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How can social media be used in crisis management?

How can social media be used in crisis management?
Hello, everybody. My name is Luis Fernandez Luque, and today we’re going to speak about social media and health communication crisis. First off all, we will review a little bit about social media, then what do we mean by crisis management, how we can detect and monitor those crisis, and then we will focus, in some case, of miscommunication. And we will speak also a little bit about how to communicate and educate, benefits, challenge and conclusion. All of this will be done from using a study case of a real-life crisis. First of all, we will start speaking about social media. As you already know, in this course social media has been widely used in the health domain.
Even health sources like the CDC has made guidelines on how to use social media for health communication– how to use YouTube, Linkedin, Facebook for health communication. We shouldn’t be so surprised when we take into consideration that already in the year 2007, the magazine, Time, said that the person of the year was you. Meaning that you are using social media and every day people, lay person, have become major celebrity right now. Why is this happening? As you can see in this slide, global social media is extremely popular all over the world. Most of the– the most popular social media platforms originated from the US, but you will see also some changes in Brazil. We have Egypt , Russia, ……
and mainland China. This is something all over the world. You will notice also that in Africa, there are not so many social media platforms, but the issue there is actually SMS and mobile phone have become the media channel, especially now that there’s so far. There are many definitions of social media applied to health. One of the first one was Medicine. 2.0. This is from a paper from Professor Gunter Aschenbach, which is already quite all the paper. But as you can see, social media and the health domain has managed– actually two that has managed to create implementation, to facilitate participation, openness and also collaboration. And you had that between patients, with patients, between patients and professionals, and all together.
Now, we will speak also a little bit about crisis management. First of all, what is a crisis? A crisis is a difficult or dangerous situation that needs attention. When there is something that we need to take care of, that can be a crisis. It has to be a difficult situation and hard to handle. And also it can be dangerous. It’s also a moment where we can do something to prevent it from getting worse or not. So if we don’t do something, we’ll have an issue. And a crises can be also something emotional. Those are the definitions from the online dictionary, Merriam Webster. There are many examples. You can have a global crises.
Like right now, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is a global crisis, because there have been cases in the US and Spain. You may have a crisis in the health sector. For example in the health sector, it’s becoming very expensive to treat patients, so we can say that there is no way that we can continue with the development of the health domain since everything is becoming very expensive. That can be a crises in the health care sector. Or you may have also have a crisis in the pharma company. There is some bad news about a news drug or et cetera. And you can also face a personal crisis like a marriage melt down.
There are many theoretical frameworks about crisis management. Pretty much all those frameworks that you can see in the slide, they have three periods where you have to do differences. Before the crisis, you need to monitor to try to identify the crisis, to detect those signs that a crisis is emerging. And also you need to do many things to try to prevent and get ready for a crisis. For example, one of the issues the Ebola crisis West Africa was that the health care system was not prepared to encounter an outbreak. As a result, that rate came out of control.
Also it’s quite different during the crisis, because during the crisis you need to try to contain the crisis so it doesn’t spread more, like with a quarantine. And also to limit the damage that is done. From a communication point of view, when something bad has happened, you may have to start to communicate to try to dismiss the damaging reputation. Also once the crisis is over, you have to recover. You need to try to the regain the trust. And also you may have to reorganise the way your conversation is done. That’s something called, in the paper from Crandall, organisational learning.

This week, our guest educator Dr. Luis Fernandez-Luque talks about the use of social media during crisis management.

Luis has been involved in eHealth and social media research for over 10 years. He has more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and is chairman of the IMIA Social Media WG.

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Social Media in Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges

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