Alexandra Tursi of Fletcher Allen Health Care was guest of Get Social Health podcast #005. It was a great conversation that ran so long we didn’t get to all the questions I wanted to ask. She was kind enough to put some time into answering them so I could share them with you.
Janet: Talk about working with the C-Suite on your digital and social media efforts – did you have to do some education about social or were they up to speed?
Alex: The C-Suite was open to social media originally. That said, we have done training and education and we also produce a quarterly report that shows ROI.
Janet: What do you see in healthcare social media among your peers – both in general and among other hospital systems?
Alex: I see incredible opportunity! I think Cleveland Clinic has a great strategy and they publish great content on a very frequent basis. We are definitely inspired by them. I think the great opportunity is in thought leadership and expertise. Health care consumers are desperate for information about medical topics. Our goal is to provide evidence-based expertise that people can use in their information-gathering and put into action. Yet, only 11% of healthcare professional use social media for professional reasons. We need to increase the clinical voice in social media. That is our opportunity.
Janet: What would you say to other hospitals about the benefits of engaging in social media?
Alex: It’s where your healthcare consumers are – and where they will only continue to be in increasing numbers. Start now, build your foundation – it’s only going to get bigger. The benefits are incredible – we see our employees proud to share our social media content, we see patients sharing positive experiences. It is incredible for word-of-mouth.
Janet: What “words of wisdom” would you offer?
Alex: Start small, define your goals very specifically, make a plan for ongoing content creation, identify some preliminary metrics and a process for measuring them, identify and train your team.
Janet: The issues some hospitals deal with daily are ones that our society is still not comfortable talking about openly – suicide, STDs, mental health, chronic conditions and more. Do you think social media is opening a dialog about these issues?
Alex: Yes, as I mentioned it is critical to have an expert voice in these conversations. They are happening whether we participate or not.
Janet: How do you deal with such provocative issues in social media?
Alex: Carefully and strategically. It’s a team approach among our Marketing team and the involved Public Affairs and Clinical teams.
Janet: Have you ever had to deal with a privacy issue online? “TMI” or “Over- sharing”?
Alex: No. But we have dealt with patients who have reported negative experiences.
Thanks to Alex for answering these additional questions. You can hear more about her work in podcast number 5.