Health Care In A "Social Media" World


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Presentation at Summer Institute, Northwest Center for Public Health Practice, August 11, 2011

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  • Social Media : new era - traditional gatekeeper role diminished : gone is the audience as passive vessel for information
  • In medicine, the gatekeeper has traditionally been the doctor’s office. Research from the Pew Internet & Life Project shows that 61 percent of adults seek health information on line . Active audience : conversation, participation Now 80 % www.pew
  • 41% use social media – of those, 94% use Facebook Also
  • Q to prompt discussion – assess knowledge and experience – poll for registered users versus active users
  • Q to prompt discussion
  • Not New! Online health communities have existed since the dial-up modem was developed! Photo:
  • Hospital Social Media Accounts 540 hospitals – January 2010 227 YouTube 419 Twitter 326 Facebook 67 Blogs Source:
  • Scenario example here from With just six months until his 15th high school reunion, Ben realizes his varsity six-pack is looking more like a bench-warming Big Gulp. He Googles "weight loss apps" and downloads two to his phone--both free. One turns his iPhone into a pedometer and the other lets him set weight-loss goals and track his progress.Ben e-mails his doctor telling her that he's decided to lose some weight. He promises to do it sensibly. He then updates his Facebook status with a challenge to his friends to join him in his fitness quest. His sister sees his update and sends him a link to her favorite low-fat cooking blog.Meanwhile, Ben's doctor has replied with a reminder that his annual physical is scheduled for the next week with a link to an online Health Risk Assessment (HRA). After Ben completes the HRA, he is invited to create a personal health journal that will be reviewed weekly by a nurse practitioner. In addition, his insurance provider sends him a thank-you e-mail with a coupon for a complimentary one-hour session with a personal trainer that can be used at a nearby fitness center.  
  • WHY social media as a communications tool? Mobile : ubiquitous
  • Mobile ubiquitous : three generations
  • Mobile ubiquitous : The fourth generation
  • Data sources:
  • - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
  • Differentiate Twitter from traditional medai.
  • The “but why do people want to know what I had for breakfast” tweet/pushback.
  • Note: verified account – ratio of followers to following – listed number
  • TweetStats for CDCEmergency shows H1N1 spike
  • Tweet Stats for CDCEmergency : @ replies and RTs shows type of conversation
  • Promo Example. The bulk (85 percent) of Mayo Clinic tweets are promotional or links to health-related resources, Aase invites people to submit their questions as tweets using the Mayo Radio hashtag (#mayoradio), both before and during the radio show while it is live.
  • Crisis Communication Example: In August 2009, two employees of an ABC Disposal Inc.,a household trash transfer station, were rushed to intensive care and another 100 people were sent to Boston-area hospitals after a chemical release.
  • Promo example August 12, 2009, Children’s Mercy handed the hospital’s Twitter account over to Shari Flanagan to tweet before, during and after her daughter, Caity, had surgery for Crohn’s disease ALSO
  • @Reply Example Be sensitive to answers that shouldn’t be made public and the limits of Twitter’s 140 characters
  • Q to prompt discussion
  • See
  • Health Care In A "Social Media" World

    1. 1. Health Care In A “Social Media” World Summer Institute Course: Health Communication Northwest Center for Public Health Practice 11 August 2011 Kathy E. Gill @kegill @
    2. 3. 80%
    3. 4. 41%
    4. 5. Goals For Today <ul><li>Examine how social digital technologies, specifically Twitter and Facebook, are affecting how health-related organizations communicate with their constituencies, and think about emerging technologies like Google+ as well as secure email </li></ul><ul><li>Examine the types of communications goals that should incorporate these technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the importance of mobile communication </li></ul><ul><li>Walk away with some best practices </li></ul>
    5. 6. What Are Social Media?
    6. 7. Technology that enables us to communicate with one other and share information publicly
    7. 9. Dramatic Growth In U.S. Hospitals Using Digital Social Networking Tools 2010 (540) v 2011 (1,188) June 8, 2011 January 10, 2010
    8. 10. A Not-Far-Fetched Scenario
    9. 11. 1. Why Digital Social Media? Mobile
    10. 14. Mobile Facts <ul><li>100M smartphones sold worldwide in 2009; 429M in the second quarter of 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>December 2010, almost half of U.S. mobile subscribers had SMS or data plans; almost 1/3 had unlimited data plans </li></ul><ul><li>About 1-in-6 American mobile phone owners had a smartphone 4 th quarter 2009; that was 1-in-4 by 4 th quarter 2010 and 1-in-4 of those had an iPhone, 1-in-3 had a Blackberry </li></ul><ul><li>Smartphones to overtake feature phone sales in 2011 </li></ul>
    11. 15. Top mobile activities
    12. 16. 2. Social Digital Networks <ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Foursquare </li></ul><ul><li>GooglePlus </li></ul><ul><li>Secure email </li></ul>
    13. 17. As of July 2011: * 96 Twitter accounts * 64 Facebook accounts * 41 podcasts * 32 blogs * 24 YouTube channels * 9 Flickr accounts
    14. 20. A New Genre <ul><li>Private messages made public </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcast and/or Converse </li></ul><ul><li>Follow versus Friend (not a reciprocal network) </li></ul><ul><li>D versus @ versus RT </li></ul><ul><li>Nibble v Full Course </li></ul><ul><li>Favorites and Lists </li></ul><ul><li>#hashtags </li></ul><ul><li>Verified Accounts </li></ul>
    15. 29. hashtags
    16. 30. Broadcast Is Better Than Nothing (and essential in emergency). Twitter Has Become The Place For News But Can Be Used For Engagement
    17. 31. 140 Health Care Uses For Twitter <ul><li>Examples from Phil Baumann </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tissue recruitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blood glucose tracking (diabetes management) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drug safety alerts (FDA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crowdsourcing health care resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Daily health tips </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domestic violence awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asthma alerts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Food safety alerts </li></ul></ul>
    18. 32. Top Social Properties
    19. 39. FourSquare <ul><li>Location-based services </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    20. 40. GooglePlus <ul><li>“ In-between” Twitter and Facebook </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Currently, only individuals (not organizations) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fastest-growing digital social network </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Benefits of “circles” for health care professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits from Google install base </li></ul><ul><li>+1 Button (and search) </li></ul>
    21. 41. Why Google Matters
    22. 42. Google Pluse Health Care Hangout
    23. 43. Secure email <ul><li>Importance of subject lines </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of “from” description </li></ul><ul><li>Training nursing staff </li></ul><ul><li>Information for patients </li></ul>
    24. 44. 3. Best Practices <ul><li>Take ownership if there is a vacuum in your organization </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the social media landscape – play before planning if you want a persuasive business case </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At least 70% of journalists now use social networks for reporting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Customer experience should be priority one </li></ul><ul><li>Set goals! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Profile audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test, evaluate, revise; then do it again! </li></ul>
    25. 46. Remember: <ul><li>The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ruled that postings on any social media network can be saved by on-line background companies for up to seven years. </li></ul>
    26. 47. Take-Aways <ul><li>Inexpensive, Immediate, Personal </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to measure, easy to mis-use </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile devices will soon to be key gateway to our digital world – ubiquitous connectivity is in our lifetimes </li></ul>
    27. 48. Credits <ul><li>Examples from forthcoming book, Brands L.E.A.P. Into Twitter , edited by Kathy E. Gill (@kegill). Some hospital examples based on work by Anita Beninger (@anitamedia) </li></ul><ul><li>Locked gate : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Modem: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Network: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Woman with mobile phone: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Man with mobile phone: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Three generations with mobile phone: </li></ul></ul></ul>
    28. 49. CC License <ul><li>Share&share alike, attribution, non-commercial </li></ul><ul><li>Kathy E. Gill </li></ul><ul><ul><li> or @kegill , @kegill_uw </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> and </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Course Info: </li></ul>