A "HealthTweep" Pulse Check

Exploring transformational potential of social media

Twitter No. 1 Social Media Tool For Hospitals

with 3 comments

According Ed Bennett’s “found in cache” the the most visible and credible source momitoring the adoption of various social media platforms including the heavy hitters of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter; Twitter is now the number one platform for hospitals. 

As of March 29, 2009, the stats are:

  • 128 on Twitter
  • 126 on YouTube
  • 82 on Facebook
  • 23 Blogs

Of particular interest in the mix is the slope of Twitter penetration, which is to say in a “hyper growth” mode, consistent with Twitter’s impressive viral history. Yet, this is a phenomenon which is in the very early stages of tech transfer and user adoption.

According to the American Hospital Association (AHA) there are 5,708 registered hospitals in the US, which translates into a 2.2% Twitter share with 128 participating “Hospital Tweeps”. Clearly most hospitals, whether as entities or aligned individuals (ie., employees, consultants, vendors, docs, etc), have yet to entertain such participation.

As is historically the case, innovation in the institutional health care and/or the hospital space, is  often measured in geologic time. As institutions populated with and driven by complex “governance trees” that generally assure a slow decision making process, such an unknown and unproven new technology can only be greeted with deep skepticism and distrust. 

In the social, or perhaps more accuately termed, “new age media” space, characterized by it’s “real time”, open and unmanaged tag cloud generated buzz, potential adoption of the technology can only greeted with even more skepticism and distrust than usual. One might ask why?

I will venture to answer that question in the subject of the next blog post “Social/New Age Media: The Antithesis of Brand Control and the Advent of Hospital Silo De-construction?

In other words, can social or new age media technologies foster the accountability and transparency from hospitals that every regulated effort to date has failed to accomplish?


Written by 2healthguru

April 3, 2009 at 9:05 AM

3 Responses

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  1. Wherever the patients are, the hospitals will follow. Wherever the conversation is happening about the hospital, it’s staff or it’s quality of service…the hospital shall follow. That said; When social media becomes the “rule” for patients, it will be the rule for hospitals.

    If we all agree that Social Media WILL become the “rule” for patients…then, the wise hospital will want to be “in position” as the market arrives as opposed to trying to gain position in an established market. Seems logical…right? 😉


    April 3, 2009 at 10:05 AM

  2. I wonder if the question isn’t “can,” because I think we know it’s possible and is already happening with those hospitals who are optimizing/maximizing their SM efforts (even though small percentage). Maybe the better question is whether, when and how long will it take for this to be rule rather than exception?

    Looking forward to next blog post!


    April 3, 2009 at 9:44 AM

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