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Canadian Journal of Cardiology

EARLY SUCCESS AND COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF A SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN TO REDUCE PRE-HOSPITAL DELAYS IN PATIENTS WITH POSSIBLE ACUTE CORONARY SYNDROME

      Background

      Despite many improvements in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and hospital systems of care, prehospital delay remains a significant barrier to timely reperfusion in acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Prolonged delays to reperfusion results in poor patient outcomes. There is data to support the efficacy of educational interventions to reduce patient-related prehospital delay in the setting of possible ACS, especially in chest pain patients. Traditional media such as television and radio are highly dependent on a ratings system: that is, how many people in an audience can be reached. Given the recent decline of television viewership and radio audiences, these are less reliable forms of message transmission. In addition, cost remains high, further lowering cost-effectiveness when funding a campaign. Hence, we have launched a novel low-cost social media-based education campaign targeting patients with chest pain to reduce pre-hospital delays.

      Methods and Results

      The primary message of our campaign is three-pronged: to have patients recognize the most common signs of a heart attack (chest pain, shortness of breath, diaphoresis), to call 911 to seek medical care quickly, and not to drive themselves to the hospital. Our motto is: “Dial, Don’t Drive”. In the first 8 weeks of our campaign, we created 17 posts on Facebook and Instagram. We focused on “Team Heart Attack” – introducing the team of healthcare professionals who care for ACS patients; “Patient Voices” – telling patient stories; and “ACS Education” – sharing common and uncommon symptoms of ACS, common medications and the importance of seeking medical attention in a timely fashion (see Figure for examples). We have reached a 62,700 people through Facebook, and a further 19,100 via Instagram. We had 102,748 and 33,059 content displays on Facebook and Instagram, respectively. Currently, we have 206 followers on Facebook and 155 on Instagram. The total cost of this campaign was $903.71 ($737.99 for software and $165.72 for advertisement). As a comparison, tradition media for a billboard in our community is $12,150.00 for 1 month, a weekend newspaper ad is $5880.00 and interior bus post is $8886.08 for 2 months.