Private Radiology Groups More ‘Social’ Than Academic Groups

February 25, 2015

Private radiology groups use more social media than academic groups.

Social media is an increasingly popular tool for radiologists to communicate, but more so among those in private radiology groups, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston performed a study to assess if and how private radiology groups (PRGs) and academic radiology departments (ARDs) used social media sites. The primary data collected were aimed at identifying measures of organizational use of social media.

The study looked at the 50 PRGs and 50 ARDs with the highest level of funding from the National Institutes of Health. They were assessed for presence of a radiology-specific social media account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

The measurements included:

  • Facebook

▪ Time since Facebook page creation

▪ Number of posts within 30, 60, and 90 days

▪ Ability to leave a rating

▪ Number of ratings

▪ Average ratings

▪ Likes

▪ Check-ins

  • Twitter

▪ Months since account activated

▪ Number of accounts the group was following

▪ Total number of tweets

  • YouTube

▪ Number of videos

▪ Number of subscribers

  • Pinterest and Instagram

▪ Presence or absence of link or account

The results showed that the PRGs generally adopted Facebook (by 12 months) and Twitter (by 18 months) earlier than ARDs. The majority of PRGs (76%) maintained at least one social media account, compared with only 28% of ARDs.

Prevalence of accounts:

 PRGARD
Facebook66%18%
LinkedIn56%0%
Twitter42%24%
YouTube20%6%
Pinterest4%0%
Instagram2%0%

There were no significant differences between ARDs and PRGs in measures of end-user or organizational activity on Facebook or Twitter.

The researchers concluded that PRGs are early adopters of social media when compared with ARDs. “Competitive environments and institutional policies may be strong factors that influence how social media is used by radiologists at the group and department levels,” they wrote.