Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
I recently stumbled across this Hospital Social Network List by Ed Bennett of the University of Maryland Medical Center. The list offers a comprehensive look into U.S. hospitals and their use of social media across many platforms, breaking them down by state. My first thought was, great! But how are they using it? Well, I dug a little deeper and found some interesting trends.
A study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine, How US Hospitals Use Social Media, shed some light on the subject. The study reviewed the websites of 1,800 randomly selected hospitals. According to the results, those that were more likely to use social media included hospitals that were large, urban, or part of a health system; were run by nonprofit, nongovernment organizations; were involved in graduate medical education; or primarily treated children. Below are some noteworthy points:
After seeing this, naturally I returned to Mr. Bennett’s list for a look at my home state of New York to see how our hospitals stack up and are using networks, such as facebook and twitter, to help foster patient relationships and build awareness among the community.
In New York, 103 hospitals were tracked in Bennett’s list (as of June 2011) and 56 were on Twitter, 92 on Facebook, 85 on Foursquare, 68 on LinkedIn and 45 found their way onto YouTube. The Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY facebook page is very active and uses the page in a variety of ways, consistent with the report. They post relevant articles and videos, as well as reach out to their target audience to promote and provide interesting content. Similar use can be seen through Twitter, such as @Oswegohealth in Oswego NY. Despite a much smaller market, the center remains active in updating the community on events, news and health facts.
As you can see, many hold an active presence in numerous social networks and understand how crucial their participation is in connecting with their community and the industry. Still, 21 percent is a relatively low number, but one that I think will rise quickly. So what about your home state? Are they active on the social media front? Have a look at the list and boast your town below!