Healthcare News & Insights

Case study: Twitter brings in emergency blood donors

There was one bright light amid the grim violence of the recent shootings at Fort Hood.

Scott & White, the local hospital where many victims were taken, was able to use Twitter, and some quick thinking, to get the word out to the community that it needed blood donors urgently.

Aaron Hughling, the hospital’s Web and creative editor, tweeted a number of emergency notices during the day as part of the hospital’s overall crisis management. Among his posts: A notice that the ER was closed to other patients, resources for the media, and eventually, a call for blood donations.

Other users picked up the posts and when all was said and done, more than 1,000 units of blood had been collected between local hospitals and mobile donation centers.

Hughling said that while the hospital has a plan for handling media during a crisis, the social networking aspect was largely improvised during the day.

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