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How a health care organization scales social media across 23,000+ employees while successfully navigating HIPAA regulations

Discover how Spectrum Health System integrates Nexgate and Brandwatch with Hootsuite Enterprise to maintain compliance on social media

Promoting wellness through social media

A not-for-profit health system, Spectrum Health System is West Michigan’s largest employer with more than 23,000 employees across 12 hospitals. Spectrum Health is responsible for providing credible health care information and discussions among their online communities. Taking this commitment to social media, the organization builds trusting relationships and promotes wellness in their communities.

  • 12
    hospitals with a social media presence
  • 23,000+
    hospital employees
  • 24 hr
    state-mandated social media response time met

Navigating HIPAA regulations to be a trusted source of information

Public-serving institutions such as hospitals need to be a part of relevant conversations and be available on whatever channels patients want to connect. “People are increasingly turning to social media, but there’s a lot of misinformation out there,” says Michael Yoder, Spectrum Health’s Social Media Consultant. “Health care systems must provide trusted information on immunization, flu virus, therapy, ebola, you name it—there needs to be a voice of reason.”

But like in any highly regulated industry, health care organizations are more cautious to adopt new technologies because of rules and regulations like HIPAA. Challenged to effectively serve their community—by answering inquiries quickly, sharing information, and making connections—in a compliant way, Spectrum Health found a solution in the Hootsuite Enterprise ecosystem.

How they did it

Customizing the Hootsuite ecosystem to work for them

By partnering with the best applications, integrations, tools, and resources available, the Hootsuite ecosystem gives global organizations the power of choice, depth of integration, and expertise to scale. This thriving ecosystem is made up of over 100 app integrations, technology partners, agencies, and solution partners.

Understanding Spectrum Health’s digital organizational structure

Michael Yoder and Kristin Coppens, Social Media Specialist at Spectrum Health, work together as a center of excellence, overseeing all communications for a dozen social media contributors across the hospital network. Working with Hootsuite’s Professional Services, their dashboards are set up to mirror a hub and spoke business model, with them at the centre. This lets them monitor all contributor-conversations, assign messages, pull reports, and approve or decline scheduled messages.

Instead of relying on one single vendor to support the organization and entrust security measures, Spectrum Health uses Hootsuite’s ecosystem to handpick the best applications, integrations, and tools for them.

As an established health care organization, we have a responsibility to be part of the general health conversation, providing credible information
Michael Yoder
Social Media Consultant

Using Brandwatch and Hootsuite to provide excellent social customer service

For example, Spectrum Health is required to respond to all direct inquiries within 24 hours. But because the dozen contributors across the various hospitals aren’t dedicated to managing social media, Michael monitors for communications through Hootsuite and Brandwatch. Setting up listening streams and notifications via Brandwatch, Michael is notified as soon as an inquiry comes in and assigns it to the correct contributor—for example, the Children’s Hospital answers most pediatrics-related questions.

The results

With an organization of 23,000 employees and only two people corporately responsible for the whole system, having centralized control is essential.

Now with Hootsuite, all of their social administrators are on one dashboard, giving Yoder the ability to track, analyze, and report on the platform unlike ever before:

  • Responds to inquiries within required 24 hours

  • Remains compliant with HIPAA regulations

  • Engages in social conversations to dispel health rumors and share trusted knowledge

  • Integrates Nexgate HIPAA compliance and security monitoring across every social channel for 12 hospitals

Today, monitoring for compliance can be automated through Hootsuite and partner integrations. This frees up Michael and Kristin to improve strategies, support contributors, and build communities by sourcing and sharing relevant, trustworthy content. They were able to achieve all of this because of Hootsuite’s open ecosystem.For example, Kristin recently hosted a “Sun Safety” Twitter chat, where she used Hootsuite’s Content Library to pull all questions, answers, and fast facts to sort and publish in the chat. By monitoring the #SunSafety hashtag in-stream, she sourced new questions and comments, fueling the conversation. Keeping everything consistent means that she can do more campaigns like this to engage and educate followers.

Products used in this study

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