We all know the power of social media for just about every industry. However, there is a special place for social media in the healthcare industry, that can be so powerful when done right. Certainly, social media can be used to communicate accurate health care information but it can also be a tool that removes barriers and creates better access to care for all. It is a democratizing platform that can allow anyone from anywhere to access information that may not be available to them otherwise.
In its most basic application, social media allows healthcare providers to convey health information to the population. Hospitals and clinics can use it to announce health care events and fairs, display public service announcements about certain health issues that affect the community such as heart disease, blood pressure diabetes, etc.
Some healthcare providers have taken this to the next level. Some clinics and practices have taken a more humorous and down-to-earth approach in their social media which creates an immediate effect of inclusivity that is often lacking in more formal social media communications.
EG Healthcare’s social media is a great example of this interaction. EG healthcare serves over 20,000 patients but reaches an audience of over 150,000 through its social media platforms. They do this by adding funny trending videos that are relevant to healthcare. This builds a relationship of trust between provider and patient based on relatability. In other words, “Hey you guys made me laugh – ok let me hear what you have to say. In between the funny trends, EG adds weekly educational videos on various healthcare topics. These videos are short, witty, and filled with animations. They get the point across quickly and in an entertaining manner.
For many people, a visit to the doctor’s office is daunting. The entire visit is uncomfortable for many people. For many, the experience starts with running through the healthcare maze of copays, and paper only to end up in a room with a medical provider who uses language that is often hard to understand. EG’s social media aims to remove these types of barriers and create a feeling of accessibility to both the practice itself and to the educational information.
Historically in this country, communities of color have been underserved medically. One of the reasons cited (there are many) is the lack of connection between provider and patient. This type of witty and educational social media posting serves to break the barriers and create a sense of community and sameness – we are you- you are us.
Contributing Author, Efrat LaMandre owns EG Healthcare and www.TheKnewMethod.com