Healthcare: Change, Resistance, and Social Media

With social media savoir faire, GE’s (General Electric) ecomagination project enthralls its twitter followers with a scrupulous approach to detail. A breadth of vision and purpose creates an expansive website symposium filled with environmental news, developments, and analysis. Perhaps progressive thinking was not always the method of operating at GE. Two constants, imminent change and resistance often appear together in matters of innovation—in GE’s case, we know which side won.

Healthcare is an organic industry where change and resistance provide a fertile environment for innovation. It is also an industry that can innovate by adapting to recent adjustments and technologies—such as social media—to reestablish balance. New research finds organizations may fine-tune quality improvement through social media. The Change Foundation and Innovation Cell’s Canadian research examined two Ontario organizations, CAMH (Center for Addiction and Mental Health) and Providence Healthcare. In the study, researchers approach urgent quality improvement woes from a social medium perspective. Basing a program on these findings may appear useless—given different health system paradigms—but the same fundamentals exist. The benefits of using social media to explore and inform are widespread; it stimulates discussion, which leads to collaboration among healthcare organizations, in turn, leading to better results. If social media can improve quality, will it further evangelize social media in healthcare marketing?

The Change Foundation. (2011). Using social media to improve healthcare quality: A guide to current practice and future promise. The Change Foundation, (Part 2), 6.

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