Safety

Tip of the Week: Many hospitals jumping on social media bandwagon

Hospital Safety Insider, April 14, 2011

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The following is an excerpt from the April issue of Briefings on Hospital Safety.

With people across the globe increasingly using social media websites--blogs and social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube--for business and personal communications, an increasing number of hospitals are joining the revolution.

"Social media is impacting every single business. It's where we are communicating these days," says ¬Peter Ericson, president of The Complete Website, LLC, a Grantham, NH, company.

With more hospitals using social media, there's an opportunity for safety officers and facility managers to get involved, says Ericson.

Ericson gave an overview of the social media landscape when he spoke at a joint meeting of the Vermont and New Hampshire Healthcare Engineers Societies last year.

So just what is social media? Whereas e-mail is a way to communicate one-on-one, social media is a way for users to participate in many-to-many communications, Ericson says. And several of the tools to do so are free. "Social media is a big change in the way we communicate," says Ericson, who believes that once people understand what it can do, they will take advantage of its benefits.

At one New Hampshire hospital, leaders in the patient safety arena are setting up an internal blog for facility employees, he says. The blog will let staff know what is going on at the hospital, from educational opportunities to links to articles that might interest them. It will provide a way for different departments in the hospital to communicate about what they are doing, Ericson says.



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