Our recent post, Healthcare at Social Media Speed, described current events in which social media connected healthcare workers and facilities to ailing patients. Devastating and heart-wrenching emergencies, like the Boston Marathon bombings and the injured cyclist who became lost during a bike race, are prime examples of situations in which medical teams were able to respond quickly as a result of utilizing social media. Instances such as these happen every day, and even smaller doctor’s offices have the ability to provide urgent aid to patients in both emergency and non-emergency situations through the power of social media.
Check out a few simple tools you can use in the office to stay connected to the community and your patients 24/7.
Enable Google Alerts: Set up Google Alerts for keywords pertaining to the specialties your office treats, words that would revolve around tragedy within your community and any other possible issues your office can help with. For example, if your office sees trauma patients in Nashville, Tenn., you could make a Google Alert for, “explosion Nashville, TN.” When tragedy or issues occur, post relevant messages to Facebook, Twitter or Google My Business to let patients know your practice is open and ready to help. If your office can’t supply direct support, post information supplied by local news stations (safety zones, places to receive food, water or first-aid).
Subscribe to news text/email alerts: Local news stations and larger broadcast networks tweet community updates every day. Follow these accounts via Facebook, Twitter or text alert to stay up-to-date.
Ask to send patients approved links to videos about their condition: Physician and practice videos are becoming a popular online trend. These videos can be used as an educational resource to teach patients more about conditions within a specialty. It’s a tech-savvy way to communicate with patients outside of the office and answer patients’ questions about their condition. If your physicians haven’t created videos, you can ask them to approve a few YouTube videos about common illnesses seen at the practice for patients to watch. Many health-related non-profits regularly post these online. Create a list of the videos and have the doctor ask patients if they’d like the list emailed to them.