Healthcare News & Insights

Social networking campaign added $8.2 million in revenue, hospital says

To improve care outcomes – and prevent readmissions that may lead to new Medicare penalties – many hospitals are striving to help patients become more educated and involved in their own care. One tool that can help: social networking. 

While a lot of patients are using social networks and other online tools to research health information, hospitals for the most part haven’t been using those websites to reach patients, according to one recent report. Experts say organizations are missing out on valuable educational and marketing opportunities by failing to engage current and potential patients on social networks.

One exception is St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which recently boosted its efforts to use social networking to reach out to patients’ parents and caregivers, Healthcare Informatics reports. As part of that initiative, the hospital redesigned its website so that it is more integrated with social media.

Hospital staff have also been more active on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Some of the common uses of those social networking sites are posting videos to promote wellness and preventative care, and interacting directly with patients and caregivers regarding specific conditions and surgical procedures.

One of the biggest benefits of providing information to the public is an increase in search engine traffic. More potential patients come across information posted by the hospital via web searches and come to know the organization as a trusted source for health information. Those initiatives have been effective in bringing in new patients, with hospital officials estimating they generated $8.2 million in revenue last year.

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