by Derrick Idleburg, Jr.
I work in healthcare — at a hospital to be specific. Through the past year, I’ve noticed something that I find very interesting. There is a lot of resistance to the use of social media. In one example, there was a great customer service opportunity for the hospital via social media. A former patient stated their complaints and wanted to know what would be done to fix the issue. The patient was never given an answer, and I am positive that the patient told everyone they knew not to set foot in this particular institution. The patient stated that the hospital didn’t care about them. Why is social media seen as such a problem? An issue like this could have been easily resolved. The organization could have and should have asked the customer to send a private message with contact information, then set up a meeting to discuss the issue. Was that so difficult? I think that some organizations have an issue meeting people where they are.
In social media, you can’t control what someone says. If anything, someone posting a negative comment about the hospital is merely an opportunity to offer great customer service. Instead of ignoring the complaint, contact that person. Find out the issue, and solve it. It’s pretty simple and inexpensive. Let’s face it: hospitals aren’t going anywhere. Health issues arise, and patients will seek out the help they need. Hospitals should see this necessity as another opportunity to speak more about their strengths. When a patient needs specific help from a hospital that specializes in the heart, they don’t want to waste their time and money going to a hospital that specializes in the brain. Doesn’t make sense, does it? I think that if hospitals would dedicate some time to social media and discover how it can effectively help them with their bottom line, they would be abledo it more efficiently. By “do it” I mean offer the best care possible for patients by any means. What is the bottom line? Healing patients.