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Three ways social media is positively impacting healthcare

Three ways social media is positively impacting healthcare | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

Social media plays an ever growing role in the modern healthcare setting. Whether used as a means of obtaining health information, sharing ideas, or developing professional relationships, social media offers many potential benefits for health professionals and consumers alike. Below are three examples of how social media is positively impacting health care.

1. Professional sounding board

Social media allows health professionals to share and obtain knowledge and experiences with other – often more experienced – professionals. Dedicated online communities, groups and forums, such as allnurses.com, physicianassistantforum.com anddoctorslounge.com are just three examples of community sites which encourage user participation via active forum threads, and seek to provide solutions to problems through advice-led articles and blogs. When it comes to discussing more private matters, closed Facebook or LinkedIn groups provide a less public platform for debate.

Social media is a great way for healthcare professionals to build networks and gain knowledge, which only goes to benefit the wider health system.

2. Health education

There is a growing number of people turning to online channels to obtain medical advice and information. In fact, a recent study found that 72% of internet users have searched for health information online, 59% of whom were specifically looking to diagnose a health condition, either for themselves or someone else.

Social media acts as a valuable platform for educating the public about various health risks, promoting ways to help prevent illnesses, and even broadcasting critical information in the event of a disease outbreak or medical crisis.

In similar vein, social media can support the education of students; numerous studies have found that the use of social media to support and enhance learning has positive long-term effects on students.

For the benefit of both medical professionals and the wider public, it is increasingly important that accurate and up to date medical information is available online. Social media plays an important role in delivering such information in an accessible and digestible format.

3. Reputation and relationship management

Whether we like it or not, our online reputation is a catalyst for how we are perceived and remembered more widely. For healthcare organizations and professionals, this can present both problems and opportunities.

By implementing a social media strategy, healthcare organizations and professionals are able to manage their reputation, and are better placed to respond to any negativity, should it come their way. By sharing useful, insightful and original content and ideas, organizations and professionals can demonstrate their authority on a subject and set themselves apart from the competition, which will attract more attention for all the right reasons.

Conclusion

Whilst the use of social media can positively impact clinical workflows and outcomes in a number of ways, it is not without its risks. A key concern for most organizations and individuals within the industry stems from the requirement to adhere to HIPAA legislation and rules surrounding patient privacy and confidentiality. Organizations who wish to use social media in any capacity need to ensure that sufficient social media policies are implemented, and that employees are trained to comply to these regulations. For more information, refer to our guide, Advice for staying HIPAA compliant when using social media.


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The value of social media to you and the profession | BC Medical Journal

The value of social media to you and the profession | BC Medical Journal | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

How up to speed are you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Snapchat? Would you know how to reach @doctorsofbc or @awruddiman, or what to do with #ilovesocialmedia or #physicianleadership? If you’re like many people and professionals, these social media terms may be familiar yet applying them can be a little mind boggling. We’ve all heard the term social media and generally speaking we know what it is, yet understanding how to embrace and use it may be a little daunting for some. I am active on Twitter, but only picked it up as a communication and information forum 2 years ago.

Research shows that more and more people, including professionals, are relying on social media as their primary source of communication because it’s instant and in real time. You can reach a broad audience in one click, and you can just as efficiently receive comprehensive responses on a host of topics.

But what does social media have to do with health care? Today, professional influence is increasingly derived through social media, providing a huge opportunity for physicians and health care organizations to use this communication channel to inform, to connect, and to influence.

My current social media tool of choice is Twitter. I see it as an increasingly effective way to express my thoughts, ideas, and opinions on what is occurring locally and globally and on what those interested in my thoughts (referred to as my followers) might be interested in knowing. For instance, on Twitter I have 1774 followers who range from physicians, stakeholders, government, media, friends, family, and, more broadly, the public. I have acquired followers because, I imagine, they believe the information I push out—brewing health system issues, good news or provocative media stories, or just about anything else that relates to my role as Doctors of BC president, my rural professional life, or my life as a member of a vibrant rural BC community—is of value or interest to them.

Increasingly more members of the medical profession are embracing social media as a way to connect, engage, and influence. Whether it’s to share helpful medical information, stay connected on a collegial level with family and friends, or network with colleagues and peers, it helps build and foster two-way relationships.

And it’s not just individuals who use social media. As an organization, Doctors of BC is very active on social media platforms such as Twitter and, more recently, Facebook, often using them to communicate key positions on important issues to the public, stakeholders, media, and our members quickly, early, and often.

At this year’s CMA General Council Meeting, the hashtag #cmagc was tweeted on average 106 times per hour, and received over 68 million impressions—or, in simpler terms, it was seen and viewed over 68 million times. This allowed members who couldn’t attend, key stakeholders, the public, and the media—everyone who followed that hashtag—to stay connected and to keep abreast of each turn of events at the CMA GC in real time.

One of the greatest opportunities social media provides physicians is the ability to leverage information—to highlight individual professional activities and interests, to advocate for the profession, or to influence behavior to the benefit of the health care system. It allows us to expand our breadth of connectivity, engagement, and knowledge beyond the borders of our offices, our specialties, our hospitals, even our communities. And, in so doing, it enables doctors to position ourselves as a trusted and knowledgeable source, to fill in gaps in information, to change how the public and stakeholders view certain issues, and to strengthen our professional voice. 

I recognize the hesitation some may have about being proactive on social media. Concerns over privacy and confidentiality, or inadvertently saying something that is incorrect or offensive, are important considerations. However, there is no risk to simply following someone on social media. In fact, there’s a great deal of value in seeing what’s being said by those you admire or respect. And as long as you’re circumspect about the content of what you post and you stick to the general rule of thinking twice before you post, you will be fine.

Social media broadly reaches and connects not only the profession, but key partners and stakeholders, those interested in our activities, and the public. As physicians we have the opportunity to harness this tool and the online world to inform, to connect, and to influence. So have some fun and join the world of social media! And when you do, don’t forget to “like” Doctors of BC’s new Facebook page, and I would appreciate the follow on Twitter at @awruddiman. I’d be delighted to follow you back and together we can broaden our professional networks and reach.
—Alan Ruddiman, MBBCh, Dip PEMP, FRRMS
Doctors of BC President


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How I used Twitter to get promoted in academic medicine

How I used Twitter to get promoted in academic medicine | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

As I met with the vice dean of academic affairs to discuss my readiness for promotion from assistant to associate professor of pediatrics, I led with the usual list of accomplishments. After all, I thought I was pretty well rounded, with achievements in teaching, patient care, institutional service, quality improvement, and research. Unfortunately, this meeting was not going as I had hoped and I sensed ambivalence from the other end of the table … and then I mentioned Twitter.

As mostly an aside, I discussed how I had been using Twitter for the past three years to engage with patients, colleagues, and the media. The vice dean suddenly came to life and started to ask probing questions. Could I directly relate patient referrals to my use of Twitter? Did I receive invitations to speak at national conferences due to Twitter? Have I gained a national reputation based upon Twitter? Then I realized that the answer to all three (and others) was yes!

His assistant came into the room for an unrelated reason, and he asked her to sit and listen to my elevator speech as to why I felt I should be considered for promotion. Only this time, he said, “Start with the stuff about Twitter.” So I did, not only that day, but in my dossier preparation as well. And it worked.

 

I initially joined Twitter in 2013 as a means to get involved in social media to help address and dispel common misconceptions pertaining to allergic conditions. I quickly grew enamored with Twitter, using it to provide “MythBuster” tips, engage with the general public, and ultimately grow my personal brand. With full support from my hospital’s social media department, I was encouraged to get involved to my heart’s content.

Along the way, I developed a target audience consisting of parents of children and people living with allergic conditions, along with colleagues from across the world. In November 2014, one of my tweets went viral, ultimately gaining over 16,000 retweets and national attention. I was named to two separate BuzzFeed lists and one of 2014’s most influential health care tweets by Forbes. I nearly doubled my 1,000 followers within a month, but most importantly, I had learned a valuable lesson regarding the power of social media.

Now there’s obviously more to it that accidentally going viral one afternoon. I used Twitter to gain a national reputation within my specialty and received invitations to speak at national meetings and train my colleagues about the benefits of social media. This also led to invitations to serve as chair or vice chair of national committees. I published a paper regarding Twitter hashtag use at allergy conferences and during live chats. I am routinely invited by websites and organizations to create new content via blog posts addressing the latest research findings or common questions. I receive media requests surrounding research findings and have been invited on several podcasts…all who found me on Twitter. Lastly, along with some colleagues, I also developed the first curriculum at our institution for a health care social media elective for residents and medical students.

My biggest challenge was trying to speak the same language as the promotion and tenure committee. While they may not understand what it means to have 6,000 Twitter followers, committee members respond very well to checklists of accomplishments such as invited presentations at national conferences, publications in peer-reviewed journals, and involvement in national committees.

When I submitted my dossier, I promised myself that if I could pull this off, I would write about it so others may benefit as well. I encourage anyone using social media as a medical professional to develop goals as to why you are in this space. If it’s for enjoyment and personal use, that’s great. If you are in academic medicine, however, then consider ways in which you can harness your social media involvement to also grow along the more traditional path. Make sure you understand your institution’s requirements for promotion at each level and prepare for a few awkward glances at first. But, with time and effort, you may also be able to forge a new path in academia through use of social media.


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Why Doctors Must Control the First Page of Google

Why Doctors Must Control the First Page of Google | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

When current and prospective patients want to know more about a physician, they search for the physician on Google. The content that appears when a patient conducts a search will shape how he or she views the physician. While a Google search could turn up pages and page of websites, review sites, articles in medical journals, and even news stories related to the physician, patients only see a small percentage of that content.

Research has shown that more than 90 percent of Internet searchers do not look past the first page of Google, so if a physician’s most authoritative and high-quality results are not displayed on the first page, these results will never be seen by the vast majority of Google searchers.

By practising reputation management–the process of controlling how one is perceived online–doctors not only protect themselves from reputation threats but can also build a positive reputation that attracts new patients.

Doctors should think strategically when choosing which content will represent them on the first page of Google, recognising that high-quality results will bolster a reputation while spammy or empty review pages and business directory listings are seen as less authoritative. Below we will take a look at the types of content that should populate first page search results, and then we will explain how to use reputation management techniques to push this content ahead of negative or low-quality results.

 

What Should Appear on the First Search Results Page

Your Website Ideally, this should be the top result when someone searches for your name, as this is content that you control. This website will also appear as an expanded result, so be sure to build this site out with separate pages about you, your press clippings, journal articles that you have authored, and your professional accolades. You can choose whether to have the website focus on you or your practice, or you could create two websites to focus on each area.

Bio Pages–Each university, hospital, and professional association with which you are affiliated should have a separate bio page about you hosted on their website. If any of these organisations do not have a bio page for you, consider submitting a unique 300+ word biography that highlights your professional achievements and involvement within the organisation.

Bio pages build credibility by ensuring that others are aware of your affiliation with this organisation, and also provide an opportunity for you to share your qualifications with prospective patients who will visit the website and have never heard of you.

Content You Have Written–Content helps you establish credibility within your field. Examples include:

Content on your webpage and your practice’s website.Posts on your own blog.Professional blog posts you have contributed to someone else’s blog.Journal articles that you have authored or co-authored.Mentions in major media publications, ranging from a quote to a specialised news story covering a complex procedure that you completed.

Be strategic about where you post content that you have written. Contributing to a respected, well-maintained website will enhance your reputation, while dumping content on a spammy, rarely visited website will actually hurt your reputation.

Social Media Profiles–It is not always a good idea for doctors to friend their patients on social media (as Kevin Pho discusses here). Fortunately, there are social media websites that you can use for reputation management that do not require you to accept friend requests. These sites allow doctors to create a free profile and host a professional bio, blog, or simply share links to the pages mentioned above without enabling others to write on their page. This affords doctors complete control over each profile. Websites where you should create a profile include Doctors Hangout, LinkedIn, WordPress, and Big sight.

 

How to Get This Content on the First Page

Individuals and businesses use a process called search engine optimisation (SEO) to control where their content appears in Google’s search results. While the “do’s and don’ts” of this process seem to change whenever Google updates its search algorithm, the one consistently successful way to move a website onto the first page is to write compelling, engaging content that others want to share.

“Compelling content” is a vague phrase, so in order to determine what makes content compelling in the medical realm, one must determine the target audience.

A doctor’s primary audience will be current and prospective patients, and these individuals want to read content that is interesting, informative, and easy to understand. If you need ideas on topics that your target audience will find engaging, start by asking yourself these questions:

What are some questions your patients frequently ask?What are some common misconceptions that patients have about your field?Which complex medical procedures that you perform are patients unfamiliar with or unlikely to understand?What are some advancements within your field that could now or down the road make a difference in how your patients are treated?What are some preventative measures that you frequently recommend to patients who wish to avoid future problems?

Once you have answered these questions, you will have a number of topics about which you can write. While writing, make sure to keep your audience in mind as current and prospective patients are usually unfamiliar with terms that you use on a daily basis. Explain medical concepts, terms and procedures in layman’s terms so that readers will understand what it is that they are reading, and include graphics or videos when possible to further understanding.

The ideas that you have brainstormed above will make excellent blog posts, articles, and FAQ pages for your practice’s website. Here are a few things to try so that you can take the content you have written and move it to the first page.

 

Have Someone Look Over Your Work–Have a friend, family member or colleague read over your work to ensure that it is free of spelling and grammatical errors. Sloppy writing will not only reflect poorly on you, but could get flagged by Google as poor-quality content. Asking someone who is unfamiliar with your medical speciality to look over your work is another way to make sure that all medical concepts and terminology have been properly explained, and that the reader is able to read everything without becoming confused.

Don’t Repeat Yourself–When writing content, always strive for variety. Patients do not like it if they come across 20 different websites that only say, “I am Dr. xxx, I practice yyy at zzz and have been practising for ## years.” Writing each piece of content with a different focus makes it more engaging for readers and also signals to Google that it is unique instead of spammy and repetitive.

For example, consider writing about your specialities on your personal website, creating a separate website for your practice, and writing separate bios for the website of each university or medical association with which you are affiliated by focusing solely on your involvement with each specific organisation.

Share Your Content–When first building an online reputation, one cannot expect patients and other Google searchers to naturally find your content. This is especially true if it is not already on the first page. Google views websites that receive low traffic as less authoritative, so one should begin by sharing newly-created content with others. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, such as by posting this content on your social media pages, or sharing links in email newsletters delivered to patients.

Ask Others to Share Your Content–Google loves it when others link to your content, as each link serves as a “stamp of approval” from the website that shares your content. Websites rank higher in Google if they are frequently shared and linked, so asking affiliated universities, medical associations, the manager of your practice’s website, and even colleagues to share the pages mentioned earlier will signal to Google that these links are more authoritative.

However, Google distinguishes between high-quality and low-quality links to eliminate spam and has even punished websites that are caught link-spamming by pushing them off of the first page. A link to your personal website from an affiliated university’s official webpage will strengthen your website’s credibility, while a link to your website placed in the comments section of an unrelated blog (for example, a New York dentist posting a link on a European soccer blog) will actually hurt your website.


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Social media and Patient Participation Groups

Using social media to communicate with patients, other PPGs and wider networking groups.

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Local authorities unveil new social media guidelines for doctors

Local authorities unveil new social media guidelines for doctors | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

Doctors will now have to be more careful on what is posted online and look into their personal branding on social media platforms, said a new ethical guidelines by the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) which revised its Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines (ECEG). The last revision was in 2002.

The new guidelines which covers more than just social media conduct, serves as an update to address increasing complexities of the medical practice in light of technological changes and advancements.

The ECEG comes with examples listing the entire range of possible inappropriate behavior on social media such as appearing intoxicated, engaging in lewd or inappropriate behavior, posting personal or derogatory comments about patients or colleagues, to name a few.

Michael Banner, general manager at McCann Health, said the new guidelines are in line with the increasing digitisation of healthcare. He added that social media, an element of digitisation, is something which is already an integral part of the patients’ personal and professional life and will naturally form a component of a patient’s relationship with their trusted advisors, which includes healthcare professionals.

However, the right to medical privacy needs to supersede all else when it comes to health digitisation. According to Banner, this is a particular challenge when it comes to building digital solutions for healthcare clients in APAC where each country has their own unique code of conduct.

“When a doctor’s personal Whatsapp-account is doubling up as their professional account it’s a recipe for disaster,” Banner said, adding that another area that will require more detailed guidelines is doctor-to-doctor use of social media to share and discuss patient information in a secure and ethical manner.

Whilst social media guidelines are a must in this day and age, it is also important to remember that there will always be situations that the guidelines will not cover. This is where common sense must prevail.

According to Kiran Aswani,  business head at iris Worldwide, the move to address social media conduct is something which is natural given that the last time the guidelines were revised was in 2002.

“A lot has progressed in the healthcare industry since then, including the proliferation of social media into our daily lives and democratisation of healthcare,” Aswani said.

She added that having the guidelines will ensure there is more conscious approach to the healthcare conversations that are taking place online. It also avoids potential avenues for misunderstandings of medical conditions and any inaccurate treatment recommendations to occur due to physical absence of the patient.

“This is especially important in a country such as Singapore where healthcare environment is regulated keeping in mind welfare of the people. It is crucial to ensure that people are conscious about promoting the right healthcare versus the drug and consultations,” Aswani said.


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Why Healthcare Administrators Should Use Social Media

Why Healthcare Administrators Should Use Social Media | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

Social media companies have been hot topics even before Facebook went public. With the likes of Disney, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, and Google all rumored to be considering an acquisition of Twitter, the topic has grown considerably warmer.

But social networking is more than a subject for high stakes speculation. It isn’t an elaborate toy for millennials and the tech set. Social networks have become a critical tool for businesses trying to stay in touch with customers, people looking for important information, recommendations, reviews, and political speech.

As has happened in many industries, social networking has become part of the fabric of the healthcare industry. Doctors and their patients have adopted the systems for personal or professional benefits, as Dr. Sunny Vikrum Malhotra, a New York cardiologist, has written:

In our technology-driven society, many patients make their health choices based upon the direction they receive from peers, colleagues and role models via social media. As a result, social media has altered the way in which patients approach their health and their expectations in clinical care.

Physicians, too, have begun to use social media to their advantage as a professional networking tool, as a form of education for physicians, patients and students, and as a marketing tool.

For patients, Twitter and Facebook provides a conduit to experiences of others who may have the same conditions or have personal knowledge of a doctor, clinic, hospital, or other facility or caregiver. Doctors, or other healthcare practitioners, can respond to questions, build a perception of helpfulness and expertise, and discuss their practices.

But the use of social media in healthcare expands beyond these groups. Some like Bryan Vartabedian, a pediatrician at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital, argue that hospital administrators should have a presence on social media as well. Administrators can work on behalf of their organization to develop an audience of patients, certainly. The marketing opportunities are broad, of course, as are the chances to display the organization’s brand. But strong use of social networks also provides the chance to reach employees and help them be brand ambassadors. Social networks are an important step for building networks of other practitioners and professionals, which can pay dividends when it comes time to recruit a new employee.

Administrators should first spend time, trying to understand which social networks are best for the field and then how to most effectively use them. But then, get involved, experiment, and help move things forward.


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Ethical Issues in Social Media in Health

Presented at the Faculty of ICT, Mahidol University on September 28, 2016

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How a 24-Year-Old Used Social Media to Help 14,000 Patients Get Access to Blood on Time

How a 24-Year-Old Used Social Media to Help 14,000 Patients Get Access to Blood on Time | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

“More than 60% of the population in India can donate blood right now, but not many people donate. I wanted to help solve this problem by coming up with a channel that would make it easier for people to arrange for blood,” says 24-year-old Raghav Baldwa who runs a Facebook page names Blood Sure to help patients and their families.

Raghav, a resident of Indore, was in college when he noticed how big a problem it is for many to arrange blood at the right time.

His father, who has donated blood about 70 times till now, used to get several calls from people asking for help. “The problem I saw was that many blood banks charge fees as high as Rs. 3,500 per pint of blood. This is not affordable for patients from low-income backgrounds,” says Raghav who went on to start a Facebook page named Blood Donors of Indore.

He started by motivating people to donate blood, gathering data of frequent blood donors, putting up requests from people looking for donors on social media platforms, asking his friends to share their blood groups and phone numbers so he could call when needed, etc.

This was in September 2012. Today, his Facebook page has been renamed to Blood Sure and he has helped over 14,000 people across the country.

He also has a data bank with contact details of over 70,000 frequent donors. He collected these details from various social media platforms, WhatsApp groups, etc.

Whenever he gets a request, Raghav posts the requirement on Facebook and Twitter tagging people he knows can help share the word. 75% of the requests are fulfilled online. For those where people don’t get any response, Raghav personally messages or calls donors and asks for donations. He also gets contact requests from other individuals and organizations that are helping patients arrange for blood. In the future, Raghav wants to launch an app with geotagging features to help people contact donors.

Raghav, who has himself donated blood about 20 times, says that he does this simply with the purpose of solving a social problem.

He organises blood donation camps in colleges, company campuses, etc. and all the collected blood is donated to a hospital for Thalassemia patients in Indore.

Raghav is currently working on two startup ideas related to organic food and patient management system for doctors.

“I once got a request from Sehore near Bhopal. The guy was asking for help for his father because he did not have the money to give to any blood bank. I shared his request on social media and he called back to thank me for playing an indirect role in saving his father. Many parents whose children are suffering from Thalassemia also call to thank me. These are the things that keep me motivated to work more,” he says.


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How BIDMC manages the good and bad of social media

How BIDMC manages the good and bad of social media | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

We recently published this guideline on social media at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, based on the input from a multidisciplinary working group. I thought it might be useful to share with the community, since many healthcare organizations are at the early stage developing social media policies.

1.  Why do consumers interact with an organization’s social site?

In general, there is a perception gap between the reasons consumers interact with companies on social sites and why the companies think they do. (Source: IBM Report: From Social Media to Social CRM)

After discounts and purchases (not applicable to BIDMC), consumers ranked reviews and product rankings, general information and exclusive information as the top reasons they follow a company.

Companies ranked learning about new products, general information, sharing opinions, and reviews and product rankings as the top reasons they think consumers follow them on social sites

Reviews and rankings are important to consumers, so we track and respond to all reviews/messages we receive. The reviews are also a great way to capture feedback about patient experience on an ongoing basis.

We receive reviews on all our social media sites. Some are informal, like a tweet. Some are formal reviews, like on Facebook, Yelp, Google+, etc. BIDMC monitors all sites 24/7 using a social media dashboard.

To maintain our integrity, BIDMC follows the same social media guidelines as the universal online community. This means:

We do not delete negative posts. The only thing worse than ignoring a negative comment is deleting it. It only serves to anger the patient/consumer more and give them reason to react by telling ALL of their “friends” on social media about their experience. The exception is when a negative post uses hateful, obscene or discriminatory language.We do not ask for feedback or reviews from patients. Sites like Yelp have rules. One among them: “Business owners should not ask customers to write reviews. Review sites work because consumers voluntarily write reviews.” This is why Yelp, Healthgrades, etc. are able to provide consumers with as much trustworthy information as possible. Research has shown that when the consumer realizes that reviews and feedback have been solicited or influenced, they stop using it.

2. How do we respond to reviews?

We respond to all messages—both praise and criticism. When we receive a complaint:

We respond ASAP.We don’t make excuses. (“We were short staffed” or “It was an unusually busy day.”)We apologize for the experience.We try to take it offline as soon as we can. We send a direct message to the reviewer.We resolve the issue. We immediately connect with Patient Relations to alert them to the complaint so they can follow up.

3. Why do we apologize?

We have had a few instances when a physician has felt strongly about apologizing. Some physicians are of the opinion that apologizing is an admission of error, which could lead to lawsuits.

We believe that enhancing communication reduces malpractice assertions, not increases that.

The marketing team along with Patient Relations has established a process to manage complaints/negative reviews. Our standard response in most cases is: “We are sorry that your experience didn’t live up to the high standards we set for ourselves. We will forward your message to our Patient Relations team. If you’d like to contact them directly, please call …”

4. What does a physician need to be aware of BIDMC’s social media policy?

There is risk associated with the use of social media because any content posted can reflect unfavorably on the physician as well as on BIDMC. A post conveys information about the user’s personality, values, priorities, etc. To avoid errors and prevent risks, BIDMC has created a set of guidelines to help our physicians navigate the world of social media. The full policy is available on the portal. Here are some highlights:

Physicians cannot accept friend requests from patients.If a physician engages in a discussion about the hospital on a social site, she/he should disclose that they work at BIDMC. On personal feeds, if discussing BIDMC, clarify that the posts do not express the views of the hospital.Physicians cannot offer healthcare advice on social sites.Physicians must respect and follow HIPAA requirements. She/he can never disclose information about a BIDMC patient.She/he cannot endorse products on social mediaPhysicians must never disclose proprietary information about BIDMC.BIDMC does not allow individual departments to open social media accounts. On rare occasions, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts are allowed. The request to open a social media account must be approved by the Social Media Policy Committee.
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Finding Adverse Event Data on Social Media

Finding Adverse Event Data on Social Media | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

Have you ever complained about an unpleasant health issue (maybe a strange ache or sudden difficulty sleeping) on your Facebook page? Ever tweeted a picture of a swollen or discolored part of your body? Even if you haven’t, you almost certainly have seen others in your social media network do so.

80% of internet users have looked online for health information in the past year. 16% have specifically gone looking online for people who might share their same health concerns. Social media in particular, which is now utilized by 74% of online adults and increasing in use by all age groups, is a virtual gathering place where people have become comfortable sharing all kinds of information about themselves – including the details of their physical health.

That’s why the pharma world can no longer ignore social media sites as places to find vital data on adverse events (AEs). However, there is no question that this extremely informal environment is a daunting place to go to gather medical information.

Into the Wild (Digital) West

A systematic review recently conducted by Su Golder, Yoon Loke and Gill Norman of the University of York sought to summarize the prevalence, frequency and comparative value of information on the adverse events of healthcare interventions from user comments and videos in social media. By searching several databases, doing internet searches and contacting experts, they found 51 studies that evaluated reports of AEs on numerous social media sites.

Dr. Golder describes searching a database like Medline or Embase as “a walk in the park” next to searching social media, where people often communicate in a way that defies expectation. For instance, in one social media posting, she explains that a person says that a medication “zonks” her, meaning that it causes drowsiness. Although many researchers understand this expression when seeing it in context, it’s highly unlikely that it would ever occur to a pharmacovigilance professional to do a search including the word “zonks” when searching for adverse events!

More Mild than Severe

Dr. Golder’s review confirmed that a large number of people are using everything from major social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube to smaller health-related forums like DailyStrength and Ask A Patient to discuss adverse events – and that many of these reports have not been otherwise documented. In fact, the frequency of mild or symptom-related adverse events (e.g., acne, rashes) posted on social media was higher than on other sources for adverse events reporting. On the other hand, the review found that there was a lower frequency of serious adverse events (e.g., stroke) reported on social media.

This is not terribly surprising when we consider that social media is more often utilized for casual chatter and that people are more likely to pick up the phone and call a doctor or family member when experiencing a truly severe or life-threatening issue. But that is not the only limitation to using social media for uncovering adverse events. Biased sample populations, sorting out if posts are genuine, false positive signal generation, and the sheer amount of “noise” that makes it difficult to effectively search social media are some of the other potential problems with using it as a source.

Faster Identification of AEs

Even considering the limitations of social media, it is still well worth utilizing as an additional source for data on adverse events. Given how quickly information spreads on social media, it has the massive advantage of allowing for more rapid identification of AEs, which could potentially even help stop a problem in its tracks before becoming a full-blown disaster.

Dr. Golder and her colleagues feel that their review demonstrated that social media could be useful as a signal-generating source (especially for mild adverse events), help gain the perspective of patients (including an understanding of what is most important to them) and could help formulate and prioritize questions on AEs for future research. Being so vast and untamed, though, makes social media a minefield that many in the industry are still afraid to venture into.

Where Do Things Stand Now?

So far there are no agencies that routinely monitor social media. They are being cautious because the ethical considerations in using social media for adverse events reporting are significant, given that much of it is technically public yet personal in nature. As for the obligations of pharmaceutical companies, currently they are not required to seek out AE data on social media, but they do have to report it if they happen to see an adverse event discussed there.

The question of whether social media should be monitored by regulatory agencies or pharma companies continues to be debated, and so far there hasn’t been much research funding on how to handle this complicated aspect ofpharmacovigilance. But as social media becomes a method of communication as common as talking on the phone (perhaps more so by now), researchers will have to learn to navigate the minefield so that they can find the valuable nuggets of information that might ultimately save lives.


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How Not to Respond to Bad Patient Reviews Online

How Not to Respond to Bad Patient Reviews Online | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

I recently attended a lecture advising physicians on how they can use social media more effectively to compete in the marketplace. According to the speaker who cited a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) survey, 20 percent of patients find a physician's ratings on websites very important. Even more interesting is that 35 percent of patients say they picked a doctor based on good ratings when searching for a physician on the web, and 27 percent of patients reported avoiding those with bad ratings.


As most physicians know, reviews on social media websites and other online platforms are hardly an accurate picture of whether a physician is skilled. More often than not, it is completely unknown how the ratings are generated. However, given that patients do look on websites for information when selecting a physician, social media content can imapct you and your practice and is something of which physicians need to be aware.

First, consider all the ways your practice could use social media to its advantage. Establishing an onlinepresence in order to project your practice's brand and to share your "message" can be a valuable tool to attract and retain patients, and can counter poor or meaningless ratings. Practice websites can be augmented with doctor profiles, blogs and video content that informs patients about the expertise of the practice, shares insight into the practice's mission and "vibe" and can help your practice be more attractive to new patients searching for physicians. Practices can also tailor their content to the patients they are seeking by choosing appropriate social media approaches. For example, baby boomers are apparently more likely to use Facebook, while younger patients might use Snapchat or Twitter.

The downside to social media is that it invites patient feedback. According to a 2013 Vanguard Communications study of online reviews, 43.1 percent of patient reviews complained about poor bedside manner and 35.3 percent complained of poor customer service. Another 21.5 percent complained of poor medical treatment, such as poorly skilled provider and/or office staff, false diagnoses, and surgical mistakes. Although this may sound like patient reviews are entirely gloomy for physicians, other studies show that, in fact, 88 percent of reviews of physicians are positive. Providers should not be afraid to remind loyal patients who know and trust the practice and its providers that reviews are valuable. Ask your patients for their feedback in whatever forum makes them comfortable and link it to your social media presence.

Unfortunately, a bad review can be difficult for a provider to resolve. I spoke with David Adler of the Adler Law Group, a boutique law firm specializing in IP with an emphasis on working with physicians, about how he helps physicians affected by negative reviews. His advice is that physicians need to be aware that patients have a First Amendment right to share their opinion and cannot be prevented from doing so. Physicians are also limited by HIPAA restrictions in their response — they cannot respond to comments in a way that reveal whether or not a poster is a patient or otherwise reveal details about the posting individual. This can make it extremely difficult to respond at all, and replies must be carefully crafted. Instead, Adler recommends physicians track their reputation online and evaluate all comments and any real risk the comments pose. Certainly providers can respond legally when a patient's comments constitute defamation or presents another legal issue. Physicians should seek legal advice when false information is posted and can also engage in self-help by contacting sites like Yelp and Facebook directly, or seeking guidance through the social media platform's guidelines. This process can be frustrating, but often works.

Here is the advice Adler offers:

1. Don't ignore bad reviews. Create a response strategy in advance.

2. Don't overreact. Zealous and veiled threats of litigation often backfire.

3. Don't lash back. Showing sincerity, sympathy and contrition can often turn a critic into a loyal ally.

4. Don't hire an SEO firm to "astro-turf". Fake reviews are unlawful and the fallout is potentially worse.

As practices strive to remain independent and compete against larger organizations, effective marketing is key. Help patients find your practice but be prepared for both the good and the bad that can come from promoting your organization in the digital marketplace.


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Healthcare guide to Social Media Marketing

The Healthcare Industry Can No Longer Ignore Social Media As the healthcare industry continues to constantly change, it is extremely important that healthcare …

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Three ways social media is positively impacting healthcare

Three ways social media is positively impacting healthcare | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

Social media plays an ever growing role in the modern healthcare setting. Whether used as a means of obtaining health information, sharing ideas, or developing professional relationships, social media offers many potential benefits for health professionals and consumers alike. Below are three examples of how social media is positively impacting health care.

1. Professional sounding board

Social media allows health professionals to share and obtain knowledge and experiences with other – often more experienced – professionals. Dedicated online communities, groups and forums, such as allnurses.com, physicianassistantforum.com anddoctorslounge.com are just three examples of community sites which encourage user participation via active forum threads, and seek to provide solutions to problems through advice-led articles and blogs. When it comes to discussing more private matters, closed Facebook or LinkedIn groups provide a less public platform for debate.

Social media is a great way for healthcare professionals to build networks and gain knowledge, which only goes to benefit the wider health system.

2. Health education

There is a growing number of people turning to online channels to obtain medical advice and information. In fact, a recent study found that 72% of internet users have searched for health information online, 59% of whom were specifically looking to diagnose a health condition, either for themselves or someone else.

Social media acts as a valuable platform for educating the public about various health risks, promoting ways to help prevent illnesses, and even broadcasting critical information in the event of a disease outbreak or medical crisis.

In similar vein, social media can support the education of students; numerous studies have found that the use of social media to support and enhance learning has positive long-term effects on students.

For the benefit of both medical professionals and the wider public, it is increasingly important that accurate and up to date medical information is available online. Social media plays an important role in delivering such information in an accessible and digestible format.

3. Reputation and relationship management

Whether we like it or not, our online reputation is a catalyst for how we are perceived and remembered more widely. For healthcare organizations and professionals, this can present both problems and opportunities.

By implementing a social media strategy, healthcare organizations and professionals are able to manage their reputation, and are better placed to respond to any negativity, should it come their way. By sharing useful, insightful and original content and ideas, organizations and professionals can demonstrate their authority on a subject and set themselves apart from the competition, which will attract more attention for all the right reasons.

Conclusion

Whilst the use of social media can positively impact clinical workflows and outcomes in a number of ways, it is not without its risks. A key concern for most organizations and individuals within the industry stems from the requirement to adhere to HIPAA legislation and rules surrounding patient privacy and confidentiality. Organizations who wish to use social media in any capacity need to ensure that sufficient social media policies are implemented, and that employees are trained to comply to these regulations. For more information, refer to our guide, Advice for staying HIPAA compliant when using social media.


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The Patient-Centric Healthcare Revolution | Klick Health

The Patient-Centric Healthcare Revolution | Klick Health | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it
The consumer-centric digital explosion transforming our lives has also heralded a patient-centric revolution in medicine. Let's see how thei

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Social networking by doctors may save patients' lives, U-M study suggests

Social networking by doctors may save patients' lives, U-M study suggests | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

To get the best results for patients, it may pay for their doctors to heed the words of legendary University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler: the team, the team, the team.(link is external)

UMH_L_SOCIALMD@1x (1).jpg

A new study finds that heart surgery patients’ chances of survival depends in part on the overall level of teamwork among all the physicians who cared for them across their surgery preparation, operation, hospitalization and recuperation.

The finding was made by a team of researchers at the U-M Medical School, just a few miles away from the stadium where Schembechler once coached.

Using data from 251,000 older Americans who had heart bypass surgery, they mapped the interactions among the 466,000 doctors who cared for them, and show the importance of tight “social networks” of physicians to patient outcomes.

They’ve published their results in the new issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, and hope to test their model in other conditions and by considering other types of providers beyond physicians. They’re already studying the effect further, using anthropology research techniques in the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

John Hollingsworth, M.D., M.S.

“Surgical care is complex, involving multiple providers dispersed across locations over time,” says John Hollingsworth, M.D., M.S., lead author of the new paper and a urologist at U-M. “Our findings show that physician teamwork influences patient outcomes, even more than some measures of comorbid illness.”

The more often their physicians worked with one another in the past on the care of other patients, the lower their current patients’ chances were of ending up in the emergency department or hospital, and their chances of dying, within the first two months after their operation.

Measuring teamwork

The researchers created their model of physician teamwork based on Medicare data that showed which physicians from nearly all disciplines had treated the same patients 30 days before and 60 days after their hospitalization for surgery. They factored in measures of the social and healthcare environment in the communities where the bypass surgery hospitals were located, and data on each patient’s 60-day outcomes. 

The results were striking. A 25 percent increase in the measure of teamwork was associated with 17 fewer readmissions for every 1,000 patients treated.

That’s only slightly less impact than a similar-size increase in a measure of education in that same regional community; higher levels of education are already known to be associated with better surgical results.  A 25 percent increase in a measure of how complex and sick patients are – called a Charlson score -- only accounted for one extra readmission per 1,000 patients.

Wide variation

Hollingsworth and his colleagues, including senior author and U-M cardiologist Brahmajee Nallamothu, M.D., MPH, note that regions varied widely in their teamwork ‘score’. To illustrate, their paper shows a map of ties among physicians who treated patients who had their operations in 2011 in two Texas hospitals 90 miles apart -- one in Waco and the other Fort Worth.

The measure of teamwork among all the physicians who treated these patients across the eight-month span surrounding their operation was nearly five times higher among Waco physicians than among Fort Worth physicians. The Fort Worth doctors rarely shared more than one patient in common, while a core set of Waco physicians shared many patients in common, with other physicians interacting less often.

The teamwork effect persisted no matter how large or small the number of bypass operations performed at a given hospital, or the type of hospital. Large academic medical centers tended to have lower teamwork scores because they receive far more patients who are referred to them from physicians far outside their local area who they don’t work with often. This may help explain why those hospitals don’t always score high on Medicare’s measures of patient outcomes.

“A lot of the focus in improving care is focused on the acute hospitalization for an episode of care. We believe that this focus is too myopic because it ignores the care delivered prior to the hospital stay and after discharge,” says Hollingsworth. “Efforts to improve teamwork, and outcomes, need to consider the entire care continuum.”

Hollingsworth and Nallamothu are both members of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation(link is external). They worked with U-M cardiac surgeon Frank Pagani, M.D., Ph.D., and U-M sociologist Jason Owen-Smith, Ph.D., as well as Russell Funk, Ph.D., who earned his economic sociology degree at U-M and now is at the University of Minnesota. Their work was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS020927).

The researchers are now hoping to look at other data from Medicare and beyond to see if the teamwork effect has a similar impact on outcomes in other types of care, and in care covered by other forms of insurance. Because only physician names are captured in the bills sent to Medicare, they will need to look for other ways of assessing the impact of teamwork among nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians still in their residency training and front-end staff.

New funding from the National Science Foundation is fueling their studies of how networks evolve on the ground level in medicine, by observing the interactions among physicians who share patients. By understanding what factors influence physicians’ ties, and the flow of patients among them, says Hollingsworth, they hope to point out opportunities to strengthen teamwork and improve patient outcomes. The effort has started in the U-M prostate cancer clinic, and the team is looking for other clinics to join in.

Bo Schembechler may have died 10 years ago this month, but his mantra “the team, the team, the team” may be one that makes as much difference in medicine as it does in football.


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This is an intriguing topic, worthy of further investigation.
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Should You Use Wikipedia for Medical Information?

Should You Use Wikipedia for Medical Information? | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it
Medical professionals and students are working to improve Wikipedia entries on health and medicine in hopes of providing more reliable information to the public

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Five social media tools to save you time

Five social media tools to save you time | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

Since 87% of adults are using the Internet, we can safely call this the age of digital communication. For health care professionals, this means that your patients are no longer stopping by in person to “try you out;” they’re finding out everything they can about you online. If you recently have not Googled your name, you should. What you see in your search is what patients will see about you. So what does this mean?

More from Dr. Brahmbhatt: 7 social media platforms every urologist should use

One, you need to have a professional online presence. Two, that presence needs to beactive. The problem for physicians is, with all our clinical obligations, we don’t have time to manage social media. You probably wish someone would come along, say “ta-da,” and fix the problem in a matter of minutes. Believe it or not, that scenario is entirely possible. If you use the right tools, you can take 10 minutes out of your morning (or on weekends) to prepare and activate your entire social media presence for the week. Try these five tools to stay active online—without affecting your clinical and personal time.

1. Buffer

Buffer is the solution to the problem of continually posting content. Instead of posting articles individually, you can use Buffer to pre-load a queue and schedule what you want to post on social media days or weeks in advance. Pre-loading your posts will allow you to stay “active” during the day without disrupting your usual clinical routine.

First, you can establish your ideal posting schedule or you can just tell Buffer to find the best times for you (my preference). Then, Buffer will post the next article or image in your queue when that time slot rolls around. All you have to do is keep the queue full of content to publish, a task made easy by Buffer’s Feeds feature.

Under the Feeds tab, you can add a bunch of websites and blogs in your field. As soon as those sites post new content, it will show up in the Buffer feed. From there, just find an article in the feed that you want to share with your friends and followers, click “Add,” and watch as the article gets placed in your queue.

Pick a few medical sites you respect, add them to your feeds, and you’ll be set up to post content to social media at the touch of a button. The buffer app for smart phones also makes it easy to schedule posts based on what you are reading on Facebook, Google News, or other websites.

2. Canva

Canva is like having a graphic designer in your pocket. A lot of the cool graphics and motivational quotes you see online are created using this online graphic design platform. There are free and paid versions of Canva available for the desktop or smart phones.

The app helps your create general or specific images based on your social media platform of choice—Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can create blog graphics that can display visually appealing statistics from your newest research article or cancer statistics.

Here is an example of a motivational graphic created in 2 minutes on my phone. There are other similar apps on the market but, I find Canva to be the most user friendly.

Recommended - Social media: Why you need to be involved

3. Crowdfire

Crowdfire is an app that helps you “find, follow, and unfollow Twitter and Instagram users.”

More specifically, the app helps you weed through your Twitter and Instagram follows and followers and add or cut strategically. You’re notified if an account you’re following hasn’t been active for months, so you can retract that follow. Additionally, the app notifies you when someone unfollows you, allowing you to piece together their reason for doing so.

Crowdfire also has a few time-saving features. It can be used as an automated friend manager. This feature follows a broad base of recommended people and unfollows someone when it senses inactivity. You can whitelist or blacklist any accounts you want.

Besides Twitter, Crowdfire can also help you manage your Instagram account. Like Buffer, you can add photos to the queue to post later at assigned times. This is a hands-off feature that you can control in less than 10 minutes.

4. Google News & Alerts

Today there are a million resources for the latest medical news. I keep my search simple with Google News. I have tabs created for my topics of choice: health, urology, testicular pain, infertility. You can adjust your preferences to even receive emails when there is breaking news on your topic of choice. From the app you can use the services mentioned above to pre-post or live post to your social media of choice.

I would also recommend setting up an alert with your name. When you are quoted in the news or someone mentions you in a blog, your likely to get an alert. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s better than nothing! Plus, it’s automatic once its setup.

5. Hootsuite

I’m a big fan of Twitter chats. These online chats are virtually impossible to stay on top of if you do them directly on twitter. I use Hootsuite to keep track of hashtags of interest to me on a daily basis or during twitter chats. Hootsuite can also be used to manage your social media platforms all under one umbrella. You can even track your competitors or persons of interest.

Related: Twitter's benefits extend beyond 'social' aspects

Conclusion

These tools are fantastic for helping you maintain an online social presence. Take advantage of them. There are new social media platforms popping up daily. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, I would first focus on the big three: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Don’t neglect your personal connections either. Get your whole office (or family) involved in sparking ideas for your own content and curating outside articles. They can help you find unique things to post from outside or inside the office while maintaining patient confidentiality, of course.

You don’t have to shoulder all of the time and effort on your own. Use the tools at your disposal to stay relevant on social media, and fortunately, staying relevant shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes.


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Can social media shed light on cardiovascular disease? Possibly, Stanford journal editors write

Can social media shed light on cardiovascular disease? Possibly, Stanford journal editors write | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

Clearly social media is part of our every day lives, recording our personal communications in a way previously unimaginable.

Researchers are now analyzing this wealth of social media data to better understand what people think and say about their health. Recently, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania sifted through 10 billion English-language tweets to identify and study more than 550,000 U.S.-based tweets related to cardiovascular disease, asreported in JAMA Cardiology.

The research team found that people who tweeted about five cardiovascular conditions — high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes, heart failure and cardiac arrest — were more likely to be older and female compared to the general population of Twitter users. They also tweeted within minutes or hours in response to events, such as celebrity deaths or to mark World Diabetes Day.

This study was discussed in the issue’s Editor’s Note by Stanford journal editors Mintu Turakhia, MD, an assistant professor of medicine, and Robert Harrington, MD, a professor and the chair of the Department of Medicine. In the editorial, they acknowledged that the Penn Twitter study was atypical research to include in JAMA Cardiology but noted that digital health is now a major priority for the journal. They explained:

We accepted [the paper] because it highlights the potential for using these emerging data sources such as Twitter for cardiovascular research, in this case to evaluate public communication about cardiovascular medicine in a manner not previously possible on such a scale.

Turakhia, the journal’s associate editor of digital health, elaborated in an email: “Twitter and other social media data allow us to examine daily interactions in a connected life in ways not possible before. Previously, in order to gain insight on the public’s perception or interest in cardiovascular disease, we were limited to examine historical news and media archives or direct surveys.”

Although the editors believe that Twitter is a new and important research tool, they raised a few questions about future studies. They wrote in the editorial: “The use of Twitter and other social media platforms for cardiovascular research is in an early, proof-of-concept stage. Many important questions remain: Is there signal in the noise? Are these data or results… from the ‘Twitterverse’ generalizable to a broader population?” They also emphasized the need to establish analysis standards and overcome any ethical issues involved with linking the data with clinical information. Turakhia added:

Twitter users do not represent the broader population, but that’s not really its purpose. Twitter allows us to examine a highly connected subset of society and learn how cardiovascular disease might manifest in their connected world.

Ultimately, researchers hope to use this new information to improve their patients’ health, but the research is in its infancy, he said, adding:

We haven’t yet figured out how Twitter or social media can be definitely used to improve health and health care. The obvious avenues would be through social and community engagement. Although sharing of personal information is at the cornerstone of the success of social media, I’m not sure that society is ready to be as open with posting health information, as they are with selfies or pictures of kids. However social media could be used to gamify health care behavior by providing incentives, and that won’t need disclosure.


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Online Reputation Management and Patient Acquisition Go Hand in Hand

Reputation management is vital for healthcare professionals. You must take an active hand in managing your on reputation, and growing your medical practice. Le…

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How Social Media Can Improve Public Health, Patient Education

How Social Media Can Improve Public Health, Patient Education | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it
Research suggests Twitter may be effective in patient education and issuing public health messages as long as it is used during peak conversation times.

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The power of the story: Using patient testimonials and stories to drive marketing efforts

Nothing drives a message home like a well-told story. And an increasing number of healthcare organizations are making patient testimonials a central part of th…

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How Does Patient Health Literacy Affect Digital Health Use?

How Does Patient Health Literacy Affect Digital Health Use? | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it
New research shows that patients with lower health literacy are less likely to use different forms of digital health tools than those with high health literacy.Patients with high health literacy are more likely to use digital health tools than those with lower health literacy, finds a new study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.The study of nearly 5,000 adult patients first tested patient health literacy using the Newest Vital Sign measure for health literacy. Patients then answered questions regarding their relationship with digital health, including whether or not they had used fitness and nutrition apps, activity trackers, or patient portals.
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How Can Social Media Improve Patient Care?

Eric Peacock, co-found and CEO of MyHealthTeams, discusses specialty pharmacy patient engagement on social media.

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How I use social media for medical education (and why you should, too!)

How I use social media for medical education (and why you should, too!) | SOCIAL MEDIA AND HEALTH | Scoop.it

Social media is a great tool for medical educators, but, like anything else worth doing, it takes some effort to get started. Social media allows you to teach, learn, collaborate, research, socialize, produce scholarship, and advance your career.  Here’s how I’ve used social media over the past two years, and why you may want to dive in as well.

 

Create a project to improve medical education: I organized #RheumIOW (Rheumatology Image Of the Week), a project where fellows from across the country generated questions based on an online Rheumatology Image Bank.  Questions were distributed on social media, including on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.  Users were able to take advantage of the “testing effect” by seeing the question, thinking of the answer, and then clicking the link for the solution.

View image on Twitter
  Follow AmerCollRheumatology @ACRheum

#RheumIOW: What abnormality is seen in 3rd digit of this 85yo F w/ osteoarthritis? Answer→ http://acr.tw/2bJl1ex ;

10:42 PM - 13 Sep 2016     11 Retweet   11 like
 

 

Teach: Social media opens the doors of your classroom and provides you with access to millions of learners worldwide.  It’s a great opportunity to get your messages across.

View image on Twitter
  Follow Jonathan Hausmann MD @hausmannMD

Active learning is superior to lectures, especially for minorities. Time to change #MedEd! http://drha.us/1K9jffb ;

6:24 PM - 14 Sep 2015     11 Retweet   22 likes
 

 

To write and develop ideas through writing.  I was taught in high school that you should think about what you want to write, create an outline, and then write down your thoughts.  However, for me, the process is completely backwards.  I begin to write, and through my writing I discover what I think. Having a blog is a great motivator to write!

Participate in online journal clubs: #RheumJC: Leading and participating in an online journal club has been a great experience.  You get to discuss an article with your peers, as well as with the journal authors,  providers in other specialties…and even patients!

Keep up to date with the medical education literature. You can follow journals (such as Academic Medicine,Medical Teacher, Journal of Graduate Medical Education), medical education groups (Academy of Medical Educators, Association of American Medical Colleges) and other medical educators who curate the web and select the best material to share (@FutureDocs, @HollyGoodMD).

To crowdsource ideas: Twitter is a fantastic way to get wonderful ideas about any project you’re working on (such as this one!)

  Follow Jonathan Hausmann MD @hausmannMD

I'm working on a workshop on how social media can help medical educators. What are your thoughts? Any useful references?#meded #rheum

7:14 PM - 9 Sep 2016     88 Retweets   1414 likes
 

 

Conduct research. I have polled users about everything from money, to controversial diseases, the benefits of using social media professionally, etc. I have then taken some of these ideas as preparatory work for more controlled research.

  Follow Jonathan Hausmann MD @hausmannMD

Docs--would you rather have more time or more money? Answer below then read: http://drha.us/2cEsn2j ; via @isa75012

7:41 PM - 11 Sep 2016 71%More time! 29%More $$$! 31 votes•Final results     33 Retweets   11 like
 

 

Receive feedback: There’s nothing quite like the almost-instant feedback you get from Twitter users about any idea you share. This is what I received a few seconds after posting that I was doing a 30 minute workshop on social media:

10 Sep Jonathan Hausmann MD @hausmannMD

@kidney_boy is that a trick question? ;-) A 30 min interactive session for physicians interested in #meded at my hospital

  Follow Matt Sparks @Nephro_Sparks

@hausmannMD @kidney_boy suggest more that 30min

12:34 AM - 10 Sep 2016     Retweets   11 like
 

 

To learn.  Studies have shown that passive learning, such as reading or listening to a lecture, is not as effective as active learning is in promoting retention and understanding of the material.  Participating in social media by creating new content (as in a blog post, a Tweet, or an online comment) is at the top of Bloom’s taxonomy and will help you in your own education.

To disseminate my work: I have shared tweets about projects that I’m involved in, publications I’ve authored, guest blog posts I’ve written.

View image on Twitter
  Follow Jonathan Hausmann MD @hausmannMD

What temp is a fever? Great article from @WSJ that discusses our @feverprints app! http://drha.us/1RPmYpk ; #rheum

11:51 PM - 11 Apr 2016     33 Retweets   99 likes
 

 

To meet others with similar interests: By RTing, replying, liking, and asking questions to others, you can develop relationships online (and they may eventually become real!). Here’s a group of rheumatology patients, nurses, doctors, advocates who tweet…together at our Annual Meeting.

View image on Twitter
  Follow Jonathan Hausmann MD @hausmannMD

Best part of #ACR14 ? Meeting these people!

8:53 AM - 17 Nov 2014     33 Retweets   1111 likes
 

 

Participate in online chats.  There are a lot of brilliant people on social media, although it may be challenging to find them. One common ground for like-minded individuals are recurring Twitter chats about various subjects. For medical educators, you may be interested in the #MedEd Twitter chat which is held on Thursday nights at 9pm Eastern.

  Follow MedEd Chat @MedEdChat

TOPIC 1: How important is grantwriting in the education of#medstudents & faculty? How should it be incorporated into#meded & fac dvlpment?

6:38 AM - 9 Sep 2016     11 Retweet   11 like
 

 

To participate in conferences: Most conferences offer an overwhelming amount of information. After a lecture, identifying the most important point, and writing it down in your own words (in less than 140 characters) is surprisingly efficient form of learning. Similarly, I can comment on a lecture and read about what other attendees found important.

  Follow Jonathan Hausmann MD @hausmannMD

Using Google is just as good and fast as using an evidence-based database to answer medical questions. #ACR14#meded

2:19 AM - 17 Nov 2014     99 Retweets   88 likes
 

 

To learn about what others are doing: You can learn a lot about a person by the 140 characters they use. Often they tell you their interests, their research, their projects…it’s a fantastic opportunity for collaboration!

  Follow Michael Green @mjg15

Our article on comics in medical education was just published in JAMA and picked up by NPR:http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/12/08/458835148/medical-students-see-their-mentors-as-maurading-monsters?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=health&utm_medium=social&utm_term=nprnews …;

1:10 AM - 9 Dec 2015 Medical Students See Their Mentors As Marauding Monsters

Comics drawn by medical students show the intimidation and abuse they say they get from their supervisors. Depression is more common in young physicians, too. That's not good for doctor or patient.

npr.org     22 Retweets   33 likes
 

 

 

To share: When I read an interesting article, I often share it on Twitter. It’s an easy way of spreading knowledge that I think would interest and benefit others.

View image on Twitter
  Follow Jonathan Hausmann MD @hausmannMD

Daniel Khaneman thinks doctors are "noisy." Read his brilliant article & find out why http://drha.us/2cm51kU ; #meded

9:30 AM - 8 Sep 2016     66 Retweets   1515 likes
 

 

How have you leveraged social media for medical education?  Leave your comments below!


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