This is a large and ongoing debate for many people, whether social media can benefit the physician-patient relationship, or can cross the boundaries of appropriateness, and make things uncomfortable.
One of the benefits of social media in medicine is that it gives patients information they might need. Social media has re-humanized the medical experience by creating an opportunity for individuals to share details of their “personal relationship” with their illness or medication.
However, it can be taken too far; a physician may not realize that posting on the internet is more public than hospital elevator chatter. And, while elevator chitchat disappears after the sound disperses, internet posts do not easily vanish.
Policies have been set up to ensure that social media in medicine is not taken advantage of. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 prevents doctors from using email or text messaging, much less open platforms like Facebook or Twitter, to publicly communicate about a a particular patient’s care, without risk of being fined or fired.
The American Medical Association’s “Professionalism in the Use of Social Media” policy provides short and concise instructions on conduct in cyberspace. Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Addendum to Social Media Guidelinesare helpful in that they offer a dozen fictional but believable examples in which improper social media usage can occur, and they prompt readers to reconsider their own online interactions in a different light.
Some say that physicians should never interact with patients via social media; however, some think quite the opposite. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers,41 percent of patient respondents said they would share information with health care professionals via social media and 61 percent said they would trust information from health care professionals received via social media.
Practitioners can also utilize social media to share news stories and information in their community about their practice. But sometimes the stories can turn into hype, and may risk going ‘too far’. Some physicians notice that they are getting friend requests from their patients. Where do you draw the line?
The key is how and where the physician answers the questions being asked on social media. The use of social media in medicine is much different for physicians, as compared to the average person’s use of social media.
If a patient asks a sensitive or urgent question, one should take the conversation off social media and respond with a phone call or some other direct form of communication. Some physicians even go so far as to text patients if that seems the best way to communicate.
In conclusion, it is a matter of personal opinion and judgment as to how far the physician should go in using social media in medicine as it relates to thepatient-physician relationship. The key to using social media with patients is being professional and respecting both their privacy and your own.
If you would like more information about how Health Connexions™ can help you develop and implement a social media strategy, develop your website or manage your patient communications, please contact Adeola Fatuga at email@example.com
Size Isn’t Everything!
This point is similar to the idea of … is it quantity or is it quality?
But, in the case of understanding social media and optimizing your social media metrics, it’s not good enough to just look at the volume of conversations.
If you know that 100,000 people are talking about your product recall … that would not be a surprise … given you had actually just had a product recall!
Or, maybe your brand or service is just one that ‘everyone’ talks about every day … because it is something that is used very frequently, has a long-standing history or has become a regular part of conversation.
It is important to ‘go beyond’ the numbers … and through enhanced Social Media Metrics (not just monitoring) … look at Sentiment and Passion.
What Social Media Metrics are important to you? … let us know your thoughts by posting on our blog, below.
Our full article is here: http://healthconnexions.com/blog/market-research/social-media-market-research/social-media-metrics
Traditional thinking in regards to Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) has been focused solely on their product adoption process. That is, in adopting a new innovation (for example, a new service, a new medical device or a new drug), most people think that when a Key Opinion Leader influences another physician to become a new prescriber or new user … this is seen to be occurring by simple imitation.
How do YOU view a Key Opinion Leader’s role in the product adoption process and usage of new technology? … let us know your thoughts by posting on our blog, below.
Our full article is here: http://healthconnexions.com/blog/strategic-consulting/product-adoption-process
Twitter represents about 50% of all messages in the Social Media space; however, only 7 to 8% of all people are on Twitter. So, in your quest to do better Market Research around Social Media, and not just do monitoring (which collects reams and reams of non-actionable data), the key question to ask is … “Is My Data Balanced and Representative?” What are your thoughts on how Twitter impacts your Social Media analytics?
Our article is here: http://healthconnexions.com/blog/market-research/twitter-analytics … but, let us know your thoughts by posting on our blog, below.
In health care, in your field of medicine or disease area, as you develop your strategies to make changes or implement healthcare solutions, new products or services, how do you determine: “What Makes a Key Opinion Leader a KOL?”
Our article is here: http://healthconnexions.com/blog/market-research/key-opinion-leaders … but, let us know your thoughts by posting on our blog, below.
To help you succeed in a changing healthcare environment, Care Management is critical. Health Connexions conducts research, analysis, process flows and educational activities across the spectrum of health care issues.
To implement real change, it is important to monitor and coordinate the delivery of health services to enhance Care Management and implement Cost Management strategies. This ranges from Care Coordination to Disease Management to Care Delivery analyses for Life Sciences companies, Health Care institutions and the Government.
In healthcare, there are few Market Research Companies like Health Connexions. We service Life Sciences companies, Health Care institutions and the Government to study every stakeholder … from physicians to patients to employers.
We have advanced methods in Social Media Market Research, as well as Qualitative and Quantitative Research, supported by Secondary Research or Data Analytics.
Health Connexions provides Healthcare Consulting based on our personal experience working INSIDE the system … in the trenches … to help you succeed in a changing healthcare environment.
We service Life Sciences companies, Health Care institutions and the Government with solutions from Marketing Plans to Social Media Strategy & Solutions to Strategic Consulting, and more.
Your Health Communication solutions must make an emotional connection with your audience. People buy emotionally and rationalize intellectually – and healthcare is no different.
Health Connexions has a full-service Communications Agency division to help you succeed in everything from Social Media to Digital Web & Multimedia Solutions to Medical Writing to Branding, and more.
Through our leading-edge Continuing Medical Education (CME) services, Health Connexions plans and executes initiatives that help those in the medical field maintain competence and learn about new and developing areas of their field.
Our services range from Faculty Development to Education Programs (live to web-based) to Conferences/Symposia to Accreditation to Disease-Related Social Media, and more.