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Friday, February 8, 2013

Social Media in Health Care

Wayne Leung, Digital Communications Specialist, Health Council of Canada

Recently, I attended the Social Media in Health Care conference organized by the Ontario Hospital Association. This event provided an opportunity for people working in the health care sector to come together and share ideas about ways we can leverage social media to improve health care.

The day started off with an overview by Colleen Young who founded Health Care Social Media Canada (#HCSMCA), a group that holds weekly Twitter chats on a variety of health-related topics using the hashtag #HCSMCA every Wednesday at 1PM EST. The group is a great place to start engaging with others who have an interest in health care and social media.

Throughout the day, organizations presented some of their best examples to illustrate the power of social media in health care.

The Trillium Life Network recently digitized the database of organ donors in Ontario and widely uses social sharing throughout their web properties. As soon as you finish signing up to be an organ donor at you can send messages to your Twitter and Facebook networks directly from the confirmation page to encourage your friends and followers to sign up as well.

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute recently hosted Med Safety Goes Viral 2012, a medication safety video competition where different organizations submitted short, engaging and often funny videos to raise awareness of issues in medication safety. The videos were uploaded to CPSI’s YouTube channel and the video that received the most views won the contest. The 14 submitted videos generated over 20,000 views by the end of the first week!

Dr. Amir Ginzburg of Trillium Health Partners was on hand to present his winning video entry entitled “BYOB – Bring Your Own Bottle.”

At the Health Council we regularly use Twitter to engage with Canadians including the live-tweeting of our recent National Symposium on Integrated care using the hashtag #HCCsymposium. We also use the Facebook page we created for our Health Innovation Challenge to engage with college and university students; reminding them of deadlines and answering any questions they might have about the challenge. We’re constantly looking for new ways to leverage social media tools to share and engage with others about health care renewal and innovative practices. In the meantime, please keep in touch; like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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