Conversations with the Community: The Methodist Hospital System's Experience with Social Media

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Abstract

Summary •

The Methodist Hospital System has maintained a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube since 2009. After initial unofficial excursions into the world of social media, we discovered that social media can be a useful tool to extend a conversation with our patients and the community at large and share our hospital's culture with a larger base of like-minded people. But with this new power comes a heightened responsibility—platforms that can potentially reach millions of viewers and readers also provide a potential for misuse that can jeopardize patient privacy and place hospitals at risk. Because of their unique restrictions, even hospitals that use the tools regularly have much left to learn about social media. With constant monitoring and stewardship and a commitment to educating staff, hospitals can effectively use social media tools for marketing and education.

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