by Debby Scheinholtz

One in three U.S. adults has gone online to figure out a medical condition, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. In addition, in the era of the Affordable Care Act, patients—including newly insured Blacks and Latinos—will be more likely to choose their hospitals; patients are now checking out online hospital reviews before checking in.

Hospitals have to be savvy in targeting social media to relevant demographic groups. Here's what's new.


Women are more likely than men to go online to research health information, according to Pew.

Women are also more likely to make healthcare decisions for their families, according to the Center for American Progress.

Pinterest, a site that lets individuals organize images and ideas into "pinboards," just like brick-and-mortar bulletin boards, is particularly popular with women. About 25 percent of female Internet users are on Pinterest—five times the number of male users, according to Pew.

The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media is training practitioners to use Pinterest to engage women. Dr. Farris Timimi, Medical Director of the center, recently met with employees in Mayo's OB-GYN department to ensure that they are comfortable using Pinterest. "For their patients, Pinterest can be extraordinarily useful for issues that are very relevant for that population."

Mayo's Pinterest page includes a board for pregnancy that has a high re-pin rate. "For our obstetricians and gynecologists, Pinterest is a much better fit, because it's a tool that has high penetration in a population that we want to educate. The retweet rate is about 1.4 percent; the repin rate is about 80 percent, so it's a much more social tool than Twitter is," says Dr. Timimi. Mayo Clinic is No. 6 on The DiversityInc Top 10 Hospital Systems list.


Seventy-two percent of Latino Internet users use social-media sites, according to Pew, the highest among whites, Latinos and Blacks.

Latino presence on Twitter is 19 percent—36 percent higher than that of whites.

Mayo Clinic's @ClinicaMayo launched two years ago and recently held its first Spanish chat session.

Susana Shephard, Social Media Specialist, runs @ClinicaMayo. She says the feed, which attracts visitors from around the globe, shares patient-education information from Mayo and organizations like the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.

Because Latinos are less likely to monitor their health, engaging them via Twitter and other online tools could help close the gap.


Consumers who expect to be treated with respect at a restaurant or a hotel expect the same from a hospital—and they're going online to share experiences. Fourteen percent of Americans went online last year to consult hospital rankings, according to Pew.

Two recent studies show that online reviews of hospitals reflect hospitals' actual HCAHPS scores. One study found that hospitals with a lot of "likes" on Facebook had lower mortality rates and better patient reviews.

Another study found that hospitals that had four or five stars on Yelp (more commonly thought of as a restaurant-review site) had better mortality and readmission scores.

Cultural competence is often mentioned in these Yelp reviews, such as this one for Cleveland Clinic, No. 3 on The DiversityInc Top 10 Hospital Systems list: "My father-in-law is in town from Puerto Rico. ... We were assigned a very nice interpreter. ... Instead of interpreting, she was really there to comfort us and answer any questions we had during the process. She would simply show up each time we had an appointment and she visited after the surgery too. This whole process left me in awe ... of the superior level of service that they strive to provide every moment of every day."

Cleveland Clinic also made some of its part-time social-media staff full-time so they can respond better to patient comments. A recent post on "7 ways minority men can live healthier" had 368 likes.


70 Percent of Irish Women Voted to Legalize Abortion in Ireland Creating Landslide Victory

A most conservative country when it comes to abortion rights begins to wake up to the logical conclusion that if your gender can't bear children, you should probably stop mansplaining and man-deciding.

Presiding Officer Carmel McBride prepares the polling station for the referendum on liberalizing abortion law . / REUTERS

UPDATE: May 26, 2018

Ireland has voted to repeal its abortion ban. The Irish Times exit poll suggested that women voted by 70 percent in favor of legalizing abortion.


Ireland is one of Europe's most socially conservative countries, with one of the world's strictest bans on abortion. Residents went to the polls on Friday for a "once in a generation opportunity" to decide whether to liberalize or maintain the country's abortion laws.

For Americans, conservatives trying to control abortion rights using religion sound all too familiar.

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Man Who Threatens to Sic ICE on Spanish-Speaking People Identified

Aaron Schlossberg is a New York-based attorney, and it turns out he has a lot of problems and they're all well documented.

The man caught on video lashing out at people for speaking Spanish has been identified as attorney Aaron Schlossberg. Twitter users made the identification, and it is being widely reported that he is the man.

The good news is that a GoFundMe account has been set up to send a Mariachi band to Schlossberg's Manhattan office. According to the fundraiser, "Any leftover money will be used to send a delicious Taco Truck lunch to the staff and a copy of all federal and state statute mentioning undocumented immigrants do not qualify for welfare."

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Salma Hayek Calls for Male Stars to Get Pay Cut

"We all have to be part of the adjustment. That's one idea. I'm going to be hated for it. I hope I can get a job after this!" Hayek said.


(Reuters) — Mexican American actress Salma Hayek, a vocal campaigner against sexual harassment in the movie industry, said on Sunday male stars should get less pay as way to even things up with chronically underpaid women.

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Michelle Obama: 'I Wish that Girls Could Fail as Bad as Men Do and Be OK'

The former first lady says women execs need to "really shake it up" when they get a seat at the table.

At the United State of Women Summit in Los Angeles on Saturday, former First Lady Michelle Obama talked with actor and activist Tracee Ellis Ross, star of "Black-ish," about gender equality.

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Golf Club That Called Cops on Black Women Members Faces Business Backlash, Potential Investigation

"It is appalling that someone would call the police for a non-violent incident where the only crime was being Black on a public golf course," State Sen. Vincent J. Hughes said in a statement.

After the co-owner of Grandview Golf Club in York County, Pa., called the police on five Black women members for allegedly golfing too slow, the club's business vendors are beginning to bail and a state senator is calling for an investigation.

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