Posting Bad Healthcare Experiences on Social Media: Constructive or Destructive?

july 18

Posting Bad Healthcare Experiences on Social Media- Constructive or Destructive?

Social media has revolutionized our lifestyle- that includes our everyday access to Twitter and Facebook and regularly updating our profiles and posts. In accessing these platforms every day, we might have come across rants of concerned netizens, specifically those who post or blog about their negative healthcare experiences.

As a healthcare professional reading those, it is unavoidable not to become affected for we are part of the healthcare force. With goals of safe and quality healthcare, the challenge for healthcare professionals and institutions is in capturing and addressing these concerns on social media, coming from the most important stakeholders in healthcare- the patients and their families.

As cited in Media Impacts, an article entitled “Harnessing the cloud of patient experience: using social media to detect poor quality healthcare” published online by BMJ Quality and Safety in January 2013 by F. Greaves, D Ramirez-Cano, C Millett, A Darzi and L Donaldson, of the Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London, say that:

“We believe the increasing availability of patients’ accounts of their care on blogs, social networks, Twitter and hospital review sites presents an intriguing opportunity to advance the patient-centred care agenda and provide novel quality of care data.”

Aside from these the advantages, a lot of issues have to also be considered from serious cases of patients and their families venting out their negative healthcare experiences on social media. Some of these include:

  • the freedom of opinion on social media and its limitations,
  • issues with anonymity, privacy and confidentiality
  • damage to the image of healthcare professionals, hospitals and other health institutions

Pros and cons always accompany the use of social media that is why for this week’s edition of the HealthXPh tweetchat, we’d like to hear from the perspectives of the different healthcare stakeholders– patients and their significant others, healthcare providers, hospitals administrators and leaders to provide insights on how public posts of negative healthcare experience influence healthcare.

In relation to this, a 2013 editorial published in BMJ Quality & Safety about “Patient-centred healthcare, social media and the internet: the perfect storm?”  by Rozenblum and Bates, states that

Patient experiences acquired via the internet and social media appear destined to become of major value to the public, to healthcare organizations and possibly also to regulatory bodies.”

Join us for another #HealthXPh tweetchat tomorrow, July 18, 2015 at 9pm Manila time / 9am EST. The discussion points are as follows:

  • T1: As a healthcare provider, do you consider bad healthcare experiences posted by patients as constructive or destructive? Why?
  • T2: As a patient, would you post about your negative healthcare experience publicly? Why or why not?
  • T3: How can social media influence the improvement of the whole healthcare experience?

This pre-chat blog was written by our guest moderator for Saturday’s #HealthXPH tweetchat Ms. Ray Labra.

ray labra

Ray Anne Labra is a Registered Nurse by profession earning her Bachelors degree in Cebu Normal University and is currently taking up Leadership in Nursing as her Masters degree in the same institution. She is currently the Cebu-based Project Coordinator at HealthInformatics, Inc. (Hii), who helped co-organize the first Philippine Healthcare Social Media Summit with HealthXPh.