Developing a guide for using social media as a consumer engagement tool in public hospital service design and quality improvement
Background: Social media is used for a range of functions in health, including engaging consumers in the design and improvement of services. Australian hospital stakeholders are interested in using social media for consumer engagement but have indicated that guidance is needed.
Aims: To outline how we developed an evidence-based guide to using social media as a consumer engagement tool in Australian public hospitals.
Methods: Working with an advisory committee of hospital stakeholders we integrated the findings of two studies (a scoping review and an interview study) to co-design a guide to social media-based consumer engagement. We then conducted a consultation on the draft guide with people from consumer engagement, quality improvement, communications and consumer representation roles in Australian hospitals. Findings from the consultation were used in further co-design activities with the advisory committee to finalise the guide.
Results: The guide includes a range of strategies for implementing social media-based engagement, and a workbook to aid planning. Eighteen people provided feedback during the consultation. Recommended improvements included additional strategies for social media-based consumer engagement taken from the participants’ own experiences, developing standalone resources, and including case studies which provide real-world examples of social media-based engagement.
Conclusions: We believe that involving stakeholders throughout every stage of development has produced a guide which will be relevant and useful for hospitals, service providers and consumers. The guide will be available by April 2022.