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Friday, October 5, 2012
by Meg McEvoy
Use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,
and other social media outlets is up at hospitals and health
systems surveyed in a study released Oct. 4 by the CSC Global
Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices.
But hospitals are using social media mainly to help build their
brands ratherthan impact
treatment or patient outcomes, the study found.
CSC, which describes itself as a
global, technology-focused consulting firm, surveyed 36 U.S.
hospitals and health systems in July and August on their use of
social media. While more than 70
percenthad adopted social media
in some form, a great majority of those (60-70 percent) said their
main priority in using social media was marketing-oriented.
"Just one organization indicated
that it uses social media to aid in care coordination and/or care
management," the study reported. Another top social media use
for hospitals was delivery of general health information to
The majority of hospitals that have
adopted social media appear to be taking steps to ensure
responsible use, at least with respect to employees. Three
quarters of the health organizations surveyed had policy in place
regarding staff use of social media.
More than one-third
of those responding on behalf of the health systems said they did
not know if their social media site had a disclaimer that
information shared on the site did not constitute medical
advice. More than a quarter said their social media site
contained no such disclaimer.
Health systems should begin using
social media to connect patients to providers and inform product
development, the study found. "Having built familiarity and
comfort with basic social media use, it is now time for hospitals
to use social media in a more advanced way to achieve their
strategic goals," the study recommended.
Copyright 2012, The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.
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