protected hospital Twitter accounts

Posted by Megan Rowe @MeganRowe, Nov 12, 2020

I'm looking for other Virginia hospitals on Twitter and noticed a curious trend. At least 3 require me to request to follow them.

None of them have bios indicating that the account is intended only for employees.

To me, this seems really bizarre — if I were a patient or prospective patient looking to engage with a hospital, having to request to follow and wait for my request to be accepted would be a huge turn-off. It seems to indicate the account is not for me.

You're right. that is really odd. I suspect they got "burned" on Social Media and this is their defense. In your position though, I would probably stick with it to see what they are up to—perhpas I am wrong and they are trying something unique.

I think one challenge senior healthcare administrators have with social media—and Twitter in particular—is they look at it through a marketing lens—reach, number of followers, the potential for capturing new patients, etc. Although some of that is fine, I believe Twitter in particular to be a critical node in the creation of a Healthcare Digital Trust Network. By this I mean it is a key potential key element in the dissemination of trusted content between various trusted sources. An example: A key piece of actionable local Department of Health content, if appropriately tagged, can be picked up by all of the regional hospitals and some of the local businesses/system and then shared within their system with their best sharing tool (Facebook, blog, email, website page, etc)—all at trivial cost, all concurrently. In other words, It doesn't matter if the local hospital only has 200 Twitter followers—what matters is that they have 1000 internal employee emails, most who live locally with their own personal digital networks, to which you can instantly share select content with from the Health Department tweet, asking them to share it on their Facebook etc. it requires thinking more about complete network architecture and network intervention rather than simply "Twitter engagement".

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