Patients pick hospitals for their social media presence

As hospitals continue to test the social media waters, results from a new survey might prompt care facilities to jump right in. That's because 57 percent of consumers said that a hospital's social media connections would strongly affect their decision to receive treatment at that facility, according YouGov Healthcare, a hospital market research firm.

Perhaps the positive correlation between social networking and hospital selection stems from the fact that 81 percent of healthcare consumers consider a hospital with an active online presence to be more "cutting edge," according to the survey

So as of June 8, 2011, these consumers would consider 1,188 hospitals to be cutting edge, according to data from the Found in Cache blog.

The YouGov survey, which examined consumer expectations of hospital social media presence, found that 25 percent of the healthcare consumers surveyed said they will likely connect with hospitals through social networking tools in the future. And those most likely to connect are women between 36-64 years old.

Such responses could help "cutting-edge" hospitals design their social media strategies to more effectively engage current patients, successfully promote their services to potential patients, as well as make the hospital and healthcare information more accessible to its community.

For more:
- here's the survey summary
- check out the Found in Cache blog post