To some, this may seem a strange thing to promote in the workplace. Traditionally, tools like Twitter have been looked on with disdain – as a distraction from work and of no value either to the Trust or the patients we serve. Outside of healthcare, this view has been successfully challenged for years as being out of date and counter-productive. All sorts of industries have adopted a positive approach to Social Media, encouraging and enabling their employees to connect widely and deeply. The benefit to the company is a far better informed workforce and, specifically, staff that are better informed in their own areas of work.
The benefit to the staff is that they are better at what they do, which brings greater job security and job satisfaction This all flows from better engagement with colleagues both within the workplace and across their professions.
The good news is that the NHS is catching up. NHS England recommends and practices active Social Media engagement. The Department of Health, as a government body, is bound by rules that specify their employees should not be hampered by IT policies from making use of any Social Media tools available to them to connect to their clients – the public.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ is also getting to grips with Social Media. The twitter handle @GSTTnhs is well publicised and at the moment of writing has 2,085 followers, picking up 44 this month (5 today). There is also a new Social Media policy (available from GTi) which sets out the rules for individuals or departments wishing to have their own public identity on the web.
Healthcare is getting connected. I believe that, equally, those that work in healthcare need to get connected. If elected I will argue that we need to be actively promoting, encouraging and supporting greater use of Social Media by every employee in the Trust from the CEO down. I’ve placed a link here to Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust who are already moving in this direction. Southern Health Social Media Guidance and another link to their Social Media FAQs (very useful resource).
I encourage you to follow the links to see a successful example of a positive trust-wide Social Media promotion strategy.
Don’t forget – election papers will start appearing on Wednesday 15 May and have to be returned by Friday June 7. Vote for who you prefer, but PLEASE VOTE!
Here’s yet another reminder, you can communicate with me by leaving a comment on this blog, following me on twitter @BrynRWilliams, using the #GSTTCoGNCS13 hashtag or connecting with me on LinkedIn uk.linkedin.com/in/brynrwilliams