RP: Social media tools linking hospitals to communities

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St. Louis Business Journal – by Stephanie Thum

Make room, electronic health records. Facebook and Twitter have joined the repertoire of technologies being used by St. Louis health-care organizations to pursue the “better, faster, cheaper” mantra driving the industry.

“Cheaper” is the operative sentiment in this instance. These Web-based tools are free to set up and can be a new marketing, customer service and recruiting link for the organizations. That eventually can mean less money spent on direct mail, television advertising and other forms of marketing.

In February, SSM Health Care decided to make Twitter a part of its external communication strategy.

“Twitter doesn’t replace anything already in place at SSM,” said Chris Sutton, corporate communication manager. “Plus, it’s free, which is a good thing in this economy.”