The time has come – health professionals should embrace social media and use it to promote health, well-being and recovery to the multitudes!
There are a great many opportunities to enhance the health of people and communities which can gain a foothold in the social media environment. And – I think nurses in particular should be a the forefront, leading the charge to a healthier future… I think that so much, I gathered up several other colleagues over the last year, and together we reviewed the literature to figure out just how this could be achieved…. and now we have published our first paper on the topic….. Here is the link:
You can read the abstract at the above link, and the journal article itself is available through health and academic library subscriptions…..
Here are a few facts from our paper:
Global expansion in internet and smart phone availability has led to rapid expansion of social media
2.7 billion subscribers (39% of world population) to the internet with 77% of these coming from developed countries
750 million of households globally are now connected to the internet which represents approximately 41% of households across the globe
75% of the developed world population now have a smart phone
Facebook has 11.5 million Australian users and half of them check facebook at least daily
LinkedIn has 2.7 million users
youtube has 11 million Australian users
Skype is used by about 280 million users around the world with and average of 7 minutes use per user per day.
Australia has 12.2 million internet service provider subscriptions -1/2 are wireless and 3/4 are households.
- There are 17.4 million smart phone subscription in Australia – and rapidly rising.
- Four out o five professionals use some form of social media.
- Young people have a high uptake, and proficiency, of social media.
- Increasingly health care will need to communicate and offer services and health promotion utilizing social media, because that is fast becoming the standard mechanism for convenient communication with people.
- Social media represents the beginnings of a new era of communication and offers a platform from which health interventions and health communication can develop in the future
- There are new potentials for e-health practice
…and if the isn’t convincing enough – this is what nurses have been up to using Twitter at conferences:
At the Congress of Nurses Conference in Melbourne, Australia May 2013. Delegates and non-delegates participated in a dynamic, unplanned and spontaneous Twitter conversation prior to, during, and after the live face-to-face conference of about 4000 delegates. A total of 221 individual tweeters engaged in a lively conversation about nursing issues during 19 May – 25 May 2013, using #ICNAust2013 (www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/ICNAust2013/analytics). Conference organizers did not organise or encourage the Twitter conversation, however it developed without any organized effort with tweeters self-initiating and participating in conversations. ……. Most of the posts consisted of an exchange of ideas about paper presentations. Other conversations developed where colleagues arranged to meet face to face using Twitter as a communication tool. A total of 3000 tweets using #ICNAust2013 occurred during this period, half of the tweets and mentions amongst the top ten influencers identified in their usernames a connection with one university in Australia (www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/ICNAust2013/analytics). …. The top ten influencers (made up of nine nurses and one health journalist) for the #ICNAust2103 were users with larger cohorts of followers and these users developed a cumulative impression footprint which numbered 1 million connections, while the total cumulative impression for #ICNAust2013 was 1.4 million. Thus the conversation of the wider conference of just 4000 face to face delegates had a wider SoMe impression that extended to 1.4 million Twitter users (www.symplur.com/healthcare-hashtags/ICNAust2013/analytics). The actual impact and the impression footprint are quite different; however the potential for influence should be noted.
And more recently… at the 39th International Conference of Australian Mental Health Nurses in Perth, October 2013, Nurses were again out in force on Twitter! About 400 face to face delegates were present but there were over 140 individual Tweeters producing in excess of 1000 tweets and with a digital impression of about 600,00 using #ACMHN2013
There is much good that can come out of nurses and other health professionals embracing social media, developing proficient skills in using social media, and becoming advocates for fair, equitable and healthy changes for people and communities.
Challenge – Let’s see how much good we can achieve!
What ideas do you have to contribute to get the ball rolling…..?