20% get healthcare information from social media

April 21, 2011

Is your practice using social media? Twenty percent of your patients may be doing so, and social media may be a way that you can reach them?and others.

Is your practice using social media? Twenty percent of your patients may be doing so, and social media may be a way that you can reach them-and others.

One in five Americans obtains healthcare information from social media, although they don’t necessarily consider it the premier source of such information, according to results of National Research Corp.’s Ticker survey.

Facebook.com topped the list of Web sites used by survey participants for such purposes, with 94% of respondents indicating they’ve used the site to gather healthcare information. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they used YouTube.com, 18% said they have used Twitter.com, 18% said they have used MySpace.com, and 2% have used FourSquare.com for such purposes.

Other survey findings:

  • One in four respondents said it was “very likely” or “likely” that social media would affect their future healthcare decisions.

  • 32% of participants said their trust of social media was “very high” or “high,” and 7.5% said “very low.”

  • Half of the respondents said that they prefer to obtain online healthcare information from hospital Web sites, and 14% said they prefer to use an integrated approach combining hospital Web sites and social media; 3% said they prefer to use only social media.

  • When asked their preferred method of receiving advertising, one in five respondents said they prefer TV. Respondents also said they preferred other traditional sources such as newspapers and radio stations more than social media Web sites for receiving advertising messages.

  • Those with household earnings of at least $75,000 were more likely to use social media to obtain healthcare information than were those with lower incomes. The average age of those using social media for healthcare was 41 years. Those not doing so skewed older, at an average of 48 years.

Ticker surveys 22,877 Americans across the country each month and is not affiliated with any special interest group. The margin of error is +0.7% at a 95% confidence level.