Is Social Media an Effective Healthcare Marketing Tool?
After the incident, social media experts at Emory reevaluated their social media policy to target some key questions and areas for improvement:
- What if someone exposes their personal information to us in a public arena such as Twitter?
- What if we aren't careful and diligent in our response, could we further compromise that person's privacy?
- What if we can't help?
- What if we don't respond? But most importantly, what if we do?
Since the incident, Emory Healthcare has worked out a list of emergency numbers for urgent situations. They are working to address these "what ifs" to improve process efficiency in social media communication.
"We also know with certainty that without Twitter on April 25, 2011, a family would have felt more hopeless and helpless than they already did. They would have had one less avenue through which to gain answers and options," adds Griffith.
One HealthLeaders story that has been gaining traction with our readers centers on a Rhode Island physician fined $500 for posting online about work experiences. The emergency department physician at Westerly Hospital was terminated after the incident.
The hospital board determined that she had "used her Facebook account inappropriately to communicate a few of her clinical experience at the hospital's emergency department."
Apparently, there is still much confusion in the healthcare world surrounding the appropriate use of social media, especially with regards to patient privacy.
According to a social media and compliance survey from the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) & the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE):
- 42% of respondents reported that their organization has had to discipline an employee for behavior on social media sites (up from 24% in 2009)
- Increased incidents has not been matched with increasingly systematic approaches to monitoring compliance
- A gap exists between policies and adequate procedures, posing a significant risk
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