This issue has generated some excellent discussion in the health industry. As an active participant in social media, I know what it is worth and its value to the providers, patients and caregivers. There are numerous articles about physicians and social media. But I thought I would like to give my own perspective of the situation. I will mention four reasons why physicians should embrace social media.
It is Where Patients Are
Social media has become part of the healthcare industry. Online health communities are probably the largest growing sector. By getting involved in social media, physicians can have a deeper insight into patients concerns. Having physicians engaging in social media is highly rated by patients and has been recommended to improve online physician reputation.
Interestingly older people are OK with engaging in social media to gather information but they are less likely to share personal information than young people.
Social Media is Where Healthcare and Hospital Systems Are
The PwC survey stated that around more than 1200 hospitals participate in more than 4200 social networking sites. It would be a benefit to physicians and providers to know what information is being supplied by their organizations and hospitals. Regarding this matter they can partner with these institutions and gather some knowledge about what other patients are reading online and provide targeted information by offering collaboration.
It Helps in Engaging With Vendors and Colleagues
As physicians are busy they have less time to interact with device companies as well as colleagues. Though online health communities can be a source of marketing research they can act as a reason of education interaction regarding patients and providers.
Giving a humanistic side of oneself to the public as a physician is beneficial to both writer and the reader. Patients are more candid with each other on social media than they are in real life. Observing the discussions can help give you a perspective which has been previously unknown. I have met physicians who shared the benefits of using the social media. It helped them incorporate new ideas, beliefs and sentiments that eventually became integrated with their daily practice.
Participation in the social media depends on a person’s individual time and thus it is not stressful or crucial. It helps physicians create virtual relationships, collaboration and respect.