“I never thought I'd go into social.”
Being able to impact a patient's journey — even in a small way — is really powerful.
When she first got out of college, Sarah Scroggins was focused on communications. And like most people in her role, social media wasn't yet a part of the equation. At Advocate Health Care, Sarah was a part of a team that launched their first foray into brand journalism, health enews, when she saw an opportunity.
“We were on Facebook doing ads and campaigns, and we were sharing content from health enews, but it wasn't strategic. I thought we should be doing a lot more,” she says.
Almost three years ago, Sarah raised her hand to become the first Social Media Manager at Advocate Health Care.
Now, she's in charge of Advocate Health Care's overall social strategy, and a member of SocialMedia.org Health. With one social media specialist on her team handling community management, listening, and replying, Sarah shares a lot of those responsibilities.
But her day-to-day focuses mostly on paid strategy, thought leadership, and content strategy. Right now, she's working on an ongoing content piece to highlight their employees.
#IAmAdvocate is a campaign to feature their associates “Humans of New York” style.
Sarah's team goes to hospitals and physician sites to meet with their physicians, clinicians, physical therapists, associates in environmental services, food services, and anyone else who will talk to them. They ask associates questions about why they do the work they do, take a nice, professional photo of them, and then shares these stories on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
“I Am Advocate has really taken off here,” Sarah says. “We don't just use these stories for social — we use them for recruitment, nursing websites — even the executive team has taken note.”
And they're not the only ones.
Many of the comments on these posts come from Advocate's associates asking when it will be their department's turn.
To find the right associates to talk to, Sarah works with each site's Public Affairs and Marketing teams. They ask leaders what areas could use a boost in engagement, where they can lift up certain departments, and who's doing work that should be recognized.
For example, to highlight their February cardiovascular campaign, they're sharing stories from nurses and people working in their heart unit.
Sarah often finds herself as the middleman connecting patients to the right people.
Patient confidentiality is the extra step we have to take, and the first step we take.
Her team makes sure they're getting a response, being heard, and that their feedback is listened to and valued. “We found that to be our ultimate focus in social media: What's our way of impacting patient care? That's a priority for us.”
Part of impacting their patient journey is telling their stories. She says it can be a challenge to manage the influx of requests from people who want to share their experiences.
“Patient confidentiality is the extra step we have to take, and the first step we take,” she says. But in the end, they get to share gems like this story of an Advocate Health Care associate who went out of his way to bring a patient some mac and cheese. Or this story of a family's experience with the Advocate Children's Heart Institute.
“Being able to impact a patient's journey — even in a small way — is really powerful.”
Sarah's been a member of SocialMedia.org Health since 2016. Follow her on Twitter here.