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KSM Blog | Katz, Sapper & Miller CPA

Should Your Practice Be Utilizing Social Media?

Posted 9:36 PM by

Social Media Key on Computer Keyboard

Five years ago, Twitter was only a sparingly used word. Now it has become one of the largest players in a phenomenon known as social media. With millions of users, platforms like Twitter and Facebook are becoming the best way to communicate with a mass audience. Until recently, the business community and in particular the healthcare industry have been slow to react. Hospitals and individual practices are now turning to Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media to connect with patients and receive feedback.

There are numerous ways that social media is now being used to the benefit of the healthcare industry. Patients are given online questionnaires covering topics like improvements in care, potential new service lines, and overall patient satisfaction. In addition many health systems encourage the use of Twitter and Facebook to “tweet” or post about their healthcare experience. At Indiana University Health, patients are encouraged to become part of their Customer Advisory Group to give input on a range of important topics. At the University of Michigan Health System they are called “e-advisors.”

All of these endeavors point to a growing trend in the healthcare industry to enhance the overall patient experience. Now that Medicare is basing payments on patient satisfaction, it is becoming increasingly important for a hospital and even a smaller practice to identify and respond to patient concerns.

Social media allows a practice to collect from a far larger sample size than can be expected from traditional methods. Instead of hurriedly filling out a survey after a visit or driving in for a focus group, patients can now answer questions and provide feedback anywhere and at any time. Hospitals and physician practices alike are not only using this information as a complaint box but they are also looking for solutions from their patients.

Not only does social media serve as a creative tool to gather customer feedback but it is also being used as an effective marketing platform to attract new patients. If a patient uses twitter to “tweet” about a positive experience they had while at a particular facility, then all of the patients “followers” receive a free, unsolicited advertisement about that facility.

Implementing a social media campaign is an essential tool to have at larger practices and something to think about at a smaller physician practice.

About Us
Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Healthcare Resources Group serves healthcare providers, including physicians, hospitals and health systems, surgery centers, and long-term care facilities. Our team of healthcare professionals has the scope and depth to meet client needs. Learn more.

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