How will social media hold up at hospitals?

Although many hospitals cannot devote the time to social media as some larger institutions, there are increasing numbers of health systems making an entry in the social media world, as well those that are relaunching social media strategies. But is it worth it? The Hospital Impact blog this week examines two social media networks, the established YouTube and the slowly rising Google+.

As the number two search engine, YouTube can help hospitals with branding, as well as spreading health resources for patients, according to Mike Morrison, media relations officer at a large Boston teaching hospital. "In addition to a robust web presence, it's important for hospitals to take advantage of video to provide health information and share patient stories and news," Morrison writes. "While videos about your hospital should be featured prominently on its website, it's important not to overlook other online outlets where patients and other stakeholders may be looking for information."

For example, Google+, although slowly, is gaining some traction.

"I truly believe Google+ holds some great features that would be useful to hospitals as they continue to engage with people in social networks," writes Nancy (Cawley) Jean, a senior media relations officer for Lifespan. "That said, it's also one more network for which to build content, and then monitor and engage with your social media audience. With few hospitals having resources dedicated solely to social media, the burden may be too great in terms of the amount of time required to manage another social network." --Read more about YouTube and Google+ at Hospital Impact.