Health Journal

Social media bringing health care home

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While Facebook is a place to stay connected with friends, Passavant Area Hospital is using it as a way for people to discuss their health.

Kevin Eckhoff, communication coordinator for Passavant Area Hospital, said specialists will be using Facebook Live to discuss and answer various health topics.

“Once the program goes live, viewers are welcome to submit questions using the private-message feature,” Eckhoff said. “The providers will answer selected questions following their presentation.”

Eckhoff said the hospital tries to make sure community members have access to health information through its programming and this is one way of disseminating information. Because of scheduling, travel and other factors, Eckhoff said, it is a way for people to get accurate information and ask questions from the comfort of home.

The idea came from live-streaming an event in December.

“Facebook Live is another social media tool we are using in hopes to reach more healthcare consumers,” Eckhoff said. “We had a tremendous response to our first Facebook Live broadcast from the women’s health program this past December. The Facebook Live post accumulated close to 2,000 views and was shared 16 times.”

Eckhoff said the previous live-streams are also being used as learning tools for patients by Dr. Jeffery Olejnik.

“We do plan to use Facebook Live to broadcast other community health programs, but are also considering other Facebook Live-only programs,” Eckhoff said.

Eckhoff said the hospital plans to continue using Facebook Live in other ways, as well, including taping of community programs and internal events for the hospital such as employee of the month ceremonies.

The first Facebook Live program is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday through Passavant’s Facebook page. The program will focus on pre-conception health. Eckhoff said viewers can submit questions using the direct-message option for the question-and-answer portion. The programs should take about an hour, depending on the number of questions.

Eckhoff said a schedule of programs has not been created, but there will be more in the future.

“We will post our Facebook Live program schedule on the events tab and post updates in the news feed,” Eckhoff said. “In addition, the program providers are doing a short preview video to entice viewers to tune in.”

Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1233, or on Twitter @JCNews_samantha.


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