Social Media & Health Care

The collective and individual health of the nation is perhaps the greatest social issue that exists today. While incredible feats of technological advance have been achieved in the medical community there exists a substantial gap between the person and one’s best state of health. Health care institutions in the nation as well as the government must take the necessary steps to have an educated public and an empowered workforce. Social media must serve as a platform for employees to advocate for themselves and patients in a safe place. As a community of health care employees the collective at large can pool their resources to bring concerns to state level legislature as well as to Washington, D.C..

Thus, it is imperative to create a corporate social media policy wherein its goal is not to discourage association with the institution but instead provide clear boundaries whilst enabling employees to become solution contributors. As health care consumers, the public at large must have a place to contribute concerns, questions and personal stories to those in power. Fouts (2015) acknowledges the benefits of engaging employees in social media. Sharing responsibly on Facebook in reference to one’s employer not only attracts talent but provides one of the best advertisements for the company itself. If employees are happy the consumers (patients) will be happy and more engaged employees are happier employees and consequently better caregivers. Often in the deep, wide and largely misunderstood healthcare system, healthcare employees tend to feel disempowered to make any significant changes (Gardener, 2016).

The emergency department is the frontline of patient care and there are many issues that are unique to emergency medicine. Hohenhaus outlines some of the issues that emergency nurses encounter on a daily basis, patient safety being a main concern (2013). The ENA represents Emergency Nurses across America and along with coalitions formed, brings these concerns to Washington. As front line providers it is pertinent for ideas and creative solutions be cultivated in an online community. Creating Facebook pages for different departments and/or health topics for employees of a particular institution will cultivate a community of empowered health care professionals. Inciting feedback from the general patient population via Facebook interaction will provide the power in numbers necessary to turn heads in the capital. As providers and patients join hands on the social media platform there is no telling the impact this can have on the future of America’s health care.

Fouts, J. (2015). Mindful Social Marketing: How Authenticity and Generosity are Transforming Marketing. [Kindle Edition]. Retrieved from http://www.read.amazon.com

Gardener, B.G., Glickstein, B., & Mason, D.J. (2016). Using the Power of Media to Influence Health Policy and Politics. In Mason, D.J., Gardner, D.B., Outlaw, F.H, & O’Grady, E.T. (Eds.), Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care
(7th ed.). (pp. 120-135). St Louis, Missouri: Elsevier.

Hohenhaus, S.M. (2013). Patient Safety in the Emergency Department. In Hammond, B.H., & Zimmerman P.G. (Eds.), Sheehy’s Manual of Emergency Care (7th ed.). (pp. 37-41). St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier.

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