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4 Reasons to Ban Social Media in Your Hospital

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media, August 5, 2013

"You cut off my support network with I needed it the most," read one response UMMC received from a patient.

Within three months of lifting the social media ban, UMMC nurse practitioners set up several patient support groups inside Facebook groups for transplant patients, patients with traumatic injuries, and extreme digestive disorders. These were previously face-to-face groups, says Bennett, but social media has expanded their reach.

3. You don't promote knowledge and information sharing.  

"Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected," – Facebook.

Social media provides a great tool for collecting information and sharing knowledge. By denying your employees access to these networks, you also send a message that it's not important for your employees to be a part of a more connected world.  

When Baylor Health's marketing department began to roll out a social media campaign in 2010, it pushed for relevant employees to have access, and made the successful push in 2011 to have the ban lifted for all employees.

"We look at it that we wouldn't block these tools any more than a phone," says Baylor Health's Howland. "You treat it like any other communication tool. For companies that want to be forward thinking and innovative, blocking social media doesn't fit with that message. If it's employee productivity a company is worried about, there are plenty of ways an employee can waste time on the Internet that isn't Facebook. So that's a managerial issue, not a social media issue."

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3 comments on "4 Reasons to Ban Social Media in Your Hospital"


Ed (8/7/2013 at 3:30 PM)
It only took them six years!!!! Such progressive organizations.

Kathi Browne (8/6/2013 at 3:03 PM)
These are excellent reasons to ban social sites and illustrated brilliantly by hospitals that implemented them, like um... who were they now?, uh... their names aren't coming to me now... I guess reason #5 might be: You want to slip under the radar and remain relatively unknown.

Christina Thielst (8/5/2013 at 4:04 PM)
These are great reasons to ban social media in your hospital. Unfortunately, if this environment exists, it probably isn't a good place for me to work or to go for healthcare services.