As we explored last week, the addition of Tweets to the search results for popular search engines like Bing and Google can pose new reputation management challenges for health care providers. While patients have always shared their feelings, today that network is global in scope, while the speed with which those feelings travel is now clocked in nanoseconds.
But that is really only half the story. Health care providers must bear in mind that patients can quickly and easily post to Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites directly from their mobile phone. That means they are able to share their feelings—as well as pictures and video—right from your waiting room, exam room, or hospital bed.
As health care seeks itself to leverage the opportunities ushered in by these new technologies, it must be understood that patients are doing the same. So, part of the quality promise made to patients must include the patient experience. For example, is the waiting room comfortable and clean? Is the office staff helpful and responsive? Is there an established protocol to quickly resolve problems?
These things have always been priorities for health care providers. But today, given the ease and immediacy of communication, failure on these counts can trigger far greater results than ever before. Coupled with a provider’s own strategic online communication efforts, this should help ensure a positive experience for patients. And they’ll Tweet about that, too.