Get Social: How to Use Social Media for Healthcare Marketing

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HIPPA encompasses a variety of key points including:. These guidelines have become somewhat of an issue in terms of social media. Healthcare professionals cannot directly address patients through these outlets as it violates the privacy and confidentiality regulations outlined by HIPPA.

Top 5 Ways Social Media is Used by Healthcare Professionals

Other healthcare facilities are encouraged to implement strict policies and guidelines for what employees are allowed to post on social networking websites. There is a variety of ways that healthcare managers are utilizing social media to enhance their services and provide patients with accurate medical information. Here are the top ways professionals in the field are using social media:.

Social media is intended to provide individuals the ability to access information quickly and communicate with others. Healthcare organizations utilize these tools and websites to share information with consumers in a variety of ways such as sharing general information about flu shots and tips to avoid a cold. Sharing news regarding outbreaks or health hazards is an effective way for healthcare facilities to provide accurate information to patients. It is important to note that all patient specific information requires permission along with a signed release. Other forms of sharing information through social media include:.

Another effective way that healthcare managers utilize social media is by spending time evaluating their competitors to get an insight into the services they offer and overall patient satisfaction. By taking a look into different practices and their social media involvement, professionals have the ability to mimic these methods to enhance their own. Some organizations will do better through social media; providers can determine whether or not they need to take more appropriate action to quickly respond to patient requests and improve customer service.

To gather feedback and improve quality, social media interaction can provide doctors and physicians with immediate responses from individuals to help understand common reactions to medications, as well as overall consensus from patients on new techniques in the industry.

Using this information that is readily available on social media allows for healthcare organizations to learn from patient reactions and adjust accordingly. By following feedback on these sites, healthcare professionals also have the opportunity to evaluate the possibility of additional services in the industry. Some healthcare organizations have begun to utilize social media channels as part of their training process.

During presentations, trainees are encouraged to use certain hash tags on Twitter or join other groups to engage one another to make training processes more enjoyable and interactive. These training techniques provide trainees a central location to ask questions and quickly receive answers.

5 Social Media Essentials for Healthcare Marketing

Social media gives participants the power to provide presenters with immediate feedback on training sessions. Trainees are not the only people who benefit from this social media technique. Organizations can use training videos and pictures from training sessions to engage audiences and enhance their social media channels by marketing their facilities and exemplifying their innovating training processes.

Although somewhat controversial, there has been an increase of doctors and surgeons providing updates from the operating room.

That said, the healthcare industry—including pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, health systems, hospitals and doctors—are increasingly finding ways to comfortably use social media for the benefit of patients, the general public and professional colleagues. However, the appropriate mix of online SM platforms—and their proper use—has become a fundamental tool to reach, engage and attract empowered consumers effectively and efficiently.

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Practical experience demonstrates that the high level benefits and opportunities for healthcare providers includes:. INFORM: Physicians are in a position to become a trusted source for sharing reliable and sought-after medical information. And, as patients, family and caregivers are inclined to use the Internet for unguided research and self-diagnosis, doctors can filter unreliable less reliable information and direct patients to reliable sources.

Social media is a proactive means to establish and manage reputation and public awareness.

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They can exchange notes about medications and side effects. And they have the ability to track thought leaders in their specialty, to weigh in on important issues, and for recruiting or retaining staff.

6 Healthcare Marketing Ideas to Cure Your Social Media Woes

Social media has changed the way businesses relate to customers. People buy from people that they know, like and trust. Stewart Gandolf, MBA.