No, dear reader, I don’t – but suppose I did and when picking up my prescriptions for my treatment from my GP, said practice left the prescriptions out in a box for patients to rifle through in order to locate their own…
NO, surely not. Yes, t’was indeed the case and now no longer, thanks to the marvellous Patient Opinion. I attended the Empowering Change in the NHS Through Collaboration event, hosted by the Scottish Health Council and Peach Digital. [Wee aside – blimey, their presentation slides were seriously fabulous.]
Patient Opinion, known as the Trip Advisor of health services, shared the story of prescriptions left out for all and sundry to see as an example of the power of social sharing to change things for the better. A patient requested that their GP practice desist from publicly sharing patients’ treatments. Patient Opinion shared the story with the practice – and found from the site that other GP surgeries were also leaving prescriptions out in public. This is no longer the case.
So, most health bodies/organisations (and I can include my own workplace here in that it is a charity for unpaid carers and young carers) use Facebook to post up information and don’t really engage/consult/interact. Health-type organisations tend to approach Facebook/Twitter et al with fear and trepidation.
A large part of the event was taken up with descriptions of how to deal with negativity, with fabulous examples of how big corporates have dealt with complaints and turned situations around. This was particularly useful for me – when people post up negative comments on my organisation’s Facebook page my first instinct is to cry (I’m working on developing a thicker skin) and secondly, to go and hide in a darkened room.
Jess from Peach Digital gave some really sound advice about responding in general on social media, while Stuart from NHS Lothian (and that body is no stranger to complaints through social media) described how they tackle the gripes and grumbles.
And as the Patient Opinion experience showed, there is the potential for so much good as a result of social sharing. 50% of the feedback on the site is about good experiences and it’s as important healthcare practitioners to know the good as it is to know the bad. (I’m off to fill in the site myself about the fantastic care I receive courtesy of Gartnavel Hospital.)
Tim from twintangibles made the excellent point that research in the US shows that one third of adults use social media to discuss health. If you’re a health organisation, then it makes complete sense to tune into and use it.
So bring on the negativity I say – now I’m ready, confident and able to deal with them and looking forward to working in a much more interactive and engaging way with the fab folks on Facebook!