Lorena Busto-Salinas e-mail(Login required)

Main Article Content


Lorena Busto-Salinas e-mail(Login required)



Hospitals make increasingly more use of social media. The basic hypothesis of this study is that the more developed the health care services of a country are, the higher the communicative activity of its hospitals will be on social media. Moreover, the highest presence and activity on social media will be associated with the most prestigious hospitals in countries with fewer economic resources. The presence of the most prestigious hospitals in both Colombia and Spain on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are analyzed in this paper to either refute or to accept these hypotheses. Both countries have similar populations, but their economic and health care services differ greatly. The degree of activity on these platforms, the participation of Internet users, and the reputation of the hospitals are also studied. In total, 165 profiles are analyzed. The results are processed in a statistical software program and various tests establish whether there are significant relations. It was observed that the level of health-care services of the country was not correlated with the presence and activity of the hospitals on social media, nor with the interaction of Internet users. In addition, a correlation between social-media presence and reputation was detected in the country with the most developed health-care services (Spain). In conclusion, the fact that a country has more health-care resources neither implies that its hospitals have either a greater presence or are more active on social media, nor that the public interact more with those hospitals.


Digital communication, social media, health, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram


Análisis e Investigación (2017). Monitor de Reputación Sanitaria (MRS). Retrieved from http://www.merco.info/es/monitor-reputacion-sanitaria-hospitales

Anand, R. C. & Chakravarti, A. (1981). Public Relations in Hospital. Health and Population (Perspectives & Issues), 4(4), 252–259.

Andersen, K. N., Medaglia, R. & Henriksen, H. Z. (2012). Social media in public health care: Impact domain propositions. Government Information Quarterly, 29(4), 462–469. https://www.doi.org/10.1016/j.giq.2012.07.004

Benítez-Berrocal, M. & Faba-Pérez, C. (2016). Presence of social networks in the health sector: a case-study on the best positioned hospitals in the world. Ibersid: Revista de Sistemas de Información y Documentación, 10(2), 21–30. Retrieved from https://ibersid.eu/ojs/index.php/ibersid/article/view/4334/3849

Bosley, J. C., Zhao, N. W., Hill, S., Shofer, F. S., Asch, D. A., Becker, L. B. & Merchant, R. M. (2013). Decoding twitter: Surveillance and trends for cardiac arrest and resuscitation communication. Resuscitation, 84(2), 206–212. https://www.doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2012.10.017

Busto-Salinas, L. (2017). The Role of Communication Departments in the Spanish Health Sector: A Comparative between Castilla y León and Galicia. Trípodos, 40, 133–159. Retrieved from http://www.tripodos.com/index.php/Facultat_Comunicacio_Blanquerna/article/view/453

Busto-Salinas, L. (2019). Healthcare and social networks: Which organizations are more active and with which does the public interact more? El Profesional de la Informacion, 28(2). https://www.doi.org/10.3145/epi.2019.mar.15

Chretien, K. C. & Kind, T. (2013). Social media and clinical care: Ethical, professional, and social implications. Circulation, 127(13), 1413–1421. https://www.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.128017

Costa-Sánchez, C. (2011). Public health crisis informative treatment: the headlines about influenza A in Spanish press. Revista de Comunicación de la SEECI, 25, 29-42. https://www.doi.org/10.15198/seeci.2011.25.29-42.

Costa-Sánchez, C. & Míguez-González, M. I. (2018). Use of social media for health education and corporate communication of hospitals. El Profesional de la Información, 27(5), 1145–1154. https://www.doi.org/10.3145/epi.2018.sep.18

Costa-Sánchez, C., Túñez-López, M. & Videla-Rodríguez, J.-J. (2016). Spanish hospitals in the social web. The management of Facebook and Twitter by Hospital Sant Joan de Déu (Barcelona). Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 71, 1108-1130. https://www.doi.org/10.4185/RLCS-2016-1137

Costa-Sánchez, C. (2012). The Hospital Communication office. Theoretical proposal and approach to the reality of the communication offices of public hospitals in Galicia. Doxa Comunicación: revista interdisciplinar de estudios de comunicación y ciencias sociales, 14, 175–197. https://www.doi.org/10.31921/doxacom.n14a8

De Las Heras-Pedrosa, C., Rando-Cueto, D., Jambrino-Maldonado, C. & Paniagua-Rojano, F. J. (2020). Analysis and study of hospital communication via social media from the patient perspective. Cogent Social Sciences, 6(1), 1718578. https://www.doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2020.1718578.

Díaz, H. A. (2011). La comunicación para la salud desde una perspectiva relacional. In U. Cuesta Cambra, T. Menéndez Hevia & A. Ugarte Iturrizaga (Eds.), Comunicación y salud: nuevos escenarios y tendencias (pp. 33–49). Madrid: Complutense.

Dirección de Prestación de Servicios y Atención Primaria (2020). Registro Especial de Prestadores de Servicios de Salud (REPS). Retrieved from https://prestadores.minsalud.gov.co/habilitacion/

Eckler, P., Worsowicz, G. & Rayburn, J. W. (2010). Social Media and Health Care: An Overview. PM&R, 2(11), 1046–1050. https://www.doi.org/10.1016/j.pmrj.2010.09.005

Elogia y IAB Spain (2017). Estudio anual de redes sociales. Retrieved from https://iabspain.es/wp-content/uploads/iab_estudioredessociales_2017_vreducida.pdf

Farabough, L.-A. (2013). Using Facebook as a public relations tactic: A look at how hospitals are engaging with fans. Doctoral Thesis. University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Glover, M., Khalilzadeh, O., Choy, G., Prabhakar, A. M., Pandharipande, P. V. & Gazelle, G. S. (2015). Hospital Evaluations by Social Media: A Comparative Analysis of Facebook Ratings among Performance Outliers. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 30(10), 1440–1446. https://www.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-015-3236-3

Gobierno de Colombia (2018). Censo nacional de población y vivienda. Retrieved from https://www.dane.gov.co/index.php/estadisticas-por-tema/demografia-y-poblacion/censo-nacional-de-poblacion-y-vivenda-2018

Griffis, H. M., Kilaru, A. S., Werner, R. M., Asch, D. A., Hershey, J. C., Hill, S. & Merchant, R. M. (2014). Use of Social Media Across US Hospitals: Descriptive Analysis of Adoption and Utilization. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16(11), e264. https://www.doi.org/10.2196/jmir.3758.

Henderson, J. K. (2005). Evaluating public relations effectiveness in a health care setting. Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, 28(1–2), 282–321.

Huang, E. & Dunbar, C. L. (2013). Connecting to patients via social media: A hype or a reality? Journal of Medical Marketing, 13(1), 14–23. https://www.doi.org/10.1177/1745790413477647

İlgün, G. & Uğurluoğlu, Ö. (2018). How Turkish Private Hospitals use Social media: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Social Service Research, 1–10. https://www.doi.org/10.1080/01488376.2018.1479339

Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE) (2019). Cifras de población definitivas a 1 de enero de 2019. Retrieved from https://www.ine.es/dyngs/INEbase/es/operacion.htm?c=Estadistica_C&cid=1254736176951&menu=ultiDatos&idp=1254735572981

Keller, A. C., Bergman, M. M., Heinzmann, C., Todorov, A., Weber, H. & Heberer, M. (2014). The relationship between hospital patients’ ratings of quality of care and communication. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 26(1), 26–33. https://www.doi.org/10.1093/intqhc/mzt083

Kirdar, Y. (2007). The Role of Public Relations for Image Creating in Health Services: A Sample Patient Satisfaction Survey. Health Marketing Quarterly, 24(3–4), 33–53. https://www.doi.org/10.1080/07359680802119017

Leung, R. (2014). Increasing dynamic capabilities of health organizations with social media. In Social media in strategic management (Advanced Series in Management, Vol. 11) (pp. 129–142). https://www.doi.org/10.1108/S1877-6361(2013)0000011011

Martínez-Millana, A., Fernández-Llatas, C., Basagoiti Bilbao, I., Traver Salcedo, M. & Traver Salcedo, V. (2017). Evaluating the Social Media Performance of Hospitals in Spain: A Longitudinal and Comparative Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(5), e181. https://www.doi.org/10.2196/jmir.6763

McCaughey, D., Baumgardner, C., Gaudes, A., LaRochelle, D., Wu, K. J. & Raichura, T. (2014). Best Practices in Social Media: Utilizing a Value Matrix to Assess Social Media’s Impact on Health Care. Social Science Computer Review, 32(5), 575–589. https://www.doi.org/10.1177/0894439314525332

Medina-Aguerrebere, P. (2018). The impact of social media in branding communication of Spanish hospitals. AdComunica, 15, 215–233. https://www.doi.org/10.6035/2174-0992.2018.15.11

Medina-Aguerrebere, P., Buil-Gazol, P. & Heath, R. L. (2015). Brand dissemination in Canadian hospitals through Facebook. The International Journal of Communication and Health, 7, 27–39. Retrieved from http://communicationandhealth.ro/upload/number7/PABLO-MEDINA.pdf

Medina, P., Buil, P. & Heath, R. L. (2016). Establishing and demonstrating US hospital brands through Facebook. Observatorio, 10(3), 20–40. https://www.doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS1032016912

Menéndez Prieto, M. D. & Vadillo Olmo, F. J. (2010). El plan de comunicación hospitalario: Herramienta de gestión sanitaria. Alicante: Club Universitario.

Ministerio de Salud y Protección Social (2018). Estructura del gasto en Salud Pública en Colombia. Papeles En Salud, 17. Retrieved from https://www.minsalud.gov.co/sites/rid/Lists/BibliotecaDigital/RIDE/DE/PES/estructura-gasto-salud-publica-colombia.pdf

Ministerio de Sanidad (2018). Estadística de Gasto Sanitario Público: principales resultados. Retrieved from https://www.mscbs.gob.es/estadEstudios/estadisticas/docs/EGSP2008/egspPrincipalesResultados.pdf

Ministerio de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar Social (2018). Sistema de Información de Atención Especializada (SIAE). Retrieved from https://pestadistico.inteligenciadegestion.mscbs.es/publicoSNS/Comun/ArbolNodos.aspx?idNodo=20675

Ministerio de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones (2017). Primera gran encuesta TIC 2017. Estudio de acceso, uso y retos de las TIC en Colombia. Retrieved from https://colombiatic.mintic.gov.co/679/w3-article-74002.html

OECD (2019). OECD Health Statistics 2019: Health Expenditure and Financing. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/health/health-data.htm

OECD (2020a). Doctors (indicator). https://www.doi.org/10.1787/4355e1ec-en

OECD (2020b). Hospital beds (indicator). https://www.doi.org/10.1787/0191328e-en

Rando Cueto, D. & De Las Heras Pedrosa, C. (2016). Analysis of Corporate Communication Issued by the Andalusian Hospitals Via Twitter. Opción, 32(8), 557–576. Retrieved from http://www.redalyc.org/pdf/310/31048481033.pdf

Scott, J., Vojir, C., Jones, K. & Moore, L. (2005). Assessing nursing homes’ capacity to create and sustain improvement. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 20(1), 36-42. https://www.doi.org/10.1097/00001786-200501000-00007

Smith, K. T. (2017). Hospital Marketing and Communications Via Social Media. Services Marketing Quarterly, 38(3), 187–201. https://www.doi.org/10.1080/15332969.2017.1363518

Springston, J. K. & Weaver Lariscy, R. (2005). Public Relations Effectiveness in Public Health Institutions. Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, 28(1/2), 218-245.

Thackeray, R., Neiger, B. L., Smith, A. K. & Van Wagenen, S. B. (2012). Adoption and use of social media among public health departments. BMC Public Health, 12(1), 242. https://www.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-242

Timian, A., Rupcic, S., Kachnowski, S. & Luisi, P. (2013). Do Patients “Like” Good Care? Measuring Hospital Quality via Facebook. American Journal of Medical Quality, 28(5), 374–382. https://www.doi.org/10.1177/1062860612474839

Van de Belt, T. H., Berben, S. A., Samsom, M., Engelen, L. J. & Schoonhoven, L. (2012). Use of Social Media by Western European Hospitals: Longitudinal Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14(3), e61. https://www.doi.org/10.2196/jmir.1992

Vanzetta, M., Vellone, E., Dal Molin, A., Rocco, G., De Marinis, M. G. & Rosaria, A. (2014). Communication with the public in the health-care system: A descriptive study of the use of social media in Local Health Authorities and public hospitals in Italy. Annali Dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanita, 50(2), 163–170. https://www.doi.org/10.4415/ANN-14-02-10

Wong, C. A., Ostapovich, G., Kramer-Golinkoff, E., Griffis, H., Asch, D. A. & Merchant, R. M. (2016). How U.S. children’s hospitals use social media: A mixed methods study. Healthcare, 4(1), 15–21. https://www.doi.org/10.1016/j.hjdsi.2015.12.004

World Bank (2018). GNI per capita. Retrieved from https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD

XE (2020). Tipos de cambio XE en tiempo real. Retrieved from https://www.xe.com/es/


Search GoogleScholar


Article Details