Unscrewing Medicine with Healthcare Social Media

Part I: An Introduction into Aligning Social Media Strategy to your Advocacy Goals

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Social Media Strategy and Healthcare

There’s no denying social media is here, now. Our society live and breathe social media. In fact, many experts believe social media is the “game changer” in many sectors of our society now and in the foreseeable future. #HealthXPh believe social media is a tool to positively change or improve healthcare in the Philippines.

Ethical Issues

Put simply, the use of social media by healthcare professionals is  strictly governed by the same professional code of conduct practiced offline. At #HealthXPh, we believe that our online self is a reflection of our offline self. Thus, #HealthXPh crowdsourced a Healthcare Professional Social Media Manifesto to guide health practitioners on the ethical use of social media. This manifesto should not discourage health professionals from using social media. In fact, health professionals now have a guide walking the path of a tricky social media.  There are numerous examples on the ethical use of social media to improve healthcare. #HealthXPh believe social media democratizes access to healthcare. It provides a venue for healthcare stakeholders to speak and be heard on matters pertaining to health. No other forms of media had this added value of “engagement” between the different stakeholders of health.

Healthcare Social Media and its “Return on Investment” (ROI)

One of the more pervasive perception about social media healthcare is that it is just a “waste of time”. Social media is a waste of time if you are using it just to kill time. Our value proposition  for healthcare social media at #HealthXPh is different, positive and complimentary to existing developmental strategies for health. Social media provides an alternative, fast, cheaper, broader reach platform for discussing healthcare issues. Social media demands transparency and accountability to all those who use it. Our long term goal is to democratize discussion in health, by giving the different stakeholders a platform for discussion and effect change by crowdsourcing ideas.  Positive engagement is our key and that is what we set out to ultimately measure our ROI in healthcare social media.

Lack of ROI for healthcare professionals engaged in social media is the very reason why some called it a “waste of time”. The inability to measure social media’s ROI for health is the culprit. That’s what the goal of my topic today here, in the Second Philippine Healthcare Social Media Summit- Advocacy Track.

Return on investment (ROI) is a business phrase that describe the benefit to an investor resulting from an investment of some resource (Wikipedia). Allow me to draw the same parallelism in healthcare social media. To clarify, the investment and benefit maybe anything of value to the investor and may not be always monetary. At #HealthXPh, we defined our ROI as the positive engagement we obtained from convening social media healthcare professionals.  This is still a short term goal and is continually evolving until we find our metrics for our ultimate goal- improve healthcare in the Philippines.

ROI as we defined it, declutters the social media noise and allows us to focus on our social media advocacy goals. #HealthXPh as an advocacy aligned our social media strategy to our advocacy goals. Hence, a method of measuring our social media “success” or ROI, is a measure too of our advocacy’s success. Demonstrating social media success by measuring ROI fine tunes our efforts and streamline logistics to advance our advocacy goals. In other advocacies or companies, demonstrating success by measuring ROI is a way to encourage or gain support from advocacy leaders or executives.  It is thus imperative we measure ROI in social media healthcare. It is not the lack of ROI but the lack of defining our social media ROI for our advocacies. This is the ultimate goal of my talk today.

To share to you what I’ve learned about Aligning Social Media Strategy to Your Advocacy Goals and developing metrics to measure your healthcare social media’s success!

So are we ready to dive into social media strategy for healthcare advocacy?

(This post is part of series on “Aligning Social Media Strategy to your Advocacy Goals“, a presentation by the author Dr. Remo-tito Aguilar, on the Advocacy Track of the Second #HealthXPh Philippine Healthcare Social Media Summit held last April 21, 2016 at the PICC, Manila.)

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Dr. Remo-tito Aguilar co-founded #HealthXPh. A board certified orthopedic surgeon, he is previously Chief of Clinics at St. Louis Hospital in Tacurong City and a consultant in Orthopedics at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City. Dr. Aguilar is a healthcare social media evangelist and writes his medical musings at The Cast & Curious (www.remomd.com).

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