The days of waiting for the newspaper to arrive to read about what’s going on in the world are long gone. In today’s society, one of the first places people go for news and healthcare updates is their favorite social media platform.
Social Media and the News
Healthcare organizations can capitalize on social media by using it to deliver information to the public. From virus outbreaks to natural disasters, organizations can put out factual information quickly and effectively to help inform the masses. The democratization of technology and accessibility of communication has made social media an integral tool for news reporting.
How Social Media Can Help During an Emergency
There are many examples of how the healthcare world has utilized social media during an emergency. When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, it knocked out power for thousands of people, cutting off most forms of communication. New York Presbyterian turned to the Internet to help individuals impacted by the storm. With the hospital and its employees sending out posts, people could be reached to inform them how to stay safe. Using their mobile devices, individuals were able to find where they could receive the help they need. Rather than relying on television broadcasts, social media allows users to receive the news as it is unfolding.
Hurricane #Sandy: ER, urgent care & dialysis svcs are fully operational. Elective surgeries are cancelled, call your dr to confirm appts.
— NewYork-Presbyterian (@nyphospital) October 28, 2012
You don’t have to be in the healthcare industry to know how useful social media can be during an emergency. With Facebook’s newest feature, you can now inform your friends and family that you are safe when a tragedy strikes in your area. With this feature, you can let everyone know exactly where you are, without having to text or call multiple people.
Other Ways Healthcare Practices can Use Social Media
The different ways that healthcare organizations can use social media to inform the public is endless. Some common ways to utilize this tool are:
- Emergency response team management
- Drug safety alerts from the FDA
- Send out alerts for missing patients or nursing home residents
- Communicate any hazardous material that may harm someone
No matter how big or small the medical situation, the quickest way to reach many people at once is the Internet. But it’s important to know how to use each platform to effectively deliver the news.
If you healthcare practice decides to use social media to connect to the public, it’s important to know there is more to it than simply posting. Especially during emergency situations, the public will be commenting on your posts asking for further information. If your organization does not possess the manpower required to communicate with your followers, you may want to hire an external response team. With their help, you can make sure every crisis is managed correctly online. For more information on how Today’s Business can help you connect to your social media following 24/7, be sure to contact us today.