NHS England recently announced new guidance aimed at increasing the use of social media in healthcare to improve transparency, health service delivery and patient experience.
Putting Patients First, the NHS England business plan for 2014/15, makes it a priority for NHS organisations to obtain direct feedback from patients, their families and NHS staff. This will support the cultural change needed to put people at the centre of their care, by making sure that patients’ voices are heard and used to deliver better services.
HealthBerry, a London-based startup, has developed a mobile and web application that enables NHS, third sector and private health and care organisations to measure patient feedback to inform improvements to health services, promote self-care and listen and engage with patients to improve patient experience – using social media.
The startup, which launched its beta last week, has already signed-up more than eighteen NHS hospitals and three GPs in less than one week.
“As a provider of specialist mental health, learning disability and drug and alcohol services, we’re aware of the role that social networking can play in challenging stigma, influencing how people view their health and care condition, how they relate to organisations and the choices they make about how to address their concerns. We also recognise the importance of our employees joining in and helping shape those conversations.
One of the means by which we are trying to manage our social media presence is by using HealthBerry. We particularly like its capability to channel all social media content (from Twitter, Facebook, Patient Opinion, NHS Choices etc.) to one platform from where our staff can respond.” – Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
“Social media platforms are critical to giving patients a say in how services are designed and reformed, as well as providing NHS organisations the chance to celebrate their successes and the great work of their staff, which will help build staff engagement”, says Dawson King, founder of HealthBerry. “But managing and responding to social media is another challenge to be added to the list of competing priorities in healthcare organsiations. HealthBerry makes it easy to collate patient views and truly respond to local healthcare agendas publicised on social media.”