Towards a values based ‘social media manifesto’ for hospitals and health systems
In the ‘Twittersphere’ (aka micro-blogging) and blogosphere space we are witnessing increasing conversation into the nature and relevance of social media in general and its optimal application(s) in particular.
Just today we had some lively exchange in a Twitter ‘health care marketing‘ stream, using the #hcmktg hashtag.
As an affinity group primarily of marketeers, though not exclusively, the subtext of the questions generally focus on how can marketing, PR or communications specialists, better apply (i.e., ‘leverage’) this evolving technology in support of their institution’s mission? During these exchanges, we hear intermittent echoes of ROI, and other ‘metrics’ to measure performance, and therefore demonstrate value; particularly to the ‘C-suite” or usual suspect laggers to innovation.
The predominant interest seems to be how to perfect, deploy and manage a platform that essentially adds value to the individual facility or parent system in the aggregate. What might some of these dependent variables (or target outcomes) to measure be? In all likelihood, once we advance beyond image mindshare or service specific broadcasting, the likely ends include:
- improve payor mix
- maximize profitability
- steal share from competitor(s)
- position institution for proactive pursuit of defined or niche customer markets
- reduce re-admission rate (wait, who said that? actually no one yet)
- better integration with medical community
- reduce costs
Don’t get me wrong, I love these tweeps (at least most of them). They are my people, and I delight at being a member of the tribe in occasional good standing as measured by select indicia of ‘twitter love’. Yet, no where in the discussion is the the application of this technology to impact the dyfunctional, often bloated and patently un sustainable business models on which some of their very jobs depend.
Where is the active exploration and application of social media tools to “transform’ or ‘re-engineer” the tapestry of admitted failed business models that constitutute ‘mainstream’ US HealthCare?
If social media tools are not used in service of the purposeful transformation of ‘dsyfunctional’ healthcare delivery and financing paradigms, what value does it add? Absent a values based application of social media technologies, I will answer one the questions posed above: ‘Is Twitter A Fad’? in the affirmative. It will flame out of it’s own weight, and ‘look what I can do’ chatty irrelevance.
In future posts, I intend to craft a draft ‘manifesto’ and welcome your active participation and comment.
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