Social Media for Canadian Health Care

May 2, 2010

On Friday, April 30, I had the opportunity to speak at the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network Education Day for Healthcare Communicators or TAHSN. This well organized meeting provided some great interaction with health care communicators from Toronto hospitals and got me thinking about the use of social media in a country with socialized medicine. While the focus of much of US hospitals in social media is to attract new patients, in Canada, the purposes would be different. However, one common interest is fund raising. Canadian hospitals have Foundations as a fund raising arm of the hospital and social media provides a useful outreach to potential donors. Following the success of fund raising via text messaging and social media for Haiti, there may be an opportunity for Canadian hospitals to focus their energies here. As with US hospitals, there are opportunities for using social media, such as blogs and private social networks with personal profiles to enhance service and productivity. Engaging with patients, such as, the example of the Bloom Blog from Bloorview Children’s Rehab Hospital in Toronto is a great example engaging parents of children with disabilities.

More soon the the exiting New York Times magazine article on the Quantified Self which is the next trend in health and social media.

Below are my slides from the presentation. I follow Lee Aase from Mayo Clinic who joined the conference via webex.

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2 Responses to “Social Media for Canadian Health Care”

  1. Slide 20 relating to quality assurance improvements are badly needed “in a country with socialized medicine” since there are no underlying economic/capitalistic drivers for quality improvement.
    If we can use SM in HC as a feedback loop by tracking results, it can go beyond just marketing and evolve as a permanent fixture of a HC org’s operations processes.

  2. I think the UK is even more different as in the past few decades we have had very limited charitable funding in the health service.

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