ABSTRACT: Use of Social Media by Spanish Hospitals: Perceptions, Difficulties, and Success Factors. [Telemed J E Health. 2013] – PubMed – NCBI
Abstract This exploratory study has two aims: (1) to find out if and how social media (SM) applications are used by hospitals in Spain and (2) to assess hospital managers’ perception of these applications in terms of their evaluation of them, reasons for use, success factors, and difficulties encountered during their implementation. A cross-sectional survey has been carried out using Spanish hospitals as the unit of analysis. Geographical differences in the use of SM were found. Social networks are used most often by larger hospitals (30% by medium-size, 28% by large-size). They are also more frequently used by public hospitals (19%, p<0.01) than by private ones. Respondents with a negative perception of SM felt that there is a chance they may be abused by healthcare professionals, whereas those with a positive perception believed that they can be used to improve communication both within and outside the hospital. Reasons for the use of SM include the idea of maximizing exposure of the hospital. The results show that Spanish hospitals are only just beginning to use SM applications and that hospital type can influence their use. The perceptions, reasons for use, success factors, and difficulties encountered during the implementation of SM mean that it is very important for healthcare professionals to use SM correctly and adequately.