“We've been working with our physician and nursing staff in particular to engage on social media in a way that works within their busy schedules and helps them elevate their personal brand in social media and digital search,” he said.
Two years ago, Lee and his team began having conversations about activating Mayo Clinic nurses on social media.
Nurses make up about 25 percent of Mayo Clinic's staff, and they play a core role in building the hospital's reputation through their day-to-day interactions with patients and family members, said Lee.
He added getting the nursing staff engaged would not only help the overall visibility of the organization, it could also help improve their operational efficiency.
“For instance, some nursing units wanted to use closed Facebook Groups for shift swaps,” Lee said. “We want them to have a place where they can communicate in an informal way that makes their lives easier and better.”
To get the initiative moving, the team had to get buy-in from top nursing leadership.
“Everyone has a nursing shortage, so we want to position Mayo Clinic as an employer of choice,” he said. “Nurses are friends with other nurses online, so encouraging them to share about their work and their pride about working for Mayo Clinic would tie into that department objective.”
He said once they were able to show nursing leadership how social media would support their business priorities, it wasn't a hard sell.
Next, the team provided a one-hour training session to nursing mid-level managers to help them understand why social media is a priority for the organization.
They've held those training sessions at all three of their Arizona, Florida, and Minnesota campuses, as well as their regional health system practices.
“Through scenario-based learning, we were able to give them the tools they needed to handle questions from their staff,” said Lee. “When we ran through the training, we found a significant increase in comfort among nurse managers.”
Lee said they formatted the sessions around how nurses would typically run their own workshops.
“The situations aren't always black and white,” he said. “For example, one of the scenarios was how to respond if a patient wants a video of you wrapping a bandage. Some people don't want to be on video, so instead of objecting, a nurse can say, ‘Okay, can you just focus on the bandage and not on me?'” We want them to know the patient-centered approaches to certain questions.”
Along with the scenario training, the sessions included other helpful resources.
They also showed a video discussing how word of mouth is one of the most important factors in Mayo Clinic's reputation and that word of mouth is now happening online.
“The site is an online community of not only our Mayo Clinic staff, but others from around the world who are talking about using social media in healthcare,” said Lee. “We put FAQs and the slide deck from the training sessions up there as well.”
Lee said many nurses have already begun to take advantage of the program by joining the Mayo Clinic social media network.
He said they're starting to share content online and participate in their one-day crash course called Social Media Residency.
“We've also provided scholarships for five nurses per session to be able to attend,” he said. “That way, we're getting more frontline advocates engaged with our online community.”
Due to the retirement of an important stakeholder, the team took a pause on the initiative — but are now in the midst of re-energizing it.
The team recently began to mobilize the next step in the program, which is to encourage nursing leadership to have brown-bag sessions with their staff and communicate the training they've already received.
“We'll get them more actively engaged with our Mayo Clinic social media network where we have a lot of curated content they can share,” he said. “It's all pre-vetted and qualified, and they can share it confidently and know they're contributing to the overall effort.”
Lee said the team is looking forward to continuing their efforts by working with their physician staff next.
Their next initiative will be around creating a physician reputation management module, so physicians will know how to maintain their online reputation and contribute to their Google search results.
“It will be a way to engage more of our physician staff,” he said. “The nursing staff was one element, so this will be the next step.”