Social Media in Medicine

Social Media has changed the way the world conducts business, shares information and connects. It has greatly impacted the healthcare industry with many hospitals and medical professionals now using sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to engage the public, spread awareness, educate, share resources, fundraise and even recruit personnel.

The University Health Network, for example, has a link to its own YouTube channel on its homepage featuring a range of videos from studying surgical mistakes, patient relations, spiritual care, wellness to “A Lung Story”, which shares updates on Hélène Campbell, the young woman who received a double lung transplant and became the face of organ donation through the extensive news coverage of her surgery.

SickKids provides many ways to connect with multiple social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube specifically geared towards its foundation, specialty (About Kids Health) and the hospital itself. The About Kids Health channel is a great resource for parents and caregivers. It has informative instructional videos with healthcare professionals demonstrating how to properly take your child’s temperature, stop nosebleeds and what to do if they have a seizure.

CEPD uses social media regularly to engage, connect with and inform members of our community and health professionals at large. Up-to-date event information and course offerings are tweeted daily and shared on our Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn pages for potential participants and registered attendees. Social media campaigns are increasingly being incorporated into event advertising and marketing and into mobile optimized conference sites, such as the mobile site developed for the CME Congress 2012 held back in May. Twitter was widely used by participants to share details about the workshops they were in, comment on conference activity in general and to connect with course organizers when they had a suggestion or concern. Being able to see, in real time, who was talking about the Congress allowed participants to relate to each other and to build networking relationships for the duration of the conference and for beyond.

Social media continues to have global impact on business and service, with the healthcare sector being no exception.