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From the 7th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Meaningful Social Interactions Make Impact on Patient Experience

Finalist in Community Management


As the largest health care system in Illinois and Wisconsin, Advocate Aurora Health has a footprint with richly diverse communities across both states serving more than 3 million unique patients each year. With the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers shifted their behavior to more online interactions and health care was no different. Our goal on social media is to be a place where families, patients and our communities can come to whether they are in the hospital, or a doctor's office, and be a resource to answer their questions, connect them with patient experience, help them find where to go, who to call, etc. We also look to be a place where families can share their stories and find others who have gone through similar experiences, whether that is the mom of a child with congenital heart disease, NICU grads or someone fighting cancer. The social team checks inboxes of more than 50 accounts during normal business hours, early mornings, nights & weekends to ensure we connect to consumers when they need us. Using a social media management platform, we respond quickly and efficiently to find positive stories, flag “viral” posts before they go unmanaged, and resolve issues in real time with our patient experience team. We have also used positive feedback as a way to motivate our team members by sharing praise. Our strategy for community management revolves around the consumer with our goals being simple: respond quickly and compassionately while providing the best social media experience for our consumers.

Strategy and Execution

Advocate Aurora Health’s community management and brand reputation strategy comes to life via our team who responds quickly and compassionately to each of our consumer’s questions, comments, praise and feedback. Over the last 3 years, Advocate Aurora Health has seen our engagement triple, in particular when it comes to consumers looking for answers via our private message inboxes. Through a streamlined process with our patient experience team, the social team responds to consumers through the respective social channels, and partners with the patient experience team to help patients resolve an issue, raise up concerns, feedback and praise to the appropriate parties. If it is a real-time issue happening in a hospital or an office/site, our patient experience team works directly with the social team to respond immediately and reach out to the local teams to resolve an issue in the moment and ensure the consumer's time with us is turned around before they leave our facilities. It might be needing a blanket in their room, an extra chair for a visitor, a billing issue, or something more complex and sensitive as looking to have a virtual visit with a family member who is in end-of-life care. Social media feedback has resulted in system-wide change when it comes to operational and organizational processes.

Additionally, each week we share patient stories that inspire others to share theirs. We look to our communities to share their stories to connect with others who may have been through a similar experience. We have a user-generated strategy that allows us to ask permission of our patients to share their stories, photos and videos nearly verbatim so that they can have a voice. It might be a mother who has a child undergoing surgery for congenital heart disease, someone sharing their battle with breast cancer or heart disease, or parents who have a child in the NICU. These stories bring people together for support and awareness. 

During the entry period, we received approximately 36K comments and messages across our 50+ social media accounts. The accounts include all of our brand accounts across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, as well as location pages for our hospitals on Facebook. Given the personal connection people have with health care, each situation is unique and needs to have an individual response. While we have canned responses prepared, we typically do not use these as we want to add a personal touch to each one of our responses with our consumers. We also have a robust strategy to reach our Hispanic community sharing our posts and content in Spanish. It’s important for us to respond to people in their native language and if they write us a message in Spanish or another language, we work with our translation team to respond back.

Our strategy continues to evolve as social media interactions grow. Increasing our involvement with the patient experience team has resulted in more real-time results of impacting the overall patient experience and the consumer journey within our health system.


While Advocate Aurora Health measures the number of inbox messages, comments and engagement across our platforms, the real results are in the commentary we receive from our consumers. Whether it’s a ‘thank you’ for directing them to the right place, a mom feeling more connected to the community by sharing her child's story, connecting people with our billing team or someone to help them refill a medication outside business hours, helping them troubleshoot our patient app, sharing a positive review with our clinical team, cancer survivors finding a support group on social media, or a negative situation we can help turn around into a positive one… those interactions are immeasurable and priceless. These are the moments we strive for in our daily work.

When it comes to data, our goal is respond to or take action on our comments and messages within 24 hours 75% of the time with exceptions when situations may need more time to get background on before replying. And the team reached that goal and exceeded it by 3% last year with a 78% response or action time with 24 hours based on our 36K inbox messages/comments received. 58% of our inbox messages or comments are responded to or taken action on in some way within 8 hours. In some cases, some messages or comments do not need any action, are spam, etc.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Advocate Aurora Health


Entry Credits