Social Media and Healthcare

Social media is constantly evolving and i’m sure in the years ahead, it will still be the most popular way to interact with our family and friends.  However, did you ever think it would be a main means of communication in healthcare?  I certainly didn’t. Healthcare has a different vibe.  You automatically think HIPPA, patients etc. and how can you possibly use social media to communicate?  Easy!  As long as you’re presenting the information people want to read, then you’re doing it right. 

Social media is heavily influenced in many work environments.  When it comes to healthcare, things people want to read about is situations related to theirs or a loved one, healthy news and patient stories. 

In my professional experiences working for a healthcare organization, we utilize social media on a daily basis for many different ways that we are trying to reach our audiences.  We use it to post videos, photos, events, health and wellness articles, patient stories, and more.  We also use it to communicate with our patients or “consumers”.  There were often times that we have great experiences and sometimes we have bad ones.  One important aspect we need to keep in mind is making sure our content it original, accurate and compliant.  We definitely don’t want to post something publicly about a patient of ours and have it been false information. 

Our biggest influences have been our patient stories.  We utilize real patients to tell their stories and successes and we post them on our social media channels for our audiences to read about.  These are our biggest influences on social media because people can relate to one another through their different health issues.  We see people supporting one another and bringing uplifting vibes through the comments left on our posts.  It’s nice to see people connecting in a way because they’ve been through a similar situation.  Our posts are essentially open forums for our audience and they are our best advocates.  When people have good experiences, they are sure to share it on our posts and it’s usually a chain reaction with other positive posts.  It’s truly rewarding to experience this.

This type of content is influencing to my organization because it shows that we care and  that we are taking the initiative to get to know our patients and sharing their stories.  Yes we have good stories but we are also faced with complicated ones. 

Aside from how we use social media on a daily basis, we’ve also used it as an opportunity to communicate with our audience during a time of crisis or to just simply communicate a message that a clinic is closed.  This allows us to quickly get a message out without much execution. 

Overall, social media in healthcare is used to build awareness and communicate with our audiences.  In recent years, the use of social media in health care has skyrocketed.  From Tweets to Facebook posts, health care authorities and practitioners are increasingly turning to social media to promote awareness, encourage patient engagement, and increase the spread of accurate health messaging.  And they’re doing so while remaining fully compliant with regulators.

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