Three Steps to Building Online Engagement with the Healthcare Community

Posted by Taylor Kennedy in Social media |


healthcareResearch by the Commonwealth Fund shows that community partnerships and initiatives improve a health plan’s image and helps build relationships with providers.

These days, it’s even more important to build engagement with the community because the Affordable Care Act requires some hospitals (nonprofit) to perform a community health needs assessment every three years.

Following are three steps to building online engagement with the healthcare community:

  1. Get the community onto your platforms. Promoting your hospital’s communication platforms allows for improved care and increased transparency throughout the patient’s care journey. For example, if your hospital is a sponsor of a local 5K, consider asking the participants to engage with your social media channels.
  2. Have doctors and/or subject matter experts use social media to share expertise. Eighty percent of patients are using the Internet, social media and blogs to get healthcare information, according to PewResearch. Share good health habits and answer common or topical questions patients are asking. To stay abreast of content ideas, your hospital’s communications department should subscribe to other blogs, follow influencers and follow competitors. When possible, take a national or AP health story and localize it for your online community.
  3. Two-way communication. Not only does partnering with the community build general awareness of the provider, it also can help the hospital serve its patients better. To complete the aforementioned community health needs assessment, you should survey community stakeholders (e.g. through Facebook, email marketing, forums, your blog, etc.), aggregate the data and then implement a plan to meet the community’s top needs. Make sure to be as inclusive and transparent as possible during the entire process.



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