Tweeting and Treating: How Hospitals Use Twitter to Improve Care

Health Care Manag (Frederick). Jul-Sep 2015;34(3):203-14. doi: 10.1097/HCM.0000000000000063.

Abstract

Hospitals that have adopted Twitter primarily use it to share organizational news, provide general health care information, advertise upcoming community events, and foster networking. The purpose of this study was to explore the benefits that Twitter utilization has had in improving quality of care, access to care, patient satisfaction, and community footprint while assessing the barriers to its implementation. The methodology used was a qualitative study with a semistructured interview combined with a literature review, which followed the basic principles of a systematic review. The utilization of Twitter by hospitals suggest that it leads to savings of resources, enhanced employee and patient communication, and expanded patient reach in the community. Savings opportunities are generated by preventing unnecessary office visits, producing billable patient encounters, and eliminating high recruiting costs. Communication is enhanced using Twitter by sharing organizational content, news, and health promotions and can be also a useful tool during crises. The utilization of Twitter in the hospital setting has been more beneficial than detrimental in its ability to generate opportunities for cost savings, recruiting, communication with employees and patients, and community reach.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Community-Institutional Relations
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hospital Administration*
  • Humans
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Health Care / economics*
  • Social Media / statistics & numerical data*