Social media use in Australian hospitals

Are you interested in how public hospitals use social media?

Have you been involved in public hospital quality improvement or service design activities?

Louisa Walsh, a PhD student from La Trobe University, is seeking people to take part in an interview to discuss how social media can be used to involve patients and carers in the design of public hospital services and other activities to improve the quality of public hospital systems and processes.

Louisa is interested in speaking to people who are:

  • Consumer representatives (in paid or volunteering roles) in Australian public hospitals who have experience in using social media and/or are interested in how social media could potentially be used as part of their consumer representative role; or

  • Employed at Australian public hospitals, have experience or interest in using social media to involve consumers in health service design, patient experience or quality improvement activities, and work in one of the following roles:
    • Patient experience/consumer engagement leads (or similar titles/roles with responsibility for co-ordinating consumer engagement in health service design or QI)
    • Quality improvement project/activity management or co-ordination
    • Communications

In this study, we are defining social media as any online site that allows all users (not just the site’s owners or managers) to create and post their own content. This includes sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit and SnapChat, and forums, blogs and real-time chat sites that may require registration or a password to access.

Some examples of social media use that could be relevant for this study are:

  • using an online forum that allows people to communicate outside of face to face meeting times;
  • collecting patient, carer or service provider experiences through platforms such as Facebook or Twitter;
  • posting on, or using information, from health service review and feedback sites such as Patient Opinion;
  • Using social media to connect, support and share service design or quality improvement ideas with other service providers or consumer representatives.

If you decide to participate, you will be interviewed by Louisa and asked questions about your experience and opinions of social media, and its use in hospital consumer engagement. Interviews will be via telephone or videoconference, or you can arrange a face-to-face interview if you live in Victoria. Interviews will be at a time convenient to you (including outside working hours).

If you are interested in being a part of this research project or have any questions about the project or your eligibility, please contact Louisa Walsh, Centre for Health Communication and Participation, La Trobe University. Phone: 03 9479 1578 or email:

La Trobe University in conjunction with the Centre for Health, Communication & Participation and the Cochran Consumers & Communication group.