Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Prognosis Negative on Social Media Adoption in Healthcare

We all can be susceptible to hype, so it's a good thing to try and gather empirical evidence from time to time to challenge one's notions. Even if you think you are in great shape and have the body of a 20 year old Olympic athlete, it's probably a good idea to step on a scale once in a while and confirm that this is actually true. -ahem-

Everyone is talking about the impact that social media is having on the healthcare industry. But is it really? There are plenty of patient and doctor social networks and lots of hospital twitter accounts. But is any of this obvious activity actually engaging these disparate audiences? Are we all confusing motion with progress?

Well, my colleagues and I got to talking about the need for an informal survey to determine what impact all this social media adoption is having. Are people satisfied with the healthcare industry's embrace of social media? are they getting the information they are looking for? What sort of info are they, in fact, searching for? So we set up a quick survey on SurveyMonkey.com and distributed it through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media sites.

Here are a couple of nuggets to digest:
  • 96 percent of respondents said the industry is not using social media enough to communicate, share information and engage with patients.
  • Ninety-nine percent of the respondents frequently used social media, including blogs, social networks and online communities, to discuss and research a wide variety of healthcare topics.
96% for a small survey is still pretty much everyone. I think we can conclude that the healthcare industry is nowhere near effectively engaging with it's stakeholders. Lots of work still needs to be done.

Take a look at the survey results. Let me know what you think- leave a comment...

1. How often do you review blogs, social networks, online communities and discussion forms for healthcare related information?
  • Never- 1%
  • Only once- 0%
  • Occasionally- 17%
  • Once a day- 16%
  • All the time- 66%
2. What kinds of information do you look for in social media and online communities?
  • Personal health information- 51%
  • Public policy information- 65%
  • Scientific research and developments- 68%
  • Market trends- 82%
  • Employment information- 21%
3. Do you think the health care industry, as a whole, is using social media well enough to communicate, share information and engage with consumers?

Yes- 4%
No- 96%

(BTW, any comments about statistics, sample size or standard deviations will be summarily mocked. :))
Post a Comment