Communication Technology and Social Media: Opportunities and Implications for Healthcare Systems

By Weaver, Betsy; Lindsay, Bill et al. | Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, September 2012 | Go to article overview

Communication Technology and Social Media: Opportunities and Implications for Healthcare Systems


Weaver, Betsy, Lindsay, Bill, Gitelman, Betsy, Online Journal of Issues in Nursing


Abstract

Electronic patient education and communications, such as email, text messaging, and social media, are on the rise in healthcare today. This article explores potential uses of technology to seek solutions in healthcare for such challenges as modifying behaviors related to chronic conditions, improving efficiency, and decreasing costs. A brief discussion highlights the role of technologies in healthcare informatics and considers two theoretical bases for technology implementation. Discussion focuses more extensively on the ability and advantages of electronic communication technology, such as e-mail, social media, text messaging, and electronic health records, to enhance patient-provider e-communications in nursing today. Effectiveness of ecommunication in healthcare is explored, including recent and emerging applications designed to improve patient-provider connections and review of current evidence supporting positive outcomes. The conclusion addresses the vision of nurses' place in the vanguard of these developments.

Citation: Weaver, B., Lindsay, B., Gitelman, B., (September 30, 2012) "Communication Technology and Social Media: Opportunities and Implications for Healthcare Systems" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 17, No. 3, Manuscript 3.

DOI: 10.3912/OJIN.Voll7No03Man03

Key words: healthcare, electronic communication, email, text messaging, social media, social networks, Facebook®, Twitter®, EHR, nursing informatics, patient education, patient-provider communication, positive health outcomes, patient-centered care, compliance, healthcare cost-savings, disruptive innovation, diffusive innovation

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also known as the "Stimulus Package") provided incentives, such as extra Medicare and Medicaid payments and direct federal loans and grants for hospitals to adopt health information technology (Department of Health and Human Services. 20121 . Despite these incentives, as well as research supporting the efficacy of electronic communication with patients, many clinicians have not yet had opportunity to put electronic outreach to work in delivering patient-centered care. Nurses, however, are uniquely positioned to change that by using ecommunication technology to create and sustain patient-provider connections that improve outcomes.

The time has come for nurses to seize this opportunity. With the emerging push to have more services and care provided outside of hospitals and to manage populations of patients-both part of the movement toward the Patient-Centered Medical Home-nurses are likely to be enlisted as the connectors to this new out-of-hospital care model. Nurses will be tasked with managing patient connections while supporting quality and efficiency. Electronic communication technology will be a critical factor in enabling nurses to accomplish this goal.

There's no doubt that we live in an increasingly electronic world, but the latest numbers from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project make it clear:

* 85% of Americans are online (Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, 2012b, para. 1).

* 55% of US adults go online wirelessly (Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, 2012c, para. 1).

* Small screens outnumber big screens: Almost half of US adults own a smartphone (Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, 2012a, para. 1).

* 17% of US adult cell phone owners use their phones to look up health or medical information (Purcell, 2012, Slide 22).

Statistics from the past year tell us that we are rapidly moving toward mobile devices. For example, the percentage of U.S. adults who own a smartphone increased 11% between May 2011 and February 2012 (Pew Internet and American Life Project. 2012aV To a greater extent than ever before, communicating electronically and on the go is how people connect.

Methods of communication are also changing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Communication Technology and Social Media: Opportunities and Implications for Healthcare Systems
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.