Innovation and Collaboration in Healthcare with Social Networking

Social networking provides both internal benefits (increased innovation, productivity, community, etc.) and external benefits (access to new patients, faster information flow, improved collaboration with doctors, etc.), both of which can demonstrably improve patient and cost management outcomes.

Social Media in Healthcare: Still in the Incubator – Gartner

The CIOs acknowledged that they would have to address these issues and develop a plan for appropriate use of social networking sites/tools within their organizations, because there was increasing pressure to provide access. Also, as one CIO pointed out, there are business benefits to using social networking within the organization that cannot be ignored, such as greater collaboration within and across groups and faster response times to problems.

Specifically, the CIO of a CDO in Boise, Idaho, commented, “I have seen instances where productivity actually increased by using social media to collaborate between Residents to solve problems in hours vs. days or weeks.” A CIO from a health system in Kentucky said, “Some hospitals have reported using Twitter to update patients’ families about their condition during surgery.”

These points are supported by Gartner research, which takes this position: “Most companies should carefully embrace and support these tools (since trying to stop their use completely is futile) but definitely manage them – establishing rules for appropriate network use (while on company time), content sharing, security/privacy, etc.” (See Road Note “Social Networking or NotWorking” by Steve High and Steve Long published October 9, 2009).

Nikos Drakos’s case study on Deloitte Touch Tohmatsu chronicles how Deloitte set up a social networking environment for 45,000 employees to achieve engagement, productivity, agility and knowledge preservation goals. (See “Case Study: Social Networking Tool Becomes Essential Workplace Infrastructure at Deloitte.”)
Despite its benefits, there was still great concern that social media might lead to a precipitous drop in productivity, cause security breaches and expose the organization to negative press. These concerns, while real (see “Recognize the Security Risks of Twitter, Other ‘Consumer’ Tools”), can be mitigated through the development of tools and clear guidelines for acceptable use (see “The Business Impact of Social Computing on Data Exposure in the Workplace” and “The Business Impact of Social Computing on Identity Management”).

CIO CALL TO ACTION
Healthcare CIOs (as well as CIOs in most other industries) should embrace social media and learn how to effectively leverage it for business benefit. This can be accomplished through the following steps:
• Determine benefits. Determine organizational requirements for social media and the business benefits of using such tools/technologies.
• Start slowly. Open access to certain groups (vs. the whole organization), and use their successes to promote social media from within.
• Participate. Enterprises not already using social media should start experimenting with sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
• Monitor. Track how associates are using social media within the organization and if such use is appropriate.
• Educate. Teach executives and associates how to use social media to benefit the organization and contribute to their role/career.

BOTTOM LINE
Social media is proliferating rapidly within healthcare organizations. CIOs can mitigate the risks and achieve positive business outcomes through monitoring benefits, personal participation and education.

Business Impact
Social networking provides both internal benefits (increased innovation, productivity, community, etc.) and external benefits (access to new patients, faster information flow, improved collaboration with doctors, etc.), both of which can demonstrably improve patient and cost management outcomes.

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6 Responses to Innovation and Collaboration in Healthcare with Social Networking

  1. Pingback: Innovation and Collaboration in Healthcare with Social Networking … » blog.lonelynot.org

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  5. Social networking sites plays a major role in health care.

  6. I like the article, i agree that social networking are helpful in health care.

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