Why Organizations Are Leveraging Online Healthcare Communities
Online healthcare communities and online support groups give organizations the opportunity to focus on their people and build better relationships – which is what healthcare is all about.
In fact, every organization in the healthcare sector – whether it’s the hospital, pharmaceutical company, general practitioner or health care institution – benefits from building relationships with its patients, their family and the community.
Wisse Kommunikatie recognizes that one of the most powerful steps a healthcare organization can take towards building better relationships is by actually taking a step back. In their recent blog post, they explain that creating a space for patients to build relationships through online support groups can actually help organizations earn trust with patients.
Why Online Communities Work in the Healthcare Sector
Patients often share common challenges and experiences, and online support groups for healthcare topics offer an incredible opportunity for patients to connect with one another to share personal stories, common questions and advice.
For healthcare organizations, facilitating and maintaining an online community of patients who share a disease, condition or experience is an effective way to share relevant content and increase awareness, authority and preference for their organization. The best part? The organization doesn’t have to do anything for the content – it is created entirely by the members of the community.
What are patients looking for from an online healthcare community?
- Treatment information – what medicines, clinical studies and other options are available?
- Practical information – quality-of-life questions, experiences on how to deal with the disease or condition in specific situations
- Mental support – a listening ear from people who understand and share similar experiences
- Group feeling – a sense of belonging and identification
Keep in mind: Online communities succeed with authentic, user generated content and peer-to-peer communication. Opinions from doctors and medical experts should be kept to a minimum, and the organization should avoid any advertising.
“We have noticed that healthcare organizations have the ability to offer their members a ‘place of their own’. User generated content implies by definition that no control is exercised, and that the users have freedom to speak openly. The organization itself does little more than to facilitate and encourage exchange.” – Serge Beckers, Wisse Kommunikatie
How can organizations effectively facilitate and encourage online support groups and community-building among healthcare patients online? Find out in the blog from Wisse Kommunikatie.
Wisse Kommunikatie is a communications consultancy in the Netherlands, specializing in corporate communication and public relations. Since its founding in 1982, Wisse Kommunikatie has worked for numerous international clients, particularly in technology sectors such as ICT, the automotive sector, transport & logistics, construction and healthcare. The firm’s services include communication research and strategy, public relations, the development and production of content and communication tools, social media and crisis communication.