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Social media advice for those applying to residency

Social media advice for those applying to residency | Buy Pills Online | Scoop.it

First-year resident Amanda Ly, DO, is also a blogger who has over 50,000 followers on Instagram. But in the fall of 2017 when she was interviewing for residency spots, the social media influencer put all her accounts on hiatus or made them private.

Though Dr. Ly is careful to keep her social media posts positive and professional, she—like so many medical students going through the rigors of securing a residency—practiced extreme caution with her social media presence because she didn’t want to take the risk of something being misconstrued.

“I was really nervous going into interviews in a competitive specialty and wanted to do everything I could to increase my chances,” says Dr. Ly, who is a general surgery intern in a community hospital in the Detroit area.

Navigating social media can be challenging for those applying for residency. Once you’re a resident, different challenges emerge. Below, program directors and a resident share their social media advice.

Are program directors checking candidates’ social media accounts?

The family medicine program at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis does not check candidates’ social media accounts, says Sarah Cole, DO, its program director.

Sarah Cole, DO

“I know the candidates are more sophisticated users of social media than I am,” Dr. Cole says. “They can hide more than I know to look for. I’m not going to go hunting for that. I really do not get the sense when speaking with other program directors at other institutions that anyone is making a social media review a part of their interview process.”

Mercy Hospital has a long and nuanced social media policy for all its employees. “Essentially it asks co-workers to adhere to HIPAA rules at all times and to be very mindful of anything a co-worker is posting in terms of professionalism,” Dr. Cole says. “I review that policy with incoming residents and the hospital goes over it with them as well. So they hear it twice and they’re expected to adhere to it.”

The program has not had to address any major professionalism infractions in regards to their social media policy with residents.

Tyree Winters, DO

“A lot of the students I mentor have told me they use aliases on social media or that they’ve created privacy blocks because they’re concerned that programs will look at their accounts and find something questionable,” says Tyree Winters, DO, the associate program director of the pediatric residency program at Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, New Jersey. Dr. Winters also does not check residency candidates’ social media accounts.

Beyond social media

Dr. Winters thinks there needs to be more guidance starting in medical school about social media usage. The AOA’s social media guidelines are available here. Students and DOs also need to be mindful of their internet footprint at large, Dr. Winters says.

He advises his residents to conduct an Internet search of themselves. “You’d be surprised what comes up. Make sure that your public view on an Internet search doesn’t include things you don’t want your mother to see,” advises Dr. Winters. “Definitely avoid nudity, profanity and hate speech.”

Dr. Winters follows the social media policies of the hospital’s parent health system, which emphasize avoiding HIPAA violations.

Dr. Ly takes measures on social media to not disclose her location nor the hours she’s working, and she never posts anything even remotely related to a patient. (Amanda Ly, DO photo)

He recalls a case at a hospital he worked where a bad accident had occurred on the freeway and one of the ER nurses on duty posted a picture of the bloody triage bay with no descriptors of the patients. “But there was a huge story about the accident in the news, and so people could put two and two together,” says Dr. Winters. “I tell my residents to practice extreme caution.”

Dr. Ly keeps the details of her work very separate from her Instagram. She takes measures to not disclose her location nor the hours she’s working, and she never posts anything even remotely related to a patient.

Dr. Ly advises others that if they’re questioning whether to post something, they shouldn’t post it.

“Your career is No. 1,” she says. “At the end of the day, you should be willing to quit your social media ASAP if it threatens your career.”

‘Pretty extreme scenario’

The recent case of the Cleveland Clinic resident who lost her position over anti-Semitic remarks she made on social media is a pretty extreme scenario, says Dr. Cole. “If a professional infraction by a resident occurs on social media, it’s typically minor enough that it simply calls for some coaching,” Dr. Cole says. “Most of the time, it’s not going to result in action.”

Dr. Ly admits to making some social media snafus along the way. “I did have some instances where I felt like I might have said too much. I started my Instagram the second year of medical school and at the time, there wasn’t a lot of guidance,” she says. “So there was some trial and error, but I learned.”

The positive side of social media

Despite all the precautions, there are obvious opportunities to be gained from social media.

“It’s a great tool for networking and self-expression,” Dr. Winters says. ”I have a social media account for my Hip Hop with a Doc dance program.”

Dr. Ly says her blog, Coffee and Scrubs, has enhanced her journey in medicine in immeasurable ways.

“My blog has been an awesome way to connect with people and exchange ideas, and it gave me an additional support system that I didn’t think I would get going into it,” says Dr. Ly.

Dr. Cole finds social media a useful tool in connecting with her residents.

“I have intentionally maintained a social media presence because if I don’t, I wouldn’t know half of what is going on in my residents’ lives,” she says. “If they post that they had a busy night last night, for example, I know I probably need to reach out to that resident from a wellness perspective. It helps me keep my finger on the pulse to see how my residents are doing.”


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How to Do Social Media the Right Way: Dental Edition

How to Do Social Media the Right Way: Dental Edition | Buy Pills Online | Scoop.it

How strong is your dental practice’s social media game? Would you give yourself an A – or are you just scraping by with a passing grade?

Regardless of your answer, there’s probably room for improvement. Even if you’re on top of things, you might be missing opportunities to make the most of your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts.

It’s not enough to set up accounts and write an occasional Facebook update or Tweet. Your patients’ perception of you is directly impacted by what you do on social media. That means engaging with your audience regularly and providing them with the kind of useful information they need.

In this guide, we’ll talk about why it’s important to up your social media game and give you advice about how to do it. Then, we’ll share some of our best, most engaging social media ideas for dental practices.

Which Social Media Sites to Use (and How to Use Them)

Let’s start by talking about why social media should be part of your dental marketing strategy and which sites you should be using.

Social media marketing can do two important things:

  • It can help you attract new patients; and
  • It can help you build loyalty among your existing patients.

It costs far more to attract a new patient than it does to keep an existing one. So, it makes sense to focus on marketing strategies that will help you show your patients that you care about them and want to engage with them online.

There are lots of social media sites to choose from, but there are four we recommend you use to grow your dental practice.

  • Facebook has 2.23 billion active monthly users. It’s still the largest social media site. In fact, it’s the third most-visited website in the world. It’s ideal for marketing because you can post written, visual, and video content in any combination – and without the character limitations that exist on other social media sites.
  • Twitter is smaller with just 326 million monthly users. It’s best for sending out links to longer content and making quick contact.
  • LinkedIn is mostly for business-to-business marketing. It has 590 million active monthly users. It’s best for long-form content, connecting with local businesses, and soliciting referrals.
  • Instagram is by far the fastest-growing social media site. It has more than a billion monthly users, more than 500 million of whom log in daily.

Here are four weekly activities to help you grow your social media following and solidify your marketing strategy.

#1: Maintain A Regular Presence

The first step is to designate a point person to manage your social media activity. You’ll need to provide guidance about the types of content to post and what you expect in terms of the tone of your posts.

Keep in mind that consumers expect quick responses on social media. According to Sprout Social, 45% of consumers prefer to get customer service on social media over other forms of contact. They expect responses quickly, too. 80% expect a response in less than 24 hours and 50% of consumers say they’d switch brands if they got an unsatisfactory response to a social media inquiry.

You can start by sharing your blog posts. If you don’t have a blog, we would highly encourage you to start one.

Regarding the content itself:

  • Actively engage with your audience. Engage with your audience regularly. You'll want to reply to everyone and like their comments and mentions when appropriate. People will appreciate it if you thank them.
  • Tweet content that is interesting and relevant to patients. This includes content that may not directly relate to your dental practice but may be related to oral health in general.
  • Keep your posts on LinkedIn more on the professional side. Remember, LinkedIn is a business/professional site. You will want to post your blog posts here but save the cute memes and videos for Facebook or Instagram.
  • Create social media content that elicits engagement. Over time, you’ll get a knack for what works and what doesn’t.
  • Provide links to your website and/or Facebook page. Cross-marketing between Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will help you grow followers in each of these venues.
  • Post content that is helpful and informative. Check out the profiles of your competitors and other dentists in general. Your followers will appreciate it when you share actionable content.
  • Post information about staff accomplishments. If one of your dental hygienists achieves a new certification, create a post congratulating them.
  • Post real life content. Post pictures of your employees or holiday decorations. If one of your staff is getting married, you can post about that as well.
  • Especially on Facebook and Twitter, make some of your content lively and fun. You want to show your audience that dentists and their employees are real people too.
  • Monitor your newsfeeds for stories that relate to the field of dentistry. It’s good to have a mix of posts about dentistry, including things that are informative, funny or heartwarming.
  • Establish your unique personality. You want your audience to relate to you. Maintain a consistent voice and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.

Ultimately, the content you post reflects directly on you and your practice.

#2: Utilize Social Media Advocacy

Social media advocacy means getting your whole team in on the action. It’s best to encourage your team to get involved by liking and commenting on your posts and sharing them with their followers. While you may only have 2,000 followers on social media, when you combine that with a staff of 10 you will instantly expand your presence by an order of magnitude.

Here are some pointers for creating staff guidelines for social media advocacy. We got these from IBM’s crowd-sourced guidelines.

  • You are personally responsible for what you publish.
  • Know the business conduct guidelines.
  • Don’t disclose proprietary information.
  • Don’t cite clients and partners without permission.
  • Respect your audience.
  • Respect others’ opinions.
  • Add value.

It’s important to have a policy that requires employees to check in with you or your point person before responding to any negative comments or complaints.

#3: Plan Your Posts Ahead of Time

The things you post – meaning, the content you create – should be planned ahead of time. You won’t be able to plan everything. You’ll need to respond to patient comments or questions as they occur.

We strongly recommend planning your activity with your point person. You can review the content together, evaluate the mix of material, and come up with a schedule that’s ideal for helping you reach your marketing goals.

Planning your delivery could involve using a tool such as Hootsuite. This is a tool that lets you create content to be posted on the social media networks at some future time and date. This allows your content manager to pre-load the content and have it show up on schedule, freeing them up during the day from this task (when they may be busy with other duties). Of course, they’ll still need to monitor comments and mentions throughout the day.

It’s also important to know the best times of day to post content. According to Sprout Social, here are the best times to post:

  • For Facebook, Wednesday is the best day for posting. The ideal times are between 11 AM and 1 PM in general, and between 9 and 10 for healthcare. On weekdays, you’re best off posting between 9 AM and 3 PM. Engagement is lower on the weekends than during the week and worst on Sundays.
  • Instagram is similar. The best day is Wednesday, and the best times are during business hours. Engagement is lower at night and on the weekends. The best time for healthcare posting is Tuesday mornings at 8 AM.
  • The best times to Tweet are on Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 AM. Overall, Tuesday and Wednesdays are the best days, with engagement lower on nights and weekends. Monday at 2 PM, Wednesday from 10 AM t0 2 PM, and Friday at 8 AM are particularly good times to post about healthcare.
  • Finally, for LinkedIn, the best day is Wednesday and the best times are between 9 and 10 AM or at about 12 PM. Sprout Social did not have information about healthcare posting on LinkedIn, but because of its business orientation, it’s safe to assume that it’s best to post on weekdays.

Engagement rates will be higher during these times. Again, Hootsuite will help you plan and execute posting during the best times.

#4: Keep A Checklist of Weekly Activities

Make a checklist of weekly activities to include in your social media campaign. Here are some ideas:

  • Check your statistics. Tally up how many likes, comments and shares you have each week. Facebook has excellent built-in tools for this that will show you trends. That will be helpful in evaluating your strategies.
  • Create and monitor weekly goals. These could be goals for content posting as well as new connections or engagement. You want to have regular content posted without flooding your audience.
  • Hold a strategy session. You may do this with a few key players or during a weekly staff lunch meeting. Bouncing ideas around with your key players will help you keep a continual flow of fresh content.
  • Follow those who follow you. Sometimes when you don’t follow back, people will unfollow you after a while. Remember, this is “social” media! You will want to further establish the connection when you receive new followers. You can also thank them for the follow or like on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Actively seek out new connections. Establish weekly goals for this, too. All 4 social media sites will facilitate this activity by searching your email list for your existing contacts.
  • Progressively follow as many dentistry-related accounts as you can find. That includes other offices, trade associations, bloggers, and dental product manufacturers. You can retweet or share their content and glean ideas from them. (Don’t share content from your competitors, though!)
  • Keywords, site links, and compelling content are the key ingredients of a successful tweet. You only have 280 characters on Twitter. Make them count!
  • Update your social media ads. This may not be a weekly item, but you will want to do it occasionally. It’s another great example of creating fresh content. You should also test each element of your ad to improve your ROI.
  • Engage with influencers. Actively engage with influencers in your area and profession. For example, if you have a key supplier that is well known, mention them in a Tweet or retweet their content.

Performing these four weekly tasks will help you maintain your social following and attract new followers.

 

Ideas for Engaging Social Media Content for Dentists

Now, we want to share some ideas to help you create compelling and engaging social media content on the four sites we’ve discussed: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. We’ve broken it down by site to make it easy for you to implement what we discuss.

Facebook Posting Ideas for Dentists

Let’s start with Facebook. Remember, you can share text, photos, videos, and infographics – or even do a combination. Here are some ideas to try.

  • Do a live “Ask Me Anything” Q & A where you or one of your dental hygienists responds to questions in real time. Facebook Live videos can later be posted to your page for people who missed them.
  • Smile-related posts are great for dentists. For example, you could create a “Tag a Friend” post where you ask your followers to tag the friend who has the best smile, or the one who makes them smile the most.
  • Share reviews and include a link to your Yelp page so people who see your post can write their own reviews.
  • Find relevant posts on your news feed and share them. If you do this, make sure to include your own commentary instead of just sharing what you found. For example, if you post an article with 10 dental hygiene tips, make sure to mention your favorite one – or add one you think the original article missed.
  • Post staff profiles. People like to know who’ll be working on their teeth. Sharing a photo, a brief bio, and maybe a few fun facts will help people feel comfortable coming to your practice.

Facebook is easily the most versatile social media site. Don’t be afraid to take chances!

Twitter Posting Ideas for Dentists

Now, let’s talk about Twitter. The recent increase to 280 characters makes Tweeting more versatile than it was before. Here are some ideas for your Twitter posts.

  • Tweet out an interest fact about dentistry or dental hygiene. This is a great way to get some engagement – people love to respond when they’re surprised by something they didn’t know.
  • Take advantage of popular community events like Throwback Thursday (use the hashtag #TBT) and post a picture of yourself graduating from dental school or a picture from the grand opening of your practice.
  • Create a poll to ask your followers about an issue that’s relevant to your practice. It takes seconds for people to respond and you can collect valuable information.
  • Tweet a link to your latest blog post and include a visual representation of a great pull quote to get people to click the link.
  • Create a hashtag and ask people to share their best or funniest experience with dentists.

Keep in mind that Twitter engagement is quick and if you miss people, they’re unlikely to catch up with your Tweet after the fact. Tracking your posts’ performance can help you figure out the best times to be active on Twitter.

LinkedIn Posting Ideas for Dentists

As we said before, LinkedIn is ideal for B2B marketing and can help you get referrals and build local relationships. Here are some ideas for your LinkedIn posts.

  • Create an in-depth post especially for LinkedIn where you expand on an issue covered in a blog post. For example, you might do a post about your experiences dealing with insurance and how your practice can help patients navigate their coverage with ease.
  • Join groups and share your content to them. Sharing something about dental industry trends or a new treatment you’re offering can help you connect with people.
  • Create a post about your referral program and ask your LinkedIn connections if they’d like to participate – or if they know anybody who would like to participate.
  • Film a video explaining a service you provide and showing before and after results.
  • Promote the content on your website. It’s easy to create a LinkedIn post that will drive traffic to your blog or help you build your mailing list.

LinkedIn posts should always have a professional tone and be geared toward adult professionals. Remember, this isn’t the place for funny memes and videos. Be consistent to your brand but don’t forget what’s appropriate for LinkedIn.

Instagram Posting Ideas for Dentists

Finally, let’s talk about Instagram. As you know, Instagram is primarily for visual content, including photographs and short videos. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Create an Instagram Story for your practice. Some ideas are to give a virtual tour of your office, introduce your staff, or explain a procedure you perform. Remember, Instagram Stories disappear in 24 hours. Creating one is a good way to encourage your followers to check out your content quickly.
  • Use between 3-5 hashtags in every post. It’s a good idea to include a locational hashtag with the name of your city or neighborhood. You can also create event-specific hashtags to encourage people to share their photos with you.
  • Post before and after pictures. These are especially good for highlighting cosmetic procedures like whitening and orthodontia.
  • Encourage your followers to share photos of their whitened teeth or bright smiles – you could even make it a weekly event, like Smile Saturday.
  • Create an infographic showing an ideal day of dental hygiene. There are online tools you can use to create infographics, or you can hire a professional designer to help you.
The ideas we’ve shared here are just the beginning. We encourage you to get creative! Ask for ideas from your staff and patients. Follow your competitors and “steal” their best ideas. The sky’s the limit!

Conclusion

Social media posting is a must for dentists. Provided you post regularly and put some effort toward creating engaging and relevant posts for your followers, it can help you attract new followers, build patient loyalty, and grow your practice.


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Getting Social: Physicians Can Counteract Misinformation With an Online Presence |

Getting Social: Physicians Can Counteract Misinformation With an Online Presence | | Buy Pills Online | Scoop.it

Austin Chiang, MD, a Harvard-trained gastroenterologist at Jefferson Health/Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia, was recently appointed the institution’s first chief medical social media officer.

Karen Bucher/American Medical Association

The 33-year-old Chiang, president of a new nonprofit called the Association for Healthcare Social Media (AHSM), is trying to encourage physicians and other health care professionals at Jefferson and across the country to establish an online presence beyond sharing vacation photos with friends on Facebook.

Physicians need to recognize that patients are getting much of their information about health care via social media, often from unreliable sources trying to sell questionable products, notes Chiang, who is board-certified in internal medicine and obesity medicine. Instead of scoffing at Instagram and Twitter, he says, physicians should regard the social media platforms as tools with which to inform patients and connect with colleagues.

Following his own advice, Chiang, social media chair of the Association of Bariatric Endoscopy, has more than 23 000 followers on Instagram and nearly 6000 on Twitter @AustinChiangMD as well as his own YouTube channel.

Chiang spoke with JAMA about why physicians and other health care professionals need to take advantage of social media and how best to do that. The following is an edited version of that conversation.

JAMA:Why did Jefferson Health create the position of chief medical social media officer and was that done with you in mind?

Dr Chiang:I had a conversation with our CEO, Dr Steve Klasko, who is known for his innovative spirit. I think it's become more important for us to have an online presence as clinicians so that we are directly connecting with the communities we're serving.

JAMA:What are your responsibilities in that role?

Dr Chiang:I'm basically the clinical liaison to the media relations team here. Traditionally, a lot of the social media efforts have been handled by communications, PR [public relations], and marketing experts. When we're discussing health, I think it’s helpful to have a clinical perspective, so my role is to help the clinicians here at Jefferson get engaged online and serve as expert voices in their specialties.

JAMA:You've described yourself as a social media and YouTube junkie. Do you remember how old you were when you discovered these platforms?

Dr Chiang:I grew up in this social media generation. When Facebook launched at the first several colleges, that was my freshman year, and I was quick to jump on it. But even before that, some of the other platforms, whether Myspace or Friendster or some of the blogging websites like Xanga, were all part of my youth.

My own personal professional use dates back about 6 years ago. I had spent a couple weeks at ABC News, wanting to learn how the general public receives their medical information through the media and how journal publications are vetted by networks like ABC before making their way onto the evening news. They were hosting a weekly Twitter chat on specific health topics, and that's how I saw that social media could be used productively in health. That's when I made a conscious effort to start live-tweeting at medical conferences to build a social media presence for my division when I was training.

JAMA:Why did you create the VerifyHealthcare hashtag on Instagram and Twitter?

Dr Chiang:It's important to point out that the influencer culture was largely born out of Instagram. There were a lot of fashion and fitness influencers, and we really have seen a huge surge in health professionals getting onto Instagram over the past year or two. It's a very visual platform, and there have been instances where several of us have noticed specific individuals who've misrepresented themselves. There were students who were saying that they were physicians, and there were other professionals who weren't physicians or weren't nurses but saying that they were.

The VerifyHealthcare campaign highlighted the fact that there were these individuals who were misrepresenting themselves and their credentials. We wanted to encourage everyone to disclose their training and credentials and encourage followers to double- and triple-check who they were trusting online. That really took off.

JAMA:Some of the medical misinformation on social media comes from physicians who tweet or blog about therapies that aren't evidence-based, at least not yet. Does that concern you, and how can you counteract that?

Dr Chiang:Just because someone is a physician or just because someone is board-certified doesn't mean that they're disseminating accurate information. Colleagues have to check each other online, and a lot of that is happening on Twitter. But there are also ways that we could improve how we cite medical literature and raise awareness of patients and the general public on how to assess and appraise the sources of information.

JAMA:The VerifyHealthcare hashtag led to the creation of the AHSM. Describe the organization and what you hope to accomplish as its president.

Dr Chiang:This is a nascent organization, founded by 15 of us who are very active, especially on Instagram. It's mainly a board of physicians, although we have since incorporated an advisory council of other professionals, including nurse practitioners and a psychotherapist. It's an opportunity for everyone who wants to get involved early to take on leadership roles—not just physicians, but also trainees as well, so med students are welcome.

We created this because we noticed that there were clearly a lot of questions about how to go about using social media in an effective way to reach greater audiences while also being responsible about what we're putting out there.

There have been organizations focused on health communications professionals but not for clinicians using social media. If we're going to encourage health professionals to get online, we should have a central resource. We should also have best practices, which we are trying to define through this organization.

In having an organized effort like this that's nonprofit, that's multispecialty, that's all-inclusive, we can partner with other academic institutions, medical societies, and industry to make sure that we are doing things as responsibly as possible and to boost the value of social media. Currently, we are all incentivized to contribute to traditional forms of academic productivity, like journal publications, but we really should also be rewarded for our contributions to health journalism and social media because this is a lot of where patients are getting their medical knowledge these days.

JAMA:Do you think all physicians should have some sort of social media presence, and, if so, why?

Dr Chiang:Yes, but with an understanding of the caveats and the pitfalls and the commitment it takes to maintain a consistent presence. An inactive social media presence might not look as great as having no presence at all. I think that there are various benefits for physicians in addition to education and putting our voice out there. It's also a way to build a practice, to recruit patients for clinical trials, to dispel any sort of misconceptions about a field.

Also, every major journal and major society is present on social media, and getting those updates in real time is very helpful. I personally don't wait to flip to the table of contents when a journal shows up in my mailbox. If something is disseminated on social media, I get those alerts right away. Having a digital presence and shaping that ourselves is important because our patients will be going on Google and looking us up. Otherwise, our narrative would be written by other people. We have to go about doing this in an effective way so that we can actually reach [broader] audiences and not just our friends.

JAMA:What do you tell physicians who say they have no time for social media?

Dr Chiang:A lot of us already are using social media personally. For me, rather than spending that time aimlessly scrolling, I felt that it could be put to more productive use. It's helped in my learning, in networking with other colleagues, in research opportunities. There would not have been any other way for a group of multispecialty physicians spread across the country to come together in a very short amount of time and form a nonprofit organization.

JAMA:For newbies who want to stick their toe into the waters of medical social media, what platform should they try first and why?

Dr Chiang:I would recommend starting with Twitter because that's where most academic discussion is happening and where you are probably more readily reaching your colleagues and able to communicate with them and develop those networks. Also, it's where most journals and societies have a social media presence.

That said, it also depends on your field. There are certain fields out there that have been very used to being visual with their presentations, like dermatology and plastic surgery; they've been using Instagram for much longer. Instagram and other platforms, like YouTube, may be more general public and patient facing.

JAMA:What are some of the more common mistakes physicians make on social media?

Dr Chiang:I think the number 1 concern that I am asked about is patient confidentiality and potential violations of HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act]. It's not as simple as posting a patient's photo or posting their name or other obvious identifiers. It can also come with describing a certain procedure or describing a case, something that, if I were a patient's family member and came across on a social media post, could easily identify someone. I am also very careful about mentioning whether I'm tired or sick or how I feel a certain day because I think that may be misconstrued.

Virtual contact and communication on social media are sometimes thought to be in isolation and only online, but these are real connections that we're making and real networks. Any interaction should still be respectful and treated as though it was a real-life, in-person conversation.

JAMA:Have you encountered backlash from physicians who don't see the value of medical social media, other than as a marketing tool?

Dr Chiang:I've definitely seen backlash in terms of folks who are supervising trainees and concerned about the liability of their trainees using social media. But I will say that my early involvement in social media, in my field specifically, has led to so many opportunities, including the opportunity of this role at Jefferson. Every institution should have a similar position, so we need more clinicians involved.

If our goal is to impact our patient outcomes and public health, we need to really meet the patients where they're getting their information. And with Instagram and the influencer phenomenon, there are a lot of gray areas that we're trying to better define. Our patients are seeing a lot of sponsored content, and they're seeing products being promoted by medical professionals. These patients are going to show up in our clinics, and there may be real clinical impact when it comes to how we practice medicine.


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Social media advice for those applying to residency

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First-year resident Amanda Ly, DO, is also a blogger who has over 50,000 followers on Instagram. But in the fall of 2017 when she was interviewing for residency spots, the social media influencer put all her accounts on hiatus or made them private.

Though Dr. Ly is careful to keep her social media posts positive and professional, she—like so many medical students going through the rigors of securing a residency—practiced extreme caution with her social media presence because she didn’t want to take the risk of something being misconstrued.

“I was really nervous going into interviews in a competitive specialty and wanted to do everything I could to increase my chances,” says Dr. Ly, who is a general surgery intern in a community hospital in the Detroit area.

Navigating social media can be challenging for those applying for residency. Once you’re a resident, different challenges emerge. Below, program directors and a resident share their social media advice.

Are program directors checking candidates’ social media accounts?

The family medicine program at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis does not check candidates’ social media accounts, says Sarah Cole, DO, its program director.

Sarah Cole, DO

“I know the candidates are more sophisticated users of social media than I am,” Dr. Cole says. “They can hide more than I know to look for. I’m not going to go hunting for that. I really do not get the sense when speaking with other program directors at other institutions that anyone is making a social media review a part of their interview process.”

Mercy Hospital has a long and nuanced social media policy for all its employees. “Essentially it asks co-workers to adhere to HIPAA rules at all times and to be very mindful of anything a co-worker is posting in terms of professionalism,” Dr. Cole says. “I review that policy with incoming residents and the hospital goes over it with them as well. So they hear it twice and they’re expected to adhere to it.”

The program has not had to address any major professionalism infractions in regards to their social media policy with residents.

Tyree Winters, DO

“A lot of the students I mentor have told me they use aliases on social media or that they’ve created privacy blocks because they’re concerned that programs will look at their accounts and find something questionable,” says Tyree Winters, DO, the associate program director of the pediatric residency program at Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown, New Jersey. Dr. Winters also does not check residency candidates’ social media accounts.

Beyond social media

Dr. Winters thinks there needs to be more guidance starting in medical school about social media usage. The AOA’s social media guidelines are available here. Students and DOs also need to be mindful of their internet footprint at large, Dr. Winters says.

He advises his residents to conduct an Internet search of themselves. “You’d be surprised what comes up. Make sure that your public view on an Internet search doesn’t include things you don’t want your mother to see,” advises Dr. Winters. “Definitely avoid nudity, profanity and hate speech.”

Dr. Winters follows the social media policies of the hospital’s parent health system, which emphasize avoiding HIPAA violations.

Dr. Ly takes measures on social media to not disclose her location nor the hours she’s working, and she never posts anything even remotely related to a patient. (Amanda Ly, DO photo)

He recalls a case at a hospital he worked where a bad accident had occurred on the freeway and one of the ER nurses on duty posted a picture of the bloody triage bay with no descriptors of the patients. “But there was a huge story about the accident in the news, and so people could put two and two together,” says Dr. Winters. “I tell my residents to practice extreme caution.”

Dr. Ly keeps the details of her work very separate from her Instagram. She takes measures to not disclose her location nor the hours she’s working, and she never posts anything even remotely related to a patient.

Dr. Ly advises others that if they’re questioning whether to post something, they shouldn’t post it.

“Your career is No. 1,” she says. “At the end of the day, you should be willing to quit your social media ASAP if it threatens your career.”

‘Pretty extreme scenario’

The recent case of the Cleveland Clinic resident who lost her position over anti-Semitic remarks she made on social media is a pretty extreme scenario, says Dr. Cole. “If a professional infraction by a resident occurs on social media, it’s typically minor enough that it simply calls for some coaching,” Dr. Cole says. “Most of the time, it’s not going to result in action.”

Dr. Ly admits to making some social media snafus along the way. “I did have some instances where I felt like I might have said too much. I started my Instagram the second year of medical school and at the time, there wasn’t a lot of guidance,” she says. “So there was some trial and error, but I learned.”

The positive side of social media

Despite all the precautions, there are obvious opportunities to be gained from social media.

“It’s a great tool for networking and self-expression,” Dr. Winters says. ”I have a social media account for my Hip Hop with a Doc dance program.”

Dr. Ly says her blog, Coffee and Scrubs, has enhanced her journey in medicine in immeasurable ways.

“My blog has been an awesome way to connect with people and exchange ideas, and it gave me an additional support system that I didn’t think I would get going into it,” says Dr. Ly.

Dr. Cole finds social media a useful tool in connecting with her residents.

“I have intentionally maintained a social media presence because if I don’t, I wouldn’t know half of what is going on in my residents’ lives,” she says. “If they post that they had a busy night last night, for example, I know I probably need to reach out to that resident from a wellness perspective. It helps me keep my finger on the pulse to see how my residents are doing.”


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Under $5B FTC Settlement, Facebook Must Disclose Health Data Use

Under $5B FTC Settlement, Facebook Must Disclose Health Data Use | Buy Pills Online | Scoop.it

The Federal Trade Commission announced a $5 billion settlement with Facebook last week, over charges the social media platform deceived users about their ability to control the privacy of their personal data. The settlement contains requirements for how Facebook controls and notifies users about its data use.

If approved by a federal judge, the settlement will resolve the massive FTC investigation into how Facebook both mishandled communications to its users and the loss of a mass amount of personal data.

Over the past few years, there have been an increasing number of reports that shed light on the social media giant’s privacy practices, including several involving personal health information. A complaint to FTC in December accused Facebook of misleading its users about the privacy practices of “closed health groups.”

Advocates argued the platform “deceptively solicited” patients to use the “Groups” function of Facebook to share their personal health information. They argued the company failed to protect the data uploaded in these groups, which potentially exposed the information to the public.

Meanwhile, a JAMA report showed that mental health apps may be sharing data with third-party apps like Facebook without explicit consent.

READ MORE: Senator Demands Facebook Explain New Group Privacy Features

 

According to the notice, the yearlong FTC investigation has led the Department of Justice to file a complaint on behalf of FTC with similar allegations: that “Facebook repeatedly used deceptive disclosures and settings to undermine users’ privacy preferences in violation of its 2012 FTC order.”

“These tactics allowed the company to share users’ personal information with third-party apps that were downloaded by the user’s Facebook ‘friends,’” FTC officials explained.

What’s more, the investigation alleged that most users were unaware Facebook was sharing that information and did not take necessary steps of opt-out of the process. FTC officials also claimed the social media giant did not take necessary steps to deal with apps that were knowingly violating Facebook’s policies.

Under the 20-year settlement order, FTC will impose new restrictions onto the platform’s business operations, while establishing multiple compliance channels. The goal will be to create greater transparency into Facebook’s decision-making policies and hold Facebook accountable.

Part of that accountability will be reports for new or modified services that involve user data, including health information and biometrics. Facebook must outline the type of data to be collected, how it will be used, retained, or shared, while providing users with how they can consent to the collection of their covered data.

READ MORE: Facebook Launches New Privacy Features for Health Groups, Topics

 

Facebook must also share any risks to the privacy, confidentiality, or integrity to the covered data and whether it will apply new safeguards to control those risks.

The platform will also be required to restructure its privacy approach from the board-level down and create strong mechanisms to ensure Facebook executives are held accountable for privacy decisions. Those decisions will also be subjected to meaningful oversight.

Further, the order will establish an independent privacy committee of Facebook’s Board of Directors, “removing unfettered control by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over decisions affecting user privacy.”

The new compliance teams will be mandated to provide the FTC with quarterly certifications that show the company is compliance with the privacy program mandated by the order, in addition to an annual compliance report. Decisions around users’ privacy must also be documented, in addition to the compliance team reporting breaches involving 500 or more users to the FTC within 30 days of discovery.

“Despite repeated promises to its billions of users worldwide that they could control how their personal information is shared, Facebook undermined consumers’ choices,” FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in a statement. “The relief is designed not only to punish future violations but, more importantly, to change Facebook’s entire privacy culture to decrease the likelihood of continued violations.”

READ MORE: New York Governor to Investigate Facebook Health Data Practices

 

The $5 billion penalty is the largest ever imposed on a company for violating consumers’ privacy, at nearly 20 times greater than any previous government settlement. FTC officials voted three to two to pass the resolution with two Democrats dissenting as they felt the settlement did not go far enough.

“Failing to hold them accountable only encourages other officers to be similarly neglectful in discharging their legal obligations,” Commissioners Rohit Chopra wrote. “In my view, it is appropriate to charge officers and directors personally when there is reason to believe that they have meaningfully participated in unlawful conduct, or negligently turned a blind eye toward their subordinates doing the same.”

Other industry stakeholders agreed, with the privacy advocate group EPIC filing a lawsuit on Friday to intervene in the FTC settlement, calling the settlement “neither procedurally or substantively fair.” Further, they argued it doesn’t contain adequate provisions to ensure consumer privacy and argued it’s “clearly not in the public interest.”

In the past, healthcare stakeholders have argued that social media platforms need transparent, privacy policies for healthcare data, which came in direct response to the Facebook scandal. The Department of Health and Human Services recently reiterated that third-party apps aren’t subject to HIPAA. However, when a patient requests the use of an outside app to share data, providers should outline known privacy risks.


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How to Create a Successful Healthcare Marketing Plan: Things you Must Consider - 

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Marketing is the heart of any organization for its growth including the healthcare industry. Due to technology development, recent statistics proves that 70% of users look up health-related information through online. This proves that, online presence is necessary for all marketers who aim to grow their healthcare business. Let’s go through these top healthcare industry marketing strategies that you must use for your healthcare business to make it successful.

Email Marketing

Everyone in the marketing space knows email marketing is one of the powerful and efficient marketing channels that most of the businesses rely on when it comes to reaching targeted prospects and generating more leads. Email marketing can be used for different objectives based on various needs, especially when marketer’s target industry is healthcare. Scenting email continually is a must and good practice to keep healthcare professionals engage with the business brand. Across various industries, email marketing has achieved UN-measurable success due to its cost-effectiveness and its reach. However, few businesses get mess up with their first email marketing campaign due to lack of experience and understanding. Here are the few important email marketing tips for every marketer who about to start an email campaign for healthcare business.

  • Setting campaign goals

The email campaign without a goal can’t be measured and also can damage your brand. Therefore, healthcare marketers should understand the priority of setting goals for your email campaign by analyzing the requirement of business before getting started.

  • Identify Targeted Audience for your Business

From patients to medical devise manufactures, the healthcare industry has quite a variety of targets when compared to other industries that excite.  Depending on different types of a medical product, service and field specification, every business will have their own target audience. So, before starting an email campaign, marketers should identify and narrow down to whom the service should get reach. Most of the healthcare businesses define their audience based on demographics, geography, and behaviors.

  • Invest your time in building healthcare list

Once your audience is targeted and gets to know, to whom your product or service should get reach, the next thing every marketer need is data. You can build the list with your marketing skills or you can get a list from the trusted healthcare data provider which can be the instant solution and also you should be careful about the accuracy of the list, can avoid spam or incorrect address which will help your campaign to acquire good results.

  • Choose the email type

There are a variety of email campaign be like email newsletter, promotional emails, event invitation and announcement emails that marketers can send to their audience based on business requirements and goals.

  • Structure your Email Campaign

Structuring the campaign is one of the most important parts of email marketing. Structuring an email campaign includes a clear call to action button, images, attractive template design, catchy subject line, and relevant content will take prospects to the business website for further details.

Content Marketing

Almost every marketer knows that content is one of the powerful ways to describe the product or service and make the key prospects to get engaged with the business. Here are the few tips that bring your content alive and make the key prospects to get engage with your business.

  • Listen and Interact with your audience

The purpose of any marketing program is to get the key prospects and convert them into their customers. If you engage with an audience on social media or any other platform through your content, you can get to know the patients who are struggling with medical emergencies and also the customers who unsatisfied with your healthcare service or product that helps you to understand and implement better strategies in business.

  • Document the strategy

Documenting a content marketing strategy is one of the best practices that help you to set a baseline for success. Also, it allows you to share it with the hospital organization and explain the goals of your program.

  • Measure and report

As a marketer, you need to know that “Are people are reading and engaging with your content? “ Also, you need to measure the output of your content “return on investment” by analyzing increased hospitals lookup and booked appointments.

Social Media Marketing

Social media opens many opportunities for healthcare by its massive user engagement and also it allows businesses to built connections share and develop a business relationship with key prospects. Recent research proves that 70% to 75% of US consumers look over the internet for healthcare advice before visiting the hospital. Also, through social media, patients and manufacturers can develop a first impression of the hospital or physician before the meeting.

By engaging your business in the social media platform, a healthcare organization can help revitalize the word of mouth referrals and has the power to eliminate barriers by the lack of communication.

Mobile Marketing

In the healthcare industry, mobile marketing has shown its proven results through SMS, calls and various healthcare-related apps. So, before starting mobile marketing, the healthcare provider will first have to acquire the contact data (phone number) with the patient’s permission. Once marketers get data, they can connect patients through personal messages and can be used for Personal appointments, appointment reminders, and other need for personal communication. Mobile marketing allow marketers to target group of audience by using text blasts for updating health tips, appointment opening and more.

Also, mobile marketing has the ability to conquer b2b in healthcare through social media, emails, text message, etc… As a marketer we should understand 80% of people use their mobile to access the social media and emails. This allows manufacture to share their healthcare product videos and information that helps to find key prospects and make them engage with the business.

Conclusion

Marketing strategies are very important for any industry to run successful business campaigns. Online marketing will be one of the best platforms to increase b2b business customers due to its measurability and accurate targeting. Also, business can increase relevant customer base with less investment.


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The perfect digital marketing strategy for doctors

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Advertising and marketing for your medical skill and practice are a very difficult, confusing and let’s admit it a complicated task. From one side you have ethics, rules, and regulations and on the other side, you have all the misconceptions and wrong medical information that is spreading everywhere across the web.

I believe that it’s the care provider role now to be more present online and to assume their responsibilities as the trusted healthcare information source on the internet!  This is how they can save more patients and fulfill their mission in this new information era.

I would rather say that doctors, surgeons, and care providers should consider this as an opportunity to reach more patients and improve their awareness about diseases and health issues!

To help you canalize your effort and prioritize your investment in term of digital marketing, I grouped 9 gradual marketing strategies that you should explore to boost your online reach and optimize your marketing

 

1- A personal brand:

Personal branding for individual doctors is a useful and effective extension of the differentiating brand message of a medical practice or organization. It is a means to control and direct what is unique and relevant about who you are, and thus guide how the audience perceives your professional reputation.
In addition, personal branding can…

Spotlight distinctive strengths and capabilities;
Establish credentials and credibility;
Inspire champions and influencers;
Extend visibility and public awareness;
Increase patient demand and allegiance;
Engender stronger patient compliance;
Increase professional referral confidence and frequency;
Enhance personal and professional satisfaction.

Imagine you buying a stethoscope, would you rather choose a Littmann or cheaply made in China? Which kind of doctor do you want to be? Give your practice the right image!

Get in touch now so I can brand you!

 2- Well-designed medical website:

Today more than ever, potential patients are searching on the web for local physicians and healthcare services. 90% of patients start their doctor selection by an online search, and guess what happens when they don’t find you, they will visit the one that they found!

Improving your patient’s experience on your website will significantly increase patient leads and retention.

Your website design should have customized features, fast page speed, be mobile friendly, and interactive.

Most searches are done via mobile or tablet devices, so having a fully responsive medical website design is crucial.

Make sure your website design includes flexible images and website structures that allow them to navigate in different pages with ease.

The practice website should be built for all platforms, so you capture the maximum number of website visitors and not just limited to desktop searches.

Page speed can be the #1 reason for a high bounce rate for your medical website as people attention span is dropping and the voice search is gaining momentum.

Your website also is your first touch point with the patient, if it’s slow and difficult to navigate it will give a first negative experience that will affect his selection decision.

A negative experience makes users more likely to leave your website to go to a better one. It is critical to evaluate and put a plan together to improve website page speed to lower bounce rates and increase lead conversion.

Be very clear on the services and procedures you offer on your home pages so the patient gets straight to what he is looking for, as your credential and certifications are crucial for sure but at a later stage!

When patients are visiting your practice website, they should find all your services and treatments easily if your medical practice offers a wide variety of services down select to the main procedures and services that you want to feature.

When deciding on what treatments to promote, think of your ideal audience, key differentiators, and high revenue procedures.

Lead forms improve website conversion rates and drive new leads for medical or dental practice.

Your medical website needs to be built with proper medical SEO and keywords, so it drives free organic traffic with a long-term return.

To stay competitive and show up in search results, your website design needs to have all the essential keywords and proper SEO structure.

A top performing website will have a solid SEO and keywords at the foundation of the website design.

A medical SEO expert will spend their time building out each page of your practice website and do competitive keyword research to make sure your site is on top in local search results.

 

Check my medical website offers now!

 

3- Social media marketing for medical practice

Some doctors are social media superstars. We’ve all seen them: they may host television shows or serve as frequent commentators on healthcare matters, making them a go-to source as a social media influencer. Some even use YouTube or Instagram to showcase procedures that fascinate the general public (but we can’t all be Dr. Pimple Popper).

For the rest of us, social media for doctors can be a bit of a mystery. You may just post occasionally on your platform of choice and hope for the best, or you may not have a social media presence at all. There are all sorts of misconceptions out there about the importance of social media for doctors and how it should be used, so let’s clear a few things up.

In a perfect world doctors do a wonderful job and their work will speak for them, but the healthcare market is in a constant change, an missing up on being out there to talk about yourself, some other people with good social media reach may be there to talk about you in the wrong way! So, the only way for the good to overshine the bad, you need to have a consistent online presence to talk about your services and preserve your reputation.

I want to highlight here a very important fact about boosting your social media posts!

Facebook offers some really useful tools as part of their business feature, allowing you to spend money to boost or promote a post so it reaches a wider target audience in your area.

It seems easy enough, in theory, and the button is built into the Facebook platform. In practice, though, you miss out when you use this feature without any planning in advance. Facebook advertising can reach a wide range of people in your area who may be searching for your specialty. It doesn’t just go out to friends and fans, but to “lookalike audiences” that may be interested in your practice because they’re similar to those who already like it.

Or, your ads can reach the wrong people at the wrong time, people located nearby but with zero interest in your services. It’s wasted money and wasted time,  and could even turn some people away. Social media for doctors requires strategy, which may mean hiring somebody to do the job for you.

 

As a summary social media marketing for medical practices must be:

  • Consistent and organized
  • Optimized properly
  • Interactive
  • Regular Posting
  • Contain unique images and content for your practice
  • Create consistent brand continuity
  • Share content that drives patients to your website
  • Plan your paid campaign to optimize your invested money

 

You get in touch today, so I can help you with your social media campaigns!

4- Local listing for your practice:

 

Local business listings have a significant impact on local SEO as part of your overall digital marketing strategy.

Your business listings are the business contact information that displays when patients search for you online in other websites, directories and review boards. It’s important to claim, verify, and optimize your business listings across all platforms. (Read more on how to list your practice with google)

The more directories and reviews sites that contain the same business information gives Google additional confidence to return your information over a competitor’s practice.

Popular business listings platforms are Google, Yelp, and Facebook, but there are multiple smaller listing sites that are important to your reputation.

Google indexes all the listing sites to better collect the information for your medical or dental practice, and uniform listings will ensure higher local search engine optimization.

After your business listings are claimed and updated, it is essential to continually monitor them for duplicated or errors that can arise.

 

5- Medical content strategy for doctors:

Creating healthcare marketing content for your blog, website and online presence require more than quantity as 9 out of 10 good content may not be driving any result. You also need measures of quality, credibility, and engagement in the formula to:

  • Attract and retain the target audience
  • Enhance SEO and results in good ranking
  • Establish and grow relationships
  • Inspire digital influencers
  • Present content worth sharing
  • Stay top-of-mind with prospective patients

 

6- Email marketing – Streamline New Patient Communication

Stay in front of your patients and website visitors with email marketing! Email as part of your medical marketing strategy is a great way to retarget patients or reach new patients that have expressed interest in a procedure or treatment.

Utilize email marketing to create touch points with your practice website visitors and share new promotions, specials, blog posts, and the latest practice news. Grow your practice patient email list by encouraging website visitors to sign up for a newsletter.

A newsletter will help you share monthly content about your medical practice and keep your practice in front of mind for patients.

 

7- Reviews Generation

Patient reviews are one of the top 3 most important local SEO factors when it comes to local search rankings. Studies have shown that 68% of potential patients form an opinion about your medical practice and it’s physicians with as little as five reviews.

What does this mean? Patient reviews are an essential way to convert potential patients and a huge reflection of your medical practice reputation.

When it comes to medical marketing strategies generating positive patient reviews needs to be at the top of the list!

The best healthcare marketing agencies will work with your team to generate positive, HIPAA compliant patient reviews and streamline the process.

 

9- Before & After for Cosmetic & Aesthetics Procedures

Sharing high quality before and after pictures of actual patient results can be one of the single most important medical marketing strategies, a practice that provides aesthetics services can do.

medical marketing agency before and after-2

When it comes to cosmetic surgery and aesthetic marketing before and after photos are an absolute must in the healthcare marketing strategy.

Develop a large before and after gallery showcasing multiple examples of successful patient’s before and after for various surgical procedures and age ranges.

If your medical specialty is not cosmetic based, consider working with a patient that is willing to share their treatment journey as a case study for your practice.

Many potential patients are continually seeking the best treatments for medical conditions and improving their quality of life.

Sharing successful patient stories and educating the online visitors of your experience and expertise will turn online visitors into real patients.

This can be a highly successful part of your medical marketing strategy if done correctly.

 

10- Physician Liaison Marketing Program

Physician referrals can be the lifeline of medical practice, so developing a physician outreach-marketing program is essential for sustaining strong doctor referral relationships.

A successful healthcare marketing strategy will center efforts on expanding your healthcare network and increasing patient growth.

Physician liaison marketing is hiring a representative for your practice to meet with local referring doctors and medical practices to increase patient referrals for the practice.

As the physician relations representative, they extend the bridge of communication between referring doctors and medical practice.

Physician liaison marketing results in a significant increase in patient referrals and overall practice growth.

Physician liaison marketing is especially an excellent fit for surgeons and specialty medical practices because their patient base is majority referrals from general practitioners.

Other medical and dental practices can significantly benefit from having a physician relations manager to help grow their healthcare network and meet with local physicians.


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How to Use Marketing Tips to Build a Health Care Practice?

How to Use Marketing Tips to Build a Health Care Practice? | Buy Pills Online | Scoop.it

Healthcare is always changing and evolving as the years go by as medical professionals discover more information and create new things. Patients are also evolving and it is medical companies and facilities’ duty to adapt and grow to fit the needs of their patients. Healthcare organizations often need more patients than they currently have and want to target more possible patients. It’s important to find the appropriate ways to reach your desired audience if you want to see an increase.

Physician positions are available and always in demand and can lead to more rewards like owning your own practice. Physicians that own their own practice may find that getting new patients is one of their challenges. When you own your own practice you must have certain marketing methods implemented to create exposure for your business. A private practice is just like a business so you have to treat it as such. Although many marketing methods work for all business types, you still want to focus on the ones that will benefit your practice.

1. Create A Website

To increase your exposure and make it easier for people to see your practice, you want to have a website. Everything is online these days and you must be able to adapt to how the world changes and how patients’ needs change. Every business needs a website. People enjoy the convenience of their phones and if they aren’t able to access your business online it becomes a hassle and patients won’t look at your establishment as timely.

You can easily use online services that will help you build your website and guide you through the process of registering a domain, designing your web page, and uploading content.

2. Start A Blog

Blogs are more important than you think when it comes to getting new patients to see you. Having a reliable blog on your website will instill trust between you and your patients. You want to be able to connect and share information with your patients and that can be done through a blog. Having a blog allows you to build credibility and trust with more than just your patients.

Content marketing is a big deal when it comes to marketing methods. You want to utilize words to your advantage and put out educational information for your readers. You want to show your personality and build the brand of your practice through content.

3. Connect on Social Media

Keep up with your social accounts and if you don’t have any, you should create one now for your business. Everything and everyone is constantly online and there is a demand for easy access to businesses. Post content on your social account to engage with your current and future patients. This is important in building a relationship with your patients outside the office. Utilize all social media to your advantage. There are many and the most popular ones are:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • LinkedIn

Provide educational and informational content but try not to remain too serious. Social media is a great place to connect with younger crowds. Try to remember to stay consistent as well. You won’t see results without it.

4. Email Marketing

Email marketing is another way to get people to your business. This method is an older one and is still as effective. Most people think that emails are no longer important or even checked when it comes to business marketing. This is false due to the fact that it actually helps your patients remember you and depend on you. Email marketing is more beneficial Newsletters are great ways to get patients to remain loyal to your practice. It also can bring in new ones that have taken interest in your practice.

Keeping up with your emails and sending out information increases the traffic to your other marketing outlets. Social media and your website can be linked in your email giving your patients easy access to your social accounts and your information.

5. Invite Patient Reviews

Allow patients to review you and your work to give testimony to how well your practice is. This is important because you want others to see what you do and how well you do it to bring in more patients. Both your patients and the doctors that refer you are a part of your marketing team. Utilize them to your capabilities.

What other people say about your business matters and while you want to know how your patients feel, other outsiders do too. You can even display these on your website to allow for even more trust between you and your current and prospective patients. This will also help you improve in areas you need to better your practice and build credibility.

6. Utilize SEO Marketing

SEO marketing is a great way to get seen online. You have a website up and running but it’s pointless because you are getting no traffic. SEO stands for search engine optimization and takes place to improve the presence of your health practice online. When you search the web for information, you want them to go to you.

Localizing your webpage can be beneficial when it comes to people finding you online. The main goal is to direct more traffic toward your website and to do that you have to make an effort to improve your place on the web.

7. Offer Incentives

Incentives are always a good way to get new patients in the door. Many practices have caught on to this marketing method and have decided to start patient referral programs. These are beneficial for both the patient and the business. Some practices enjoy handing out cards for their patients to give out to their friends and family. There is usually a small reward for doing this. Regardless of the size of the reward, you will benefit from offering your patients something for giving you the exposure you need.

8. Use Paid Advertising

We all know that it easy to get information quickly online and many people run to the search engines to find the things they need. When you pay or your ads on search engines it places you at the top of the page when someone does a search relevant to your key terms. You can compare this method to SEO marketing as they both focus on search engine presence yet SEO doesn’t offer results as fast.


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Why Advocacy and Social Media Outreach Works

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Advocacy works. Just ask Steve Hoffart, PharmD, President of Magnolia Pharmacy in Magnolia, TX. Hoffart was one of several pharmacists who worked with the Texas legislature to remove pharmacist gag clauses in PBM contracts. He went national in 2017 in television news interviews, describing the negative impact of gag clauses that prevent pharmacists from informing patients of potentially cheaper alternatives.

 

“Television news gave us another platform to tell our story,” Hoffart said during a panel discussion on advocacy and social engagement during the ThoughtSpot 2019 general session.

“You work so hard every day to protect your patients. You need to tell anyone who will listen what you do and why. That’s what advocacy is all about and that’s why it works. You are telling your story and educating.”

Federal legislation banning pharmacist gag clauses was signed into law in 2018.

One of pharmacy’s biggest problems is that no one really knows what pharmacists do except other pharmacists,” added John Hickman, RPh, President of Dyer Drug Store in Farmersville, TX. Patients, legislators, payers, policymakers, prescribers, and other decision makers hear endless stories of pharmacy. But those stories most often come from PBMs, drug manufacturers, chain and big-box retailers along with other players with active lobbying and public relations operations.

“Don’t let other stakeholders tell the story for you,” Hickman said. “Tell your own story and tell it straight from your heart. That kind of approach works so well.”

Hickman said he was inspired to act at a pharmacy meeting six years ago. Attendees complained endlessly about PBMs, contracts, pricing, and other familiar issues. The third-generation pharmacist decided that instead of complaining, it was time to act for a change.

He began working with pharmacist groups to testify on independent pharmacy issues.  At the state level, he became a vocal spokesperson for independent pharmacy, where he was meeting regularly with legislators and their staff, and contributing to campaigns. Hickman invites legislators to visit his store to see the realities of pharmacy for themselves.

“Everyone in this room can make those same changes,” Hickman said. “We’ve been at it for a while and it’s making a difference. When I go into a legislator’s office now, they know what a PBM is and what they do. They know what retroactive fees are and why they are so tough on independent pharmacies. I don’t know if these fees will go away, but we will continue to educate. If you don’t educate and advocate, there won’t be any change.”

Hoffart, like many successful Good Neighbor pharmacies, tells his story on Facebook and Instagram as well as in legislative hearings and on national news.

“I didn’t really have a choice,” he said. “One of my kids was working in the store and complained that we didn’t have an Instagram account. He told me that if people can’t see you, they can’t come to the pharmacy. And he was right. If we don’t all get out there and tell our stories, we don’t have a future.”

Prescribers are another group ripe for education and primed to learn more about the value that independent community pharmacy can provide.

“They (prescribers) know you on the phone, but they don’t know you in person,” explained Amy Galloway, RPh, owner of Brasstown Professional Pharmacy in Blairsville, GA; and co-owner, Southern Drug Company, Blue Ridge, GA.

“And they don’t know what you can do besides filling prescriptions. It’s up to each of us to talk with prescribers in our own communities to let them know how we can help improve care and outcomes for their patients.”Galloway schedules short visits, as little as five or ten minutes, with local prescribers. Prescribers are just as swamped as pharmacists, she cautioned, so visits should be brief and to the point about precisely how you can support and magnify their efforts.

Her two stores have busy compounding operations, so she focuses on how it can help make pharmaceutical therapy easier and more effective by tailoring the product to specific patient needs.

“Most prescribers aren’t familiar with compounding and are willing to learn,” Galloway said. “They need to learn that you care for and about their patients. It makes all the difference when they realize you are there for them and for their patients.”


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Healthcare Professionals And Social Media: Not A Good Mix - Privacy Protection 

Healthcare Professionals And Social Media: Not A Good Mix - Privacy Protection  | Buy Pills Online | Scoop.it

Although privacy issues have been taking over the headlines in recent months, healthcare organizations have been subject to stringent privacy regulations for a number of years. Organizations providing healthcare services are particularly susceptible to issues of unauthorized access and public disclosure of personal health information (“PHI”). More specifically, professionals working in healthcare are required to maintain a high level of confidentiality with respect to their patient’s PHI.

Facts

Early this year, Ms. Hamilton, a registered practical nurse (RPN), was involved in a professional disciplines hearing with the College of Nurses of Ontario. The allegations made by the College revolved around comments Ms. Hamilton made with respect to an elderly client at the facility she worked at who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The allegations stemmed from an incident that occurred in December 2016.

On December 2, 2016, the client’s child (Child A) posted a publicly available message on Facebook expressing concerns about the client’s Power of Attorney (“POA”), who was also the client’s child (Child B). The same post also expressed concern about the care that the client was receiving at the facility. Numerous family members commented on this post.

The following day, on December 3, Ms. Hamilton published several comments as direct responses to Child A’s Facebook post. The comments were public and disclosed the client’s PHI including her name, identifying her as a resident at the facility, identifying herself as an RPN and employee of the facility, referring to the client’s POA, and referring to her experiences dealing with the client’s medical conditions.

More specifically, Ms. Hamilton posted:

I’m sorry but there are 2 sides to every story. I happen to work at this facility and there is no way [the Client] or any of our residents are treated as these people speak of. How dare you imply that she is neglected in any way. Our residents receive more care hours than the provincial average in Ontario long term care home. Our staff are the hardest working I’ve seen in any LTC facility I know. I’m disgusted that you would even post this filth and lies on social media. Shame on you!

And:

We don’t have a problem with the POA [Child B]. This is your personal business which you have chosen to hang out to dry on Facebook. I will gladly call you a liar because I spend more time with your mother than you do.

When Child A’s children (the client’s grandchildren) made posts defending Child A, Ms. Hamilton was noted to have made inappropriate and unprofessional comments such as one of the grandchildren having a “bad mouth” and that the client “would be disappointed” in the grandchild for their language. Ms. Hamilton also implied that the grandchild was uneducated regarding her medical condition and had no understanding of their grandmother’s health. She also told the grandchild to “shut up” or “grow up”.

Ms. Hamilton also posted “Oh [grandchild A] I look forward to meeting you the next time you visit your grandmother – I see we have much to discuss”, which the grandchild interpreted to be a threat.

The comments were deleted, but the family members captured them.

In the course of the disciplinary hearing, Ms. Hamilton admitted that it was inappropriate to engage in such dialogue with the client’s family, especially given such a public forum like Facebook. She further acknowledged that she breached the client’s privacy and disclosed her PHI without her consent or authorization.

Professional Standard and the Allegations

In 2004, the College issued a Practice Standard titled Confidentiality and Privacy – Personal Health Information, which was updated in 2009. The standards issued by the College represent the standard of care that is expected of all member of the organization. This particular standard largely reflected the personal health information protections codified in the Personal Health Information Protection Act (“PHIPA”). Some of the standards noted in the Practice Standard included the following provisions:

Maintaining confidentiality of clients’ personal health information with members of the healthcare team, who are also required to maintain confidentiality, including information that is documented or stored electronically…

Not discussing client information with colleagues or the client in public places such as elevators, cafeterias and hallways…

In the Notice of Hearing, dated December 7, 2018, the College made allegations against Ms. Hamilton that she: (1) engaged in an act of professional misconduct; (2) gave information about a patient to a person other than the patient or her authorized representative without the consent of the patient and without being required or allowed to do so by law; and, (3) that she engaged in conduct that would reasonably be regarded by members of the profession as disgraceful, dishonourable, or unprofessional.

Decision and Reasoning

The committee noted that the College bore the onus of proving the allegations on a balance of probabilities based upon clear, cogent, and convincing evidence. The College found that Ms. Hamilton committed the acts of professional misconduct.

The College found that Ms. Hamilton’s conduct showed disregard for private information of clients and inappropriate use of social media. The College further noted that Ms. Hamilton’s conduct was unprofessional as it fell below the standards of nursing with respect to confidentiality and trust. In short, she showed a persistent disregard for her professional obligations. The College further noted that disclosing PHI and breaching the client’s privacy in an open public forum was unacceptable and fell well below the standards of the profession.

The College ordered several penalties including a suspension for three months and further privacy training with a regulatory expert. Training was to focus on a review of professional standards, confidentiality, and privacy regarding PHI. The College found that these penalties achieved the purpose of specific deterrence, general deterrence, and rehabilitation and remediation.

Lessons from this Case

Organizations providing healthcare services to patient are required, by law, to maintain their patient’s PHI confidential. This includes proper cyber security safeguards, physical security safeguards, and policies aimed at ensuring staff are aware of their professional obligations. Organizations should develop policies that can be monitored and, more importantly, enforced on a regular basis. Ongoing staff training aimed at ensuring that staff and healthcare professionals are aware of their legal obligations to their patients are critical in meeting the appropriate standard of care.

This case is a perfect example of the impact social media has on an industry that traditionally does not have any connection to social media. Organizations should consider implementing social media policies to outline the obligations and expectations of their staff, which should be continually reinforced in the workplace. Failure to do so may result in disclosure of patients’ PHI and expose the professional and the organization to regulatory penalties and civil claims.


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Your Doctor Is Instagram Famous. Do Likes Matter in the Exam Room?

When Pamela Ramom awoke from eye surgery in April, she exclaimed, “Oh my god, I’m going to cry.” Ramom had undergone LASIK and was overcome with the result. “I can see everything,” the 24-year-old remembered saying to no one in particular.

Ramom’s surgeon was Dr. Dagny Zhu, an ophthalmologist based outside of Los Angeles who specializes in cornea, cataract, and LASIK surgery. Zhu overheard Ramom and found her comments moving. Zhu asked Ramom if they could take a photo together to commemorate the moment, adding that she wanted to post the image on Instagram. “I thought it was cute that she loves her job so much,” Ramom says.

Ramom agreed and smiled shyly as Zhu sat down beside her, wrapping an arm around her patient. After the picture, Zhu asked for Ramom’s handle. That evening, Zhu posted the photo on Instagram to her 38,000 followers.

“As soon as that happened, I was like, ‘Oh, I really want to share this with others,’” Zhu says. “So I posted it the same day, toward the end of my clinic. I usually don’t do that. I think that’s the only post where I’m with a patient and sharing her experience.”

When Ramom was cleared to look at screens two days after the procedure, she picked up her phone and noticed she had dozens of new follower requests on her private Instagram account. While digging through her notifications, she saw Zhu’s post — where her handle was mentioned — and realized the doctor’s audience was far greater than she assumed. “I had no idea she had so many followers,” Ramom says. “A lot of people can see my post-surgery face.” She says she wasn’t upset by the post, just taken aback by its reach.

Many medical professionals like Zhu are leveraging Instagram as an educational tool and to promote their own practices. Just like Instagram users in industries like beauty, travel, or cooking, some doctors and nurses have achieved influencer status, racking up hundreds of thousands of followers and brand partnership deals in the process.

Despite the staggeringly large follower count of some health care influencers — New York City physician Dr. Mike Varshavski has racked up more than 3 million followers, for example — these medical professionals still see patients on a daily basis. Some doctors say they are on social media to build out their business; others say they do it to fight misinformation spread online. For patients, having an influencer in the exam room can create a unique medical experience. Whether it’s a positive one can depend on personal preference.

“At this point, it’s an honor to still have any of her time. She seems so busy.”

Ryan Dunkle had never DMed with his dentist before becoming a patient of Dr. Joyce Kahng. Dunkle was recommended to Kahng by a friend when he moved to Los Angeles about a year ago. The friend showed him Kahng’s Instagram, which today boasts 15,000 followers. Dunkle, 30, says he was won over by her authenticity. “I love the fact that she’s engaging with her clients,” Dunkle says.

One day Kahng might write about opening a woman-owned practice; another day, she might share her aspirations to start a family. Dunkle says he feels like he can connect with her on a deeper level, both in the exam room and online. They regularly keep in touch between appointments, replying to each other’s Instagram stories or leaving comments on posts. In doing so, Dunkle considers Kahng a friend. Because he’d like this level of closeness with as many medical professionals as possible, Dunkle hasn’t ruled out scouring Instagram for a chiropractor.

Kahng’s down-to-earth strategy is paying off. About 60% to 75% of her new clientele found her via Instagram. “They come in and they’re excited to meet me,” Kahng says. “It’s always fun, because we’re not starting from scratch. They know who I am, and because of that, I am able to relax.”

Kahng says her Instagram presence helps add to her credibility, especially as a young dentist. In the past, she felt she had to put on an uncomfortable air of professionalism to prove her worth. Now her online followership validates the fact that people enjoy learning about her as well as dental health. Kahng makes an effort to reply to every comment and direct message, as long as they’re not “creepy” or requesting medical advice.

Medical influencing comes with its own ethical challenges, including patient privacy and consent when it comes to sharing images, medical advice, and product endorsements. Advisory groups are helping to ease medical professionals into the online world. One nonprofit, the Association for Healthcare Social Media, is in the process of creating online best practices for medical professionals, says the group’s president, Dr. Austin Chiang, director of the endoscopic bariatric program at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital who has more than 23,000 followers on Instagram.

“With social media, we have to begin recognizing that this is where patients are spending their time and getting their information,” Chiang says. “We have to think about how we’re acting professionally on there. Are we disclosing our conflicts of interest? How do we properly make it clear to our followers whatever content we put out there is sponsored content?”

Chiang prefers to keep his posts informative and educational, sharing broad tips backed by science in the hopes of debunking health fads, which tend to proliferate online.

A mix of down-to-earth selfie videos and instructional infographics attracted 29-year-old Sohrab Jamshidi to his therapist’s Instagram about a year ago. At the time, she had about 6,000 followers, but over the course of their sessions, her follower count ballooned to more than 620,000. As a result of her burgeoning online popularity, the therapist (whose name Jamshidi declined to reveal) relinquished her Philadelphia office space and now holds virtual sessions with patients via Skype. “At this point, it’s an honor to still have any of her time. She seems so busy,” Jamshidi says.

Jamshidi is supportive of all the opportunities social media has afforded his therapist and says he feels lucky he was able to become a client while she was still accepting new patients. He’s like a fan who listened to a popular band before they were famous. Outside of their sessions being moved to video, social media celebrity hasn’t changed their relationship, Jamshidi says, except for one thing: the encroaching fear that his therapist may outgrow the people she cares for.

“I’m so afraid I’m going to lose her,” he says. “That’s the big thing in the back of my mind.”


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Avoiding Common HIPAA Violations with CC&C

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Consider the hundreds (no, thousands) of digital communications a clinical team makes all day, every day—between nurses, physicians, radiologists, pharmacists: The list goes on and on.

Quality healthcare relies on those interactions being accurate and fast. But it also relies on them being secure to safeguard protected health information. After all, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires it.

Not abiding by HIPAA brings steep consequences, with penalties up to $250,000 per violation of “willful neglect,” according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

These penalties can add up: Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center recently made headlines for a $4.3 million penalty incurred after three data breaches involving lost or stolen devices.

HIPAA Violations With Personal Smartphones

Of course, organizations don’t intend to make such violations. But they happen despite even the best intentions. And if anyone on your staff uses a personal device to transmit patient data, even just once, they may be making the same mistake.

After all, the temptation to pull out a personal phone and text another care team member might be higher than you think: According to a survey reported by the American Nurses Association, 67 percent of hospitals acknowledged that their nurses used their own smartphones to collaborate at work. It makes sense—texting enables rapid communication when every minute matters, and it’s often one of the best ways for nurses to reach physicians.

But beyond the obvious problems with texting on personal devices—like distractions or infection risk—this workaround can invite HIPAA missteps by putting confidential patient data in a very vulnerable place.

Considering that cyber attacks on mobile devices are on the rise and that even seemingly harmless communications can expose protected information, the problem has the potential to get more serious with every text.

The Workarounds (and Why They Don’t Work)

Some care team members may (mistakenly) think they’re in the clear if they remove patient identifiers from the text. Someone might say, for example, “Order blood for room 322.” However, the room number is itself a patient identifier—and a potential HIPAA violation.

To be on the safe side, maybe they decide they’ll strip out even more details: “I need a medication order for your 3 p.m. hysterectomy.”

That won’t work either: Even that nondescript text poses trouble, since it runs the risk of medical errors from vague information. For all their efforts to protect information, care team members might be setting each other up to mistakenly identify patients, with devastating consequences.

And all of that assumes everything else goes right. What if the device gets lost or stolen, as with MD Anderson? Or perhaps the text is accidentally sent to the wrong person? A hospital in Maine recently came under fire for accidentally sending a list of 300 patient names to a local newspaper editor.

Such mishaps can mean those communications get exposed to those who shouldn’t see them, or are otherwise up for the taking by anyone at anytime. Whether made by doctors, nurses, entire teams or just one person, a single mistake by anyone on your staff can put your whole organization at risk.

Leveraging a Secure Solution

For starters, clinical staff—all staff, for that matter—need 21st-century tools to do their job.

Mobile Heartbeat’s MH-CURE® Platform, for example, enables secure, specific communication without the need to remove patient identifiers. If they need a consult, they can say so with a direct message that pulls information from the EHR (thanks to the Patient Pick feature) and goes straight to the intended recipient—instead of blasting it to anyone and everyone.

By the way, your staff will know it’s the intended recipient because the platform displays each patient’s dynamic care team, in real time. Because, after all, inherent in HIPAA compliance is exchanging necessary but limited info with only those who need to see it. MH-CURE helps you do that.

And if the device gets lost or stolen, no worries: Our platform is passcode-protected and requires hospital credentials, and you can remotely remove access to reduce the chances of a breach.

Breaking Bad Habits, for Good

Yes, bad habits are hard to break—and even harder to break for good. Even the smallest things, like leaving discharge instructions on the printer or throwing a patient wristband in the garbage, can pose big trouble. Make sure your clinical staff doesn’t forget that texts can, too.

For hospitals, HIPAA violations can yield hefty fines and embarrassing blunders. For clinical staff, they can spell lost jobs. That’s incentive enough to prioritize the issue and fix it.

By investing in the right technology, you can sidestep those tendencies, curb the risks and reap the benefits of a HIPAA-compliant, worry-free tool for instant communication. We’re proud that MH-CURE helps clinical teams do just that.


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