Aligning with the mission, vision and values of Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) that emphasize a caring environment within a culture of transparency, accountability and respect, the hospital initiated a strategic initiative to use social media at the senior leadership level. The executive suite decided to adopt the use of this digital platform after realizing its potential to improve relationships with patients and the community, enhance staff communication and increase stakeholder engagement.

The purpose of this initiative is to achieve a “Social Hospital” environment through shared leadership to the ultimate goal of improving the patient experience at TEGH. The initiative, referred to as the “Social C-Suite”, involves the CEO, Vice Presidents, Chief Nurse Executive and other hospital senior leaders engaging frequently on social media, including Twitter, and on the hospital blog,

The initiative comprises a series of action plans to address the objectives and define activities, responsibilities and resources required. These include:
•Establishing social media presence for TEGH.
•Designating a core team of executive leaders to champion this initiative and lead by example.
•Encouraging staff to increase their social media involvement and empowering them to embrace technology in a meaningful way.
•Providing training, coaching and one-on-one support to the team and staff to realize the best approach towards the issues of privacy, confidentiality and risks associated with social media usage.
•Using the established official hospital Twitter account (@EastGeneral) to interact with the executive suite.
•Spreading the word and sharing the experience with other hospitals and healthcare organizations.

Traditionally, hospital executives tend to use social media for conventional public relations communications and news releases. This cautious and limited use denies the user many potential benefits. Acknowledging this, the leadership team at TEGH embraced social media to tell the TEGH story in a way that engages, celebrates and inspires its communities in impactful, timely and creative ways. The “Social C-Suite” can now reach out to patients where they are and build a better relationship with the community in an innovative way.

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Title: Director, Corporate Communications

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