Veteran health care communicators offer advice to allay fears and maximize your commitment
We trust hospitals to use the latest equipment and techniques when we’re undergoing a procedure, but expecting them to embrace social media may be a tall order.
Although open-heart surgery doesn’t lend itself to two-for-one deals, it’s becoming as important for hospitals and health care systems as it is for consumer brands to listen to social media conversations—if not to participate actively.
The challenges are many; among them are patient privacy laws, approvals to obtain, fear of lawsuits, and not being able to control the conversation.
It’s time to overcome those reservations and use common sense, says Ed Bennett, a health care communications blogger, who believes the benefits outweigh the risks.
“Everyone talks about worst-case scenarios; all the bad things that are going to happen,” he says. “I haven’t heard of a single scenario where a bad thing has happened when a hospital has gotten on social media. The benefit of doing this is so huge, and the possibility of risk is so tiny.”
Here’s a closer look into the three common health care misconceptions about social media—and how to tackle them.