HEALTHCARE & SOCIAL MEDIA
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Bitter Pill: Doctors Not Swallowing Social Media Fervor

From mhealthwatch.com


Want a doctor to treat you via social media?

Don’t hold your breath — unless you look good blue.

In June, a study by MedData Group found that 44 percent of U.S. physicians weren’t using social media sites for professional services.

If doctors are using social networking as part of their job, it’s profession-related sites that were the platforms of choice.

In a story posted at eMarketer, it was disclosed that “around one-third of respondents used LinkedIn, and 29 percent were active on online physician communities, compared with just 3 percent who used online patient portals.”

Doctors are not gravitating toward social sites that are popular among the general public. These experienced low engagement among physicians.

Why the hesitancy?

It’s not for lack of knowledge. Rather, doctors cite “patient privacy and a lack of time” as the leading reasons they stay away from using social networks for their doctoring pursuits.

Polling by Digital Insights Group revealed that the general consensus among physicians is that social just isn’t an important resource when it comes to doing their jobs. Only 14 percent of primary care physicians said that social networks were a somewhat or very important clinical resource, compared with 30 percent who said they “weren’t important at all.”

When doctors do turn to digital resources to make decisions, they’re most likely using search engines, according to April 2014 research also conducted by MedData Group. Among U.S. physicians surveyed, a whopping 78 percent said search engines were the online resource they used in the medical decision-making process. A mere 5 percent cited social media.

Art Jones's curator insight, August 12, 2014 9:16 PM

Internet Savvy = Yes

Internet Engaged = High

Social Media Usage = Low


How to Use Social Media in Health Care | Q&A With Kevin Pho

From carrington.edu

In May we launched a new series! Each month we are interviewing a leading expert who will help you prepare for your future career in health care.

For this month’s Q&A we spoke with Kevin Pho, founder and editor of KevinMD.com, a blog that shares stories and insights from those working in the health care field. Kevin is an internal medicine physician who specializes in health care social media. He is also the co-author of the book Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices.

Many of us use social media to connect with our friends and family, and increasingly we are using these same platforms to find and share information related to our health. As patients we are using social media to research reputations of providers, find information about our symptoms and conditions as well as a general source of information of all kinds. As future health care providers, knowing how to do things like promote your facilities’ expertise and increase access to accurate information will be valuable career skills. Read on for Kevin’s best advice for using social media in health care.

How has social media affected those working in the health care field? What are some trends you have noticed in recent years?

Social media has made health care information more transparent. Seven out of ten Internet users now use the web to look for health information, and they regularly come to their provider’s office with information that they printed out, or pulled up from their mobile devices. In some cases, patients may even have more information about their disease than their physician.

The problem, however, is that patients can’t believe everything they read online.  The Internet gives everyone a platform to be heard, but when it comes to health information, that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Sometimes, what patients are reading online is inaccurate, or even worse, harmful.

So in this transparent era where patients have as much access to information as their providers do, those in health care have to redefine themselves. Instead of seeing themselves as gatekeepers of medical and drug information, they need to become curators of that information. Health care providers need to become filters for their patients and guide them to reliable online sources for health information.

What advice can you give to someone who would like to begin using social media to manage their medical practice’s online reputation? Where should they start?

Almost half of patients today research their doctors online. So I would encourage each provider in a practice to have a social media presence. Chances are, patients will be Googling individual providers rather than the practice itself.

There are powerful social media tools providers can use to establish an online reputation. I’d start with LinkedIn, the professional social networking site. A LinkedIn profile is no more than a digital translation of one’s CV, and can be created in under an hour. If that’s all providers have time for, that’s OK. LinkedIn profiles tend to get ranked high on Google searches. But if providers have time to engage in other social media platforms, that’s even better, since that will expand their online presence and better define them on the web.

What would you say to someone in the health care field who has doubts on investing time in using social media for their practice?

These days, not worrying about an online reputation isn’t an option. Whether providers want one or not, they are already being defined online through physician rating sites. These sites search the web looking for publicly available information about doctors; they will create a profile page whether one is wanted or not. Of course, these sites also allow patients to rate physicians online.

If doctors don’t invest in social media, they risk being defined by rating sites.  And for many, that may not be the online impression they want.

In what ways could social media be used to improve a medical practice’s relationship with its patients?

Social media can make physicians more accessible to patients. Some hospitals arrange Twitter chats where their physicians can answer general medical questions from patients. (Note: These are not personal health questions, since social media isn’t the proper forum for that.) Answering these questions can tear down the health care walls that traditionally divide patient and provider, and better facilitate their connection.

Other practices use Facebook to reach an audience that they otherwise may have trouble reaching. Some OB/GYN practices use Facebook to provide patient education materials on safe sex or birth control to teenagers and young adults who comprise Facebook’s primary demographic.

Are there ways social media can hurt a practice’s online reputation? How should those managing their practice’s online presence respond to negativity?

Just as social media can define reputations online, it can also hurt them. Providers should be as professional online as they are in the exam room face to face with patients. Protecting patient privacy is crucial; whatever is posted online should be appropriate if said aloud in a crowded hospital elevator. And finally, consider online posts to be written in ink. Activity on the web can always be looked up in Google archives, even after posts are deleted.

Practices should respond to negativity (i.e. poor patient reviews) offline. Don’t get into arguments on the web; it’s unlikely to be resolved successfully. Instead, if there’s a dispute, post a standard message asking patients to call the office, where the practice can handle the situation privately, out of social media’s public eye.


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Healthcare Communications & Social Media: A Roadmap

From b2view.biosector2.com

It’s finally happening. After years of speculating about how and when the highly regulated landscape of healthcare communications would be ready to embrace social media, I’m happy to report that day is dawning. It’s been a long time coming, but with FDA guidance around social media beginning to take shape we’re also seeing clients and regulatory teams who are willing to test the waters.

This is an exciting development but it doesn’t mean that every pharmaceutical brand should immediately set up a Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest account. The authenticity that makes social media such a compelling tool for marketers can also be a stumbling block for companies who are less familiar with the space. To ensure success, it’s wise to consider a few key guidelines before implementing any social media tactics:

  1. Identify your Objectives

What are you trying to achieve? Do you want to raise awareness around a particular disease state? Establish a voice for corporate communications? Spread the word about a new product? Educate a specific audience about a health risk? Understand your goals and how a social media tactic will help you achieve them.

  1. Understand your Audience

Social listening tools have made it possible for us to dig deeply into the conversations that HCPs, patients and caretakers are having online. These tools allow us to see where the conversations are happening, what people are saying and identify areas of risk.

  1. Establish Guardrails

Develop a set of guidelines or Standard Operating Procedures that define how social media platforms and communications will be deployed and managed. Some of the scenarios to consider include: crisis response, roles and responsibilities, employee participation, and level of engagement. You’ll also need to consider who will be in charge of overseeing your social media platform(s) and how much time they will need.

  1. Develop an Editorial Plan

Good content is the backbone of any winning social media tactic – with the end goal being to get users to engage by sharing and responding. Make sure you think through what, when and how you will be posting and coordinate with other channels in your social ecosystem to make sure messages are aligned.  The best way to do this is by creating an editorial calendar that can be developed and approved in advance.

  1. Build Relationships

So you’ve got everything ready to go and your social channel goes live – now what? Social media can be a great platform to reach out to influencers and establish relationships with key media contacts. If your organization is ready, start by identifying who is leading the conversation around key topics, and follow and listen to what they have to say in order to identify an opportunity to share or respond to something they have posted.

Social media still isn’t for everyone but if your organization is ready to make the leap, make sure you’re armed with a plan and the tools you need to succeed.


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Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, et YouTube: les usages des réseaux en santé

From www.pinterest.com

Wikipedia, Twitter, facebook, and YouTube: uses in health
ChemaCepeda's curator insight, July 31, 2014 9:09 AM

¿Qué usos podemos dar a cada red social aplicados a la salud? Interesante gráfico con las ventajas y desventajas de cada una

rob halkes's curator insight, August 1, 2014 3:35 AM

Great overview !

Social media nightmare for health IT

From www.healthcareitnews.com

Few healthcare IT policies these days are as delicate, sensitive and potentially emotionally explosive as efforts to restrict or regulate employee social media activity. And yet hospital hierarchies are routinely stepping on these political minefields as providers try to protect their reputations.

Consider a recent incident at the 2,478-bed New York Presbyterian Hospital.

An ER nurse posted a photograph of a trauma room – no staff or patients were in the picture – after caring for a man who had been hit by a subway train. The caption: "Man vs. 6 train." The image simply showed a room that had seen a lot of action moments before. The veteran nurse was fired after the incident, according to an ABC News report, not because she had breached hospital policy or violated HIPAA, but, as she put it: "I was told I was being fired for being insensitive."

This legitimately raises key issues around what a hospital's social media policy should be. This specific incident, though, appears to be an impressively poor choice for the hospital to have selected to make its stand. First, there really was no privacy issue at play. The photo shows nothing more than a slightly messy trauma room. The caption is vague and is hardly worse than a police officer posting a car accident image, with a note warning people against drinking/texting while driving. (To be precise, the injured car would be recognizable to the patient along with friends and family, especially if a license plate were visible, whereas a generic trauma room photo isn't.)

An even bigger problem with using this incident is that the nurse, Katie Duke, didn't even take that photograph. It was taken by a staff doctor and the doctor had posted it on the doctor's Instagram page. Nurse Duke had merely reposted it. The consistency killer? The doctor "was not reprimanded," ABCNews reported. To be fair, it's not clear whether the doctor's post included the "Man vs. 6 train" comment. Given that it appears that the comment – as opposed to the image – is the trigger here, the hospital's disciplinary process may or may not have been inconsistent.

Let's get back to the social media policy issues. I would hate to have to issue a concrete definition – acceptable to our friends in Legal – of "sensitivity." What if there had been no image and the nurse had simply said something like "A grim reminder at the ER today about how dangerous and deadly subways can be. Don't take any chances – ever." Is that insensitive? And if not, how is it meaningfully different than what Duke reposted? She specified the subway line, which, by itself, isn't insensitive nor especially revealing. And she used an image of the trauma center, which showed nothing. Would it have made any difference had she posted a generic trauma center image from Google Images?

If no patient or hospital privacy has been violated, what is the issue? The issue is that she was accused of violating hospital policy. We've now gone full circle. What is reasonable to ban, as long as no one's privacy nor hospital confidentiality is violated? (Classic hospital confidentiality: "Wow, my hospital is getting away with amazing markups. We just charged a patient $XXX for something, and I saw the paperwork that we only paid $X for it." The employee would be using information that she/he could only know because she worked there. That's a fine violation.)

Can a hospital ban employees from saying anything hospital-related on their social media posts? What if it's entirely positive, as in "Our surgical team is brilliant. We saved patients today that most surgeons would have lost"?

Here's the IT nightmare. What if the hospital says, "We're going to decide this on a case-by-base basis"? Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Then things fall to IT to become the social media police. Are you to then track every social media feed of every employee and to then – gulp – review every posting for appropriateness? And somehow management thinks that this action will avoid lawsuits?

The simple fact is that a social media policy that covers what an employee does in his or her personal time is highly problematic. On the other hand, there certainly is social conduct that has to be dealt with. What if a doctor set up a site that identified herself as working at this identified hospital and then said how her team tries to inflict as much pain as possible and that they then place bets on when different patients will scream or pass out?

The easiest route from an administrative perspective – but certainly not from a legal perspective – is to adopt something akin to the Pentagon's infamous Don't Ask Don't Tell. That would be a program where there was zero effort to uncover such naughty social posts (as IT breathes a major sigh of relief) but a strict policy for punishing employees and contractors who engaged in bad behavior that the hospital happened to learn of.

The problem is that it leads to inconsistent punishment – with most people never getting caught – and to even vindictive behavior, with employees reviewing the social posts of a rival, looking for anything that might get them into trouble.

That policy might simply prohibit posts that reflect poorly on the hospital, which is vague enough to allow senior management to make customized decisions. As long as healthcare doesn't decide that it needs to proactively check on all posts – a thankless task that would almost certainly fall to IT, which would try to automate much of that assignment from Hell – any concrete policy is better than none.

 

Patti Hamilton's curator insight, July 28, 2014 3:17 PM

What is the real problem here?  Is it breach of confidentiality, heightened risk management by hospitals, limits to freedom of expression, or could it be the lack of sensitivity of doctors and nurses?

 

What is your opinion?

Clinical Trials may be Compromised by Online Patient Chatter - Pharmalot - WSJ

From blogs.wsj.com

Are patients jeopardizing clinical trials by discussing them on social media? There is growing fear in the medical community and the pharmaceutical industry that an increasing number of people who participate in clinical trials may indeed compromise research by chatting about treatments, side effects and enrollment tips on Facebook, online forums and blogs.
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Social media perceived as clinical trial risk

From www.mmm-online.com

The Wall Street Journal reports that patients are sharing a plethora of information about their clinical trial experiences, from how to get picked, to how to figure out who is in a control group.
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Relax! It’s okay for pharma to go slow on social media -

From www.brainstorm-digital.co.uk

Is Pharma getting too excited about social media?
This is the closing question in a thoughtful interview with
Anish Shindore of Novartis in Spain.
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Ongoing HCP social media monitoring can avert brand disaster

From www.creationpinpoint.com

HCP social media monitoring is like having permanent access to a market research focus group of over 350,000 healthcare professionals. There are many ways you can use the insights that come from listening to their conversation. You can keep up to date on your customers’ needs & concerns, identify who the key digital opinion leaders in your therapy area are, see which channels they use to engage with each other, understand how your competitors are perceived and much more.

Today let’s look at how using HCP social media monitoring to watch for doctors spreading misunderstood information about your product is crucial for pharma.

The danger of not responding to misinformed HCP conversation online

A few years ago if a doctor was misinformed about your brand they might tell some of their colleagues in their workplace the wrong information. Pharma would have no way of knowing that their conversation was potentially damaging their products’ reputation but luckily the effect would usually not be widespread and in most cases would be unlikely to cause a significant impact on your brand.

In 2014 healthcare professionals are not just sharing their knowledge with their immediate colleagues. Doctors are using public social media to engage, converse, share news and voice their opinions on brands with colleagues from all over the world. So what happens now if one healthcare professional is using social media to voice their opinion which happens to be misinformed?

Renhe Pharma loses $160 USD from HCP spreading product misinformation

Last year, Renhe Pharmacy lost 10% in stock value after a doctor shared misinformation via a 140-character post on Chinese social media site Sina Weibo. According to South China Morning Post, a Beijing-based doctor posted the following  offending message on Weibo: “Youkadan and Haowawa medicine have been proven toxic to children’s livers. Children under one year should absolutely not take it. Children under six should take it with caution.” The post was immediately shared, tens of thousands of times, by others including a Chinese television star who at the time had over 26 million followers.

Although the doctor who posted the message later admitted that he had inadequate information, and China’s Food and Drug Administration issued a statement claiming the medicine was safe, it was too late to prevent the company’s loss of around $160USD. Have a look at the full story here.

The question is could this have been dealt with better if Renhe had been immediately made aware of the doctors post? Could their intervention have stopped this spreading so quickly? In any case forewarned is forearmed as the saying goes. By the time Renhe were aware of the post the “fire” was out of control and, though they tried the best with damage limitation, it was hard to reverse the impact this had caused.

Listening to how HCPs are discussing your brand online is key, especially when it comes to stopping the spreading of misinformation before your brand reputation has suffered irreversible damage.

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Are pharma still missing opportunities for social engagement?

From www.linkedin.com

We work in a special world. This world is called Pharma. Where regulations bring fear, nerves and general malaise in moving forward with digital engagement. We are confident enough to keep pushing
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Are health care and social media a bad combination? | Articles | Main

From www.healthcarecommunication.com

HIPAA rules put constraints on what can and cannot be shared, and even inadvertent violations can spell big trouble for individuals and organizations alike.

Art Jones's curator insight, July 28, 2014 6:34 PM
Training can be the difference maker #HIPPA

Five Big NoNos for Physician Social Media Marketing

From crystalcleardm.com

As we’ve noted before, Social Media marketing is changing the game for physicians in cosmetic practice. Whether you’re a plastic surgeon, cosmetic dermatologist or Medspa owner, these stats from theInternational Association of Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine say it all:

“42 percent of patients received most of their information about cosmetic procedures from social media [in 2012].”

But it’s not all wine and roses when it comes to social media marketing and physicians. It’s true that, done well, social media can be incredibly effective for sharing information, building engagement, identifying new patients, and keeping current patients engaged. Done poorly, however, social media can hurt your reputation, alienate patients and hinder practice growth.

Here are five tips to help prevent your social media practices from turning your aesthetic or wellness practice into a digital version of What not to Wear.

Five biggest turnoffs in social media:

Irrelevant content: The first rule of social media marketing is to provide interesting and relevant content. So think before you post. Is this something that will inform and interest my patients, specifically? Increase their engagement with the practice? Get them thinking about that next service or new product? If none of the above applies, perhaps it’s not the right forum for that post. Fortunately, those who work in aesthetic, cosmetic and health and wellness practices typically have lots of great content to share.

A hard sell: Have an offer or promotion? That’s great. Patients who are interested in your services will be thrilled. But make sure you don’t sell too hard. Offer relevant content about a common patient problem or concern.  Skip the sales pitch until the end. Let the products or services stand for themselves as solutions to issues you raise – and that your patients care about already.

Poor spelling and grammar: Want somebody to tune out your message? Then don’t bother to check your spelling and / or grammar. Those who follow you or read your posts will make assumptions about your overall professionalism and question the value of your brand. Of course, mistakes inevitably happen; just make sure they happen infrequently. When you do see an error, fix it. Immediately.

Repetition, repetition, repetition: Don’t keep repeating the same message over and over again. According to one survey, more than half of people on Facebook and Twitter report that repetition turns them off.  Most aesthetic, cosmetic and health and wellness practices offer multiple services, much of them quite cutting edge and interesting to large numbers of people. Draw on that variety to showcase the broader message: Have x problem?Here’s how you can look and / or feel your absolute best.

Controversy and / or poor taste: We like to think that this is an obvious one, but sadly it’s not. Do not post anything that could potentially alienate the very people you want to attract. Our advice? Avoid any post involving politics, local or otherwise. The views you have and believe to be self-evident may not be shared by your patients, current or future. Never use inappropriate language. Watch out for questionable humor. Finally, if you’re not sure, don’t share.

We hope this helps you as you begin working on your social media strategy. For more ideas on how to manage your digital image, see this blog about digital marketing platforms. For another perspective on what not to wear on social media, see this slide presentation from Forbes.


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Social Media: Academic Study of Hypertension-focused Facebook Groups

From www.klick.com

A study presented at the Geneva Health Forum (April of this year) looked into Facebook groups focused on hypertension. In depth analysis of the content allowed the researchers to make some statements about how people use these social groups for healthcare.
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Social Media extends the reach of medical conferences

From blog.meddigital.com

he Internet enables people to create and exchange content through ‘Social Media’. Every minute of every day people are using highly-interactive mobile and web-based platforms to share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content. Social has fundamentally changed communication between organizations, communities and individuals. The total time spent on social media in the US across desktop and mobile devices was 88 billion minutes in July 2011 increasing by 37% to 121 billion minutes in July 2012. Social media is real and enormously significant.

The companies that manage to adapt first to this social world are offered a genuine opportunity to enhance their business. So much so that the ROI of digital is often described as “your business will still be here in 5yrs time”.

ASCO 2014

The activity on Twitter during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Conference in May/June 2014 is an example of how social media is changing healthcare conferences. Conference participants simply used a hashtag (#ASCO14) in their tweets to follow and contribute to a real-time, online discussion relating to the conference.

Pharmaceutical companies even joined the discussion with @Boehringer and @genetech appearing amongst the top ten influencers.

Analytics:

166,322,023 – Total Impressions

47,055 – Tweets

9,290 – Participants

93 – Average Tweets/Hour

5 – Average Tweets/Participant

Source: Symplur Healthcare Analytics

Stanford Medicine X 2013

A second example, is the virtual audience of Stanford’s Medicine X conference (#MedX). In 2012, almost three times more people participated virtually on Twitter than attended in person. The number of participants on Twitter growing by 169% to 3,576 during the 2013 conference.

I’m sure there will be even more people participating at Stanford Medicine X in September 2014.

Analytics:

97,094,416 – Total Impressions

32,609 – Tweets

4,286 – Participants

97 – Average Tweets/Hour

Source: Symplur Healthcare Analytics

Summary

These analytics demonstrate the importance that social media has in enabling real-time, online discussion at medical conferences. The conferences now use social media to extend their reach far beyond the attendees physically in the room.


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Twitter as a tool for ophthalmologists.Twitter is an underutilized resource in ophthalmology and has the potential to enhance professional collegiality, advocacy, and scientific research.

From www.sciencedirect.com

Abstract

Twitter is a social media web site created in 2006 that allows users to post Tweets, which are text-based messages containing up to 140 characters. It has grown exponentially in popularity; now more than 340 million Tweets are sent daily, and there are more than 140 million users. Twitter has become an important tool in medicine in a variety of contexts, allowing medical journals to engage their audiences, conference attendees to interact with one another in real time, and physicians to have the opportunity to interact with politicians, organizations, and the media in a manner that can be freely observed. There are also tremendous research opportunities since Twitter contains a database of public opinion that can be mined by keywords and hashtags. This article serves as an introduction to Twitter and surveys the peer-reviewed literature concerning its various uses and original studies. Opportunities for use in ophthalmology are outlined, and a recommended list of ophthalmology feeds on Twitter is presented. Overall, Twitter is an underutilized resource in ophthalmology and has the potential to enhance professional collegiality, advocacy, and scientific research.

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Dermatology on Instagram:The novel photo-sharing social networking platform, Instagram, has an impressive following of 75 million daily users, with a predominantly younger and female demographic.

From escholarship.org

The novel photo-sharing social networking platform, Instagram, has an impressive following of 75 million daily users, with a predominantly younger and female demographic.  This study investigated the presence of dermatology-related content on Instagram.  The most popular professional dermatological organizations, dermatology journals, and dermatology related patient advocate groups on Facebook and Twitter, determined from a prior study, were searched for established profiles on Instagram.  In addition, dermatology-related terms (i.e. dermatology, dermatologist, alopecia, eczema, melanoma, psoriasis, and skin cancer) and dermatology-related hashtags (i.e. #dermatology, #dermatologist, #melanoma, #acne, #psoriasis, and #alopecia) were searched.  None of the top ten dermatological journals or professional dermatological organizations were found on Instagram.  Although only one of the top ten patient advocate groups related to dermatology conditions, Melanoma Research Foundation, had an Instagram presence, there were many private offices, cosmetic products, and some patient advocacy groups.  This novel social networking platform could grant dermatology journals and other professional organizations a unique opportunity to reach younger demographic populations, particularly women, with the potential for true educational and life-changing impact.
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Collection of FDA and Social Media Resources

From www.eyeonfda.com

Many years have passed since FDA began attempting to enunciate a regulatory approach to digital and social media – beginning in 2009 and still presumably on-going.  In June the most substantive guidance yet was released by the agency addressing two critical areas that were outstanding – the correction of misinformation by third parties about prescription products and medical devices, and addressing the challenges of including risk information in product specific communications where there are character limitations.

With the passage of so much time, however, and since digital and social media are expansive topics, it is somewhat difficult to keep track of everything that has occurred.  To help in that regard, I’ve put together a tab on the Eye on FDA blog site that contains the following:

  • Compilation of all relevant guidances
  • Links to relevant Warning and Untitled Letters
  • A link to my White Paper on the Regulation of Digital Media by FDA which compares enforcement patterns by OPDP for digital and non-digital communications vehicles;
  • Links to relevant pages on the FDA site that pertain to the regulation of digital media

If there are any other resources on the FDA site that I have overlooked, by all means I welcome suggestions.  In the meantime, I hope you will find this a useful resource.

Also, if you haven’t done so yet, there is still time to sign up for my free Webinar being given this Thursday, July 17 at 12 Noon E.S.T. – “In More than 140 Characters – FDA’s Social Media Guidance:  Past, Present and Future” where I will be taking a comprehensive look at FDA’s approach to regulating social media by examining each of the five questions raised in the November 2009 hearing held on the topic.

Gina Tucker's curator insight, July 25, 2014 5:47 PM

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Social media nightmare for health IT

From www.healthcareitnews.com

Few healthcare IT policies these days are as delicate, sensitive and potentially emotionally explosive as efforts to restrict or regulate employee social media activity. And yet hospital hierarchies are routinely stepping on these political minefields as providers try to protect their reputations.

Consider a recent incident at the 2,478-bed New York Presbyterian Hospital.

An ER nurse posted a photograph of a trauma room – no staff or patients were in the picture – after caring for a man who had been hit by a subway train. The caption: "Man vs. 6 train." The image simply showed a room that had seen a lot of action moments before. The veteran nurse was fired after the incident, according to an ABC News report, not because she had breached hospital policy or violated HIPAA, but, as she put it: "I was told I was being fired for being insensitive."

This legitimately raises key issues around what a hospital's social media policy should be. This specific incident, though, appears to be an impressively poor choice for the hospital to have selected to make its stand. First, there really was no privacy issue at play. The photo shows nothing more than a slightly messy trauma room. The caption is vague and is hardly worse than a police officer posting a car accident image, with a note warning people against drinking/texting while driving. (To be precise, the injured car would be recognizable to the patient along with friends and family, especially if a license plate were visible, whereas a generic trauma room photo isn't.)

An even bigger problem with using this incident is that the nurse, Katie Duke, didn't even take that photograph. It was taken by a staff doctor and the doctor had posted it on the doctor's Instagram page. Nurse Duke had merely reposted it. The consistency killer? The doctor "was not reprimanded," ABCNews reported. To be fair, it's not clear whether the doctor's post included the "Man vs. 6 train" comment. Given that it appears that the comment – as opposed to the image – is the trigger here, the hospital's disciplinary process may or may not have been inconsistent.

Let's get back to the social media policy issues. I would hate to have to issue a concrete definition – acceptable to our friends in Legal – of "sensitivity." What if there had been no image and the nurse had simply said something like "A grim reminder at the ER today about how dangerous and deadly subways can be. Don't take any chances – ever." Is that insensitive? And if not, how is it meaningfully different than what Duke reposted? She specified the subway line, which, by itself, isn't insensitive nor especially revealing. And she used an image of the trauma center, which showed nothing. Would it have made any difference had she posted a generic trauma center image from Google Images?

If no patient or hospital privacy has been violated, what is the issue? The issue is that she was accused of violating hospital policy. We've now gone full circle. What is reasonable to ban, as long as no one's privacy nor hospital confidentiality is violated? (Classic hospital confidentiality: "Wow, my hospital is getting away with amazing markups. We just charged a patient $XXX for something, and I saw the paperwork that we only paid $X for it." The employee would be using information that she/he could only know because she worked there. That's a fine violation.)

Can a hospital ban employees from saying anything hospital-related on their social media posts? What if it's entirely positive, as in "Our surgical team is brilliant. We saved patients today that most surgeons would have lost"?

Here's the IT nightmare. What if the hospital says, "We're going to decide this on a case-by-base basis"? Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Then things fall to IT to become the social media police. Are you to then track every social media feed of every employee and to then – gulp – review every posting for appropriateness? And somehow management thinks that this action will avoid lawsuits?

The simple fact is that a social media policy that covers what an employee does in his or her personal time is highly problematic. On the other hand, there certainly is social conduct that has to be dealt with. What if a doctor set up a site that identified herself as working at this identified hospital and then said how her team tries to inflict as much pain as possible and that they then place bets on when different patients will scream or pass out?

The easiest route from an administrative perspective – but certainly not from a legal perspective – is to adopt something akin to the Pentagon's infamous Don't Ask Don't Tell. That would be a program where there was zero effort to uncover such naughty social posts (as IT breathes a major sigh of relief) but a strict policy for punishing employees and contractors who engaged in bad behavior that the hospital happened to learn of.

The problem is that it leads to inconsistent punishment – with most people never getting caught – and to even vindictive behavior, with employees reviewing the social posts of a rival, looking for anything that might get them into trouble.

That policy might simply prohibit posts that reflect poorly on the hospital, which is vague enough to allow senior management to make customized decisions. As long as healthcare doesn't decide that it needs to proactively check on all posts – a thankless task that would almost certainly fall to IT, which would try to automate much of that assignment from Hell – any concrete policy is better than none.


Patti Hamilton's curator insight, July 28, 2014 3:17 PM

What is the real problem here?  Is it breach of confidentiality, heightened risk management by hospitals, limits to freedom of expression, or could it be the lack of sensitivity of doctors and nurses?

 

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Social media and GP recruitment are a perfect fit

From www.dream-medical.net

Social media and GP recruitment are a perfect fit; recruiting is selling the story of your GP practice, a culture and a job. Social media is all about sharing stories using words, images and video.

Having conversations in the digital space is like having conversations in the real world. The only difference is that online conversations are searchable, archived and can come back to haunt you. Always bear this in mind. The positive of this is that it makes the conversations findable so people can join in. These people could be your future employees.

Indeed, the outcome of these conversations is to build a pool of GP and practice nurse candidates who want to engage with you, and more importantly, work for you before you have even told them there are jobs available within your practice.

Caution
If you have a bad reputation, a poor culture or unhappy staff then be wary of using social media. If your practice is not a positive place to work social media won’t change that – but it will give current and past employees a reason to jump on the social band wagon and create a trend you don’t want.

Be prepared for negative comments and complaints from users, patients and media. It is important when using social media to remain transparent, so respond to negative comments instead of deleting them. If you delete comments you will find users will move to another platform where you can’t manage the situation so easily.

Learning to use social media tools is not complicated, but does take time and experimentation. What works for one GP practice won’t always work for yours, so talk to individuals not the masses.

How to have an online conversation
The most difficult part of social recruiting is deciding what to talk about. Forget the fact that you are online, talk as you would talk in the real world.

  • Ask a lot of questions - listen to the responses and expand further;
  • Tell great stories - people like hearing about people;
  • Share interesting and useful insights;
  • Show videos, images and documents that help tell the story; and
  • Don’t just talk about yourself.

Think about the person you like to chat to the most, what do they talk about? They probably engage with you by asking lots of questions, sharing information about other people, places and experiences, and are approachable, funny and personable.

What can you talk about?
Try to create and share content that is interesting, funny, informative and relevant as you want people to pass it on.

  • Insider info: Offer insights into the culture of your practice. What is unique about you? Do you offer great training or strong career progression? Is it a fun place to work? What do employees do?
  • Community news: Are you working in the local community? Do you work with local charities? Use this information to demonstrate the values and culture within your GP surgery.
  • How to guides: These are useful information pieces on the practice, the roles within the company. Mix up words, images and video. Infographics are a great way to do this.
  • Diary: A day in the life of different job roles within your surgery. Show the work involved, the people candidates would be working with, the building and department, give people a real flavour of what it would be like to work with you and bring your GP practice to life.
  • Ask questions: Ask for other people’s tips and stories, encourage candidates to share experiences, ask current employees to comment or share their experiences.
  • Jobs: Obviously the whole idea is to recruit people, so don’t forget to post jobs to this newly engaged audience all hoping to now work for you!


Bring out the humans
People don’t want to engage and interact with a GP surgery, they want to engage with the people who make it happen. So, don’t talk like a corporate press release, talk like a person, as you would in a face to face chat.

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FDA Has a Prescription for Social Media

From solomonmccown.com

Social media is one of the most popular ways to share personal and public information. People and brands communicate through different social media channels to express personal feelings, share news updates, and market their businesses. Topics of discussion vary widely – vacations, friends, jobs, news, education, technology, and of course, healthcare. With the rapid advancements of today's healthcare technologies and discoveries – and an emphasis on increasing patient engagement – consumers need to stay up-to-date with health safety and monitoring. So - what better way to keep people constantly informed through one of the world's most popular communication methods?

The FDA is looking to clarify how drug companies and medical device manufacturers can discuss the risk and benefits of their products on social media. Draft guidelines currently under review by the agency would establish policy on how to present risk and benefit content through each social media outlet with space limitations. For example, because Twitter has a character space limit, information on drugs and devices would need to be stated in a very clear, basic way so that there is enough room to fit all necessary pros and cons of a medicine. If this is not able to be done within the limit, that specific platform is not right for delivering the message.

Looking at the big picture, this information can be extremely helpful in updating the public on medical safety. If people are going to check social media consistently, why not give them an advantage and make sure they are engaged in their healthcare while doing it? Social media feeds change with the blink of an eye, so adding health information on prescription drugs gives people a fast and easy way to check in on how their medicine is impacting their bodies and lifestyles. If these guidelines are approved, they will become the FDA's first official recommendation in regards to company usage of social media.

However, the lists of risks and benefits of prescription drugs are not short. Each medicine has specific health implications that also depend on individual factors and other drugs being taken by a patient. This leaves us with the question of whether or not conveying the benefits and risks of a drug is even possible given the character space limit. With only 140 characters, can people receive enough information to accurately decide if certain medications are going to help them? Although the idea of mainstreaming more healthcare information on prescription drugs and medical devices is appealing, we must question whether or not it is comprehensive enough to thoroughly inform consumers.

- See more at: http://solomonmccown.com/blog/fda-has-a-prescription-for-social-media#sthash.pcmB24L6.dpuf


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Pharma industry and social media: new scenarios

From www.mobilehealthglobal.com

Social media have opened a new channel of communication for pharma industry, making possible that direct communication could be their way to contact to their final clients, patients. Social media could help brands to consolidate and improve people's reliability on them but also they could injury their image, because of the power that users have on making all messages viral. It happened to a powerful pharma company, when, having been at the forefront of a corruption episode in China, their news spread like wildfire through social media and they lost millions of dollars in the stock market.

Pharma industry regulatory organisms have tried, recently, to set standards to regulate companies activity in social media. USA's Federal Drugs Administration (FDA) is the last one who has published guidelines, through the Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP). Particularly, these guidelines make recommendations in two fields:

  • Presentation of risks and benefits of a prescription drug in social media, in channels with limitation of characters (Twitter, payment links in search engines as Google and Yahoo). FDA establishes (see guide) that pharma should include in their official accounts information about drug's risks and give to consumer the possibility to access to further information about these risks.
  • Correction of mistaken information published by third parties about prescription drugs and medical devices (see guide). It allows companies to correct information about their products that they consider is mistaken, in pages like, for example, Wikipedia.


Mobile Health Global has talked to two experts in pharma digital marketing in the United States. John Mack, Pharma Guy (blog), and Richard Meyer (blog), who have given us their views about both guidelines published by FDA.

John Mack (@pharmaguy)

John Mack

Pharma Industry had waited for more than five years for the publication of these use guidelines of social media by OPDP, after a public audience in 2009, where the stakeholders of this field gave their opinion. In my view, first guideline blocks pharma activities in social media, while second one opens a possibility. First one is a bit diffuse and it does not specify how much information about risks is necessary. This fact could limit companies' action, who won't risk to fail.

There are some aspects that have not been addressed, as information showed in Twitter through mobile devices -different from a computer- (for example, to watch images it is necessary to click them) and new Twitter functionalities, as Cards, which allow users to include more information (article about this subject).

Second guideline gives pharma industry what it was demanding, it allows the industry to correct mistaken Wikipedia's information. However, if companies do not work aligned with Wikipedia -for example, assigning an editor who interacts officially with this source-, efforts to correct or update information perhaps will be ignored or some months would be necessary for Wikipedia to make changes.

I think that, despite these suggestions, companies that have been proactive in social media will keep being proactive, while those who have been wary of being there, will continue with this attitude.

Richard Meyer (@richmeyer)

Richard Meyer

Pharma industry marketing is now in a crossing. To arrive to patients they need a digital strategy but, because of the financial pressures and the way how they are focused on in the ROI (Return of Investment), I do not think that big companies would take the risk of implementing a social media strategy in a channel that ROI has not proved.

The real power of social media for this industry is that this channel connects it with patients and improves public's reliability. Despite barriers that budgets and resources put up, it is important to be there.

In my opinion, guidelines proof that FDA do not understand how empowered patients make decisions about their health. No patient will take a decision only because of a content published in social media. On the other hand, each disease is a little market with singular characteristics. For example, multiple sclerosis is a really active market on the net, and their users are connected, but people with depression are not. Until marketing professionals in this industry achieve a bigger knowledge of social media and of their clients' requirements, they will let the train pass.

Spain and The United Kingdom, two contrary regulations

In Spain, the new code of practices in Farmaindustria is what makes suggestions about companies' activity in social media. Particularly, in the article 8 of this code, which talks about digital environment. 

Carmen Casado (@CarmenCasadoS)

As Carmen Casado's (@CarmenCasado) view, who is a lawyer specialized ICT on health field, the new pharma industry code, entered into force last 1st January, could have developed better aspects about social media: "This reform would have been a great opportunity to clarify differences between general and sectorial regulations, particularly about the responsibility of contents and the obligation of the industry on tracking social media. This obligation exists both in media and own networks and in foreign ones, because the challenge is in controlling what we say about us but also what other people say about us and our products.

Spanish code establishes that pharma companies are responsible of the contents they spread through channels they direct or indirectly control or exclusive or mainly finance - but not of the contents about the company or their products that are issued by third parties in digital environment, as United Kingdom code specifies. Pharma industry code also encourages companies to create guidelines and behavior rules for company's workers who interact in digital environment.

A more confined activity by British regulatory organism

Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA), regulatory organism for pharma industry in the United Kingdom, published a guide about digital communications in 2011 (updated in 2014), where it confines the activity of the industry in social media. As Casado says, "In the United Kingdom they know that, because of the particularities that internet has and its strict regulatory framework in advertising and pharma security, it is necessary to specify the activity of this industry in social media. There are already resolutions about the use of Twitter". And she adds that "I think that in Spain it could have been regulated similarly to United Kingdom's model".

British guide stablishes that industry can provide information to public through social media. It also obligates companies to register adverse effects of their medications that they could receive from social media and to inform of them in their websites.


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Big Data and Healthcare PR: From Volume to Value | Social Media ...

From www.socialmediatoday.com

Capabilities such as data analysis, public health integration and understanding processes of drug development and healthcare policies will be essential for tomorrow's success. About the Author; More posts by Steven Shie.
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Integrated social media management for healthcare sector

From www.slideshare.net

Dear pharma's, Is your social media healthy? Learn and explore ways to generate awareness and reach using these simple tips.
Annemarie Nier's curator insight, July 17, 2014 4:26 AM

Social Media Management is important in the healthcare sector. Better integrate it into your overall strategy.

Healthcare consumers actively sharing health information on social networks

From enterpriseinnovation.net

A new survey conducted in May 2014 in the US shows that 85 percent of respondents would publicly share their health experience on social media to support others with the same disease.
Bettina Gifford's curator insight, July 15, 2014 4:59 PM

85% shared their health experience via social media

Art Jones's curator insight, July 18, 2014 9:39 AM

#TheFutureofHealthcare