The hospital credits social media for creating a sense of teamwork and collaboration during Hurricane Harvey.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, unveiled its social media policy more than six years ago, according to Megan Maisel, director of integrated media communications. “It was developed by a large, cross-functional team that included representatives from our legal services, institutional compliance, and other departments,” she says. “We have reviewed it periodically to ensure that it remains current, and we are constantly educating and reminding the staff about it.”
A large, well-known teaching hospital, MD Anderson finds the use of social media to benefit not only the organization and its employees but also the community at large. “It connects patients and caregivers and allows each to learn from the other,” Maisel says. “We actively encourage our faculty members and leaders to participate in social media, and we provide them with training and support so that they can do so most effectively.”
Maisel says use of social media was vital during Hurricane Harvey. “We used it to communicate with patients, caregivers, and employees and to answer their questions. And we witnessed a lot of positive interaction among our faculty and staff. They engaged with each other online more than we had ever seen before.”
Maisel cites social media for creating a sense of teamwork and collaboration during the crisis, and this helped greatly in the recovery process afterward. “It was a pivotal moment for us in our digital transformation because the heightened online engagement and sense of team spirit have continued beyond the storm,” she says.
See related article: Unintended Consequences: Patient Privacy in the Age of Social Media
J. Stuart Showalter, JD, MFS, is a contributing editor for HFMA.
Interviewed for this article:
Megan Maisel is director, integrated media communications, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.