The VA has gotten it right with their June 28th directive and policy on use of social media. It is so perfect, especially the last line, I've quoted it below.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) endorses the secure use of Web-based collaboration and social media tools to enhance communication, stakeholder outreach collaboration, and information exchange; streamline processes; and foster productivity improvements. Use of these tools supports VA and VA’s goal of achieving an interoperable, net-centric environment by improving employee effectiveness through seamless access to information. Web-based collaboration tools enable widely dispersed facilities and VA personnel to more effectively collaborate and share information—which can result in better productivity, higher efficiency, and foster innovation. This Directive establishes policy on the proper use of these tools, consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and policies.
Today's VA customers (including hospital and clinic patients) are different and they have new expectations for communications. It is obvious that the VA has been listening and is prepared to implement needed technologies to facilitate effective engagement and communications as their customers prefer.