One of the aspects of Gov 2.0 that I think is making excellent progress is in the area of healthcare and social media. Not only are private healthcare organizations beginning to embrace this technology, but government agencies are also beginning to make use of these powerful tools.
Efforts to distribute accurate information about the dangers of swine flu and the importance of vaccination are hampered by the sheer complexity of the message. Social media tools are being utilized to assist in this effort. Using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs, the government is actively engaged in social media to harness the power of this platform to reach a new audience and provide real time information. Social media is a powerful new method of healthy communication.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have been working together to provide consumers and partners with social media tools that provide information about the ongoing 2009 novel influenza A (H1N1) outbreak. Widgets, mobile information, online videos and other tools reinforce and personalize messages, reach new audiences, and build a communication infrastructure based on open information exchange.
The primary portals for information about H1N1 are at Flu.Gov, the Public Health Matters blog, the CDC Facebook Fan page, and the HHS YouTube page.
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CDC is also encouraging the strategic use of Twitter to effectively and inexpensively reach individuals and partners with timely health and safety information. You can follow updates from CDC on Twitter at:
Flu.Gov on Twitter for H1N1 updates - For real time updates on the latest information
CDC's Twitter profile for social media updates - For health professionals interested in staying up-to-date with CDC's social media activities
CDC's Twitter profile for emergency information - Emergency preparedness and response information from CDC and partner agencies.
CDC's Twitter profile for flu updates - Updated information related to novel H1N1 flu, seasonal flu, and general influenza information.
CDC is actually using social media to inform on a variety of subjects besides flu. CDC is also home to a number of blogs on topics ranging from occupational health to HIV prevention and control. CDC blogs allow programs to share information in a way that encourages readers to comment and engage with the content:
- "Health Marketing Musings" — by Jay Bernhardt, Director, National Center for Health Marketing
- Public Health Matters — by Dr. Ali Khan, Director, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases
- NIOSH Science Blog — from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
- NCIPC "Director's View" — by Ileana Arias, Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
- Health Protection Perspectives — by Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
- Heightened National Response Web Community Blog — discussion of strategies, best practices and outreach initiatives as they relate to the Heightened National Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis among African Americans
The HHS Center for New Media promotes and supports strategic, mission-oriented implementation of new and social media. Their mission is to provide new media trainings, guidance, coordination, and evaluation across HHS, and to encourage and participate in the utilization and facilitation of new media communications throughout the federal government. Their work is under continuous development as the site grows with the expanding HHS new media activities. Follow Andrew Wilson of the HHS social media team on Twitter to keep updated on all the happenings.