Part 1: Five Things Your Hospital Should Be Doing To Engage In Social Media

[Note: This is the first part in a four-part series about the potential that social media holds for physicians and health care professionals.] The concept of hospitals engaging in social media is fairly new. Institutions like The Mayo Clinic and Children’s Hospital of Boston are using social media to make connections with patients, parents and the community. If you’re a healthcare organization and looking to jump into the mix, we’ve got a few tips for you to get the ball rolling! 1. Create an online identity. This first step seems logical but the data shows that many hospitals have yet to do this. Establishing an online identity by creating profiles on various social networking sites still scares away many hospital administrators. There are currently 5,975 hospitals in the United States according to the American Hospital Association (AHA). Ed Bennet’s blog “Found In Cache” states that only 906 of these hospitals are currently utilizing social media in their integrated marketing efforts. That’s means only 15.1% of hospitals are using social media! If you’re lacking an online presence, start by creating a Facebook page, a Twitter handle, a YouTube Channel and a Flickr page. 2. Google Your Hospital and It’s Doctors. Hopefully…

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