Social Media Boosts Hospital Healthcare

If only health insurance companies were making life as easy as hospitals for you to access your healthcare. 

I have been consistently frustrated with my health insurance company. We switched carriers at my job and the hassle of finding a doctor covered by my Blue Cross Blue Shield plan and establishing that physician as my primary care doctor has been, and continues to be, a nightmare.  In this age of fingertip access – shouldn’t it be simpler?  But, two phone calls, numerous trips to their website and a few emails to customer service later, I still can’t access my benefits. Fortunately, some of the healthcare industry knows that access and information are paramount when in comes to your health.

Social Media and HealthcareHospitals across the country are using the very popular social media channels to deliver better service, share stories and keep you in the know.

Early last week, MedicalBillingandCoding.org, comprised a list of all the ways hospitals are using social media to communicate with you, the patient, as well as healthcare workers and medical staff.  The list is pretty long – at least 50 different uses of Facebook and Twitter. Below is a sampling of what you might find helpful and give you a good reason to like and follow your local hospital on Facebook and Twitter, respectively.

ON FACEBOOK

  • Timely updates. Just before July 4th this year, Regions Hospital shared an image that explains the most injured body parts during the holiday, with information on burn and injury prevention.
  • Gathering recommendations. Hospitals can use Facebook to underline their value, like Children’s Hospital of Alabama has, gathering glowing recommendations from employees and patients.
  • Paying attention to patient concerns. Facebook has made it easy for patients to share their concerns, and hospitals are listening.

ON TWITTER

  • Sharing health alerts. Hospitals can keep patients informed of developing health threats, thanks to updates from streams like @CDC_eHealth and @CDCFlu.
  • Sharing access to drug information. Lots of hospital doctors, including immunologist and allergist, Ves Dimov, use Twitter to share scientific studies that back up (or debunk) information shared by drug companies.
  • Broadcasting ER wait times. Through Twitter and iPhone apps, patients are able to find out about the current wait time for area hospital networks, and go to the least busy one in the area.

These are just a small sampling of how hospitals are using social media to improve the healthcare experience. Check out the full article, 50 Amazing Ways Hospitals are Using Facebook and Twitteron  medicalbillingandcoding.org to see the full list.

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