Examining the Opportunities of Social Networking Adoption in the Health Care Systems

Examining the Opportunities of Social Networking Adoption in the Health Care Systems

Peldon (Curtin University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7262-8.ch008


Social Network Sites (SNSs) are known for providing the opportunity to quickly spread information faster than any other mode because of its ease of accessibility and ability to reach wider populations. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the opportunities of adopting Social Networking (SN) in the healthcare systems. Based on the current literature review, using a social network will enhance communication, collaboration, connection, coordination, and knowledge sharing. The healthcare profession of Bhutan undertook the survey for this study. Three new factors were generated from this study, namely 4Cs; it was found that the use of social networking enhances communication, coordination, collaboration, and connection with patients and among healthcare professionals. The second factor, Green and Sustainability, social networking enables the reduction of the carbon footprint, and the third factor is Exchange Knowledge via use of social networking.
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2. Social Network Aspects

Social networking is a platform for building social networks or social relations among people sharing similar interests. Social networks can be profit-based sites that encourage people of similar backgrounds and similar interests to initiate relationships with one another (McLennan & Howell, 2010, p. 12). Social networking is a public sphere in which millions of people around the world interact and socialize in an open environment (O' Bien & Torres, 2012). Boyd and Ellison (2008) stated that a social network is a web-based service which allows individuals to establish a public or semi-public profile depending on users’ interests. It allows users to share, interact and communicate with anyone with whom they share a connection. SNSs are used mostly for the purpose of remaining connected to people who are already part of the user’s social network. It is also said that SN is on the rise and continuing to expand. According to Boyd and Ellison (2008)

Social networking is defined as web-based services that allow individual to “(1) construct a public of semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system” (p. 211)

Grabner-Kräuter (2009) mentions that the Web 3.0 is a term used to describe advanced Internet technology such as social networking, blocks and wikis and it is said to have more collaboration among Internet users than traditional Web. SNS enables people to become the part of a virtual community by sharing opinions, connect and socialize with people of similar interests (O' Bien & Torres, 2012). O'Brien (2009) states that SNSs and powerhouse in social networking media sell ads targeting individual users based on data gathered from their personal information. SNSs enable the public to be active and selective by making information available online and making it easy for them to compare and decide based on their requirements.

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