Most hospitals don't budget, plan for social media

While a majority of hospitals (nine out of 10) have jumped on the social media bandwagon, a good portion of those facilities (two-thirds) have no formal ideas for how that media should be used, a study released in January by Greystone.Net found. Some healthcare bloggers, however, fear that the number of hospitals with a plan could be even less. 

"Greystone.Net's percentage of engaged hospitals seems overly optimistic," said blogger Jennifer Riggle, associate vice president at PR firm CRT/tanaka, according to Healthcare IT News. "I hazard to guess that many hospitals are simply setting up Twitter accounts, posting videos on YouTube and creating Facebook pages without thinking how they can use these tools to support their service lines and improve communications with the community they serve." 

Riggle's concerns may be valid ones, as the study showed that Twitter, YouTube and Facebook were the most popular forms of social media used. While 92 percent of hospitals and health systems cited a desire to bring in new patients as the reasoning behind engaging in social media, just under 13 percent had any success doing so. 

The study also found that few hospitals even do so much as budgeting financially for social media, meaning most facilities currently aren't hiring employees to handle such tasks. In fact, 70 percent of the hospitals surveyed reported that they had no more than three people dedicated to social media. 

To learn more:
- check out this press release
- read this Healthcare IT News article