Healthcare Technology and the Growing Importance of Social Collaboration


The Health Care Blog recently provided context on a recent study by IBM which shows the majority of healthcare CEOs see technology as a way to transform their organizations by improving communication and collaboration between patients, doctors, and healthcare providers.

Social collaboration has a place in multiple areas of healthcare. Many predict the growth of online social networks where patients with the same injuries or diseases can come together for peer support. Others foresee the development of knowledge sharing tools that allow nurses and pharmacists to perform tasks currently performed by doctors. Internally, CEOs anticipate using secure social media tools to increase collaboration and the sharing of company knowledge. Bausch & Lomb recently adopted a secure social media platform similar to Twitter for its international sales agents to share their experiences in the field. According to the eye-care company, this has provided invaluable information on competition and market issues in real-time.

In addition to intra-company communication, 68% of CEOs believe that social media will become one of the top three methods for communicating with customers in the next five years. These social media communication tools will also be used for healthcare analytics and organizational improvement. CEO’s anticipate monitoring these platforms for observations about their services and healthcare issues, just as they currently do with call-center transcripts. The strategic implementation of social media tools by healthcare organizations has the potential to improve the quality of care that patients receive while at the same increasing organizations’ cost efficiency.

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