Social media represents a brave new world for healthcare, and many healthcare organizations are using it to engage with patients and consumers quickly and inexpensively. Promoting wellness programs, marketing new services, and announcing the latest in medical breakthroughs are just a few of the many goals social media can help healthcare organizations accomplish.
The primary focus for most organizations’ social media programs is marketing and communications, and as consumers are relying more and more on the information they find online, such as quality and cost ratings, personal stories, and positive experiences, social media can influence where they obtain their healthcare services. In addition, these organizations also use social media to describe services they offer, help promote wellness and health education, and to sponsor online support forums where individuals who are dealing with certain health issues can connect with others in similar situations.
Social media does present some challenges, and perhaps the greatest is the inability to control the conversation. People can say what they want, good or bad, and this can be problematic if not managed properly. Establishing social media policies and guidelines and assigning a dedicated staff are essential to help manage social media efforts and mitigate any risks.
The Mayo Clinic is a leader in social media with a dedicated social media health network, the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media (MCCSM). The first of its kind, the MCCSM has a philosophy, a mission, and a vision.
- Philosophy – We believe individuals have the right and responsibility to advocate for their own health, and it’s our responsibility to help them use social media tools to get the best information, and connect with providers as well as one another.
- Mission – To lead the social media revolution in health care, contributing to health and well-being for people everywhere.
- Vision – To be the authentic voice for patients and health care professionals, building collaborative relationships through the revolutionary power of social media.
MCCSM provides training and resources to help accelerate effective adoption of social media in healthcare. Through its Social Media Health Network, MCCSM provides an opportunity for health-related organizations to learn together and share best practices.
- Patients with low-risk chest pain are unlikely to benefit from inpatient hospital services, according to a JAMA Internal Medicine study. U.S. researchers analyzed data on more than 11,000 adults who were admitted to one of three hospitals after presenting to the emergency department with chest pain, tightness, burning, or pressure. All patients had negative results on ED-initiated serial troponin testing, normal ED vital signs, and nonischemic electrocardiographic findings.
- The root of turmeric is widely used to make medicine. Some common uses are for arthritis, heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, liver problems, gallbladder disorders, headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, menstrual problems, cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, water retention, worms, and kidney problems. Some people apply turmeric to the skin for pain, ringworm, bruising, leech bites, eye infections, inflammatory skin conditions, soreness inside the mouth, and infected wounds.
- Scientists aren’t sure exactly what causes psoriasis, but it’s linked to a problem with your immune system, your body’s defense against germs. If you have psoriasis, your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, as if it were fighting an infection. Your body responds by making new skin cells every few days instead of the usual 4 weeks. Those new skin cells build up on your body’s surface and form a rash.
- One in 5 adults and teenagers smoke. Each day, more than 3,200 people under 18 smoke their first cigarette, and approximately 2,100 youth and young adults become daily smokers. Nine out of 10 smokers start before the age of 18, and 98% start smoking by age 26.
- Losing your teeth is not a natural part of aging. The major reason for tooth loss is periodontal disease and, in most cases, periodontal disease can be avoided. More and more people are keeping their teeth into old age due to proper dental hygiene. In fact, according to statistics, 52% of adults over the age of 65 still had most of their natural teeth in 2003. That is quite the flip-flop considering that back in the 1950s over 50% of adults over 65 were edentulous (toothless).