With the world of healthcare constantly changing, doctors are making patient care a top priority. One of the best ways for doctors to do this is to reach patients is through the internet. According to Texas-based company, Software Advice patients from around the country are turning to the internet to find information about their doctors.
Further research yielded the following results:
Healthgrades is the most used online review site, although Yelp is more trusted. Healthgrades is most commonly used by patients, with a majority of users turning there first for information on doctors. Although Yelp is used less frequently than Healthgrades, it is still considered by users to be more trustworthy. Yelp, however, remains the "review site of choice" for adults who are under the age of 35. Online review sites are very comparable to social media channels- if your target demographic is using one site more than another, your best bet is to use the site your target is using. Like social media, an online review site must be consistently updated, and should contain only relevant information. Patients usually turn to online reviews to find a new doctor. When it comes to researching new doctors, many patients turn to online communities to get feedback directly from other patients. Patients especially turn to online reviews when they are looking for new doctors. Meanwhile, a smaller number of patients turn to online reviews to learn more about the doctor they have already chosen for an appointment, or to re-evaluate a previously chosen doctor. In the event of a negative review, a doctor addressing a negative review can also help keep their ratings high. Patients are very specific when it comes to looking for information online. Patients often seek very specific information online about a doctor, from their years of experience, to their office wait time. This information is especially attainable from an online review site, where patients make their voice heard. Keep in mind that some patients will not since patients will not hold back on a review site. Everything will be on there-the good, bad, and the ugly. So, keep your patients (both new and old) in mind when you create an account where reviews will be shown.
For researchers still on the fence about using social media tools to engage with colleagues and the public, a recent post on Active Scientist offers a short primer on ways Twitter can prove useful in monitoring relevant content about developments in your field.
Among the guidance on using Twitter to filter science news, the piece offers tips on who to follow, topics to tweet and lists the following benefits for researchers:
Keep track of developments in your field and in touch with distant colleagues.Alert the media when you are about to publish or have made significant progress toward a scientific goal.Develop an online presence as someone who cares about scientific progress in your field.Present your scientific ideas and interests to a general audience. Twitter is a great tool for public outreach.Join campaigns to increase government funding of science, make scientific publishing open access, or whatever your interests are.
In a Q&A published this week on Scope, Stanford physician Leah Millheiser, MD, discussed her motivation for using social media to raise awareness and foster discussion about issues relating to women’s sexual health. Millheiser recently launched her own blog and Twitter feed.
Additionally, the School of Medicine feed (@SUMedicine) currently maintains Twitter lists of organizations affiliated with the medical center and Stanford physicians and biomedical researchers.
Despite countless media campaigns, organ donation rates in the United States have remained static while need has risen dramatically. New efforts to increase organ donation through public education are necessary to address the waiting list of over 100,000 patients. On May 1, 2012, the online social network, Facebook, altered its platform to allow members to specify "Organ Donor" as part of their profile. Upon such choice, members were offered a link to their state registry to complete an official designation, and their "friends" in the network were made aware of the new status as a donor. Educational links regarding donation were offered to those considering the new organ donor status. On the first day of the Facebook organ donor initiative, there were 13 054 new online registrations, representing a 21.1-fold increase over the baseline average of 616 registrations. This first-day effect ranged from 6.9× (Michigan) to 108.9× (Georgia). Registration rates remained elevated in the following 12 days. During the same time period, no increase was seen in registrations from the DMV. Novel applications of social media may prove effective in increasing organ donation rates and likewise might be utilized in other refractory public health problems in which communication and education are essential.
Oncologists, primary care physicians have different motivations for using social media
A new survey shows that about one in four physicians uses social media daily or multiple times a day to scan or explore medical information, and 14 percent use social media each day to contribute new information, according to an oncologist at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
The survey of 485 oncologists and primary care physicians, also found that on a weekly basis or more, 61 percent of physicians scan for information and 46 percent contribute new information. More than half said they use online physician-only communities but only 7 percent said they use Twitter. The work was published recently in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
Oncologists are more likely to use social media to keep up with innovation, while primary care physicians are more likely to use social media to get in touch with peers and learn from them, the survey found.
Increasingly, teams are working together when they are not in the same location, even though there are many challenges to doing so successfully. Here we review the latest insights into these matters, guided by a framework that we have developed during two decades of research on this topic.
This framework organizes a series of factors that we have found to differentiate between successful and unsuccessful distributed collaborations. We then review the kinds of technology options that are available today, focusing more on types of technologies rather than specific instances. We describe a database of geographically distributed projects we have studied and introduce the Collaboration Success Wizard, an online tool for assessing past, present, or planned distributed collaborations. We close with a set of recommendations for individuals, managers, and those higher in the organizations who wish to support distance work.
Research into frequent, excessive, and compulsive social network activity has increased the last years, in which terms such as "social network site addiction" and "Facebook addiction" have been used interchangeably. The aim of this review is to offer more knowledge and better understanding of social network site addiction (SNS-addiction) among researchers as well as clinicians by presenting a narrative overview of the research field in terms of definition, measurement, antecedents, consequences, and treatment as well as recommendations for future research efforts. Seven different measures of SNS-addiction have been developed, although they have to a very little extent been validated against each other. The small number of studies conducted so far on this topic suggests that SNS-addiction is associated with health-related, academic, and interpersonal problems/issues. However such studies have relied on a simple cross-sectional study design. It is therefore hard to draw any conclusions about potential causality and long-term effects at this point, beyond hypothetical speculations. Empirical studies suggest that SNS-addiction is caused by dispositional factors (e.g., personality, needs, self-esteem), although relevant explanatory socio-cultural and behavioral reinforcement factors remain to be empirically explored. No well-documented treatment for SNS-addiction exists, but knowledge gained from Internet addiction treatment approaches might be transferable to SNS-addiction. Overall, the research on this topic is in its infancy, and as such the SNS-addiction construct needs further conceptual and empirical exploration. There is a great demand for studies using careful longitudinal designs and studies which include objective measures of both behavior and health based on broad representative samples.
A recent poll shows a strong desire among patients to play a more active role in medical research. The poll, fielded shortly before the launch of a new book highlighting the phenomenon of patient-led research, sends a clear message to pharma: embrace the patient's role in identifying new molecules.
“Companies like Genentech, Merck, Janssen and Roche are asking these kinds of questions, about how much are we involving that end customer in the process, and would there be benefit to doing so more frequently and in a more significant way,” said Fabio Gratton, chief business officer for Vocalize, whose Truvio mobile research platform was used to find out what health activists think about the patient-led research trend.
The act of patients reporting their own medical results, or using networks and data to actively recruit researchers from the private and public sectors to accelerate clinical trials, is just one of 15 trends digital-health trends discussed in the recent book, “ePatient 2015: 15 Surprising Trends Changing Health Care,” which launched last week.
As 2013 draws to a close, Daniel Ghinn has put together a list of his top-ten favourite pharma social media 'firsts' of the year - new things that pharmaceutical companies have been doing in social media.
It's been a year packed with new ideas, channels, and lessons learned.
In pharma social media, this list is where the new ground is being taken in what is still a challenging environment for regulated pharmaceutical industry.
Here's what pharma did for the first time in 2013:
10. Cleaned up its Twitter name
9. Implemented Tumblr to support patients
8. Exceeded 7 million views on YouTube
7. Reached 90,000 likes on Facebook
6. Integrated social media with a prescription product website
I’ve come across so many helpful and insightful articles on medical and science professionals’ use of social media lately that I’m compelled to share a few. Last week on Wing of Zock, Cynthia Floyd Manley, associate director of public affairs and marketing at Vanderbilt University, shared nuggets from a recent conference on digital professionalism and reminded readers why maintaining a digital presence is so important for doctors. (She quoted Bryan Vartabedian, MD: “Physicians have two choices, really. They can participate in the discussion that is happening online and frame the story, or they can let someone else frame the story for them.”)
Earlier in the month, the PLOS blog Mind The Brain published a Q&A with a young scientist who uses Twitter to connect with other researchers and learn more about what’s happening in her field. She provided concrete tips for those scientists who want to dip their toes in the Twitter waters and also shared how the platform connects her with other academics:
I feel that with Twitter, my academic world expanded to include many colleagues I wouldn’t otherwise meet. I am now able to keep my finger on the academic pulse better. The information shared on Twitter is so much more current than you would find on journals or conferences. For instance, academics I follow post their latest articles on Twitter that would otherwise probably take me months to learn about. I can then ask questions of the authors themselves and chat with them. I think we all love to talk about our work!
And just today, MedCrunch featured a piece singing the praises of Twitter (which prolific blogger and social-media expert Kevin Pho, MD, calls here “the most powerful application for listening and for keeping informed about what’s happening in the science and medical communities”) and encouraging physicians to – at a minimum – create and maintain professional profiles on LinkedIn. As Susan Williams writes in her post, “defining your reputation by illustrating your credentials and your authority in your field affects two of the most important patient-doctor relationship traits: respect and trust.”
Yet many doctors are overwhelmed with the idea of social media – with the time it takes to build profiles, with the community management, and with the tools themselves. Still, the value in patient engagement, education, connection, collaboration, and patient-physician transparency is undeniable and trumps inconvenience.
A new year holds so much potential. It’s often when we’re at our most ambitious and optimistic. A time when we’re more likely to try something new – learn a language, take up CrossFit, or, even, dive into the social media ocean.
Social media and medical apps for smartphones and tablets are changing health communication, education and care. This change involves physicians and other health care professionals which for their education, training and updating have started to follow public pages and profiles opened by medical journals and professional societies on the online social networking sites (such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+), to access scientific content (videos, images, slides) available on user-generated contents sites (such as SlideShare, Pinterest and YouTube) or on health professional online communities such as Sermo, and to use medical and health apps on their smartphones and tablets. As shown by a number of experiences conducted in US by health institutions such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Atlanta and hospitals such a the Mayo Clinic, these tools are also transforming the way to make health promotion activities and communication, promote healthy habits and lifestyles, and prevent chronic diseases. Finally this change involves patients which are starting to use medical and health apps on their smartphones and tablets to monitor their diseases, and tools such as Patients Like Me (an online patients' community), Facebook and Twitter to share with others the same disease experience, to learn about the disease and treatments, and to find opinions on physicians, hospitals and medical centers. These new communication tools allow users to move to a kind of collaborative education and updating where news and contents (such as public health recommendations, results of the most recent clinical researches or medical guidelines) may be shared and discussed.
According to Pew Internet & American Life Project Study, 72 percent of Internet users have gone online in the past year specifically for health-related information. With the potential of that number going up, it’s important for healthcare providers to be using the Internet, particularly their website for leads and referrals.
The first step to recruiting new patients online is to define your goals and marketing budget in advance. Are you looking to build brand awareness or want to showcase a new procedure in your facility? These goals should help determine how to get qualified leads to your website and as a result, more patients into your healthcare facility.
Here are some ways to use the web to turn new patients into long-term, loyal patients:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – According to Google, 77 percent of patients used a search engine before booking a health-related appointment. SEO are strategies, techniques and tactics to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in search engine’s like Google, Bing or Yahoo. There are many factors that go into properly optimizing a website, but in general, if your website isn’t search engine friendly, there is a good chance patients won’t find you.
Do social networking spaces afford opportunities for people accessing health and social care services, citizens and public sector organisations to have conversations about important topics that affect all of us?