patient and public relationships. Policy statement from the American College of Physicians and the Federation of State Medical Boards. Annals of Internal Medicine 158(8): 620, Apr. 16, 2013. http://healthblawg.sharedby.co/8d9f35b3d72281e8/?web=da5286&dst=http%3A//annals.org/article.aspx%3Farticleid%3D1675927

Model policy guidelines for the appropriate use of social media and social networking in medical practice. Federation of State Medical Boards, Apr. 2012. www.fsmb.org/pdf/pub-social-media-guidelines.pdf

Professionalism in the use of social media. American Medical Association, June 2011. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion9124.page

Ryan M. Guiding principles for physician use of social media. Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, Mar. 7, 2012. http://network.socialmedia.mayoclinic.org/2012/03/07/guiding-principles-for-physician-use-of-social-media/ [free registration may be required to view]

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

Guiding Principles for Hospital Marketing Communications

The Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, part of the American Hospital Association, has released an advisory with guiding principles for marketing communications by hospitals and health systems.

The Advisory includes a marketing communications checklist to assess whether a marketing campaign is ready to launch; recommends a formal review process; discusses how to share information about pricing and awards, ratings, and accreditation; addresses the use of endorsements, testimonials, and physicians in marketing; considers the use of social media, including blogging; offers advice on how to respond to another organization’s unsubstantiated or misleading communications; and touches on other ethical considerations. A reference/reading list is included.

Source: SHSMD Advisory: Principles and Practices for Marketing Communications in Hospitals and Health Systems. Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development of the American Hospital Association, Sept. 11, 2010.  http://www.wha.org/data/sites/1/pubArchive/news_releases/marketingcommunicationsadvisory.pdf 

Hospitals’ use of social media on the rise

In the year since we first reported on the number of hospitals using social media, that number has doubled. According to Ed Bennett, who maintains the Hospital Social Network List, almost 900 hospitals now have blogs, Facebook pages, LinkedIn accounts, Twitter accounts, or Youtube channels. For a list, see http://ebennett.org/.

Maybe I shouldn’t spend so much time blogging

Instead of relying on technology to broadcast our tweets or chalk up friends, some high-end French companies are investing in smaller-scale ways of engaging with a select group of customers.  This “deeper, not broader” approach focuses on fostering face-to-face interactions with key customers and suppliers, seeking out opportunities to really listen to concerns and suggestions.  Lunch anyone?  Telephonez-moi!

Source:  Kramer, L.  How French innovators are putting the ‘social’ back in social networking.  Harvard Business Review. 88(10):121-124, Oct. 2010.

Over 400 Hospitals use Social Media

Updated Hospital Social Media List – over 400 hospitals

via Over 400 Hospitals use Social Media.