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Rescooped by Erik G. Funk from Social Media and Healthcare!

Should Healthcare Organizations Use Social Media?

Should Healthcare Organizations Use Social Media? | Share and enjoy |

Social media is the process of people using online tools and platforms to share content and information. It is drastically changing the way we communicate and you should not underestimate its ability to work for or against your organization. It's an integral tool for marketing and customer service relations in any industry, so social media in healthcare is no different.


Globally, healthcare organizations and healthcare professionals are already using social media as an important tool to connect consumers and providers as well as to inform product development. The experience of early adopters demonstrates that an effective social media strategy can be used to accomplish healthcare goals in four broad areas: communications, information sharing, clinical outcomes and speed of innovation.


In considering what to do with and about social media, healthcare organizations cannot afford to take a “wait-and-see” approach or you may soon find yourself playing catch up with competitors. Even if you do not currently have an active social media presence, your employees and customers are already using social media and may be sharing information about you


At minimum, organizations need a “protective” policy and an outreach program to educate employees and customers about appropriate social media use. More broadly, organizations should develop an overarching social media strategy that leverages social media in healthcare marketing to help influence customers and accomplish strategic healthcare goals.

Recommendations for effective social media use in healthcare marketing:1. Don’t take a “wait-and-see approach.” Although some believe social media is a passing fad, we believe it is here to stay and the sooner your organization develops an active presence and social media strategy, the less distance you will have to make up later.2. Establish a social media policy. At minimum, this will help protect against security, privacy or ethics breaches by your employees or customers. You should also offer staff education. Training and outreach are necessary to ensure that staff fully comprehends and is able to carry out the policy.3. Follow your customers. Listen to what others are saying about your organization, your product(s) and your brand(s). Monitor the social media activities of others in your market, and use social media to listen to what others are saying about your competition.4. Consider starting where many organizations start. You can use social media to enhance marketing, branding, recruitment, reputation management, customer relations and customer service. However, educate yourself first on what is allowable under existing laws in your country.5. Start small and monitor outcomes. You don’t have to develop a full-blown social media strategy now, but eventually you will need one. Ask what your organization should be doing now to anticipate a more widespread use of social media in healthcare to help accomplish key healthcare goals. Then expand your social media activities into new areas of value.6. Recruit social media managers internally. Distribute responsibilities among staff that know your organization, are Internet-savvy and are excited about using social media in healthcare to benefit your organization. Keep social media content accurate and current
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Moses B. Tambason's curator insight, November 9, 2013 3:06 PM fact more people are running to charity tube to post free videos and watch free videos than posting on you tube. Try posting at charity tube and you will never leave. More visitors and more video views. Don't take our word for it, try it. Post one same video on youtube and put it on and return ater five hours and compare the viewers rate and decide for yourself. Create your very own group or forum and control who watch it and invite everyone to watch the video. Above all, post video in English or in any language and viewers can watch video description in their own language. Try it and let us know your experience. Above all it is absolutely free like youtube

Rescooped by Erik G. Funk from Social Media and Healthcare!

Are your health care social media policies ready for a HIPAA audit?

Are your health care social media policies ready for a HIPAA audit? | Share and enjoy |

Health care social media is emerging as a preferred method of communication between some patients -- especially younger ones -- and their providers, but without privacy and security plans in place, the use of such tools might make doctors and hospitals run afoul of federal compliance laws.

Public sites such as Facebook, Google Groups, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging sites carry with them many potential HIPAA compliance problems, despite their upside to potentially drive patient engagement, one of the overarching themes of meaningful use stage 2.


How the HITECH Act changes HIPAA compliance

Emerging mobile health impacts HIPAA privacy, security mandates

How do you know if business associates are HIPAA compliant? Answer this, and other HIPAA questions on the Health IT Exchange.

Yet despite its risks, social media can create that necessary patient engagement in the form of patient support groups, direct patient messaging of practitioners and marketing opportunities, said Jim Sheldon-Dean, principal for Charlotte, Vt.-based consultancy Lewis Creek Systems in a webinar sponsored by compliance vendor MetricStream.

Furthermore, HIPAA requires practitioners to make a best effort in respecting their patients' preferences for communication, so it's important to at least consider using these channels.


Using these tools can be complicated by the potential for HIPAA audits under a program recently launched by the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The bottom line? If you're a health care provider sticking your toe in thesocial media pool, manage all these compliance matters by creating policies that can stand up to the auditors' scrutiny.

"Are you able to withstand an audit if the feds decide it's time?" said Sheldon-Dean, who added that HIPAA audits typically come with a three-week notice, which isn't enough time to craft a social media policy and execute it. That means health care providers need to start creating policies now. "Can you justify what you're doing, are you prepared to say, 'Yes, [we were] in compliance as we did this, we knew what we were doing, and what we're doing is compliant practice.' You have to be able to defend yourself."


Sheldon-Dean offered some best practice ideas for physician offices and hospitals to organize their approach to social media health care -- and write a policy with HIPAA compliance in mind:

Define your purpose for using social media, and assign roles to employees for marketing, patient interaction and professional support. Employees who are not assigned social media roles should understand they are not authorized to unilaterally represent the organization on social media sites. How will your organization handle breaking news, and who will do it? Write it into your policy.If social media is used for any treatment purposes, devise a mechanism to track use of patient data and retain it in the patient's medical record.All employees should understand in the policy what is appropriate and inappropriate sharing of protected health information. While that might be obvious for many cases (don't share patient information on personal sites), define appropriateness for less-obvious cases (such as physician-to-physician consults).Spell out in your policy when it is and isn't appropriate to use social media for treatment purposes -- and create an approval process for doing so (i.e., staffers should not be allowed to use their judgment and do it on their own, but instead they need to vet it through a HIPAA-conversant authority who approves). After that, put in place a monitoring process to track and retain the treatment process.Make social media channels part of your HIPAA risk analysis. Accepting reasonable risks for the use of social media is fine; justify it in the documentation. Prepare an action plan in case of breaches.Written policies should be concise, cover general categories of content such as blogs and wikis, define the difference between personal use and business activity, define responsibilities for official representatives of your organization, and provide examples of dos and don'ts.Once the policy is in place, establish regular reviews and update it. Train employees on it, don't just hand it out. Finally, document the evolution of the social media policy -- its updates, the whys behind them, and how staffers were alerted to those updates.
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Rescooped by Erik G. Funk from Social Media and Healthcare!

How Your Physicians Should Be Using Social Media

How Your Physicians Should Be Using Social Media | Share and enjoy |

Here at the Greystone Healthcare Internet Conference, many of the discussions have revolved around utilizing social media in healthcare. One interesting perspective is to mobilize your physicians to utilize social media as a channel to communicate with their patients. To address this, the keynote speaker on Day One was Dr. Natasha Berger, whose engaging presentation demonstrated not only the value of social media in healthcare, but that she individually is a shining light for the whole healthcare industry.


Let’s start with the challenges facing your hospital’s physicians. According to Dr. Berger, these doctors are unsure:


a)      How to spread healthcare information to their patients and the public at large,

b)      How to truly take care of a patient when you see them so rarely,

c)      How to manage a patient’s condition when your visit is only 20 minutes long,

d)      How to cope with the fact that Facebook, WebMD, and Dr. Oz are the most popular sources for health information.

Today’s physician needs to understand that social media is not just about sharing funny cat videos. Instead, social media is one more tool for taking care of patients, reaches them where they are, and speaks in an informal yet powerful way. Moreover, 40% of social media users say a social media presence would influence their choice of doctor or hospital – so this is critical to your hospital’s growth.


Dr. Berger also argued that social media makes a doctor’s office more efficient. First, it decreases the number of phone calls to your practice. Second, you don’t have to do all the work yourself: social media is also a great channel for spreading the voices and insights of other brilliant physicians around the country. Third, using QR codes and shortlinks in the waiting rooms, Dr. Berger allows patients to educate themselves while they’re waiting to be seen. Fourth, social media and her blog allow patients to learn when they are ready to hear; as you can imagine, a busy doctor’s office isn’t always the best place to deeply educate that patient on their condition. This takes the boring, rote lectures out of the equation; now, Dr. Berger’s conversations are more focused and tailored to that individual family and their questions.


I found it especially interesting how Dr. Berger has used social media and the Web for far more than just simple communication. She used it as a bully-pulpit, publicly complaining to Fisher-Price about the safety of one of their products. She uses it to build trust with potential patients, long before they actually come into the office. Because Facebook has become a universal language that we all read and enjoy, as a result of Dr. Berger’s efforts, parents can now better communicate with their kids.


So how can your hospital engage doctors in social media? You’ll have to demonstrate how social media will help them do their jobs better, more efficiently, and more effectively. In addition, you can help promote and share that doctor’s talents on a national scale. How is your hospital using social media? How are you tracking the results?

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