Integrate mobile with other social media platforms
JHSMH is no stranger to social media: It already has a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a YouTube channel. But it was looking for another way to have daily interaction with its community, so in April 2010 it launched its mobile application. “We figured that this is a great way to communicate with [members of the community] on an ongoing basis and give them the tools that they needed, specific to our community and healthcare system, at their fingertips,” says Mackovic.
It was also an opportunity to take all of the social media tools that JHSMH was already using and tie them together in a single location. “To have an effective mobile app, it has to be a one-stop shop and bring together the entire social media plan all under a central element,” she says. “The more you can integrate, the better.”
When designing its free mobile app, JHSMH didn’t want a general app package that any hospital could implement. “We thought about what the community needed and what makes our health system unique,” says Mackovic, adding that one of the health system’s selling points is that it has seven emergency departments (ED) in the region and more than 200 employed physicians.
“We wanted to make sure people could find that ED or physician who was closest to them that meets the criteria that they are looking for—gender, after hours, specialty,” she explains.
With JHSMH’s app, people can search for services within a mile of their home, and the health system recently updated the app to include ED wait times. In addition, the app features current health news—not just JHSMH news. “Subscribers can see a feed of interesting health news, which is what we use our Twitter account for,” Mackovic says. The JHSMH app also includes a food diary and calorie tracker to emphasize the importance of a healthy lifestyle.