Hospitals Don’t Need Social Media

Hospitals need: patients (to get better), competent nurses, articulate doctors, clean facilities, sleek information systems, functioning equipment, inspiring architecture, happy employees, financial capital…

Patients need: remarkable staff, focused attention, memorable education, easily understandable communication…

Doctors need: great nurses, simple workflow designs, less (much much) less paperwork, permission to push the envelop, continuing education…

Nurses need: respect, respect, respect, respect, respect…

Physical therapists need: equipment that works, manageable schedules, time to do their work….

Employees need: leadership, inspiration, communication…

You get the idea: everybody in healthcare needs something.

Hospitals don’t need social media. And yet…

…And yet: people have social needs. They have communication needs. They have informational and emotional needs.

Hospitals don’t need Social Media. Nobody needs social media, actually.

What people need in today’s world is either to get information they don’t have or to control the over-load of information they do have.

Hospitals can – in fact need to – deliver timely information to patients, doctors, nurses, physical therapists, employees…

Hospitals can – in fact need to – provide curation and community for its information customers, who are: patients, doctors, nurses, physical therapists, employees…

Hospitals need so much to be remarkable.

In order to achieve what’s remarkable, hospitals need the people who run them to be as informed and energized and inspired as possible.

Hospitals have some things which are critical to those people: stories.

But hospitals need to get their stories out into the world and the workplace.

By using social media as part of its storyshowing, a hospital can meet the needs of so many people.

In turn, those people can meet the needs of hospitals.

Hospitals don’t need social media. They need people…and people need stories.


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11 Replies to “Hospitals Don’t Need Social Media”

    1. Susan

      Thank you – there’s a lot hospitals and other healthcare organizations can do.


  1. Great post.

    It’s cute how you make the title the opposite of what you really mean – nice way to get people to start off with “huh? what did he say?”

    And obviously, if I could get more interest from people in my local area, and all of us social media enthusiasts could get more people into the idea of rapid, useful, fact-based communication, then perhaps relationships might improve and miscommunications/misunderstandings might diminish.

    I’m an optimistic realist. Gotta keep trying.

    1. Thanks, Paul

      (And I did mean “Hospitals don’t need social media”.)

      There have been some movements by hospitals to do better jobs with communication. It’s still a tough industry in general to get moving.

      I do think as more people pay attention and demand better communication, we’ll see some traction.

      It was only a couple of years ago where there weren’t many of us talking about hospital adoption of social media.

      Today, it’s rather amazing how much attention it’s getting.


  2. And this sociologist says most participants in every sector of the health and healthcare industry need a crash course in how social worlds are created, sustained and trashed by individuals/groups. They also need to understand the cultural context for social worlds. Storytelling doesn’t emerge or happen in a void and without a more nuanced understanding of the social far too many assumptions are made about shared vocabularies. Yes, this will be on the mid-term exam!

    1. Meredith

      Excellent points. It’s a lot of work, and I don’t expect the entire spectrum of all healthcare organizations to get on board.

      But, there’s definitely some hope. Even if a few start to better understand those contexts and manings, it’s a step in the right direction.


    1. Katie

      I’ll get the agenda for the Webinar up pretty soon and email you a heads-up.

      Glad you enjoyed the post!


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