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Healthcare CIOs Seem Reluctant To Join Social Networks

A recent report published on the Huffington Post highlighted that healthcare CIOs seem reluctant to join social media networks. While researching the T...

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|Mar 7|magazine10 min read

A recent report published on the Huffington Post highlighted that healthcare CIOs seem reluctant to join social media networks. While researching the Top 70 Social CIOs, CMO and Chief Customer Officer at Enterasys Networks, Vala Afshar discovered that there was just one healthcare CIO in the top 10 and an overall total of just five in the top 70. “The voice of the health care CIO is largely absent in social media,” stated Afshar.

In a recent study that looked into mobile and social technologies in healthcare, it was noted that 90 percent of people aged between 18 and 24 said they would trust health information they found on social media channels. Furthermore, the report suggests that one in two adults use their smartphone to look up health information. The study also found that more than one in four hospitals have a social media presence and a huge 60 percent of doctors believe social media improved the quality of patient care.

Social media networks have the ability to enhance patient care, and already we are seeing far more social interactions between healthcare providers and patients. So why are CIOs digging their heels in when it comes to joining social media networks?

CIOs are responsible for building and maintaining an online healthcare ecosystem; an ecosystem they encourage patients and healthcare professionals to utilise and engage with. The steady uptake of mobile devices in hospital environments also means that healthcare is moving into the online arena.

To date, CIOs may have been reluctant to join the discussion for a number of reasons – patient confidentiality, lack of understanding, belief they will not reach the right audience to name a few. However, today the social sphere is changing and a number of players in the industry are providing professionals with more platforms on which to engage. Last month we wrote an article about the Top Social Networks For Healthcare Professionals, which showcased networks such as Businessfriend and MyMedPort that offer social networks where healthcare professionals can engage with a specific audience. At Healthcare Global we feel that healthcare professionals and CIOs will turn their backs on ‘mainstream’ social networks and opt for more specific platforms where they can engage on a professional level with other players in the industry.

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More targeted social media channels encourage CIOs to engage online

The healthcare CIO should be an innovator when it comes to engaging with patients and healthcare professionals online – and more targeted social media networks will enable them to foster meaningful communications between other professionals, thus improving patient care.

Today, many doctors are looking to use social media to not only communicate with patients, but also as a platform to keep up to date with the latest trends and stay informed about developments in the industry. Healthcare is an ever-changing sector and therefore professional social media channels can help doctors share information with one-another, thus improving patient care.

By keeping patients healthy, as opposed to just treating illness, doctors can lead the way for changing how our health care system is utilized and thus reducing the cost of care. However, if health care IT is not a leading voice for the very tools the physicians are using to reach their audience, there is no way to be a pioneer for enabling this communication.

Traditionally, the health care CIO has been pivotal in leading the way for leveraging technology to better patient care and safety. What appears to be a slow adoption of social media for the health care CIO is worth understanding.

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