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In Wake of Bombings, How Hospitals Are Communicating

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, April 24, 2013

As I write this, I can hear the helicopters hovering over the Boston Marathon finish line. I live about a half mile away from Copley Square—the bomb site—and the constant drone is an ever-present reminder of the unthinkable events that happened here last week.

If we can be thankful for one tiny shred of luck from last Monday's tragedy, it's that the bombings occurred in a city with some of the best hospitals and medical centers in the country. The medical tents set up for marathon runners were staffed by medical personnel from around the city, which is home to five Level-1 trauma centers.

Three of those hospitals received the majority of patients injured by the blasts. In the 2012 US News and World Report's annual "Best Hospitals" rankings, two of them were in the top 10, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) ranked #1, Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) #9. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) was nationally ranked in several specialties. These hospitals received the majority of the bombing victims.

In the aftermath of the bombings, each of the hospitals has been using Facebook to communicate with patients, family, and staff and it Facebook is proving to be a powerful tool for communication in a time of crisis.

Let's take a look at how hospital leaders and marketers are putting the social networking tool to use.

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