Friday, July 24, 2009

Hospital Associations Get an "F" in Social Media Use!!

What better way to spend a late Friday night than reviewing every hospital association and council in the U.S.?? Yes - this may sound a bit strange - but I have been extremely curious as to how our hospital associations are doing with adopting social media tools.

My review of social media use of our hospital associations results in an "F"!!

The winners are:
  • Hospital Association of Southern California - Has a blog
  • Texas Hospital Association - Has a Facebook page and a Twitter account
  • Iowa Hospital Association - Has a blog, Facebook page and a Twitter account
  • Michigan Health & Hospital Association - Has a blog, Facebook page and a Twitter account
  • South Carolina Hospital Association - Has a blog and a Twitter account
  • New Jersey Hospital Association - Has a blog
That is it folks - six hospital associations across the country are currently utilizing social media tools.

Another big disappointment is in the area of RSS feeds of hospital association press/media releases, where only nine hospital associations use this excellent communication technology.

I really do not understand the lack of adoption of social media tools by the hospital association industry. With the hospital and health care industry under constant scrutiny and attack from all sides, you would think that now would be the time to over communicate our hospital's efforts and results.

There has been an incredible movement towards transparency in health care. This movement is excellent and long overdue in our industry. Social media tools are an excellent way to communicate the many good things that our industry is doing on a daily basis. Every state hospital association has excellent quality, patient experience, clinical outcomes, and financial (pricing) data. Let's get this data out to the public using social media tools. Do not sit back and wait for a N.Y. Times, Wall Street Journal or local newspaper reporter to come knocking on your door wanting a quote on a story that he/she has already written about some public reportable data.

Better yet - how do we get this excellent information in the hands of our politicians and their constituents? On my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts I am friends with numerous state and federal politicians. I am continually sending them information regarding health care reform, "quality vs. quantity", etc. using these tools. Where else can you have a Saturday morning "chat" with your state senator than on Facebook or Twitter?

This is a call to action for our hospital associations - get with the program - we (hospitals) need you to adopt social media tools. We need the tremendous information that you gather and report on getting out via social media broadcast!

Thank you for listening - I will keep monitoring and reporting on this issue in the coming months. I will also make myself available to any and all hospital associations to help them adopt these excellent tools.

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