This is an Entry to the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Healthcare Within Reach – A Social Media Initiative for Wider Clientele Reach
Regional I Medical Center
Best practice Focus Area(s)
Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC) harnesses the power of social media to make its offered quality healthcare services within the reach of its clientele—at the tip of their fingertips, quick and reliable: online queries and concerns are responded through the fastest platform – that is Facebook Messenger and consultation appointments are easily arranged via the hospital’s website while upholding transparency in civil service standards on achieving customer service satisfaction.
Background and Problem
A major barrier to accessing public health services is the need for patients to be physically present in the facilities, even for interventions where the person-to-person interface is unnecessary. It takes the clientele rigorous spending of time, effort, and money to transport patients to receive medical information and guidance in the hospital. This is a painful reality in the area of responsibility and catchment area of R1MC, which encompasses Pangasinan, Northern Zambales, Northern Tarlac, and Southern La Union all characterized by varying topography unconducive for the timely conveyance of patients. These hurdles also breed delays in the delivery of the services and dissemination of relevant information for the public. In fulfillment of its commitment to bridge accessible healthcare to every Filipino, R1MC has taken the advantage of channeling pertinent mechanisms through the internet—allowing consistent, up-to-the-minute facilitation of response down to the grassroots level.
Solution and Impact
With the creation of the Region 1 Medical Center—Official Facebook page and revitalization of the official website, the hospital diversifies customer service experience for its patients. These two alternative platforms to the mainstream service delivery node of the medical facility realize the following objectives:
- Ensure transparency of data and information on the hospital’s available services, personnel on duty, performance and facility safety index with respect to the Data Privacy Act;
- Liaise clientele to frontline service offices in obtaining pertinent healthcare provisions such as procurement of hospital records, booking consultation appointments, and processing of in-patient or out-patient transactions;
- Facilitate clientele’s receipt of medical interventions needing no personal interface between the personnel and the patient in implementation of the Ease of Doing Business in Government and Ease of Delivery of Government Services Act;
- Outsource commendations, suggestions, or complaints on delivery of services in adherence to the Anti-Red Tape Act and the Quality Management System;
- Eliminate red tape and uphold Civil Service Commission standards of customer service by acting upon complaints within 24 hours;
- Bridge communication between clientele and health service providers in the conveyance of emergency response interventions;
- Systematize information dissemination and connectivity media organizations by coursing updates on hospital announcements, events, schedule, and services through approved channels; and
- Complement Department of Health’s information-education campaign and advertise R1MC’s free or affordable quality healthcare services to the widest extent.
R1MC first unveiled its website in 2015 and has since undergone several customizations to adapt to the changing needs of the clientele. A counterpart Facebook page had been created, though only used in an informal capacity. It is in August 2018 that the hospital launched its official Facebook page, which is utilized as it is now. In a span of a year, it has been followed by more than 9,200 users and averages 200,000 users reached per month.