2017 Magnet - Nurses and Social Media - Our Leaders Online?!

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    Social media offers many avenues of engagement for nurses. Beyond the basics of providing interaction with other nurses, nursing leaders are getting onboard the social media train too.

    2017 Magnet - Nurses and Social Media - Our Leaders Online?!

    We’ve all heard of the pitfalls of social media. However, can social media be leveraged to help nursing leaders engage staff?

    AN recently attended the 2017 Magnet Conference and were able to attend the session, Join Them: Leveraging Social Media as an Innovative Nursing Leadership Communication Tool presented by Amelia K Little, MSN, RN, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC and Shaun C Frame, MSN, RN-BC, CCRN, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

    The traditional approaches to communication are memos, communication binders, bulletin boards, staff meetings, and email. While these methods have been in use a long time, innovative approaches include huddles, text messaging, and Yammer. These nurses created a social media experiment using Facebook (FB) with the following details:

    • Created a unit or department specific group on Facebook
    • Chose secret group option
    • Member by invitation only
    • Only members can “see” the group, not searchable
    • Only appears in current members’ newsfeeds
    • Nurse manager of the group is the administrator

    Additional guidelines included:

    • Do not post protected health information, including pictures or
      insinuations about patients. Protect patient privacy and confidentiality
    • Follow facility Standards of Behavior
    • The group is private, not protected
    • The group is monitored by the nurse manager and compliance
      Department
    • When in doubt, do not post

    These presenters did a preliminary survey and found that 97% of the staff had a social media account. They also queried staff as to how they would like communication from their leaders and most preferred direct communication with staff meetings coming in second. There was a one month trial with the original intention to improve timely communication. What quickly developed: schedule, staffing, social events, humorous posts, reward/recognition, polls/surveys, education, equipment trials, new employee introductions, due date reminders, EMR updates, celebrations, and general announcements. At the end of the one month trial, 85% of the participants wanted to continue the group. This experiment also led to some other lessons learned:

    • Other means of communication must also be used for those employees that do not use social media
    • Some important messages need to be also sent by “official” email for accountability
    • Monitoring the FB page can be time-consuming for leaders
    • Staff from all shifts can participate improving staff cohesiveness and “buy-in”
    • Responses are usually faster than email
    • Use of social media enhances communication but does not replace all other forms of getting the word out

    Some barriers that must be addressed from employees are possible distrust of the leadership, lack of private communication, decreased face to face communication with leaders and the possible addition of editorial comments.

    From leaders some issues can include distrust of security of social media, lack of knowledge about social media, not wanting to embrace change or disturb the status quo.

    Social media is here to stay and will only increase as time goes on. Rules and regulations for social media engagement depend mainly on your facilities’ guidelines and employee rules. However, even the National Institutes of Health have gotten onboard with research. In 2014, they completed a survey entitled, Social Media and Healthcare Professionals: Benefits, Risks, and Best Practices. This research also backed the social experiment conclusions:

    “The incorporation of social media into clinical education has met with mixed reviews, however.5 Courses that incorporate such tools have generally been positively received, but in some cases, students have reported feeling that the use of Facebook for teaching purposes is an intrusion into their social lives. Balancing the enhanced communication opportunities provided by social media with the downside of increased distraction in an educational environment is also a challenge. Unfortunately, standards guiding the appropriate use of social media tools in education are in their infancy”

    Social media sites such as allnurses.com, FB, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others are the wave of the future for many nursing uses. As social media continues to evolve, so to will rules for engagement.

    Happy posting!
    Last edit by Brian S. on Oct 13
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    5 Comments

  3. by   RobbiRN
    Why not take social media to a much higher level? Nursing could use social media proactively to unite without unionizing and leverage the power of our profession to fix the glaring failings of our current healthcare system. Collectively, we have both the wisdom and leverage to heal the cluttered, expensive, wasteful, unjust system that has evolved. We have the numbers. We are the most trusted profession. The public would back us.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Great idea. How do you propose to do this?
  5. by   soutthpaw
    Terrible Idea IMHO.
    Because compliance departments and nurse managers have so much free time as it is. They need to spend time policing social media groups. I am pretty sure you can find where FB terms of service let them use this private group info for nefarious purposes. Still, I see a huge loophole. Referencing something that happened with an anonymous patient is pretty hard to do as most of the staff will be able to figure out who you are talking about and thus you just violated HIPAA. Wait till the first malpractice lawsuit comes through and the plaintiff's lawyer finds out there is a employer sanctioned, private Facebook group page. That will all get subpoenaed into court along with the Facebook pages of every group member. Plus not everyone wants there employers and coworkers on their Facebook.
  6. by   RobbiRN
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Great idea. How do you propose to do this?
    Thank you for being open to the concept. This is a short, simple answer:

    First, distill the collective wisdom of the nursing profession into a 10-point manifesto directing a complete overhaul of healthcare delivery as it currently exists. (For example: #1: Government will be the single payer for healthcare but not a sole regulator.) I will post a trial manifesto on ALLNURSES for feedback and revision soon.

    After confirming wide backing within our profession, float the 10-point agenda on social media and build a movement (not a union). Harness the anger; there's plenty of it among healthcare providers on all levels and consumers frustrated with our convoluted system.

    Recent movements have demonstrated the ability to obtain a voice and get media attention, but their accomplishments were limited because they lacked a clear agenda and the leverage needed to force change. We can come to the table with both.

    Initially there will be no resistance from government or business because no one will take us seriously. When the internal and public backing reaches about 16 million, and a poll shows 85% of the voting public backs our agenda, we draw a line in the sand and declare "A Day Without Nurses" as leverage. The media will pounce on it, and the discussion will become really serious.

    The lives of the nation are literally in our hands. Leveraged properly, there is enough power to force change, to remove the clutter and make our system less expensive and more equitable.

    We can succeed where government and business have failed.
  7. by   traumaRUs
    Quote from soutthpaw
    Terrible Idea IMHO.
    Because compliance departments and nurse managers have so much free time as it is. They need to spend time policing social media groups. I am pretty sure you can find where FB terms of service let them use this private group info for nefarious purposes. Still, I see a huge loophole. Referencing something that happened with an anonymous patient is pretty hard to do as most of the staff will be able to figure out who you are talking about and thus you just violated HIPAA. Wait till the first malpractice lawsuit comes through and the plaintiff's lawyer finds out there is a employer sanctioned, private Facebook group page. That will all get subpoenaed into court along with the Facebook pages of every group member. Plus not everyone wants there employers and coworkers on their Facebook.
    I see your points southpaw. However, as we all move more into the social media age and with younger staff members, don't you think we need to be open to different means of communication.

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