THE advent of online resources, free social media platforms and a strong social networking presence amongst the Australian public has, unfortunately, not boosted social media offerings by Australian hospitals.
While public hospitals show a high level of interest in social media and the desire to engage their patients, stakeholders and the wider community, their online presence tells a different story. Basic audit results show:
- 95% of hospitals had a unique Landing page [Private 99%, Public 94%]
- 19% of hospitals had their own domain [Private 52%, Public 8%]
- 13% of hospitals had a Twitter account [Private 45%, Public 3%]
- 11% of hospitals had a Facebook page [Private 38%, Public 3%]
- 10% of hospitals had a YouTube channel [Private 30%, Public 3%]
Globally, healthcare organisations and professionals are embracing social media. Hospitals in US, UK and Europe are using social media as an important tool to connect consumers, patients and providers.
The experience of early adopters demonstrates that an effective social media strategy can be used to accomplish healthcare goals in four broad areas: communications, information sharing, clinical outcomes and speed of innovation.
Realising the importance and leading the way, the Mayo Clinic has established the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media to be an authentic voice for patients and health care professionals, building relationships through the revolutionary power of social media across the globe.
This first-of-its-kind social media centre focuses on healthcare, builds on the Mayo Clinic’s leadership among health care providers in adopting social media tools, which began with podcasting in 2005. Today, the Mayo Clinic has the most popular medical provider channel on YouTube and more than 793,000 “followers” on Twitter, as well as an active Facebook page with over 519,000 connections.
Not just focused on external communications, Mayo is also using social media tools for internal communications. It began in 2008 with a blog to promote employee conversations relating to the organisation's strategic plan, and included the innovative use of video and a hybrid "insider" newsletter. Such employee engagement contributed to the Mayo Clinic being recognised among Fortune magazine's "Best Places to Work."
Does your health service have a social media presence? A social engagement strategic plan? Should you be thinking about it? Contact us