We have had other conversations around responding to negative social media posts from patients, and I think everyone participating agreed that these concerns ultimately end up in their hospital’s patient relations office.
When you guys reply to these patients on social media, do you give them patient relations’ contact info? Or do you try to get them to contact you (or private message the account) first, and then ask PR to follow up?
The reason I’m asking…we used to reply to the comments with something like “We’re so sorry to hear this, and we’ll share your feedback with the departments involved” (if we have enough information to ID them) “If you would like us to look into it more and follow up with you, please contact our Patient Relations office at phone number/email.”
I never liked this because I thought it came across like we were telling an already-frustrated patient to take another step. So a few months ago, Patient Relations and I agreed that I would instead try to get the patient to message me contact info, which I would then pass onto PR for their follow-up.
But this is also proving to result in more steps and hand-offs for the patient, who often sends me a lengthy message about their care, which I then I have to pass onto PR. And PR prefers to have a phone number, and sometimes they don’t give me that. And some patients, I suspect, still just want to vent and know that they were heard, not to talk on the phone with someone from PR.
So one Patient Relations employee encouraged me to start saying something more like “We’re very sorry to hear about this. We appreciate you sharing this with us on Facebook. We have a department, Patient Relations, that investigates patient concerns, and if you would like, they can speak with you and look into this more. If you would like contact them, their email address is…”
What do you all think about this kind of response?