What We Can Learn from Two of NYC’s Best Hospitals

October 28, 2013
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This week, I read a great article in the Social Times (ST) about what Mount Sinai Hospital is doing with social media. The New York City-based provider truly is walking the fine line that providers have struggled with when it comes to engaging patients on social networks, specifically Facebook.

John Ambrose, the system’s social media director, spoke with ST about how the organization shares patient’s stories while still adhering to the privacy regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The social media team at Mount Sinai works with the legal team, Ambrose told ST, to ensure everything is, as they say, kosher.

The article then detailed three difference examples where social media helped Mount Sinai engage and educate patients. It happened when they promoted a free skin cancer screening and had a line out the door at the dermatology department. It happened when they shared information on “cancer-proofing” the home, and connected with people and when they updated people with tips and resources during Hurricane Sandy.

After reading the article, I had to see the Mount Sinai Facebook page for myself. Not surprisingly, it was more of the same. In the last three days, the team has promoted articles on preventing kidney stones, shared a story on the babies that were born during Sandy, and advertised a $15 flu shot promotion. If you look at one of Mount Sinai’s 50 other social media accounts, I’d assume you’d find similar content, and there’s not a HIPAA no-no in sight as far as I can tell.

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