How Doctors Can Use Social Media?
As technology has grown by leaps and bounds, apps that give consumers instant access to live videos from psychologists and doctors are becoming increasingly common. Social networks have become an important health resource for everyone, not just millennials.
A recent article suggests that social media has found a home for doctors to create greater awareness and engagement with patients. As reported in an earlier article, the health industry has recognized the potential of social media to strengthen the links between the community of existing health centers, patients, and physicians, and to attract new followers and patients. There are a number of ways in which doctors can use social media to grow their business, stay in touch with current patients and inform the public.
Once you see the benefits available to your practice, you will recognize the need for a presence on social media. Social networks can be used as a marketing and advertising platform at a lower cost than other forms of advertising.
There is need to examine the impact of social media on medical knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviours and practices influenced by concerns about ethics, professionalism and privacy in the use of social media. Concerns about online search, privacy and professionalism suggest that there are obstacles to physicians using these tools, and that the slow adoption of these technologies represents a potentially wasted opportunity for physicians as a whole to connect with patients and the general public. Younger doctors who use social media are more comfortable communicating with senior doctors who may have limited familiarity with these tools.
The medical industry is more saturated than any other industry and many of the legal constraints and fears of most healthcare professionals and organizations are based on a desire to avoid a liability issue associated with social media and other digital platforms. Professionnal societies’recommendations for social media use tend to be more restrictive, focusing on what to not do in general rather than providing practical advice.
The simple truth is that patients and the public use social media to search for health resources. They use it to seek information, find support and make health decisions. One area where mainstream social media platforms have the upper hand is the doctor network.
Given the exclusivity of independent doctors, they are not ideal for reaching new patients. Doctors often delegate to other doctors because of their experience, opinions and patient confidentiality.
There is a risk of breaching patient confidentiality, denigrating colleagues in the public eye, exposing conflicts of interest and undermining trust in the medical profession. There is also a loss of trust in the doctor and the risk of losing the placebo effect that arises when you see a doctor whose mere presence is reassuring. The GMC recognises the benefits of doctors “user of social media.3 But there is a significant grey area that is challenging a generation of doctors who have traditionally turned to friends and relatives for informal advice and are now seeking to translate that into a public and permanent forum.
This includes clear HIPAA-compliant guidelines for dealing with patient information on social networks. The GMC’s guidelines give priority to doctor confidentiality and patient confidentiality must be protected in all online interactions.
If your practice generates unique content, this platform is a great social platform to share your related blog and articles to bring new patients to your site. Instagram can also be used to address potential patients locally and to promote conferences and events in your practice. Doctors can use Instagram to post about patient outcomes and share pictures of their practice and doctors at work.
Connected doctors give their patients exactly what they want and find better ways to connect with their patients in online communities and social networks. They send health messages to patients, use Twitter to follow disease trends and use Facebook to share links to articles highlighting medical problems. As mentioned in point two, patients are increasingly using Google to find the right doctor.
More patients than ever are going online to explore their diagnosis and treatment options, but the information they read is not always reliable. Social media provides a platform for doctors to share reliable health information and guide patients to better health websites.
Social media are Internet-based tools that enable individuals and communities to collect, communicate and share information, ideas, personal messages, images and other content in real time and collaborate in some cases with other users in real time. A survey of more than 4,000 doctors conducted by social media site QuantiMed in a survey of more than 4,000 doctors found that more than 90% of doctors use social media for personal activities while 65% use it for professional reasons.
Social media provide HCPs with tools to share information, discuss health policy and practice questions, promote health behaviors, engage with the public, inform and interact with patients, nurses, students and colleagues. Doctors can join online communities where they can read news articles, listen to experts, research medical developments, consult and network with colleagues on patient issues. Knowledge hubs, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, Twitter chats, and other forms of niche communities are important ways to share knowledge, build credibility, and educate others.
The anonymity and ubiquity of the relationship between social media – each individual has many more friends and connections than they know – leads doctors to befriend more people than patients, including themselves. While you should follow the guidelines of your institutions in terms of social media and professionalism, we advise you to be selective about which friends you should follow on these platforms, whether they are patients or not. Some doctors make a point of never disturbing or following a patient on these pages, while others initiate requests that are often accepted.
Australian doctors use social media in their private lives, but their use during their working days is minimal. In contrast to this low professional use, many doctors discuss with their patients via the Internet and social media.
During regular visits to the doctor, the doctor is often a little hasty and does not have the opportunity to deal with his patients in the way he would like. You should spend your time with your patients in the practice, making sure they are cared for, happy, performing surgeries and creating a caring environment to run your practice.