The Importance Of Patient Engagement And The Use Of Social Media Marketing In Healthcare

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The Importance Of Patient Engagement And The Use Of Social Media Marketing In Healthcare


Abstract


The use of social networking in industry and academic has been recognised in the literature. However, there are dearth of literature on the extent to which medical officers in Nigeria are making use of the social media for disease diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. The current study therefore seeks to investigate the importance of patient engagement and the use of social media marketing in healthcare. The study adopted the survey research design. A total of 250 medical officers were randomly selected across the hospitals in Nigeria. Data for the study was collected via online google form which was sent to the social media and social networking site of the medical association of Nigeria. The data gathered was checked for validity and reliability and subsequently analyzed using relative importance index (RII) with the aid of the IBM statistical package for social science (SPSS) and Microsoft excel version 21. Findings from the study revealed that the overall RII of the use of social media is greater than the threshold of 0.5. In terms of relative importance, it shows that WhatsApp has the highest (RII = 0.86) indicating high preference and highest relative importance. With regards to benefits of social media use, majority of respondents agreed that social media helps in gaining new ideas, skills or techniques (RII = 0.88), this was closely followed by avoidance of situation that can expose someone in the contacting of COVID-19 (RII = 0.87). With regards to factors militating the use, the findings shows that personality/individualism (RII = 0.83) was ranked first among the factors, while lack of network availability (RII = 0.79) was ranked 2nd. The study concluded that it is essential that health organizations should incorporate social media in their medical communication strategies, to modernize the approaches currently in use with a view to significantly increase the likelihood of reaching different patients with diverse health conditions.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The human society in general need to contend with information overload of this 21st century while attempting to solve basic human problems or making fundamental decisions in life. This cut across occupations and socio-religious and political background The amount of information require by medical personnel for disease diagnosis and treatment has equally grown at an exponential rate (Abernethy et al., 2010). Physicians generally have to struggle with a huge volume of information shared by their clients to effectively deliver their jobs and render sustainable health care delivery. One way to achieve a holistic care is by sharing information either via the traditional face-to-face medium or through the use of social media and or social network. Manning (2014) defined social media as the forms of media that involve interactive participation among people of like minds. It is an interactive digitally-mediated technology that facilitates the creation, sharing and exchange of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual community of practice and various professional networks.
Social media sometimes refers to group of online applications that allow creation and exchange of user-generated contents. As shown in the literature, social media platforms include radio, television, newspapers and movie production studio(Hamm, Chisholm, Shulhan, et al., 2013). Kaplan and Haenlein (2010)categorized social media into five groups: collaborative projects such as the popular Wikipedia; blogs or microblogs such as Blogger and Twitter; content communities such as the YouTube; social networking sites such as Facebook and lastly, virtual gaming or social worlds such as Human Sim.

It has been proven that these tools allow for personalization, presentation and participation in a discussion group found in a social network environment (Hamm, Chisholm, Shulhan, et al., 2013). Social media is generally characterized by digital platforms where users can create, share, and interact with content and each other in online collaborative spaces. There are social media websites and applications where users contribute, retrieve, and explore content generated by fellow users(Chretien et al., 2011; Peregrin, 2011).

Social media has both positive and negative connotations. Its positive aspect involves information sharing and team collaboration. In terms of benefits, social media has provided healthcare workerswith a way to overcome many barriers militating delivery of quality care to the patients regardless of the diseases that brought them to the hospital(Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).Part of the positive aspect of social media is that it has enhanced self-management skills among patients and provides numerous opportunities for providers to conduct research in their various fields (Mattingly, 2015). In more recent times, social media is one of the best ways to design, collect, and analyze clinical data into scientific papers and scholarly communication (Tonia, 2014; Lee-Ventola, 2014). The negative aspects of social media may include difficulty controlling the intentions of the team members as well as the speedy spread of fallacies and unintended expressions. Sometimes, inappropriate substitution of online information can potentially lead to harmful results and poor reputation of the team members. More importantly, social media platform does not guaranty confidentiality of information shared among the group members.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Social media and the social networks have come to replace the traditional face-to-face medium of human interaction. Nowadays, the hospital authorities have maximized the power of these resources for recovery and survival of the sick and the injured (Lett et al. 2005; Luttik et al. 2005; Molloy, Hamer, et al. 2008; Mookadam & Arthur 2004; Nausheen et al. 2009). While it is true that the use of social media may enhance social connectedness in the processes of disease onset, diagnosis and treatment,cited studies does not explicitly distinguish between the roles of social media in diagnosisand the actual treatment of disease and injuries. Besides, there are dearth of literature on the extent to which medical officers in Nigeria are making use of the social media for disease diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. The current study therefore seeks to investigate the importance of patient engagement and the use of social media marketing in healthcare in Nigeria.


1.3 Research Objective

The main objective of this study is to examine the importance of patient engagement and the use of social media marketing in healthcare. The study was guided by the following specific objectives

  1. Ascertain the extent of use of social medias among Medical Officers
  2. Determine the benefits of social media use to Medical Officers
  3. Investigate the factors militating against the use of social media among medical officers in hospitals in Nigeria

1.4 Research Questions

The following related questions were answered in this study

  1. To what extend are social media being use among Medical Officers?
  2. What are the benefits of social media use to Medical Officers?
  3. What are the factors militating the use of social media among medical officers in hospitals in Nigeria?

1.5 significance of the Study

In this study, we will examine social media use among medical officers. The findings revealed that there are evidences of many possibilities of using social media in health information management and effective health care, the findings will show that social media use has the potential to promote positive health behaviourial change. Besides, it offers opportunities to increase the availability of information, broaden the base of support groups, and actively engage people with relatively minimal cost. The findings will also show that; by increasing interaction and engagement, social media may complement traditional health promotion by raising awareness, spreading influence, and contributing to health behaviour change. The results of this research will show that the respondents have preference for WhatsApp, that other media such as Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Besides, majority believed that social media can enhance dissemination of scientific knowledge and technological information. It is therefore essential that health organizations incorporate social media in their medical communication strategies, to modernize the approaches currently in use with a view to significantly increase the likelihood of reaching different patients with diverse health conditions.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The study will be carried out on the importance of patient engagement and the use of social media marketing in healthcare. It will examine the use, benefits and challenges of social media use among medical officers in selected hospitals in Nigeria.


1.7 Limitation of Study

Finance, inadequate materials and time constraint were the challenges the researchers encountered during the course of the study.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Social media

Social media are interactive digital channels that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, interests, and other forms of expression

Medicine

Medicine is the science and practice of caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, treatment, palliation of their injury or disease, and promoting their health

Healthcare Participants

Patients will be defined as any person seeking health information whether they have a formal diagnosis or not (WHO, 2010). Healthcare providers are those who provide any healthcare advice, diagnosis or provide care in any capacity. This expands this definition past the traditional doctor to include nursing assistants (CNA), nurses (LPN, RN, BSN), etc. but excludes those who practice without a license and who are not at a liability for providing incorrect or dangerous information (WHO, 2010).


1.9 Organizations of the Study

The chapter one consist of the introductory part of the study which includes the study background, the statement of the research problem, the study objective and scope of the study.

The second chapter is a critical review of other literatures relevant to the study and its objectives including the theoretical framework for the study. While the third chapter is methods of data collection, sampling and data analysis used in conducting the study. The fourth chapter centres around the research findings including an analysis of how it relates to previous findings. The fifth chapter consists of the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations base on the study objectives.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the importance of patient engagement and the use of social media marketing in healthcare, medical officers across the hospitals in Nigeria as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the importance of patient engagement and the use of social media marketing in healthcare, medical officers across the hospitals in Nigeria as case study. The study is was specifically focused on examining the extent of use of social medias among Medical Officers to determine the benefits of social media use to Medical Officers and Investigate the factors militating against the use of social media among medical officers in hospitals in Nigeria .

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 250 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are medical officers across the hospitals in Nigeria.


5.3 Conclusions

With respect to the analysis and the findings of this study, the following conclusions emerged;

The outcome of this research indicates that there is an extensive and rapidly growing body of literature on the use of social media in patient and care-giver populations. In this study, we examine social media use among medical officers. The findings revealed that there are evidences of many possibilities of using social media in health information management and effective health care, the findings show that social media use has the potential to promote positive health behaviourial change. Besides, it offers opportunities to increase the availability of information, broaden the base of support groups, and actively engage people with relatively minimal cost. The findings also show that;by increasing interaction and engagement, social media may complement traditional health promotion by raising awareness, spreading influence, and contributing to health behaviour change. The results of this research showed that the respondents have preference for WhatsApp, that other media such as Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Besides, majority believed that social media can enhance dissemination of scientific knowledge and technological information. It is therefore essential that health organizations incorporate social media in their medical communication strategies, to modernize the approaches currently in use with a view to significantly increase the likelihood of reaching different patients with diverse health conditions.

Limitation of the study

The results of this study limit its generalization because it was conducted in a developing economy where basic infrastructure is grossly inadequate. Therefore, more evidence may be required to draw a perfect conclusion.


5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings the researcher recommends that;

  • Doctor should embrace social media for information sharing

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