I think everyone would agree that the goal of social media is to create community. To create community you need interaction. To get interaction you need frequent, relevant, compelling content.
Facebook for example…
Q: So how do you get interaction on a hospital Facebook fan page?
A: Senior leadership Involvement
It honestly is that easy… if the senior leaders of the hospital feel Facebook is a good platform for interaction and community then it will happen. This is no different for any other initiative.
- IT concerns go away.
- HR concerns go away.
- Productivity concerns go away.
- Content contribution happens.
- Employees will interact, and in turn promote to their communities.
Why? All because the senior leaders set the pace…
Am I wrong?
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Really, really great post Reed! Those well versed in organization development and theory will say that everything starts at the top. Senior leaders set the tone and the culture. When they buy in, the rest will follow. That’s not to say that content, and its quality and frequency aren’t important, but the barriers to getting there are removed.
interesting, but it seems only directed at employee involvement? what about patients?Simply because senior leadership is involved does not remove any regulatory (HIPPA, FDA, Joint Commission, State regulatory agency etc) concerns that HR or IT might have
Nick, thanks for the kind words… I do agree that content creation is a process in and of itself…
Scott, all very true but I think it has to start with employees… once there is employee involvement online the community will follow. In addition if employees are engaged it only helps the patient population looking for answers and support…no?As far as regulatory issues that will never go away but I think there are enough good examples that if senior leaders want to use these mediums the concerns can be addressed.
True Reed, but how well educated are employees about what can/can’t be done in social media, since we all are waiting for FDA/<various> guidance?Patients don’t have that restriction, if they are comfortable talking about things. So how do you get them involved?
They are not… but that is step two and all part of an overall plan. Most hospitals do not a formal plan and should spend time with IT, HR, Risk, Legal, etc… to develop appropriate policies and then train current and future employees.In my opinion I tend to see most activity happening on pages with activity… sounds odd, but people go where people are. So it is important to engage employees and empower them to spend time on hospital web properties. This in turn will bring their communities in as part of the conversation. Most hospital will not rise to the level of a Boston Children’s (as far as interaction) so it is important to understand the community you are in and what they expect from you as a provider.
Those are very good points and people will go to where the activity is. My only question is whether patients “trust” hospitals enough to truly interact on a hospital site
You know I am not sure… My guess is hospitals no… people yes… Probably all the more reason to get the employees/physicians involved. People do business with people they trust.Scott thanks so much for all the conversation!
My pleasure, I always enjoy a good chat… and you are totally correct that it is about people interacting with other people. If I find a doc/staff I like, I will follow them from practice to practice, no matter what the hospital is. It is going to be difficult for hospitals who have a lot of “cultural inertial” to switch to a new paradigm of patients actually being in charge of their own care, something that has only really even been available in the last few yearsIf docs/staff are more involved with patients, the patients will drive the social media side of it for themJust my humble, yet always correct, opinion… /wink
Hospitals have a long way to go, but the journey should be fun… I hope they can connect and utilize patients like yourself who have taken charge of their health to help learn.