3. Understands the Power of Patient Engagement Social Media
According to a HIMSS white paper titled, “Healthcare “Friending” Social Media: What Is It? How Is It Used, and What Should I Do?” There have been many successful use cases of social media in healthcare from patient and physician blogs to physicians’ use of Twitter for education; patients sharing outcomes and supporting each other in health-specific communities; physicians discussing treatments with each other using communities and enterprise social media; and hospitals both educating the community and acquiring new patients just from Facebook alone. Over time, social media will be considered part of routine healthcare operations and consumers’ day-to-day lives…initially referring to it as “social health”. Here’s an equation for you: Healthcare + Social Media = Social Health (today), then Social Health (today) = Health (future). “Take some baby steps and get into the shallow end of the pool as soon as possible. The great strategic ideas will probably come after you have some experience in the social media world,” says Lee Aase, Director of the Social Media Center for the Mayo Clinic. But keep in mind what the consumers want as well. “Patients want in-depth, great content,” he says. “Interaction is important, but really, you need great content.”
In a recent digital marketing & analytics article, they found that 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of healthcare provider. (Source: DC Interactive Group)
What this means is that social media is now incredibly influential on healthcare choices. If you are looking to maximize patient engagement, seek to develop and optimize your social media profiles in addition to utilizing social media monitoring and measurement tools.
4. Governance/Support from Leadership
Another good reason why the Mayo Clinic is on top of the social media game in healthcare, is because of support from executive leadership. CEO of the Mayo Clinic John Noseworthy states that was “a key force” in developing the Center for Social Media. In a presentation at the 2011 Social Media Summit at the Clinic, Noseworthy talked about the critical role of social media in the future of healthcare. “…I’m proud to say that Mayo Clinic has been and intends to be among the leaders in using social media…it’s all about the patient…And how these tools can help us all serve them better,” states Noseworthy.
Many business leaders recognize the importance of macro trends in social media, such as consumer use of social media on tablets and phones down to their organizations’ marketing function. Executives are also hearing more and more stories about how other companies are finding ways to use social tools to improve productivity and operations. In a 2o11 survey conducted by the MIT Sloan Management Review, 18% of respondents said social business was “important today.” In 2012, that number doubled to 36%. In the same survey, 40% of respondents agreed that social business would be important in one year. In the 2012 survey, the comparable number leaped to 54%.
5. Embrace Innovation
An additional indicator of the Mayo Clinic’s leadership in social media is its creativity in discovering new benefits from it. For example, the Center utilizes YouTube and shows videos of a surgeon performing surgery or offers patients the opportunity to ask doctors questions online. The Clinic’s hypothesis is that if patients can interact and get to know a new doctor on a social platform, they will have a more positive attitude when it comes time to actually visit the new doctor. These are new and innovative ways of interacting and introducing patients to who they will be receiving their care from. It gives the power of healthcare back to the patients within a tablet, computer, laptop or smart phone.
They have their own website called Center for Innovation. Here, the Mayo Clinic connects patients with a selection of social media demonstrations and interactions. New interactions such as the OpenIDEO series highlights a game called “With Me” that allows patients to connect with others in a more meaningful way and also has a platform called “Knowledge Tree” that allows patients to create authentic relationships based on common interests or activities. They host Twitter chats [also known as Tweetchats] with their own hashtag, #innovationchat. Those consumers who actively use Twitter can join Mayo Clinic and other like-minded healthcare professionals on discussions in medical innovation in real time with quick responses.
Mayo Clinic has not only taken social media seriously for its own use, but has also established an industry-wide Social Media Health Network, described as “a service of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, (that) provides tools, resources and guidance to organizations and individuals wanting to apply social media in health and healthcare.” Mayo Clinic also sponsors an annual Health Care Social Media Summit, bringing together providers and others to share best practices. In 2011, Mayo Clinic also held its first two-day Social Media Residency, combining self-study with faculty presentations and mentorship opportunities to further promote social media use by providers.
Even with all the social media connectivity, only 26% of all hospitals in the US participate in social media. What this means is that we should consider the value that patients place on social media and be more active in it. There is some apprehension when it comes to healthcare and social media, but there are steps that can be taken to make sure that all parties involved are within the boundaries of HIPAA. So, what does this all mean? The way consumers get their healthcare information is online and most take recommendations from those within their trusted social networks. The more information out there, the better. And who is the best example and why? The Mayo Clinic. They are innovative. They have impeccable branding. Their content is superb. They have executive support. And above all, are able to engage patients like never before by connecting with them in different was regardless of their choice for disseminating and digesting information via the many vehicles of social media. Kudos to the Mayo Clinic.