This week Mayo Clinic announced the launch of a Center for Social Media. The first of its kind, the Center aims to deepen Mayo’s use of social media tools to promote better communication among health care professionals and improve patients’ quality of care. As discussed in depth in the newly released summer issue of Americas Quarterly, communications technology is revolutionizing the way patients receive health information and even services.
Long a pioneer in social media, Mayo Clinic has a popular channel on YouTube, active Twitter and Facebook accounts, and 12 blogs, the topics of which range from cancer to safe sex to patient anecdotes. While thus far it has primarily used these tools to enhance internal communication among employees—fostering collaboration on patient care, education, research and administration issues—it now seeks to accelerate adoption of them for health-related purposes. Patients will be able to research specific diseases, learn more about Mayo Clinic doctors and even access reference material from CNN Health.
The bottom line? “To help patients,” says center leader Lee Aese, by both providing information directly and integrating communication channels among the medical community.