Social Media and Healthcare
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Social Media and Healthcare
Articles and Discussions on the intersection of Social Media and Healthcare.
Relevant to Healthcare Practitioners, Pharma', Insurance, Clinicians, Labs, Health IT Vendors, Health Marketeers, Health Policy Makers, Hospital Administrators.
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Facebook 'Likes' a good indicator of quality hospital care

Facebook 'Likes' a good indicator of quality hospital care | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

While those active on social media aren't shy about expressing opinions on their Facebook pages, how much do their "Likes" really reflect the quality of an organization? American Journal of Medical Quality (a SAGE journal) recently published a study that found that Facebook "Likes" were indeed an indicator of hospital quality and patient satisfaction.


"Findings suggest that Facebook offers an additional resource, beyond surveys, to gauge the attitudes of patient populations," wrote study authors Alex Timian et.al.


Researchers compared the 30-day mortality rates and hospital patron recommendations to the number of "Likes" on the hospitals' Facebook pages from 40 hospitals near New York, NY. They found that Facebook "Likes" were positively associated with patient recommendations and that a one percentage point decrease in the 30-day mortality rate corresponded with almost 93 more Facebook "Likes."


In addition to these findings, the researchers also found that teaching hospitals had a lower number of Facebook "Likes" than traditional hospitals, despite the fact that the staff at teaching hospitals is younger and predicted to be more active on Facebook. The researchers noted that this negative association of "Likes" and teaching hospitals may be a reflection of quality issues at those hospitals.


"Any hospital can start a Facebook page, but those with higher levels of quality and patient satisfaction are more likely to attract "Likes" to their page" wrote the authors. "Public health researchers and hospitals can use facebook "Likes" as a proxy for hospital quality and patient satisfaction

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Study: Hospitals With More Facebook 'Likes' Have Lower Mortality Rates

Study: Hospitals With More Facebook 'Likes' Have Lower Mortality Rates | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

One of the biggest complaints against the current health care system is that you can never be sure, when you walk into a hospital, exactly what you're going to get. Certain metrics, like patient satisfaction and mortality rates, are thought to be more or less reliable indicators of general quality, but neither are exactly easy to obtain. Patient review sites, in the style of Yelp, are vulnerable to slander and reporting bias, and stats for specific hospitals, when collected, often aren't publically available.


Instead of finding new ways of collecting and reporting quality, why not use something that we already know to be powerfully effective: the social force that is Facebook. As a study on friendship similarly showed, Facebook is not best seen as a purely virtual space, but rather as a tool that augments our lived-in reality.


This reality, as a study in The American Journal of Medical Quality found, extends to the patient experience. When its authors compared the number of "likes" acquired by 40 hospitals in the New York City area, they found that online popularity was positively corresponded with how many people responded, "Yes, they would definitely recommend the hospital," in patient satisfaction surveys.  

 

An even stronger relationship was found for mortality. Each percentage point of a decrease in a hospital's 30-day mortality rate corresponded with that hospital's page having an average of 93 more Facebook likes.

With a few very large outliers, most of the hospitals included in the study had only a few hundred likes -- paltry showings by the social media giant's standards. But the numbers turned out to be a better indicator of quality, in terms of mortality rates, than were the satisfaction survey results. After all, every patient who passed through the hospitals was given the survey and asked to choose whether or not they'd recommend it to others. But it takes a special kind of satisfaction for a patient to log on to Facebook, seek out their hospital, and make their recommendation public.

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How Many Likes Can Your Hospital Get?

How Many Likes Can Your Hospital Get? | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Does Our Hospital Need a Facebook Fan Page?

It seems as if everyone and every company has a Facebook page.

While regular websites still play an important role in branding, Facebook allows a personal level of interaction. There are many reasons that you should sign up and use a Facebook page for your hospital.

Let's take a look at the best parts of having an account.


Community Outreach

A page on Facebook is the perfect place to reach out to your local community. Especially if you are trying to brand your hospital as a community based health center.


People have a choice of which hospitals to use, allow your social media presence to brand your hospital as the place to go. Post updates on new services, little known programs, and events.


The page can also be used to inform locals of job openings, classes, and health care events (such as flu shot clinics).


Facebook has a function where users can post questions and people can choose the answers. If you prefer, you can ask a question in a status update and allow comments instead of the traditional question format provided by the site.


Groups

You can also start groups for people in your community.

Health support forums fill the internet, but it can be hard to find a local support group. Since Facebook has permeated so many lives, finding a local, hospital based support group for a particular illness can create a great environment for your hospital.


Other groups can include those for employees, doctors, nurses, and trustees.


Health Surveys

An important function your page can be used for is collecting data.

Polls and surveys can be answered by community members. The more people participating can give you a better idea of the general health in your community. Health initiatives can be created based on the information gathered.


Education

Uploading videos to Facebook or even linking to your YouTube channel can generate far more exposure for your hospital. These videos can showcase new procedures, new staff, and health topics.


Educational content is easily spread among users. Many shares occur when the information is a new take on old information or a new discovery that people aren't familiar with. Share videos on how to treat the flu at home, how to keep foods safe to eat, and how to identify common illness.


Community health education is the most important part of reaching out.


A Facebook page can allow you to interact on a more personal level with the people using your facilities than a regular website. Social networks bring a familiarity that can never be reached by forums and websites alone.

Yes, your hospital could certainly use a Facebook page if it is currently lacking one.


It can help brand your facility, reach out, and serve the community. Reputation management is easier when you are able to interact with the community and learn exactly what it is they are looking for in a health provider.


Find out what works, what doesn't, and how you can implement ideas the people using your facility want or need.

 


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