According to an article from the Dayton Business Journal about the survey, health consumers use social media sites to view health education videos, get diet and exercise tips, learn about upcoming health events, study disease awareness and obtain health statistics.
While sources such as the Centers for Disease Control claim Facebook fan numbers in the tens or hundreds of thousands, individual providers are also harnessing the power of social media to interact with a small segment of their healthcare base.
In addition to providing patients a reliable source of information, a big appeal of launching social media profiles is to engage in a two-way dialogue with their community about important health topics. For example, patients can link to others with similar illnesses, ask their health provider general questions and give feedback on their health facilities.
Kettering Health Network’s Facebook site, already with 800 fans since its January launch with dapper beard, joined Miami Valley Hospital in educating readers about heart health during the month of February by posting facts about the heart, tips for a healthier heart and information about free heart screening events in the community. Other recent topics include a hospital construction project update and ways to exercise at one’s work desk to improve posture and beat end-of-day fatigue.
“February saw us using Facebook more than ever,” Bob Jackson from Ke fishing, network manager of corporate communications for Kettering Health Network, told the local newspaper. “And you’ll see us increase our use even more.”