How Social Media is Changing Behavioral Health

May 1, 2018

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This blog is part of our Digital Transformation series inspired by key highlights from the presentation, How to Reimagine and Reset Your Organization for a Digital Transformation. Shown at Emerging Horizon, the 2017 North Carolina Council of Community Programs Conference held in Pinehurst, NC, this presentation was given by Core Solutions CEO Ravi Ganesan.

Many of us recognize the power that social media wields; it’s a widely accessible tool that can amplify voices, spread news fast, bring people together and encourage communication and learning when used with good intentions. Social scientists believe that our society is currently living in the Industrial Revolution 4.0—a world in which tools like social media platforms and wearable tech generate massive amounts of data that have the potential to contribute to better business models, more informed business decisions and increasingly empowered consumers. The biggest takeaway that behavioral health organizations must learn during this era is that empowered consumers can greatly impact businesses, and ignoring consumers’ voices will guarantee roadblocks for behavioral health organizations today.

Leaders in the behavioral health industry can prepare their organization for one big element affecting their patient community and their own growth: social media. Here to stay, social media is changing the way healthcare organizations of all types and sizes engage with patients and mature as modern businesses. Explore a few of the ways BH leaders can leverage social media to improve their practice and long-term success.

Impacting Patient Engagement

Although there are certain best practices for engaging with patients online—and of course, regulations to protect patients’ privacy—making your presence known on social media can help improve patient engagement and supplement growth strategies. Use social listening to gain insights on consumer experiences and patient satisfaction, spread the word about the treatment options and services you specialize in, share your take on industry news or educate your audience through informative articles and blogs authored by your organization’s experts. Social media has empowered today’s consumer, but you can tap into that same power when you apply the tenants of value-based healthcare to your marketing and business growth goals. Listening to your patients’ needs with the help of social media means your organization is serious about keeping up with the tech times.

Expanding the BH Community

Social isn’t just for your patients—it’s also where you’ll find your colleagues. Social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are great places to share articles and new research, discuss innovations and ideas and build influence among peers in the behavioral health space. Participating in this online community offers a chance to build your team’s credibility, broadcast your specialties and make connections with other brands and industry leaders that may lead to big opportunities for your practice. Potential partners and many consumers pay attention to how healthcare organizations contribute to the conversation online, so don’t miss the chance to exhibit thought leadership and represent the BH community through social media activity.

Highlighting the Importance of Mobile

We already acknowledge the presence that mobile has in our daily lives, but the healthcare community has been slow to make the connection between healthcare services and the public’s preference for mobile communication. Social media’s growing influence on organizations and their consumers serves as a reminder of the importance of mobile; going mobile, maintaining a mobile-first mindset and optimizing for mobile are key objectives for modern businesses looking to stay relevant, and they also apply to those in the healthcare industry. As we work mobile elements into the healthcare equation through mobile EHRs and other useful tools, we also need to consider social media a valuable addition to the mobile health ecosystem.

Some business owners tend to have a skewed view about the growth of their company, believing that what affects their success most is outside sources, such as managed care, value-based models, new regulations and digital transformation. Social and economic factors can impact a business, but it’s the decisions that an organization’s leaders make that ultimately determine its survival. Make the decision to explore the benefits that social media can bring to your patients and your organization after considering the big changes it’s bringing to everyone in the healthcare space. If you’re striving for continuous improvement, social media is something you can’t afford to overlook.

Interested in learning about the role of EHRs in improving consumer outcomes? Request a demo of our EHR solution below to get to know our platform, our organization and our team.

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Sources: How social media can impact healthcare in the right – and wrong – ways, MobiHealthNews