Today I came across Southlake Regional Health Centre’s social media promise. A single page meant to encourage participation. This is a forward thinking and positive approach to social media. Marketing and communication teams for hospitals are pushing for the use of more channels, and providers are realizing they provide additional ways to reach patients.
Many hospitals are nervous to engage thought, and that is why this proactive approach is a smart one. Social media platforms offer many possible advantages, the difference is users can also participate. Being present on social media sites is acknowledging the new realities of communication.
Setting rules and expectations for participation is a win win for all sides. For hospital staff it creates clear internal expectations and understand of how these tools are to be used. It allows employees to hold each other accountable and management a standard to apply if or when questionable behaviour arrises. For patients and caregivers is opens up new avenues for participation and engagement with their healthcare, but asks for a level of civility that creates positive outcomes.
Beyond the need for a policy written rules or general statements can help build community. Setting boundaries and expectations is part of normative group behaviour. Having these posted not only recognizes that individuals will participate it encourages a certain type of behaviour.
Overall this is a smart idea and one that will help encourage positive use of these new tools and platforms by staff, providers, and caregivers.