In 2012 I wrote a post about How To Use Facebook As An EMS Agency. One of the challenges I am always faced with is finding good examples to back up my rhetoric that I have not directly influenced, either through my involvement with the agency or through consultation. Yesterday, while waiting for the new Facebook Paper app to become available, I caught this post from Boston EMS in my feed.
A HIPAA Compliant Facebook Page Post
Whenever I have discussions with EMS Agency leadership about Social Media, the biggest concern is HIPAA compliance. In a nutshell I usually advise them to focus on their personnel, on their agencies overall statistics, be sure to communicate value, and to do so on a regular basis with the minimum being weekly.
This is the exact kind of post I’m talking about when it comes to generating content for Facebook on a weekly basis. It simply provides the “fan” base of Boston EMS with a snapshot of how busy the agency was for the week prior. Because of the time span, non-specific geo-location, and lack of other pertinent identifiers this type of data is HIPAA compliant.
Recommendations To Make It Better
So how do you make this post on Facebook better? Add a picture.
Posts with photos always seem to garner more views and shares so a photo or graphic added on to this would put it over the top. Of course, we need the photo and the image to be both HIPAA compliant and something worthy of a “Like” and/or “Share”. So here are a few photo suggestions:
- A photo of one of the crews from those “busiest” units
- A communications center photo of call receivers/dispatchers
- A photo of personnel celebrating a birthday/retirement/milestone
- A bar graph of all units and their call volume for the week
- A bar graph with call volume for the days of the week
Note that my first three suggestions focus on the people of the agency, which is often undoubtedly more appealing to your “fan” base while the last two are simple enough graphics anyone with access to Excel or a similar chart generating spreadsheet software can generate. I often use apparatus photos myself because that’s usually what responder types, like yourself, are attracted to. As providers we are often enamored by the fresh coat of wax and flashing lights of our apparatus, and while there is a place for that it is not what the average person wants to necessarily see.
Why It Matters
Doing these types of posts on a weekly basis do two things. First it communicates your value and second it keeps you in touch with your “fan” base while remaining HIPAA compliant the whole time.