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Operating Opinions
A forum for discussion on recent news regarding OR nurses.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Social media in healthcare
With the ever-evolving landscape of social media, it is essential to be aware of the effects it can have on the work environment. Healthcare professionals are taking advantage of social media as a venue for discussion and provision of education, which ultimately leads to improved patient care. And as Americans spend more and more time on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, they are also increasingly using the Internet as a tool to find and share healthcare information. That being said, organizations can benefit by using these social media outlets to market services that they offer, to connect with patients, and to provide other helpful insights.

Certain hospitals around the country have even been "Live-Tweeting" procedures to keep family members and concerned loved ones up-to-date on the status of operations. For example, Houston’s Memorial Hermann Hospital had a medical professional Tweet from the operating room while a video camera shot clips, and a photographer took pictures of a 21-year-old female’s brain surgery; these digital files were later uploaded to the hospital’s social media pages. Dr. Dong Kim, the neurosurgeon leading the procedure, stated that this was all done for educational purposes. In addition, usage of social media in this manner helps to alleviate anxious patients who want to know exactly what their operation will entail, and with these pictures, videos, and Tweets, they’ll be able to do just that.

How has social media affected your workplace? Please feel free to share your thoughts.
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About the Author

Elizabeth M. Thompson
Elizabeth M. Thompson is the Editor-In-Chief of OR Nurse 2012. She is also a Nursing Education Specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.