After making the case for social media in Part 1 of this blog series, we now highlight some great examples of healthcare institutions successfully applying social media strategies. 

The Mayo Clinic– Industry Educational Leader 
Perhaps one of the most progressive healthcare organizations in the realm of social media is the Mayo Clinic. Not only has it hosted three Healthcare Social Media Summits, but the Mayo Clinic runs its own Social Media Residency course and has a full presence on all social media outlets, including YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

In fact, the Mayo Clinic recently put out a musical parody video titled “Know Your Numbers” to promote heart health that has already received close to 70,000 hits. 

Nebraska Medical Center– Embracing YouTube
Also taking to the YouTube broadcast waves, Nebraska Medical Center has invested much time collecting and packaging patient testimonials into professional video segments.

Already seeing an ROI, the hospital has received an increase for surgery requests. The medical center also uses its channel to post pre-op educational segments and videos of doctors introducing themselves to potential patients. 

University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital– Facebook Fundraising
UCSF recently hit it big in the fundraising department with a most creative social media strategy featuring a Facebook game, in collaboration with the social gaming company, Zynga, to help raise money for a new children’s hospital in Mission Bay.

While the hospital only anticipated collecting $100,000 through a general fundraising campaign, their FarmVille game—where players could buy virtual candy can seeds with every purchase going as a 100% donation—ultimately brought in more than $800,000 in additional funds to help build the new hospital. 

Henry Ford Hospital–Tweeting a Brain Surgery
To connect with medical students, a surgeon at Henry Ford Hospital tweeted a brain surgery, uploaded a YouTube video of the surgery—with the consent of the 47-year-old male patient—and even responded to questions from tweets around the country.

This foray into the world of social media was so innovative that it caught the attention of ABC News, which ran a news segment about the on-line surgery event. 

Rush University Medical Center– Live Blogging from Haiti
With three of its doctors joining in relief efforts in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Rush University Medical Center featured their experiences through real-time blogging in its Mission to Haiti series. 

Part 3 of our ongoing series will begin offering advice and guidance for effective social media campaigns.