"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Social Media in Health Care

One of the educational programs that I attended when I was in Chicago this week was on Social Media.  This is a topic that intrigues me based on how fast it is growing, and anytime that I can attend such a session, I try to because the information changes so quickly.  I learned that the use of Social Media among older adults is growing rapidly, especially those over 65.  The reason is attributable to seniors being able to Skype directly with grandkids, see photos of them almost daily and the same with videos and messaging.  Up until now, the traditional health care Social Media early adopters have been the young, family caregivers, minorities, Medicaid beneficiaries and patients with complex needs.  I also learned that 82% of American health care consumers feel that hospitals with a strong social media presence also feel that the clinical functions of those hospitals are on the cutting edge.  Also, 80% of health care consumers look online for health information, which is up dramatically from previous years.  Another interesting point was that customer relationship management in hospitals is aided greatly through Social Media as we have found at WMHS.  We have seen a growth in texting, emailing, Twitter, Facebook and the use of You Tube.  We will also begin a more intense look at Yelp, Google +, Wikipedia and Foursquare going forward.  All good stuff; little to no bad and ugly.

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