What is the fastest way to educate a large group of people? You tell them all at once.
Having an online healthcare community makes increasing the health literacy of people around your hospital simple. An online community is a group of people with shared interests. Participants tend to be active on social media as well as topic forums, email groups, and blog post comment sections. Such a community can be an excellent tool for building relationships with your patients—as well as your patients’ friends and family—and disseminating information.
Here are 3 reasons why you should put an emphasis on bolstering your online presence.
Reason #1: This Little Thing Called Population Health.
Population health is a new model of patient care for healthcare organizations. It means focusing on health outcomes for patient populations instead of individuals. It also means focusing on preventive care instead of curative care, especially for people with chronic diseases, according to the American Hospital Association.
By building online communities for specific patient populations, you provide them with a resource that focuses on their specific issues. When you blog about a topic, you encourage others to share their stories. This can offer those new to the community hope and information.
Including visually pleasing graphics is a must. People scrolling through Twitter and Facebook will be instantly drawn to graphics that are both clean and helpful.
Reason #2: The Internet Is Here To Stay.
That means internet searches for health issues aren’t going away, either. Patients aren’t always going to save their questions and concerns for their next appointment. They want to find the information they need immediately. If they are a patient at your healthcare organization, they should be able to get that from you. That’s where having an online community can help.
These are just some of the top searches. People are out there looking for help with something. It’s the hospital’s duty to help with the health concerns. If they aren’t getting engagement from you, they’ll look elsewhere. At that point, they’re at the mercy of the internet, and we all know how much misinformation is out there.
Reason #3: You Can Provide A Ton Of Helpful Info.
An online forum can allow your medical experts to address a wide range of common concerns. Patients can be involved in discussion around the psychological, social, and emotional aspects of their condition as well.
Remember: It’s about the patient. When someone close to them is going through a tough procedure, they are looking for all the information they can get. We’ve seen firsthand how thankful patients are when their own healthcare provider is there to help.
Want to know how your healthcare organization can build an online community? Contact us for more information.