Social Media in Health Care

  • Brenda EschenbrennerEmail author
  • Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9191)


To identify existing streams of research and develop an agenda for future research, we reviewed and synthesized the existing literature relevant to social media in health care. In particular, our review encompassed two themes - Patient Use of Social Media and Healthcare Organization/Professional Use. Within these overarching themes, we focused on four subthemes (i.e., two under each main theme): community/public health and patient support/use, as well as medical litigation & compliance risk and health education & information sharing. From this review, we have also proposed future research topics and questions to further cultivate this salubrious research domain.


Social media Health care Patient social media use Healthcare organization social media use 


  1. 1.
    Fichman, R.G., Kohli, R., Krishnan, R.: The role of information systems in healthcare: current research and future trends. Inf. Syst. Res. 22(3), 419–428 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Moses, R.E., Chaitt, M.M., Jones, D.S.: Social media in health care: lessons from the field. J. Health Care Compliance 16(5), 17–24 (2014)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Miller, A.R., Tucker, C.: Active social media management: the case of health care. Inf. Syst. Res. 24(1), 52–70 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hackworth, B.A., Kunz, M.B.: Health care and social media: building relationships via social networks. Acad. Healthc. Manag. J. 7(2), 1–14 (2011)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gill, H.K., Gill, N., Young, S.D.: Online technologies for health information and education: a literature review. J. Consum. Health Internet 17(2), 139–150 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boyce, N.: The lancet technology: March, 2012. Lancet 379, 1187 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Harris, J.K., Moreland-Russell, S., Tabak, R.G., Ruhr, L.R., Maier, R.C.: Communication about childhood obesity on Twitter. Am. J. Public Health 104(7), e62–e69 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lowe, J.B., Barnes, M., Teo, C., Sutherns, S.: Investigating the use of social media to help women going back to smoking post-partum. Aust. NZ. J. Public Health 36(1), 30–32 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Norton, A., Strauss, L.J.: Social media and health care – the pros and cons. J. Health Care Compliance 15(1), 49–51 (2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Waxer, N., Ninan, D., Ma, A., Dominguez, N.: How cloud computing and social media are changing the face of health care. Phys. Exec. 39(2), 58–62 (2013)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Memmott, S., Clarke, J.L.: The proposed rule on transparency reports: shedding light on the sunshine act. An overview of the most important aspects of the proposed regulations. J. Health Care Compliance 14(2), 13–20 (2012)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bottles, K., Kim, J.: Evolving trends in social media compliance in medicine. Phys. Exec. 39(5), 96–98 (2013)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Burke, T.R., Goldstein, B.: A legal primer for social media. Mark. Health Serv. 30(3), 30–31 (2010)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dinh, A.K.: Privacy and security of social media in health care. J. Health Care Compliance 13(1), 45–46, 72 (2011)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bermùdez-Tamayo, C., Alba-Ruiz, R., Jimènez-Pernett, J., Garcìa-Gutièrrez, J.F., Traver-Salcedo, V., Yubraham-Sànchez, D.: Use of social media by Spanish Hospitals: perceptions, difficulties, and success factors. Telemed. e-Health 19(2), 137–145 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Cain, J.: Social media in health care: the case for organizational policy and employee education. Am. J. Health-Syst. Pharm. 68(11), 1036–1040 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Anikeeva, O., Bywood, P.: Social media in primary health care: opportunities to enhance education, communication and collaboration among professionals in rural and remote locations. Aust. J. Rural Health 21(2), 132–134 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hawn, C.: Take two aspirin and Tweet Me in the morning: how Twitter, Facebook, and other social media are reshaping health care. Health Aff. 28(2), 361–368 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Piscotty, R., Voepel-Lewis, T., Lee, S.H., Annis-Emeott, A., Lee, E., Kalisch, B.: To Tweet or not to Tweet? Nurses, social media, and patient care. Nurs. Manag. 44(5), 52–53 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Johnson, C.: Games patients play. Physician Executive 38(3), 6–10 (2012)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kilaru, A.S., Asch, D.A., Sellers, A., Merchant, R.M.: Promoting public health through public art in the digital age. Am. J. Public Health 104(9), 1633–1635 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Huang, E., Dunbar, C.L.: Connecting to patients via social media: a hype or a reality? J. Med. Mark. 13(1), 14–23 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Adams, S.A.: Maintaining the collision of accounts: crowdsourcing sites in health care as brokers in the co-production of pharmaceutical knowledge. Inf. Commun. Soc. 17(6), 657–669 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    McKee, R.: Ethical issues in using social media for health and health care research. Health Policy 110(2/3), 298–301 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bottles, K., Kim, J.: How physician leaders can use social media to crowdsource. Phys. Exec. 40(1), 82–84 (2014)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Andersen, K.N., Medaglia, R., Henriksen, H.Z.: Social media in public health care: impact domain propositions. Gov. Inf. Q. 29(4), 462–469 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Richter, J.P., Muhlestein, D.B., Wilks, C.A.: Social media: how hospitals use it, and opportunities for future use. J. Healthc. Manag. 59(6), 447–460 (2014)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hove, T., Paek, H.-J., Isaacson, T.: Using adolescent eHealth literacy to weigh trust in commercial web sites. J. Advertising Res. 51(3), 524–537 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Park, H., Rodgers, S., Stemmle, J.: Health organizations’ use of Facebook for health advertising and promotion. J. Interact. Advertising 12(1), 62–77 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Chou, W.S., Prestin, A., Lyons, C., Wen, K.: Web 2.0 for health promotion: reviewing the current evidence. Am. J. Public Health 103(1), e9–e18 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Nebraska at KearneyKearneyUSA
  2. 2.Missouri University of Science and TechnologyRollaUSA

Personalised recommendations