How cutting-edge hospitals use social media

Although social media has evolved in healthcare and some 800 hospitals have constructed social networking sites, few have moved beyond the basics, according to MedCityNews.

Most of the 2,300-plus accounts are on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, according to Ed Bennett, director of web strategy at the University of Maryland Medical Center, who tracks hospitals' social media use.

While most hospitals that maintain a social media presence just use it as another tool to connect with current and potential patients, some are taking more innovative approaches and incorporating social media into business development strategies.

Some of the more innovative ways social media have been used in healthcare include:

  • Swedish Medical Center in Seattle hosting "Sleep up," an all-night live stream that followed a patient who was being tested for sleep disorders and involved a Q&A Twitter session with sleep specialist doctors. The event drew 10,000 visitors last summer.
  • Lake Health in Northeast Ohio, publicizing ER wait times every few hours on its Twitter feeds.
  • Jewish Hospital, as we noted here in FierceHealthcare, live-tweeting surgeries.
  • Inova Health System in Falls Church, Va., using video, Facebook, Twitter and user stories as part of a 50-day interactive fitness and wellness program, "FitFor50," that features video messages and blog entries from a former Washington Redskins star and tips from Inova doctors.

To learn more:
- read the MedCityNews article