Social media is the universal tool of sharing and receiving information. While reading some articles on the power and benefits of social media in the medical field there were some key items worth Mentioning.
Peer to Peer Interaction
Peer to Peer Interaction has three components:
- Patients finding peers,
- Doctors connecting with other doctors
- Patient feedback
Patients Finding Their Peers
25% of patients diagnosed with a chronic medical condition use the internet to find peers with their medical condition. Medical professionals would be wise to follow these patient groups for their own feedback and provide public medical advice.
Connect with Other Doctors
Two – thirds of doctors use social media for professional purposes. Social media now provides a limitless network for doctors to create a network of likeminded professionals. Expanding your resources for feedback like never before.
This is where many medical practices have struggled. A lot of facilities feel if they join Twitter or Facebook it would be pointless due to HIPAA guidelines.
Although HIPAA should always be a concern, your practice can set up effective social media pages. It will allow you to connect to your patients as well as performing outreach to potential new patients. As you’re active on your page and your patients like your posts, or even shares your post that extends to an entirely different pool of people. With over a billion active Facebook users the potential outreach is literally endless.
Share your knowledge
With Patients now using Google to diagnose themselves, doctors can use this to their advantage. There is a lot of misinformation about health on the internet, that continuously circulates online. You can use your social media platform to share legitimate information and disprove the misinformation. 60% of patients trust health-related social media posts from doctors. Use this to your advantage!
Like I mentioned above, HIPAA is still a concern, but not a roadblock. Here are some helpful pointers to avoid HIPAA Violations.
- Do not directly address patients through social media outlets, even in general terms
- Distribute clear social networking policies to employees
- Speak generally about conditions and treatments
- Prominently post your policies and procedures on all your social media platforms
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