Social Media and Health Care

In 2006 Time Magazines “Person of the Year” was You. “It’s about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.” This issue was all about social media and how Web 2.0 is changing everything and that was 2 years ago!

Social media has and will continue to change the way we get health care information, interact with and find health care providers. It is a resource for information, patients, sales and employees. Health care organizations must understand how to use and take full advantage of the Internet and social media.

The California Health Care Foundation (Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, THINK-Health) published an article titled “The Wisdom of Patients: Health Care Meets Online Social Media”. They state that “Social media on the Internet are empowering, engaging, and educating health care consumers and providers. While consumers use social media — including social networks, personal blogging, wikis, video-sharing, and other formats — for emotional support, they also heavily rely on them to manage health conditions.”

They go on to state that “The collective wisdom harnessed by social media can yield insights well beyond the knowledge of any single patient or physician”. “The outcome of this development is “Health 2.0” — a new movement that challenges the notion that health care happens only between a single patient and doctor in an exam room.”

In an article about “Hospitals and Social Media” on Hospital Impact, Tony Chen states that “you might be surprised at how savvy some hospitals already are”. The “Cleveland Clinic is on Facebook”, the “Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center is also on Facebook”, “Partners Healthcare is on SecondLife”.

He also explains that hospital CEOs are participating in blogs and provides two examples, “Nick’s Blog (CEO of Windber Medical Center in PA) and Paul Levy’s blog (CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston)”.

Recruiting

Social Media is changing the way health care organizations recruit and communicate with potential employees. In the article Recruitment Marketing: Is Social Media Cost Effective for Recruitment, Part 5 by Ira Kaufman on 24 Aug 2008 he dispels “5 myths about social media and recruiting.

“Why use print to market a job (e.g., CNN nurse position) when there are often many unfilled positions already listed in the newspaper? Social media is a low-cost promotional method that can pinpoint your exposure, get you links to your website, high search engine placements, high traffic and return visitors to your site. You are appealing to the community of users that have interest in your job opportunity.

A Kansas City recruiting web blog explains how recruiters are using social media.“KC Recruiters, Learn How To Use Facebook To Make $$$”, “New Twitter Tool Gives Recruiters the Edge” and “Rehabcare Launches First Podcast”.

A health care recruiting blog (employmentguide.com) posted an article about “Integrating Social Media Into Health Care Recruiting”. They state that implementing a forum “gives candidates and recruiters alike the ability to ask and answer questions about anything that is deemed important to them. For the job seeker, this gives them the ability to further brand themselves beyond the resume. For the recruiter it opens the door up to see what kind of personality a job seeker has by the way they answer certain questions.”

There are numerous blogs, forums and information sites. Jobsinpods.wordpress.com explains that “Candidates are already finding information about your place of work through all kinds of social media from Facebook to Youtube. Profiles on LinkedIn now allow you to take part and provide some measure of input directly from you.”

If you want to learn more about how Social Media is changing the way we learn about Health Care and the way we select and interact with health care providers visit the following web sites.

Blogs

Share Health Up-Dates

Patients Helping Patients

Physicians Discuss Cases and Issues

Information and Interaction

Discussions and Video

Johnson and Johnson blog with a YouTube video

Cigna is now on Second Life

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