Background: The battle against COVID-19 remains ongoing, and social
media has played an important role during the crisis for both
communication and health promotion, particularly for health care
organizations. Taiwan’s success during the COVID-19 outbreak is
well known and the use of social media is one of the key
contributing factors to that success. Objective: This nationwide
observational study in Taiwan aimed to explore the use of Facebook
by academic medical centers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods:
We conducted a nationwide observational study of all Facebook fan
page posts culled from the official accounts of all medical centers
in Taiwan from December 2019 to April 2020. All Facebook posts were
categorized into either COVID-19–related posts or
non–COVID-19–related posts. COVID-19–related posts were split
into 4 categories: policy of Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control
(TCDC), gratitude notes, news and regulations from hospitals, and
education. Data from each post was also recorded as follows: date
of post, headline, number of “likes,” number of messages left,
number of shares, video or non-video post, and date of search.
Results: The Facebook fan pages of 13 academic medical centers,
with a total of 1816 posts, were analyzed. From January 2020, the
percentage of COVID-19 posts increased rapidly, from 21% (January
2020) to 56.3% (April 2020). The trends of cumulative COVID-19
posts and reported confirmed cases were significantly related
(Pearson correlation coefficient=0.93, P<.001). Pages from
private hospitals had more COVID-19 posts (362 versus 289), as well
as more video posts (72 posts, 19.9% versus 36 posts, 12.5%,
P=.011), when compared to public hospitals. However, Facebook pages
from public hospitals had significantly more “likes,” comments,
and shares per post (314, 5, 14, respectively, P<.001).
Additionally, medical centers from different regions displayed
different strategies for using video posts on Facebook.
Conclusions: Social media has been a useful tool for communication
during the COVID-19 pandemic. This nationwide observational study
has helped demonstrate the value of Facebook for academic medical
centers in Taiwan, along with its engagement efficacy. We believe
that the experience of Taiwan and the knowledge it can share will
be helpful to health care organizations worldwide during our global
battle against COVID-19.
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Source: All – Medical Journals
Use of Facebook by Academic Medical Centers in Taiwan During
the COVID-19 Pandemic: Observational Study