The MetroWest Daily News, August 16, 2010

As in other industries, area hospitals like MetroWest Medical say they want to build personal relationships with customers, by embracing the conveniences of the electronic age and turning their solo acts into partnerships with patients. Most have tapped social media tools like Facebook and Twitter to spur those conversations, though only one other local provider, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, plans to harness mobile phones.

"It's amazing what phones can do these days," said Brian O'Dea, the hospital's director of marketing and public affairs.

By early fall, Newton-Wellesley plans to offer a free application for patients to download to their smart phones, with the software program featuring not only emergency room wait times updated every five minutes, but also searches for doctors and registration for services like lab tests and radiology scans.

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