4 Things to Include in Your Critical Access Hospital’s Social Media Policy

Posted on January 19, 2016


A negative review. A bad comment. An inappropriate post. These are all reasons why many healthcare organizations are reluctant to become too active on social media. Because nobody can control everything that is being said.

However, since social media is such a large part of people's everyday lives - and a tool many use to make buying decisions - your healthcare facility can't afford not to be active. That's why it's important to have a comprehensive social media policy that everyone in your facility is familiar with.

A written policy can protect both your facility and your employees. Here are four important components that your policy should include:

1. An online employee code of conduct and potential disciplinary measures for violations of the code of conduct.


  • Employees can associate themselves with the facility online, but must make it clear that their opinions are personal and do not represent the facility.
  • Employees cannot share sensitive or confidential information, especially in relation to patient care.

2. Employee social media usage guidelines.


  • Only members of the marketing department or designated social media team can post on the facility's social media channels.
  • Personal social media use cannot disrupt workplace productivity or performance level.

3. The approval process for online content.

  • Outline who has final approval of online content that directly represents the facility.
  • List who in the facility is approved to post content on behalf of the facility.

4. A crisis management plan.

  • Clearly identify who in the organization should be notified regarding a negative or inappropriate social media post, who will respond to the post and what potential responses are.

Once your social media policy is created and approved, the next step is ensuring all employees are aware of the new policy. A good way to do this is by including it in the employee handbook and/or employment agreement.

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How Your Critical Access Hospital can Effectively Promote New Services

Posted on January 4, 2016


Features Versus Benefits: What will stick in the minds of patients?

So one of your doctors just started offering a new procedure that uses a new innovative method. Or maybe, your imaging department just purchased a new CT scanner. Now, it's your job to create an ad promoting these new services.

As you approach this task, remember that focusing on the technology or the technique may not be the most effective method. Patients and potential patients aren't familiar with clinical or technical jargon; therefore, they won't understand - or relate to - an ad that focuses on clinical and technical features of a service or piece of equipment. They also won't want to see a picture of a joint implant or new surgical laser. Instead, you need to show patients how the features actually benefit them and their quality of life. (See a benefits-oriented orthopedic campaign here.)

For example:

  • Your doctor's new surgery is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure. To a patient this means smaller scars, less time at the hospital and more quickly returning to everyday life.
  • Your new CT scanner allows for a quicker and more accurate scan while using less radiation. To a patient this means increased safety and convenience.

Follow a Real Success Story
See how one critical access hospital promoted a new knee replacement technique in a way that resonated with patients - and the significant increase in volumes that followed the campaign.

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