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Digital Strategy

Sunnybrook’s social media presence thrived in 2013/14 as the Hospital used FacebookTwitter and YouTube to improve the patient experience, spread news about the organization’s research and innovations, engage with the community and leverage health expertise for patient education. A number of Twitter chats were organized, including a live chat on anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder and one to mark Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The statistics are impressive: 22,000 Twitters followers and 9,000 Facebook ‘likes’. A member of the social media team is always available to follow and respond almost immediately to Twitter comments posted by patients and family members. Sunnybrook’s use of social media to improve the patient experience is now recognized as a leading practice by Accreditation Canada.

Your Health Matters blog

The Your Health Matters blog was launched, which is a new magazine-style website featuring healthy living tips by Sunnybrook experts. The new blog was designed for desktop computers and mobile devices and leverages content from slideshows, videos and blog posts. The blog is the ‘home’ for much of the patient education content that Sunnybrook shares on social media.

Heart surgery in 140 characters

In February 2014, Sunnybrook live-tweeted a heart bypass surgery to mark Heart Month and educate the hospital’s community about heart disease and cardiac surgery. The live tweet included posting photos, video and information in real time by Sunnybrook's web communications team and staff photographer. Sunnybrook was one of the most talked about topics on Twitter that day across the country. In three days, the Hospital gained 5,500 new Twitter followers, and a six second clip of the beating heart has been viewed more than 85,000 times.

Sunnybrook has Klout

Klout is a website and mobile app that uses social media analytics to rank its users according to online social influence via the "Klout Score", which is a numerical value between 1 and 100. As of March 2014, Sunnybrook’s score was 69, the highest of any Toronto-area hospital or hospital foundation. The Hospital has the most-watched YouTube channel among Canadian hospitals with 1.4 million views.

Timely response to issues

The web communications team not only shares Sunnybrook’s innovations, the team also provides timely responses to issues. When CBC’s “Rate my Hospital” report was issued, a short video of Sunnybrook leaders’ concerns with the ranking methodology used in the report was posted online. During the power outage in December 2013, social media was used to answer questions from concerned patients.