When people talk about social networking, they most often think about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and similar sites. But there’s another site in the category that’s becoming popular for healthcare professionals: 

The video-sharing site YouTube.

When asked what websites they used for professional networking, 29% of 2,700 health professionals surveyed by AMN Healthcare said YouTube, which came second only to Facebook.

What do doctors and hospitals get out of YouTube? Here are three of the most common uses of the site in health care:

1. To attract new patients

Many health organizations are turning to social media to reach the growing number of potential patients that are using the Internet to find medical information. One key strategy is posting educational videos that people can find while searching for information on conditions and treatments.

The St. Louis Children’s Hospital recently reported increasing revenue by $8.2 million last year by attracting patients through a social media campaign that included posting videos promoting wellness and preventive care to YouTube.

2. To learn

While videos made by doctors for patients are most common, there are also many doctors who post educational videos meant for other physicians. Doctors sharing information with their peers about electronic health records (EHRs) and other health IT are especially common these days.

Doctors can also video helpful videos posted by government agencies and professional organizations. For example, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology launched a YouTube channel to share information about healthcare tech with doctors.

3. To find new jobs or employees

One common use of social networks in general is for recruiting and job searching, and it’s no different in health care. Many larger hospitals, especially, use YouTube pages to promote themselves to potential hires.

And physicians can use the videos they post to make connections that could turn into job offers or other professional opportunities.

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