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Wired Hospitals? Two Out of Three Hospitals are Missing from Surveys

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

social mediaNumber-crunching executives, administrators and business-minded IT folks will love the remarkable detail in Hospitals & Health Networks magazine’s 2012 Most Wired survey of the nation’s hospitals and health systems. The social media and hospital marketing slice of data is important and informative. But this is a big report, so let me guide you a little.

As a point of reference, 1,570 hospitals were represented in the annual survey, or roughly only 27 percent of US hospitals. [Dig into the longer cover story and data at H&HN.] “The Most Wired survey helps hospitals and health systems measure their progress in the implementation and use of information technology, and benchmark themselves against other organizations,” H&HN says.

The survey measures adoption of information technology in four critical areas:

  • Infrastructure
  • Business and Administrative Management
  • Clinical Quality and Safety (inpatient/outpatient hospital)
  • Clinical Integration (ambulatory/physician/patient/community)

Social media data enjoys a small but important breakout for facilities that are leveraging new communications channels that "offer engaging and supportive programs to enhance the patient experience.” Among the uses of blogs, Facebook, Twitter and others, various hospitals report:

  • Offering care management messages,
  • Chats with physicians,
  • Patient portals, and
  • Support for adherence.

The social media platforms that Most Wired hospitals are using…

Facebook is the clear leader in this survey, followed by Twitter and YouTube. Here’s the countdown among H&HN survey participants:

  • Facebook 94 percent
  • Twitter 80 percent
  • YouTube 80 percent
  • LinkedIn 61 percent
  • Blogs 60 percent
  • Mobile web app 38 percent
  • RSS feed 37 percent

Ed Bennett’s Found In Cache List

As you may be aware—if you follow informative numbers like these as we do—Ed Bennett is well known for tracking and publishing hospital social media resource information. [See Found In Cache.] We’ll be watching for his scoreboard later this month when he’ll make a final update of his widely followed Hospital Social Network List.

What’s clear is that social media tools are playing an important marketing and patient service role for many hospitals. But…what we wonder about these numbers is what’s not here. Both the Most Wired information and Ed Bennett’s list accounted for 1,570 and 1,229 US hospitals respectively. (And both are great hospital marketing resources.)

But the American Hospital Association says there is a total of 5,754 registered hospitals in the US; the majority of which (4,985) are Community Hospitals. Notwithstanding that numbers can be confusing, but by either measure, fewer than one in three hospitals are represented here.

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