TRICARE Dives into Social Media to Engage Beneficiaries

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – TRICARE is taking the plunge into social media to uncover what issues matter most to its beneficiaries around the world.

Social media channels and networks like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr continue to transform how healthcare information—and information in general—is consumed by the public.

“Social media is changing the way we communicate. These powerful tools give us an opportunity to join the conversation surrounding TRICARE and military health,” said Rear Adm. Christine Hunter, deputy director of the TRICARE Management Activity.

The ability to share healthcare information and receive feedback helps TRICARE identify and address beneficiary concerns. Instead of deciding what information to share with beneficiaries, TRICARE can ask for their input, identify what they want to know more about and respond accordingly.

Recommendations from service members and their families have the potential to influence policy decisions and improve overall satisfaction with military healthcare.

“We understand the value social media can bring to the organization, and we invite beneficiaries to talk to us about how we can improve their health care experience,” Hunter said.

TRICARE is active on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, and is getting ready to launch a new media center Web page in March 2010. The media center will include TRICARE news and links to TRICARE’s social media channels. It will also allow beneficiaries to “share” benefit information with their friends and families online.

Before launching the new media center Web page, TRICARE wants to hear from the military men and women who use its benefits everyday. In the coming weeks TRICARE will ask beneficiaries for feedback on the issues they want to know more about through TRICARE’s Facebook, www.facebook.com/TRICARE, or Twitter account at www.twitter.com/TRICARE. Beneficiaries are also encouraged to visit www.tricare.mil/subscriptions to sign up for e-alerts about TRICARE benefits and news.

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