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Study: Develop plans to manage social media

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The majority of healthcare organizations don't take advantage of the full scope of social media's capabilities, a nonprofit says. See how they are using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Rapid growth in the use of social media in healthcare requires new guidelines to manage the risks and realize the benefits, according to a study from ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization that researches patient care.

The majority of healthcare organizations don't take full advantage of social media, either due to lack of resources, fear of violating privacy rules, or uncertainty about how best to use social media channels such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, the study found.

Instead, healthcare organizations use social media as extensions of existing marketing and public relations plans, mainly to produce content about themselves. The study also found that physicians who use social media often do so as individuals and are more likely to mix personal and professional information.

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