Providing State of the Art Child Health Services to Parents Through Social Media

Providing State of the Art Child Health Services to Parents Through Social Media
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Overview

Healthdirect Australia provides the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby (PBB) service for parents of children up to five via telephone with maternal child health nurses (MCHNs), a website and Facebook page; 77% of parents use PBB via their mobile device and the main age group, 24 to 35 year olds, use social media as their first choice of information source and validation amongst their peers. The PBB audience is very social media-literate and they want to choose how and when they interact with health agencies.

Healthdirect piloted six live Facebook forums with MCHNs answering parents’ questions. Objectives were to learn about user behaviour, audience scale, workflow, editorial process and risk management. The forums connected parents and MCHNs in a social environment, facilitated community building and promoted engagement through sharing of content. The topics allowed parents to ask the ‘silly question’ without feeling like they’re ‘wasting the time’ of the nurse on the phone. Participation expanded the professional scope of the nurses involved, increased their social media literacy, developed confidence in writing responses to parents questions and they enjoyed the experience.

Presented by Dianne Zailitis

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