Most of us use Twitter to communicate with our friends and colleagues. We share links and interesting films and stories, share what we are doing, build networks and use it as a general tool of communication. But what if we could use it for day to day business? What if we could book rooms, contact the police, even book doctor appointments via twitter? Well, one town in Spain has set up its administration so you can do just that, and it now uses Twitter to administer its public services. From the street sweeper to the mayor, to the 90-year-old residents, most of the staff tweets and all public services can be contacted via Twitter. All of the paperwork has moved online.
I like the idea of being able to contact directly frontline staff, and I believe that this can improve communication. When asked about why tweeting has been a good thing for his work, the local street-sweeper, @barredorajun, said: “I can feel how people value my work, and they congratulate me when I have done a good job,” he says. Does it worry him that he might get complaints too? “The fact that people tell you-you have done something badly is not necessarily bad – it means you have to improve something.”
In this interesting article, Jemima Kiss looks at the benefits and risks of introducing such a scheme, and asks the town’s mayor why they adopted the scheme and what they had to do to embed it successfully. They also discuss whether this could be scaled up to be delivered in larger settings, and what the risks of that would be.
So, do you think we could replicate this in health and care in the UK? How can we use this free platform more and what do you think the risks and benefits are of doing so?
As a member of frontline staff, would you be happy for service users to be able to contact you directly via twitter and do you think this would benefit services or be problematic? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.