Social Media for LTC Facilities

Imagine living thousands of miles away from a loved one living in a long term care facility yet still being able to see daily or weekly updates of them.   Imagine being on your lunch break and seeing live-tweeted pictures of your mother doing crafts in her nursing home.  Well, situations like these are no longer fantasies because for many long term care facilities, this is a reality.  Through the utilization of social media, LTC facilities have been able to keep communication at the forefront of their agenda.  People no longer have to wait to see their family members because social media has made it possible for them to be part of their everyday life.  Having social media for your LTC facility adds value to your organization and differentiates you from your competitors.  Also, any unsolicited posts praising your facility for outstanding care and treatment of a family member is marketing that you cannot buy!

LTC facilities can utilize many of the most popular social media outlets to expand their online reach.   We recommend Facebook, Twitter and/or a blog to share information, news, events, multimedia (like YouTube videos).  Many senior living facilities have even used YouTube to provide virtual tours of their facilities, testimonials from residents, and some have made videos solely for entertainment purposes!  Click here to see one made a couple years ago.  Twitter and LinkedIn can be used to build professional relationships with other organizations and leaders in the LTC industry.

However, one must keep in mind that social media must be used with extreme caution.  There should never be pictures posted that would cause viewers to lose faith in your services or facility.  The following are a few tips to ensure proper use of social media: patient information should always be kept private unless you receive written permission, certain posts should come with a disclaimer, medical advice should never be offered, and online postings need to be monitored regularly to make sure they do not violate any policies.  But, if you choose HMS as your social media consultant, you will never have to worry about any of these privacy violations-we know the ins and outs of both healthcare and social media.

We understand nothing will ever replace face to face communication.  Still, social media can help you, your staff, your patients, and their families all stay connected.  Keep relationships alive and thriving! If you want more information on how to successfully integrate social media into your facility, please don’t hesitate to call us at (203) 294-6659.  Let’s connect!

An Introduction to Social Media for Healthcare

In this growing technological age practically dominated by the internet, it’s important for individuals and organizations to make their presence known. Gone are the years of dependence on traditional media outlets and what’s replaced it is something on a higher magnitude: social media. Social media allows entities to expand their reach, immediacy, and frequency. It also comes in many forms: internet forums, web logs (blogs), social blogs, microblogging, wikis, social networks, podcasts, pictures, videos, and it’s continually growing.

So what does this mean for you, a healthcare provider? It means you can reach members in your community who can contribute to the growth of your organization. It means you can engage with your patients on a level that has never been achieved before. And it means that you are given a platform as an authority in which you can voice what you believe your patients should know whenever and wherever you are. An added bonus, it’s practically free!

HMS has expert, experienced staff committed to bringing you the tools you need to achieve success and we believe that social media is the up and coming vehicle to assist in meeting and exceeding your goals. In our upcoming series focused on social media, we will break down social media so that you can understand not only how important social media is, but also how you can apply it to your organization to keep moving forward.

Time To Practice Social Media

A new report released by HP Social Media investigated the engagement that hospitals, health systems and physicians have with social media.  In this day and age, more people are going online for information.  Medical practices should be using social media to stay engaged with their audience.  The report found that those who do not use social media typically do not see negative reviews posted about their practice.  Also, they do not have the chance to counteract illegitimate medical information posted about them online.  Social Media presence allows practices to respond to patients’ comments, counter false information and stay engaged with their current network.

Click here to read more

Click here to learn more about social media services provided by HMS!

Tiptastic Tuesday: Creating Social Media Success

There’s no question that social media is taking root in the healthcare field and will only continue to grow in importance. In fact, health is one of the most searched topics on the internet.  This is good news for doctors eager to get involved in the online discussion. Below are some simple tips for creating social media success.
  • Mind Your Time: There are many forms of social media available to doctors today and they don’t have to take up a ton of your time. Choose a format that fits into your schedule and designate a time to update feeds to maximize the impact without monopolizing your day.
  • Transparency Is King: The more information you can provide about yourself and your credentials online, the better. Select a social media platform that offers a searchable online directory can help grow your practice and generate new patients.
  • Size Matters: When it comes to social media, finding a platform with a sizable installed user base of patients and doctors is important. This help you reach patients more efficiently, in a platform that is a safe place for patients and doctors to engage.
  • Bring On The Critics: Consumer reviews are becoming more and more popular. Rather than shy away from sites that allow patients to write reviews, embrace them. Positive, constructive feedback can be helpful to others.
  • Take Two: It’s good idea to keep your social media business and personal sites apart from one another. Seek out a separate social media platform that is more appropriate for patient engagement.

Patients Open To Virtual Doc Visits

According to a new survey by Cisco, 70% of U.S. patients are open to the idea of virtual doctor visits. The survey compared the views of consumers and healthcare decisions makers on sharing personal health data, participating in in-person medical consultation versus remote care and using technology to make recommendations on personal health. Other findings include:

  • More than 60% of U.S. consumers said they would be comfortable with the idea of being treated by a specialist using virtual technology
  • 63% of consumers are comfortable with having their health records securely available on the cloud
  • Nearly half of consumers and two-thirds of providers said they would be comfortable sharing and receiving health information through social media

Click here to read more.

Monday Morning Recap

Last week was a busy one on the HMS Healthcare Management Solutions blog.  Here’s a recap of last week’s healthcare highlights you might have missed, including the latest installment of our series on Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management.

Healthcare Social Media Series: Think Social Media Isn’t Important?

In the last several years, the use of social media outlets has grown significantly.  While many healthcare organizations have embraced the trend, others are reluctant to join the conversation. Below are some important statistics which strongly favor integrating a social media strategy into your communications plan.

  • Social media has a higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing
  • 62% report social media has become important to their marketing plans
  • 43% of online consumers participate in social media
  • 42% say Facebook is important to their business
  • Twitter has 106 million of registered users sending 55 million tweets per day
  • 21% of purchases result from browsing goods and services on Pinterest
  • 77% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B companies acquired customers from Facebook
  • 75% of Twitter traffic comes from outside translating to 180 million unique visitors per month

Remember, establishing a social media presence for your business is critical.  Contact HMS Healthcare Management Solutions and see how we can help!

HMS Healthcare Social Media Series: Developing A Social Media Schedule

Now that the HMS Healthcare Management Solutions Social Media Series has provided the strategies and tips necessary for developing a social media plan, finding the time to engage and foster meaningful relationships with clients through social media outlets becomes paramount.  Creating social media calendar can help you stay on track, making reaching your goals less overwhelming and more attainable.

Here are some tips to creating a social media calendar:

  • Set Goals:  Set quarterly goals on how many posts and stick to them.  Increase them exponentially  over time.  Track and monitor growth through analytics and watch them grow.
  • Create A Strategy:  Create a checklist of points you want to cover and the outlets best suited for your outreach.  Knowing your audience is essential to reaching the appropriate people on social media sites.
  • Frequency: Decide how often you want to post.  Break it down month-by-month, week-by-week or day-by-day depending on your comfort level.
  • Themes: Select weekly themes to focus on.  Create a series on a hot topic and design content around that subject.
  • Be Flexible: Your social media schedule is just a guide. Veering off of it from time to time is okay.   It’s just as important to be spontaneous and do something different once in a while.
  • Stay Current: New social media outlets keep popping up. It’s important to be aware of changes in the market so you can decide if you want to join the trend.
  • Create Continuity:  Remember to engage in ways outside of social media. Connecting the dots between print and online messages crates continuity and ensures your message reaches everyone.
  • Give It Time: Developing social media platforms take time. Laying the groundwork can be very rewarding and will give you the best ROI.
  • Stick To It: Your social media efforts will become easier and more beneficial the longer you do it, so don’t give up!

HMS Social Media Series: Consumer Benefits

The internet is becoming the premiere platform for gathering people with shared concerns and creating health information that is more relevant to consumers. Social media provides consumers with both a resource for finding that information and an outlet for distributing it.  Other benefits for consumers engaging in social media include:

  • Self Monitoring: Social media websites and healthcare portals like WebMD provide resources and tools to help users better understand healthcare issues and needs.
  • Interaction: Social media portals provide a place for individuals with similar health and medical conditions to connect with one another, share stories and discuss treatments.
  • Provider Information: Several social media sites and healthcare portals are helping patients find healthcare facilities in a particular geographic area, book appointments and rate doctors based upon their experiences.
  • Community: Social media users are happy and eager to share their experiences with you. In fact, social media is the place many participants go to get information on a product or service before they take the plunge, after all, there is no better referral than one from people you trust.

HMS Healthcare Social Media Series: Hospital Success Stories

HMS Healthcare Management SolutionsHospitals using social media offer a wealth of opportunities for connecting he dots between patients, healthcare professionals and other hospitals.

Though some are wary of the liability and privacy issues that social media may open up, many have excelled at the practice, finding ways to manage concerns and enjoy the benefits of using social media.

Click here to learn of success stories from hospitals across the nation using social media to handle everything from crisis communication to customer service.  For help developing a successful social media strategy for your organization, contact HMS Healthcare Management Solutions and see how we can help.