3 ways to get docs to use hospital social media

Doctors are crucial to hospitals' marketing and social media strategies but organizations across the country struggle to get their physicians to use social media.

Although industry experts often point to doctors' busy schedules as the reason behind their reluctance to join their hospitals' social media campaigns, Russell Faust, M.D., told MedCity News he surveyed physicians last year and found fear of the unknown, HIPAA violations and developing a negative reputation also are factors.

To help get physicians on board with your social media plans, Faust suggests the following three strategies:

1. Create educational content: Doctors spend a huge chunk of their day educating patients so developing useful, informative content that patients can access online has the potential to save physicians time, Faust said. Ask your physicians for the instructions they repeat throughout the day to patients and suggest they work on an instructional video or article on the subject that the hospital can post online.

2. Do the legwork: Make it easier on doctors by assigning marketing department staff to create accounts and upload physician bios and photos, suggests Faust. By making this a marketing function, physicians can make better use of their time developing content for your site.

3. Share results with physicians: Reward doctors who share their expertise by showing them how their photos, videos or articles led to an increase in traffic to your hospital website or rise in clinic registrations, the article states.

A position paper published in April by the American College of Physicians and the Federation of State Medical Boards advocates that doctors maintain separate public and private personas--a strategy that not all accept. It also warns against "venting" in online forums, FierceHealthIT previously reported.

Hospitals also must keep patients front and center when they develop content for their websites and related social media platforms. For example, a study published last month found only about a quarter of Facebook posts by hospitals emphasize patient issues. As a result, most engagement in such settings was with hospital employees rather than patients, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

For more:
read the MedCity News article