New book encourages heathcare organizations to join the social media conversation

CHICAGO, May, 2010-The growth of social networking has been dramatic, and the applications are quickly finding their way into healthcare organizations.  

Social Media in Healthcare provides an overview of the social media tools healthcare organizations are using to connect, communicate, and collaborate with their patients, physicians, staff, vendors, media, and the community at large. It describes the major social media applications and reviews their benefits, uses, limitations, risks, and costs. It also provides tips for creating a social media strategy based on an organization's specific needs and resources. Real-world examples illustrate how social media can improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and marketing of a healthcare organization. 

Examples discussed include: 

  • Launching a website using avatars that allow patients to virtually experience a medical procedure or navigate a hospital's ward
  • Creating a weblog to communicate performance improvement initiatives, community health events, information on patient support groups, and other news
  • Establishing Facebook pages for specific diseases or conditions to build a community of patients facing similar challenges  

A book companion website is available at The site includes examples of best practices from healthcare organizations that have successfully begun using social media tools and a list of links to resources for readers who would like additional information. 

"Social Media in Healthcare offers concrete methods for integrating each social media tool into an entire communication strategy that engages patients and increases dialogue throughout the organization. This book is a must read if you're considering how best to leverage social media in your healthcare setting."

- Benyamin B. Lichtenstein, Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Massachusetts 

About the Author 

Christina Beach Thielst, FACHE, is a senior administrator with a long career in a variety of hospital and other healthcare settings.  She is a noted author and presenter, and her weblog,  Christina's Considerations addresses current healthcare issues. 

Social Media in Healthcare: Connect, Communicate, Collaborate, (Softbound, 82 pp, April 2010, ISBN 13: 978-1-56793-356-7, Order code: 2152 Price: $44.00, plus shipping) may be ordered through the Health Administration Press website at or by calling the HAP/ACHE Order Fulfillment Center at (301) 362-6905. To request a complimentary copy for book review or course adoption, contact Carolyn DeBonnett at (312) 424-9472.  

Health Administration Press (HAP) is a leading publisher of textbooks, trade paperbacks, and journals on all aspects of health services management. As a division of the American College of Healthcare Executives, we have direct access to the brightest healthcare leaders and the latest trend information. Established in 1972, HAP has grown from a small office on the campus of the University of Michigan to one of the largest health services management publishers. Visit our online bookstore at