Social media is a low-cost way to boost hospitals' visibility, disseminate new research and enhance patient care. That's according to Lee Aase, director of the Mayo Clinic's Center for Social Media. Aase discussed the merits of hospital engagement in social media at an education session during the annual meeting of the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society in Orlando, Fla.
Social media seen as 'right thing to do'
Staff at the Mayo center maintain an active presence on Facebook and Twitter, they produce regular podcasts and blog postings, and they also have their own YouTube channel with more than 1,000 videos, many of which were shot with a low-cost handheld camera. The easy-to-produce videos offer the center a “way to be more nimble” when interviewing patients and physicians, Aase said.
Tools such as YouTube can dramatically lower the usual 17-year timeframe it takes to put new research into practice, said Aase, citing the example of a Mayo physician who was able to change surgical practice, in part, through a widely watched explanatory video.
Aase also heads Social Media University, Global, or SMUG, a free online resource for social media instruction.
During the session, he urged attendees to take advantage of various forms of social media because they are “free or ridiculously inexpensive,” and because “applying social media is the right thing to do for patients.”
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