How The Healthcare Industry Uses Social Media

Social media may seem like an ancient concept to those of us who live and breathe it, but there are still many industries growing in their own usage of social media as they discover its value and use in bringing people together. Industries that have the most issues with social media are heavy regulated ones like alcohol, finance, and healthcare. Rising stars in these fields can be examples to others in the industry. Watching others’ successes and failures is a great way to learn what works, what doesn’t, and get some insight on how to apply that knowledge.

Focusing on healthcare, we’re seeing the industry’s social media use grow very quickly as they succeed in bringing patients together, and involving healthcare providers in the discussion. Communities for patients have evolved over the last seven years from private networks to more open platforms like Facebook. Open communication with hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare professionals has become the norm on channels such as YouTube, Twitter, and podcasts. When fear dissipates, it leaves room to generate meaningful discussions and relationships. The sharing of information has opened the conversation on how we are exchanging, sharing, and educating each other in these channels.

We were fascinated by a recent infographic from the Master of Health Administration. Some key takeaways include:

  • 60% of social media users trust posts by doctors over any other groups
  • 47% and 43% of patients are most likely to share information about personal health with their doctor and hospital respectively.
  • Of 1,500 hospitals with social media presence, Facebook is the most popular channel for communication
  • 76,000 is the number of listeners that the Mayo Clinic’s podcast acquired after launching in the social space
  • 88% of physicians use the internet to research pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical devices

Think about your doctor or local hospital. Are they engaging in the social space? Would you communicate with your healthcare providers in the social space?

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