At a recent healthcare marketing conference I attended in Wisconsin, we talked about social media. I wasn’t surprised to hear this complaint among attendees: “This social media stuff is great, but how do we convince our higher-ups to unblock access to these sites?”
Let's face it: Healthcare is...conservative. Some new technologies aren’t embraced as much as they are dismissed as frivolous or regarded with suspicion. A lot of these Wisconsin hospitals weren’t allowing access to social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.
If you find yourself in a similar position, here are five arguments you can use to get your social networking sites unblocked:
1. Your patients are connected to their families and loved ones by social media sites already. Don't ignore this. Acknowledge their prevalence and integrate them accordingly, or risk falling behind.
2. Dip your toes into social media by offering CarePages to your patients. Demonstrate the value of CarePages—a free service you can offer to your patients that, at its core, is a social media site.
3. With one small hospital team, you can write up a killer policy that will regulate how the Internet is to be used during work hours. The Mayo Clinic offers their social media policies online.
4. Trust the maturity of your staff and leadership. Encourage them to participate. Create a sense of ownership among staff by inviting them to write blogs or post exciting department initiatives or “wins.”
5. Talk to your IT department. Even if they say, "We don't have enough bandwidth to support these sites," you need to make sure this is a real issue or if its part of their reluctance to progress.
What arguments have you used to get your "higher-ups" connected?