Rules of Engagement: Social Media for the CIO

    Health care organizations can leverage social media with a balanced, pragmatic approach, but for many chief information officers (CIOs) and IT leaders, their initial reaction is to avoid social media altogether.

    Social media can help health care organizations develop deeper partnerships and communication channels with patients, families, physicians, staff, and communities. It allows health care providers to observe and predict health trends, position their organizations to respond well to events or crises, identify thought leaders, and keep their finger on the digital pulse of the industry.

    Today, health care providers have an online reputation to uphold (whether they want to or not), and face an expectation that they will keep up with their patients' preferred means of communication.

    This research briefing provides an overview of the social media landscape, explains the role of social media in health care, and addresses additional considerations regarding return on investment, staffing models, and IT implications for the CIO.

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