By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
A basic element of healthcare delivery–one that has not changed in recent reforms and re-invention–is that medical care is truly a personal process. Yes, telemedicine has closed issues of distance. And, yes, technology advances have accelerated the speed of diagnosis and care delivery.
But in the highly competitive industry, hospitals have not lost sight of the importance of one-to-one connectivity, They are increasingly extending their outreach to the public via social media. Magnifying the people-to-people touch by way of online digital tools does rely on technology, but social media’s wide popularity validates the direct, personal and immediate nature.
Benchmark: The Most Social Media Friendly Hospitals
For the second consecutive year, Mayo Clinic has landed the top spot on the NurseJournal.org list of the Top 100 Most Social Media Friendly Hospitals for 2014. Over 800 facilities were indexed, pulling Facebook and Twitter stats to determine which are “doing the best job of connecting with their patients through social media.”
They explain: “While other social media platforms are important to note, we wanted to focus on the two most common and widely used in medical communication.” Scores show it was a tight race.
Not surprisingly, social media leaders are also familiar hospital brand names. For starters, these are the first ten on their list:
#1. Mayo Clinic, MN, Rochester (Score: 92.6)
#2. Cleveland Clinic, OH, Cleveland (Score: 92.3)
#3. Baylor Regional Medical Center, TX, Grapevine (Score: 84.0)
#4. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, MA, Boston (Score: 83.6)
#5. University Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, TX, Houston (Score: 83.1)
#6. Rush University Medical Center, IL, Chicago (Score: 82.3)
#7. Houston Methodist Hospital, TX, Houston (Score: 82.0)
#8. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY, New York (Score: 81.8)
#9. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, MI, Ann Arbor (Score: 81.6)
#10. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, IL, Chicago (Score: 81.6)
You can find your ranking among the full listing here, including a click-through to social media hospitals #101 through #730. (There’s another list for children’s hospitals.)
The benefits of social media…
While respecting the large health system names, there’s only one Mayo Clinic and one Cleveland Clinic. Nevertheless, virtually all hospitals in the US can benefit from highly effective use of social media as part of the marketing mix.
Better than one in three consumers tap into social channels for health information. If you found your benchmark position on this list, working to maintain and/or improve your connectivity and social engagement has many benefits, including:
- Attracting new patients and cases
- Enhanced reputation and brand building
- Extending engagement, loyalty and referrals
- Providing health and healthy-living information
- Crisis communications
- Shaping patient expectations and experience
You can reach out to us for help in developing an effective social media strategy. And for more on this topic, see: Features, Advantages and Benefits of Social Media in Healthcare, and Success Keys: How to Make Your Social Media Truly Engaging.