Social media has become widely used across all industries, and both individuals and businesses have found it to be an excellent tool to stay connected, maintain good communication, and even market products and services. The healthcare sector is no exception and as more people have started becoming more active, healthcare organizations and medical facilities have embraced and incorporated social media into many of their healthcare strategies.
They have realized that they can build comprehensive and strong public healthcare plans through social media platforms, use them to raise public awareness about new emerging health concerns, and communicate effectively with patients.
In this post, we take a look at the top 5 ways social media is used in healthcare.
To Provide Information
The main goal of social media is to provide individuals with quick access to information. Healthcare organizations can use these tools to communicate effectively and share information with consumers and patients in many different ways. For example, they can share general information and guidelines about certain flu shots, and tips on how to avoid a bad cold.
Social media provide the opportunity to share news regarding outbreaks or potential health hazards and one must remember that all patient-specific information, before being released, necessitates permission.
There are also other forms of sharing information through social media. New onboarding doctors in a practice can be introduced through social media networks, questions on various topics can be answered, and important pre- and post-operative care information can be delivered. In addition, healthcare organizations can use, for instance, Instagram promotion services to offer updates that relate to the practice itself or updates on the latest technologies implemented.
Compare and Do Better
Another way that healthcare workers can use social media is by looking at their competitors and getting an insight into the services they offer. By simply evaluating the different practices and their social media involvement, healthcare managers can mimic these methods and improve their own.
Some organizations will perform better through social media, and providers can conclude whether or not they need to take specific action to swiftly respond to requests from patients and improve customer service.
To collect feedback and improve quality, social media interaction can provide medical professionals with direct responses from individuals to help understand common reactions to drugs and overall consensus from patients on new techniques implemented in the healthcare industry. Using this readily available information on social media allows healthcare organizations to learn from patient feedback, adjust accordingly, and even evaluate the possibility of introducing additional services.
Part of Training Processes
Many healthcare organizations have started to use social media channels as part of their training process. When trainees attend presentations, they are encouraged to use certain hashtags or join groups to discuss certain topics and engage one another. This makes the training processes more interactive and enjoyable. Social media allows trainees to ask questions they are unsure about and quickly receive answers, as well as to provide them with immediate feedback on completed training sessions.
Besides trainees, organizations can also benefit from social media by using training videos and pictures from the training sessions and engaging their followers and target audience. On top of that, they can market their facilities and promote their innovative training processes.
Live Updates During Procedures
In recent years, there has been an increase in medical staff providing updates from the operating room. Healthcare workers have the opportunity to deliver the latest information during procedures to their colleagues, medical students, and others. Some might feel that this would be a distraction while doctors operate on someone, while others are adamant that it is an innovation and provides educational value that should be supported.
Using social media during medical surgery provides healthcare organizations the ability to grab the attention of industry-specific outlets and mainstream media. They can create a buzz on social media with such updates, create excitement, and increase public awareness as a way to attract patients and medical staff.
Social media is a great tool to spread information to diverse groups of people and this is great as long as the information is fact-based and accurate.
Unfortunately, in today’s world, there’s a lot of health misinformation on social media networks and sometimes the concrete misinformation comes in the form of incorrect statements. Fortunately, such untrue statements can be easily debunked by simply citing published research or the latest information from reliable and credible health sources such as the World Health Organization.
From providing helpful information, and gathering feedback from patients, to combating misinformation, social media has become a valuable asset to healthcare organizations. As long as social media channels are properly managed, they can bring myriad benefits to both healthcare professionals and patients.
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