PatientWay Blog

Medical social networking – it’s everywhere and it’s here to stay

Written by Jay Lawrence on March 8th, 2011. Posted in Healthcare strategy, Medical social networking

doctorTwitter Medical social networking   its everywhere and its here to stayBarbara Ficarra from Heath in 30 has just published a fantastic post on how social media is now being used by everyone from patients to hospitals.

And why not!

It’s no secret that most patients are now on the web asking questions to Dr. Google, and the business case for engaging patients online (for things like prescription renewals and chronic disease management) is becoming clearer. After all, patients are the most under-utilized resource in healthcare.  Using social media can help turn patients into active partners.


But if you take a closer look into the Blogosphere and the Twittersphere (I am not making these words up) you will also find countless medical professionals also sharing their thoughts and providing real time feedback.  In addition, hospitals are striving to build a vibrant web presence, by publishing content to their branded YouTube channels and Facebook pages.

According to Barbara Ficarra’s blog post, 906 hospitals in the U.S. are using at least one social media tool:

  • 448 YouTube Channels
  • 719 Facebook Pages
  • 674 Twitter Accounts
  • 439 LinkedIn Accounts
  • 693 Four Square
  • 106 Blogs

Very impressive stats! The article also provides a great list of medical blogs, physicians using Twitter, as well as hospitals that engage patients and the public through social media.

Over the last few years, we have engaged a significant number of Canadian hospitals (doing process improvements and installing patient self-service technologies), and we can confirm that the same social media trends are also apparent in Canada.

For example, Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto has its own YouTube channel that includes a library of informative videos, as well as engaging the public via Twitter, Facebook and its blog.

Sunnybrook Hospital Medical social networking   its everywhere and its here to stay

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa is another “medical social networking” success story, publishing useful (and fun) videos, including “What to expect when visiting the CHEO“. CHEO also leverages multiple social media channels, including the use of Twitter to disseminate information and announcements in real-time.

CHEO Medical social networking   its everywhere and its here to stay

These are just a couple examples, but each day we seem to find a new medical blog, a new physician on Twitter, or a new educational video on YouTube. The PatientWay team is passionate about technology and how it can enhance the delivery of healthcare, so we will continue to share more success stories with you through our blog, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, and whatever new emerging technology that is being used by the people that we work with on a daily basis.

If you have a social media success story that you would like to share, please leave a comment.

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