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Patient Education DVDs now available at an online store

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Diabetes Patient Education Simplified!

 

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Medically Accurate, High Definition Animated Videos related to Diabetes available in Indian regional languages viz. Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali.

 


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nrip's curator insight, July 10, 2014 8:40 AM

Excellent use of technology (eCommerce) to bring Patient Education and Awareness into the limelight. I checked out this link and found something for each specialization.  Hope to see more and more of such examples in the coming months.

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Social Media for doctors in training

An entry level guide to social media for doctors in training

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How can social media marketing help you generate new healthcare leads?

How can social media marketing help you generate new healthcare leads? | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it

Digital marketing encompasses a vast array of tools and resources that have not previously been available to businesses and healthcare practices. Indeed, this is perhaps the most notable aspect of marketing that has changed in recent years andbeen altered particularly by the way we use the internet. Indeed, this is not to say that other marketing tools are not different. They do have quite a different sense about them, especially in their execution. However, the end goals are very much the same: outreach and conversion of leads into “sales”, so to speak. With social media marketing, the end goals are much different. Certainly customers are to be made and new connections strengthened so as to gain new business, but a healthcare practice’s social media presence is one that is not so much aimed at simple conversion but rather at building a relationship with potential and current patients. Through social media pages and feeds and accounts, it is easy to connect with other practices like yours and make connections this way. Better yet, you have a direct line of communication with your clients through social media. By posting frequently to your accounts, your practice’s name frequently pops up on the newsfeeds of your clients, meaning that your name just keeps appearing, reminding them that they need to go to the dentist or get that X-Ray they had been thinking about. Whatever it is, keeping your social media presence up to date is an easy way to be in constant communication with your clients.

Indeed, social media marketing has been a powerful part of health care marketing in recent years. Whether it is through blogs or other forms of social interaction, people more and more trust the recommendations they get through Facebook and other social media outlets. One great and simple way to reach more people is to encourage people who like your page to share this with their networks. In doing so, new potential clients have positive associations with the work that you do, as they will already see that one of their friends has experience working with you and approves of the work that you. These kinds of tacit approvals and “spreading of the word” makes it easier for you to gain access to networks via social media. It is easier than ever to get new healthcare leads through the simple process of maintaining and updating a social media profile. You can also gain this kind of access by posting interesting stories or writing original blogs that they get shared among people you already are following your page. Try going with relevant information, like “top ways to keep your health in mind over the holidays” and other posts that will be easy for people to read and easier for them to share.

No matter how you choose to utilize social media, you cannot go wrong as long as you stay relevant and keep your profiles up to date. Keep your end goals in mind, and always set yourself up for the greatest success by reaching out to as many people as possible.



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Study: Hospitals increasing social media use

Study: Hospitals increasing social media use | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it
Study results suggest that hospitals are making far greater use of social media than they have in the past.posted: Sunday 28th of December 2014 by Anne Zieger

More hospitals are using social media than previously thought, but no one is sure what effect this use is having on patients, according to new research found in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

The research, which concluded that large, urban, and not-for-profit hospitals were most likely to use these tools, found that use of Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare was almost universal among survey subjects, but that only half of hospitals regularly used Twitter.

Researchers, who are based at the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab, based their conclusions partly on data from CMS' Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. They also drew on the American Hospital Association's annual survey.

They found that more than 94% of the 3,371 hospitals studied had Facebook pages, that 99% have a Yelp page and 99.4% had check-ins on Foursquare. However, large, urban, private nonprofit and teaching hospitals were more likely to see higher use of such accounts.

The results suggest that hospitals are making far greater use of social media than they have in the past, researchers said. For example, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2010 found that 21% of hospitals use social media, with 18% of hospitals maintaining a Facebook account and 16% of Twitter account.

More social media growth is likely

Researchers concede that the data didn't tell them which platform connects hospitals with patients, nor what purpose patients had for interacting with hospitals' social media presences.

But they did predict that consumers will continue to interact with hospitals via these networks, expanding to new portals like Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. So hospitals will have to meet their stakeholders there, and keep an eye out for hot new platforms, if they want to strengthen their online presence.

Hospitals will also need to make more use of social media to engage patients. Right now, many hospitals use these platforms primarily to reach out to employees, an exercise which may be valuable but doesn't leverage the full power of social media to create brand loyalty and a feeling of connection.

Unfortunately, researchers note, today most hospital postings on social media channels provide not-so-compelling generic observations on employee-related issues and achievements, basically repurposing their press releases.

If they hope to connect with current and potential patients, they may want to study the accomplishments of pioneers like the Mayo Clinic, which for several years has devoted significant resources to its social media strategy. While they may not be ready to create a dedicated social media center, checking out an institution that has one in place is worth a try.



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Morgan Garrow's curator insight, April 24, 2015 7:58 PM

We know that is not only individuals making use of emerging social media tool, but corporate insitutions as a whole as well. Hospitals are no exception and many have recently begun using these tools more and more to increase business and communicate with the world. Some of the most popular and influential instituions like Mayo Clinic and Harvord even host webinar series on their Twitter accounts every week educating their followers on medical topics (which is why I enjoy following them so much).

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The Power of Social in health and healthcare

Exploring digital health trends

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Social Media and Academic Oncology

Digital communications are changing how we share health information. Are social media compatible with academic medicine and oncology? This is a talk given at …

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How doctors view and use social media: a national survey

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Doctors are uncertain of their ethical and legal obligations when communicating with patients online. Professional guidelines for patient-doctor interaction online have been written with limited quantitative data about doctors’ current usage and attitudes toward the medium. Further research into these trends will help to inform more focused policy and guidelines for doctors communicating with patients online.

OBJECTIVE:

The intent of the study was to provide the first national profile of Australian doctors’ attitudes toward and use of online social media.

METHODS:

The study involved a quantitative, cross-sectional online survey of Australian doctors using a random sample from a large representative database.

RESULTS:

Of the 1500 doctors approached, 187 participated (12.47%). Most participants used social media privately, with only one-quarter not using any social media websites at all (48/187, 25.7%). One in five participants (30/155, 19.4%) had received a “friend request” from a patient. There was limited use of online communication in clinical practice: only 30.5% (57/187) had communicated with a patient through email and fewer than half (89/185, 48.1%) could offer their patients electronic forms of information if that were the patients’ preference. Three in five participants (110/181, 60.8%) reported not being uncomfortable about interacting with patients who had accessed personal information about them online, prior to the consultation. Most of the participants (119/181, 65.8%) were hesitant to immerse themselves more fully in social media and online communication due to worries about public access and legal concerns.

CONCLUSIONS:

Doctors have different practices and views regarding whether or how to communicate appropriately with patients on the Internet, despite online and social media becoming an increasingly common feature of clinical practice. Additional training would assist doctors in protecting their personal information online, integrating online communication in patient care, and guidance on the best approach in ethically difficult online situations.


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Social Media Has Revolutionized The Healthcare Industry

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Contributed by: Ritesh Patel, Executive VP, Chief Digital Officer of Ogilvy CommonHealth in New Jersey and Ogilvy Healthworld in New York

The marketing function of the pharmaceutical industry needs to begin focusing on changing its thinking around social media, to more of an -engagement-oriented model and less around advertising and promotion. Social should be viewed as an integral part of the overall marketing mix and not silo’d or being the domain of corporate communications.

It was a cold, snowy November day in 2009, and a large number of people involved in the pharmaceutical industry had trekked down to Washington, D.C., to gather in front of the august body known as the FDA to provide remarks to a proposed set of guidance that the governing body was pondering on the use of social media in drug promotion.

The room was full of the who’s who of advertising agencies, healthcare consulting organizations, public relations agencies, and patient advocacy groups. All had unique views and opinions on how the FDA could approach this potential guidance.

Conspicuously absent were the very manufacturers of the drugs that the guidance would impact. A few had shown up, mainly represented by their legal counsel, but in general, this gathering was purely the domain of others surrounding the drug industry.

That should have been a telling sight. All of the others gathered in the room were passionate voices, however the manufacturers were represented by legal departments.

A Seven-Year Journey

Since that seminal event, in many people’s minds the world has changed dramatically and the nascent medium called social media has blossomed into something that is now entwined into the very fabric of our personal lives. Billions of people flock to Facebook daily. Some 90% of journalists now get their news and news ideas from Twitter. LinkedIn has dramatically altered how we find and recruit talent, and YouTube has completely changed how we watch videos. Newcomers like Instagram and Pinterest are also garnering hundreds of millions of users.

Social media outlets have revolutionized the healthcare industry and are quickly becoming the preferred resource for individuals seeking healthcare information. Patients turn to social networking groups to find others who are battling the same diseases (for patients preparing for the same type of surgery, following the tweets helps demystify the process and ideally reduces anxiety about upcoming operations), share advice, recommend doctors, even send other members a virtual hug, while clinicians connect to share information and learn from each other.

Traction Challenged

Through it all, the pharmaceutical industry continues to either ignore this medium or dabble in it in a way that feels like an afterthought. There is still a fundamental misunderstanding of this medium and how it could be applied. Granted, the FDA has issued only limited guidance in the past five years, drip-feeding the industry rules that are mainly stopgaps. Let’s look at some of the milestones:

  • December 2011: Responding to Unsolicited Requests for Off-Label Information
  • September 2013: Guidance for Industry: Mobile Medical Applications
  • November 2013: Product Name Placement, Size and Prominence in Advertising and Promotional Labeling
  • January 2014: Fulfilling Regulatory Requirements for Post Marketing Submissions of Interactive Promotional Media
  • June 2014: Internet/Social Media Platforms With Character Space Limitations —  Presenting Risk and Benefit Information for Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices; and Correcting Independent Third Party Misinformation About Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices

While patients, advocacy groups, and the likes of the Mayo Clinic have flocked to social media, industry has not.

It’s not to say nothing is being done — some major companies have established centers of excellence created to understand this medium, hired agencies to help them and manage the process, and educated internal stakeholders.

Some have dabbled with a single platform, like Twitter (corporate communications) or YouTube.

But most have continued to say “no social media” in relation to the promotion or marketing of their products. When people have dabbled, it has mainly been around paid media on social channels — that is, advertising.

Granted, the OTC side of the business has embraced pieces of social media because the regulatory environment is a bit more favorable, but the approach has been more around advertising and less around engaging.

Social Media: A Way of 
Doing Business

Brands have limited roles in our actual social life. We just have to understand how and where we can be part of the conversation.

In our regulated industry, we’re limited in what we say, so we say very little. Once we’ve recited our label, we’re going to repeat what’s on our label (and maybe offer a coupon).

So, absent of any true guidelines from the FDA, what can the industry do? Particularly now that most every manufacturer is looking at ways to “go beyond the pill” and promote more of a patient-centric approach to their business.

Social media should be viewed more as a way of doing business and less as a means of promotion. While promotion is a component, there are now aspects of social that can be applied to a number of areas, in a compliant way.

Socializing the sales rep

The e-detail remains a key component to launching and marketing a drug. But in the process we have created iPad carrying messengers as opposed to real relationship managers. Providing social capabilities to the rep may enable a change in behavior in 2015 and beyond. Companies like Medikly.com are looking at ways of providing the social profile of a doctor. What if you were able to provide that information to the rep? Connecting to Doximity and LinkedIn data will make the profile richer. Knowing that the doctor you are about to visit just posted a blog on the disease or tweeted about a data announcement might be useful and a better conversation starter than the dosing chart on an iPad.

Socializing customer service

Industry leaders all provide programs for customer service that are manned by call centers all across the United States. There are SOPs that are 10 years old that these centers abide by. These same SOPs could be applied to providing service via social channels, particularly Twitter or Facebook. Banks and financial services companies, that have a similar (but not same) regulatory environment, have figured out how to do this. Combining social listening and customer service could enhance the patient experience and help with the patient-centric positioning most companies are striving to achieve.

Socializing clinical trials

The single largest issue in clinical trials is patient recruitment and retention. Many trials fail because of the lack of recruits. Yet, the industry continues to use the tried-and-true method of relying on the same investigators to recruit patients. This was fine when there were not many trials and the media landscape was TV, radio, and print. Now we have competing trials at the same center for the same disease, a fragmented media world, and active, vocal patients. Applying social business capabilities to this area should result in better recruitment and retention.

There are a number of companies such as Inspire Health, Patients Like Me, Ben’s Friends, and Quality Health that have a large number of patients who are members of their social networks. Companies such as Medici have created large pools of patients on Facebook for recruiting and retaining in trials.  Socializing the clinical trial recruitment process could lead to better trial design and recruitment.

Socializing the medical meeting

Twitter has been embraced as the social media platform of choice for medical meetings. The meeting organizers create hashtags, KOLs tweet, and even patients are engaged. The rarer the disease, the more the patient knows via this medium. However, in 2015, we foresee growth in the area of KOL social networks around medical meetings, and in general faculty-led learning. Those networks will disseminate information within their networks and discuss things that are currently discussed in person, but in a complaint and secure manner. This will change the way data presentations, KOL management and faculties are created and managed. Companies like within3 and Clinical Mind will play a part in this.

Moving from Dabbling to 
Engaging in Social Media

From a pure communications, advertising, and marketing perspective, the pharmaceutical industry has dabbled in a number of social media platforms.

Twitter has been embraced by the corporate communications function to blast out press releases, socially responsible acts committed by the firm, and medical meeting information. However, there is little engagement. This should change now that the FDA has provided guidance on the use of limited-character platforms.

Paid social will grow as more and more media planners come to grips with this medium, especially at drug launch. Planned and managed properly, paid social can be a great vehicle for targeting patients with an unbranded message for disease awareness campaigns. There will still be challenges in using this medium for branded media, primarily due to Important Safety Information (ISI) requirements.

The use of YouTube is a requisite now in most marketing plans. However, it is tied mainly to MOA or KOL videos. Tools such as http://www.storyvine.com/ are now enabling the capture of true patient/user-generated content that can be moderated and put through the same legal and regulatory framework that exists for other content.

Engaging HCPs in their own social media environments is also becoming a big part of the marketing mix. Doctor social networks such as Doximity, M3, and Sermo are going beyond the survey and looking at ways to partner with industry on content, media, and engagement. This trend will continue to grow in 2015.

From a patient perspective, the biggest opportunity for pharma will be with Facebook as it begins to hone its healthcare strategy.

Even though pharma already has a presence on Facebook, pharma is all over the map with regard to Facebook communities.

There are unbranded and branded communities, as well as communities based on partnerships with third parties.

Pharma has created product pages, such as https://www.facebook.com/Podhaler andhttps://www.facebook.com/GilenyaGO, disease awareness campaigns likehttps://www.facebook.com/DRIVE4COPD, and unbranded presences such ashttps://www.facebook.com/merckengage.

Pharma should look to truly engage the patient on these communities. By partnering with Facebook, pharma companies could:

  • Provide better, up-to-date product and scientific information in a patient-centric language.
  • Work with advocacy communities on Facebook to raise awareness of a disease.
  • Expand the use of Facebook to reach specific audiences, such as rare-disease communities who are very active on Facebook.

In Summary

The marketing function of the pharmaceutical industry needs to begin focusing on changing its thinking around social media, to more of an engagement-oriented model and less around advertising and promotion. Social should be viewed as an integral part of the overall marketing mix and not silo’d or being the domain of corporate communications.

Granted, this relegates the use of social media to a couple of areas, such as those outlined above. But that is much better than doing nothing at all, or doing it badly.

Social should be viewed as an integral part of the overall marketing mix and not silo’d or being the domain of corporate communications. (PV)



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3 ways private healthcare clinics could be using social media

3 ways private healthcare clinics could be using social media | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it

With the major increase of people turning into social media to search for health related information, it’s no surprise that in 2014 we’ve seen also a major increase of healthcare businesses investing in social media marketing.

Social media presents a major opportunity for healthcare clinics to connect with their current or potential clients and industry influencers, and also to increase brand awareness.

This is especially useful when we’re talking about healthcare clinics that rely heavily on marketing and customer engagement.

But how can a healthcare clinic specifically use social media channels for?

Here are 3 ways they could be using social media:

1. Provide an excellent customer service

Social Media can provide you an opportunity to deliver an excellent customer service to your clients/patients.

Social media doesn’t take the place of having other customer service tools available such as on a phone or through your website, but it addresses a real current need when people start to ask healthcare clinics questions online.

Private health care businesses on social media have their clients posting and commenting or asking questions about their services and products. Therefore you should have a strategy to address it successfully and taking advantage of that.

Providing a great customer service on social media means that not only you’re addressing successfully a specific question made by a client but also there are hundreds of other potential clients reading what you’re writing and analysing your (great) attitude. This can help them decide on becoming your client too.

2. Provide valuable content

Social Media lives and breathes valuable content every day.

For a health care clinic this means that you should put yourself on your client’s shoes and deliver content that makes sense for them and adds value for them.  Content that is so good that it begs to be shared.

Health care professionals are compassionate, caring individuals. You need to demonstrate that spirit to your social media audience by addressing their needs, proving value beyond a clinical encounter and engaging them.

Although you should talk about your services, do it in a way that your content is useful for the audience and will make a real difference in their lives. It can be information about new drugs, a cure for a disease, a new service that will make their life easier or reduce waiting time for a consultation, etc. Always focus on your audience needs not on you gaining new clients.

You’re providing a service that hopefully makes life longer and happier therefore by sharing your knowledge you’re creating trust.

And if your content is really good users will want to share it with family, friends and other connections. And sharing on social media is key to your success.

3. Listen and interact

Patients are tweeting everyday about available care and turning to Twitter, Facebook and other networks to discuss their medical experiences and potential new treatments.

Searching for conversations based on your keywords and listening to them can help you discover what’s been talking about, providing insight into what matters most to your audience.

You’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable insights that can drive your marketing strategy forward but also the amazing opportunity to join the conversations taking place and talk to your audience, by sharing your expertise, asking questions, developing new relationships that can help tremendously in your brand awareness and in acquiring new clients


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The Supreme Court and social media: Implications for physicians

The Supreme Court and social media: Implications for physicians | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it

Social media and the Internet have often been compared to the Wild West at times when it comes to the posting of ideas, opinions and beliefs.  There has been very little regulation of what is posted and how it is utilized — which may actually be a good thing.

However, many of us have learned (often the hard way) that posts on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites can be taken out of context and misinterpreted by the masses whom the information may not have been intended for.  As physicians who are active on social media we have even more to consider when taking to the Internet.  We must be very careful to choose our words for posts wisely and make sure that we leave very little open to interpretation.  We must be mindful of the legal implications of what we say and do online and must be mindful of patient confidentiality issues as well as standards for professional conduct.  Medical boards across the country have developed guidelines for physicians on social media and academic papers have been published on the subject in the Annals of Internal Medicine.  Now, even the nation’s highest court is venturing into the regulation of social media and the intricacies and legal implications of both the subjective and objective interpretation of online posts.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments concerning the classification of social media posts as free speech. Unlike face to face interactions, cyber interactions can often be interpreted many different ways.  Social media posts can lack context, facial expression and inflection.  Last year, a man was sent to prison for posting threats to harm his estranged wife on Facebook.  His posts were absolutely violent and inappropriate in nature and — when simply read out loud — conveyed a sense of intent.  While no crime was committed and no act of violence occurred the defendant was prosecuted and convicted based on a federal statute involving the criminality of the interstate communication of threats to harm others.

The defendant argued that he was simply writing a “rap” on his Facebook page, expressing his feelings and had no real intention of harming his wife or acting on any of the perceived threats.  However, the interpretation of these comments by the estranged wife and others constituted a criminal offense and resulted in his imprisonment.  While I do not in any way condone this type of online behavior and speech, I do think that it may greatly influence rules of the Internet “playground” in the future.

Because of its national attention and the fact that arguments will be held in front of the nation’s highest court, this case will have lasting impact on social media and the classification of what is considered free speech in cyberspace.  As outlined in an article published in the New York Times earlier this year, at issue is whether or not posts on social media should be interpreted objectively or subjectively.  If you interpret the threatening words objectively, you may conclude that the threat is real and that most reasonable individuals would see this as an imminent danger.  However, as the counsel for the defendant argues, if you subjectively interpret the words you may be convinced that it was simply the musings of an artist creating a poem or a rap song in response to a life crisis and posed no danger.

Regardless of the outcome of this Supreme Court case, it should serve as a wake up call to all of us who are active on social media.  We must continue protect our rights to free speech and expression on the Internet.  However, we must also be mindful of our words and how they may be interpreted by others.  Social media is an important tool for all of us to use in order to positively impact others and influence opinion — certainly free speech is protected but we must take care not to abuse these protections.

The individual involved in the criminal case — regardless of intent — showed poor judgement in his public posting and is now dealing with the consequences of his decisions.  However,  I certainly hope that the Supreme Court carefully considers the impact of any opinion they may render in this case. The Internet and social media must remain a place for creative expression and innovation — too much regulation and any limits to our right to free speech in cyberspace would have serious negative consequences for all of us.  This case should serve to remind us of one important fact: As physicians and health care professionals active on social media, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard of online behavior and continue to remain professional in all that we do online.



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How Much Should Physicians Care About Online Reviews?

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It’s now common practice to discuss healthcare as a marketplace. Reduced waiting times, physician attentiveness to patients at the point of care, and access to information through a patient portal are all touted as benefits that physicians should offer to attract more patients.

But if healthcare is positioned as a competitive marketplace, then the ubiquitous “customer review” must surely have its place in this new era of digital services.

Consumers certainly seem to value user reviews in other industries. A survey by Dimensional Research of over 1,000 consumers found that 88 percent had been influenced by an online review during the purchasing process. An even larger survey found that 85 percent of consumers will read up to 10 reviews when forming their opinion of a local business.

In some cases consumers trust the online reviews of a stranger nearly as much as they do word of mouth testimonials from someone they know.

Independent practices seem to be taking notice. Michael Fertik of Reputation.com confirms that physicians are his firm’s fastest growing customer segment. Reputation.com helps businesses investigate and gauge their online reputation.

Further, the rise of popular sites like RateMDs.com, Healthgrades, and Yelp have given patients capable platforms for airing their grievances or promoting their physicians. So reviews must be playing a central role in many providers’ marketing plans, right?

Not exactly.

Like other technology movements before it — think seamless information exchange and online access to personal information — healthcare is proving difficult territory for the review machine to conquer.

Healthcare Reviews are Complex and Undervalued
Despite the aforementioned popularity of reviews in other industries, a minority of patients value them when searching for a physician. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan found that only about 25 percent of patients are swayed by online ratings when searching for a doctor.

Factors such as having a convenient office location and accepting a patient’s insurance played much more powerful roles in patient decisions.

In addition, the Pew Research Center found that while 80 percent of respondents in a recent survey search the Internet for health information, only 16 percent look at doctor reviews online.

Why is there such a discrepancy?

First and foremost, online review sites have failed to solve the ignominious problem of review credibility. Many sites allow reviewers to post anonymously, leaving the door wide open for unfounded assertions. Even Yelp, perhaps the champion of online review sites, routinely hides or suppresses reviews it believes to be false or untrustworthy.

Naturally, patients are weary of trusting such a source when deciding which physician to choose.

In terms of the actual ratings being put forth, many focus on the communication skills and friendliness of the staff and doctor as well as other factors like the availability of parking and waiting time for a visit. And it’s understandable that these factors would be rated for independent physicians, because they play a major role in how patients rate hospitals too.

And even these types of reviews are not left very often. Pew’s survey found that just 4 percent of respondents had left a review about a physician.

Unfortunately, the friendliness of a physician does little to forecast her ability to practice medicine and actually heal patients. And until this type of information can be effectively compared, physician reviews will remain periphery sources for many.

Will Reviews Eventually Rule?  
Despite the less than impressive state of online physician reviews, it is a factor you should consider in your marketing. The 25 percent of patients who consider them remain a significant part of the population, and this market could be especially important if you’re starting a new practice.

The integrity of reviews is also increasing. For example, ZocDoc offers patients a list of physicians in their area as well as their available appointment times. ZocDoc users can schedule an appointment online and leave a review once they’ve completed their appointment. Only users who book appointments can review physicians.

Further, having this type of information available to consumers is a priority of the Affordable Care Act. Earlier this year, CMS launched Physician Compare, which used PQRS scores to rate the quality of a physician or practice.

While it’s a somewhat different criteria, Physician Compare does signal that a number stakeholders from both the private and public sector are working to create a viable, online physician rating system.

For now, online reviews should be promoted after a patient’s appointment, in person or over the phone. Their value hasn’t reached the dizzying heights of other industries, and it’s still better to focus on finding medical software that improves the efficiency of your practice, but they certainly shouldn’t be ignored.

- See more at: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/blog/how-much-should-physicians-care-about-online-reviews#sthash.VhuRv2Zn.dpuf



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Facebook for doctors in Russia a big hit

Facebook for doctors in Russia a big hit | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it
The Russian website, Doctor at Work, has become the world’s most-visited social network for doctors. However, because of the sanctions, it is not planning on expanding to Western markets. Experts think the company has good development potential in Russia, although these prospects could be hindered by cuts to medical staff and the current economic crisis

The social network Doctor at Work has attracted more than 350,000 users, about 42 percent of all Russian doctors, in just five years. The business generated $500,000 in profit with revenues of $1.5 million in 2013. It had originally planned to go global, however, because of the sanctions the network has decided to keep its strategy local for now.

The idea of creating an internet community where doctors could share their experiences occurred to endocrinologist Andrei Perfiliev in 2009. He implemented the project with his partner, entrepreneur Stanislav Sazhin, who was in advertising at the time but wanted to establish his own business.

Initially, the entrepreneurs planned to make a website featuring scientific articles for doctors. But after polling 2,000 specialists, they saw the need for a social network for medical professionals.

“Russian doctors usually work at several clinics,” Sazhin said. “They spend three to five hours a week online and would like to spend that time consulting with their colleagues on how to use certain drugs and treat patients with certain symptoms.”   

Drug promotion

Within three months, Perfiliev and Sazhin had launched the resource with a simple interface by investing $9,000 of their own funds in the project. Only doctors had access to it. When registering initially, doctors were prompted to fill in educational information and place of work, but later the website’s administration started contacting universities and clinics to confirm details, bringing the site greater legitimacy.

At first, Sazhin and Perfiliev attracted users by directly communicating with doctors at clinics. However, the process was slow. In the first four months Doctor at Work attracted only 1,000 users. The partners began engaging doctors through specialized groups on the Russian social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki bringing total users to 30,000 within a year. However, they began encountering problems with monetization in 2011.

“There are essentially two monetization models for medical social networks in Russia and abroad: promoting medications and recruiting doctors for advertisers,” Sazhin said. “We decided to go with the first option.”

At first, drug producers were not interested in working with the social network. According to Sazhin, they wanted to advertise their products in a targeted way; for example, by promoting heart medications to cardiologists in Ekaterinburg. The entrepreneurs realized that they needed to aggressively boost the number of Doctor at Work users. Since 2009 the company has spent roughly $1.5 million on promotion achieving favorable results. According to Alexa.com that provides analytical insights on the web, Doctor at Work is now the most visited social network for doctors in the world.  

Monetization

Doctor at Work had a stroke of luck in 2012 when medical representatives in Russia were legally banned from approaching doctors and advertising drugs during business hours. Pharmaceutical companies saw their promotion channels narrow and set their sights on the Doctor at Work website, which was quickly gaining momentum.

Sazhin said Doctor at Work currently works with 15 of the 20 largest global pharmaceutical companies represented on the Russian market. The social network places ad banners, gathers doctor reviews on particular medications and hosts conferences and supports publications on promoted drugs. It then gathers feedback after ad campaigns.

According to Sazhin, the drug advertising market on Russian websites has great potential. In 2013 Russian pharmaceutical companies spent $8.5 million on this sector. In the coming years spending may grow to $150 million.  

Investors have demonstrated their faith in Doctor at Work. The company raised $3 million from Guard Capital and Bright Capital Digital in March 2014 and another $2.5 million from Aurora Venture Capital in October.  

Websites similar to Doctor at Work include American website sermo.com, Japan’s M3.com and doctors.net.uk. The founders had been planning to enter Western markets last year, but were compelled to scrap those plans because of the sanctions and the crisis.  

“Foreign investors are now afraid to invest in Russian projects,” Sazhin said. “So we are going to develop in Russia and work on improving our mobile app. Right now, more than 40 percent of doctors access the website via smartphones. We plan to invest roughly $100,000 in product development in 2015.”

According to a spokesman for a Russian investment fund, Doctor at Work’s revenue will increase by a modest 10 to 15 percent per year because of its decision not to pursue Western expansion. “Reduced medical staff at state-run institutions in Russia and a decline in social network activity by practicing doctors will cause minimal growth,” the expert said. “The financial crisis will shrink marketing budgets in pharmacology. Patients will minimize their spending and buy cheap medications. Purchasing power will decline among Russians as a whole. Plus, there will be a decrease in advertising budgets in the pharmaceutical industry.”


Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines - http://rbth.co.uk/science_and_tech/2014/12/27/facebook_for_doctors_42593.html)



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10 social media events that changed healthcare in 2014

10 social media events that changed healthcare in 2014 | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it

The year 2014 has been incredible for social media in healthcare. Consumers and patients have taken on industry and regulators to change the course of healthcare history, and regulators all over the world have embraced social media innovation like never before.

For pharma, the lessons of social media in 2014 are significant. Here are 10 of what I see as the most notable social media events of the year, along with insights for pharma.

1. Social media is used to crowd-source access to unapproved drug

In what the Washington Post called a "crowd-sourced medical decision", Josh Hardy, a seven-year-old boy who was close to death, gained access to an unapproved treatment after 20,000 people signed a petition urging the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow access to the drug on compassionate grounds.


"Within days of launching in March, the 'Save Josh' Facebook page had over 25,000 followers and had reached more than a million people"



The petition was part of an online campaign on Facebook and Twitter which resulted in the drug's maker, Chimerix, receiving calls, emails and letters on Josh's behalf. Within days of launching in March, the 'Save Josh' Facebook page had over 25,000 followers and had reached more than a million people.

After news outlets including CNN and Fox5 covered the campaign, Chimerix announced that Josh's story had accelerated talks with the FDA, which had allowed a 20-patient paediatric clinical trial to be set up with Josh as the first patient.

Josh headed home four months later and is now at the heart of a campaign to support other child cancer patients.

Pharma insight: When consumer action on social media feeds traditional media, even regulators can be moved.

2. Pharma fears that social media could 'unblind' clinical trials

In March, Pfizer's head of Clinical Innovation for Worldwide Research & Development, Craig Lipset, published concerns in Nature Medicine Journal that patients' use of social media was changing the nature of clinical trials and potentially skewing research data.

Lipset cited examples including blogs, discussion forums and patient social media platform PatientsLikeMe as channels where clinical trial participants are sharing experiences, even collaborating to identify which arm of a particular trial they are on.

The solution to this challenge, said Lipset, is for clinical trial sponsors to "work with regulators to define pathways to monitor social media use by trial participants to understand if conversations on the internet will affect their interpretation of study results."

Pharma insight: In Lipset's words, "social media use might compromise the integrity of research studies and... it might also offer new opportunities."

3. Australia issues social media policy for health practitioners

Also in March, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) issued a social media policy for all registered health practitioners and medical students, "to help practitioners understand their obligations when using social media". The policy is a brief document which simply reminds health practitioners that their board's code of conduct and obligations under national law apply online just as they do offline.

Australia's regulator was not the first to issue social media guidelines for healthcare professionals – the UK's General Medical Council published guidance on doctors' use of social media a year earlier.

Pharma insight: Your healthcare professional customers are using public social media professionally, and regulators worldwide are responding with guidance.

4. UK healthcare professionals crowd-source social media advocacy for NICE drug recommendation

In May, NICE, the UK's independent body that develops policies for NHS spending, issued final draft guidance recommending enzalutamide (Xtandi) for prostate cancer. The decision followedonline campaigning by prominent healthcare professionals in social media, or 'Digital Opinion Leaders' including urologists, as well as patient group Prostate Cancer UK.

In a statement, NICE acknowledged the role of patient groups and professional organisations in its decision making. Meanwhile, Prostate Cancer UK celebrated the decision on its Facebook page. "We made our voices heard", it said.

Pharma insight: Your product's market success could be shaped by the activity of healthcare professionals in social media.

5. The US FDA social media guidance for pharma is not worth the wait, after all

2014 should have been the year that pharma innovation in social media really took off. Ever since the FDA's 2009 public hearing on social media, the absence of guidance from the US regulator had become a popular excuse for the industry's sluggishness online.


"The FDA's social media guidance for pharma ... turned out to be largely irrelevant for international pharmaceutical companies with markets outside the US"



In June, the FDA's social media guidance for pharma put an end to the long wait but turned out to be largely irrelevant for international pharmaceutical companies with markets outside the US.

Pharma insight: Don't expect a regulator to give you your social media strategy.

6. The world turns upside down over Ebola

In what the World Health Organization described as "the most severe acute public health emergency seen in modern times", the Ebola virus disease prompted relative indifference in social media for months while it remained in West Africa, where it killed thousands. But in August, when the first Ebola patient arrived in Europe and soon afterwards in the US, social media exploded with conversation.

For a few months during the peak of activity, social media posts about Ebola ranged from news reports to rumours, cures, vaccines and conspiracy theories. Up to 16,000 social media posts per hour were recorded in one study, which analysed more than four million posts about Ebola over the course of 2014.

Pharma insight: Social media is a real-time indicator of the health fears felt by the public worldwide.

7. US consumer group shapes pharmacy's global location strategy

In August, US pharmacy chain Walgreens announced that on completing its purchase of Alliance Boots it would keep its headquarters and tax base in the US.

The announcement was hailed as a victory by Change to Win, a coalition of labour unions in the US, which had launched a number of online petitions and a Facebook page entitled 'Walgreens gone wrong'. The group's social media tactics mobilised consumer action calling on Walgreens not to perform a so-called 'inversion' by moving its headquarters outside the US in order to save billions of dollars in taxes.

Announcing the decision to remain in the US, Walgreens said it was "mindful of the ongoing public reaction to a potential inversion".

"Successfully pushing Walgreens to remain in Illinois is a huge victory, and shows the power of grassroots pressure," said Change to Win in response to Walgreens' decision.

Pharma insight: This is not the first time that consumer action in social media has impacted the direction of major healthcare companies, and it is unlikely to be the last.

8. European regulators launch initiative to capture drug safety information via smartphones and social media

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced in September that it was leading a consortium with European medicines regulators, academics and the pharmaceutical industry to develop new ways of gathering information on suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs).

As well as developing a mobile app for reporting these, MHRA said that the initiative would also investigate the potential for publicly available social media data for identifying potential drug safety issues.

"The growing use of smartphones and tablets by patients and healthcare professionals creates a need for reporting forms to be provided on these platforms to ensure regulators receive ADR reports that are easy to access and complete," said an MHRA spokesperson.

"Additionally the recent growth of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and the many specialist sites and blogs has given rise to many people sharing their medical experiences publicly on the internet.

"Such data sharing, if properly harnessed, could provide an extremely valuable source of information for monitoring the safety of medicines after they have been licensed."

Pharma insight: After years of pharma worrying about discovering ADRs in social media, regulators could soon be one step ahead.

9. US pharma company attempts to 'crowd-fund' vaccine development

Following the worldwide explosion of social media conversation about Ebola, Pentamer Pharmaceuticals launched an appeal on crowdfunding site Indiegogo, to raise $140,000 to test a novel vaccine against the disease. Crowd funding allows businesses to raise capital from a large number of investors, each making small contributions, and recent funding applications by others on Inidiegogo have raised millions of dollars.

"It is a shame that traditional investors have little interest in helping out. Maybe they will think differently when Ebola is crawling up their front porch," said Pentamer Pharmaceuticals in its crowd funding appeal.

The campaign, which opened on 13 October and closed six weeks later, raised just $1,400, achieving 1 per cent of its goal.

Pharma insight: For pharma, joining the crowd of social media innovators is not always as easy as it looks.

10. UK NHS promises mobile access to personal health records in 2015

The NHS unveiled plans that promise to give every patient in the UK digital access to their GP records next year, and full access to every detail of doctor and hospital visits including drugs, reactions, and tests by the end of 2018.

"In just four years, every citizen will be able to access their health records at the click of a button, detailing every visit to the GP and hospital, every prescription, test results, and adverse reactions and allergies to drugs. Patients will also be able to record their preferences and thoughts alongside official medical notes," read a news release from NHS England.



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Putting an End to Chiropractic's Social Media Illiteracy Problem

Putting an End to Chiropractic's Social Media Illiteracy Problem | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it

It's pretty safe to say most people don't really understand and appreciate what chiropractors do and the real value of the services we offer. Historically, our profession had the excuse that "we just can't afford to get our message out to the public" through the mainstream media, so we accepted our fate and chose to "educate the public one spine at a time." We did the best we could with the limited resources we had.

A Communication Revolution

Social media has changed the way we communicate forever. For better and for worse, thanks to iPhones, iPads and Facebook, the world is more connected than ever. Ideas spread around the world like viruses at the speed of light. Chiropractors now have an unprecedented opportunity to share the chiropractic message worldwide for free. But many still ask the question, "Does social media work?"

The question shouldn't be, "Does social media work?" It does for those who know how to use it. The question is, "Do you know how to use social media to promote your practice?" Likely not. If we want more people to understand what chiropractic really is, it's time to end chiropractic's social media illiteracy.

Whether you want to change the world, serve more people or make more money, the solution to all three comes down to how well you are able communicate your story and connect that story with others. It's simple: If more people in your community know who you are, what you really do and why you do it, your practice will be as busy as you'd like it to be.

But until your community knows who you are, what you really do and why you do it, practice will be a struggle and you'll always feel threatened by outside forces such as insurance companies, the medical profession and new health care policies.

Social networks, specifically Facebook, allow you to share your ideas with the world without the traditional barriers, costs and restrictions of mainstream media. Revolutions are occurring around the world because of social media and people's ability to connect with each other quickly and easily. Now is our opportunity to lead a revolution in health care.

Want More People to "Like" Chiropractic?

Chiropractors are often frustrated that more people don't really understand the true value of chiropractic. We often believe people have been convinced of the medical model and therefore have an irrational belief in drugs and surgery as a solution to their health concerns. But how did this happen?

The fact is the medical profession and pharmaceutical industries make a conscious effort and substantial investment of time, energy and money to promote their message of better health through better drugs. People don't naturally believe they should take pills and shots for better health; they have just become convinced it's the right thing to do because of such consistent and aggressive communication tactics.

Chiropractors now have the same opportunity to let people know why they should "Like" chiropractic by building their practice's social networks and consistently sharing quality content with their networks every day.

Why Should You Like "Likes"?

According to Facebook, people who engage with your Facebook page by clicking the "Like" button are more active and more connected than the average user. The average "Liker" has 2.4 times the amount of "friends," and clicks on 5.3 times more links to external sites than a typical Facebook user.

When you post great stuff to your practice's Facebook page, the number of people who see your content is based on the number of people who "Like" your page. In other words, the more people that "Like" your practice's Facebook page, the more people will see your name and message.

When you focus on posting attractive images with simple messages about chiropractic on a daily basis, and then encourage people to engage with your daily posts, more new people see your messages every day. When someone "Likes" your practice's Facebook Page or a specific message you post, their friends will see that engagement. You now have an opportunity to reach an audience who is not yet familiar with you. That's how you turn Facebook into your automatic new-patient referral machine.

What If I Don't Like Facebook?

For those who don't invest the time to learn how to use these communication power tools correctly, it is true they can be a huge waste of time with little to no return on investment. However, those who invest the time to learn the basics of social networking and social media find these tools to be the answer to their dreams. How can you not love the ability to communicate your practice's chiropractic message with your community every day for free?

You may or may not like talking on the telephone. You may or may not like email. But these are basic requirements to communicating with people and requirements to running your practice. In today's world, sharing your message with your community is now considered a basic requirement for running your practice, whether you "Like" it or not.

Shouldn't We Practice What We Preach?

Remember, doctor means teacher. It's our job to be teachers of our message. Just getting great results in your practice isn't enough to shift people's consciousness and convince the general public to embrace chiropractic care as part of a mainstream approach to natural health and healing. If it were, all our offices would already be filled to capacity.

Chiropractors ask people to be open-minded to new ideas. We ask people to be willing to think differently about things and try something they might have previously been prejudiced about. We ask people to invest their time, energy and money into a new approach to nature health and drug-less health care.

Perhaps we should heed our own advice? Maybe as a profession we should consider investing our own time, energy and money into forms of communication and technology we might have previously been prejudiced about? Shouldn't we be first to open our minds to think different about how we communicate our chiropractic story with our community?

We tell people in our communities, "If you want something different, you might have to try something different." We tell people to "Try chiropractic and be prepared to be amazed at the results you'll see in time." Well, chiropractors, I'm here to tell you this truth holds for us, too. If we want something different, it's time we try something different. Try social media to clear the interference in communication between your practice and your community – and be prepared to be amazed at the results you'll see in time.

4 Important Steps to Get Started

  1. Do you have a Facebook profile set up for yourself already? Visit your Facebook profile regularly to see if you are accumulating "Friends" or "Likes." A profile is for individuals and accumulates "Friends." A Facebook page is the appropriate way to establish your practice on Facebook.
  2. Create a Facebook Page for your practice at Facebook.com/pages.
  3. Create a Facebook username; for example, Facebook.com/FreeChiropracticMarketing. That way, it's easy for people to find you on Facebook. Use your Facebook username on your business cards, forms, signs and advertisements.
  4. Find and share great stuff on your practice's Facebook page every day.



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How Social Media is shaping health care response to typhoon ravaged communities

How Social Media is shaping health care response to typhoon ravaged communities | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it

During previous typhoons in the Philippines, particularly typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), social media made an impact and changed the way we handle disaster and rehabilitation.

During previous typhoons in the Philippines, particularly typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), social media made an impact and changed the way we handle disaster and rehabilitation. People searched for unaccounted relatives and friends from all communication channels,  including social media. Typhoon updates and relief efforts were posted on social media sites. Comments and issues affecting post typhoon rehabilitation are played over social media sites. The country has a front line seat of what’s s happening before, during and after typhoon partly because of social media.  Healthcare, which played a major role in the aftermath, has had a big boost from social media.

There were attempts at geo mapping medical personnel, healthcare institution and evacuation sites using social media tools-maps, tweets etc. Most of the healthcare and relief missions rallied and recruited volunteers from social media campaigns. The much needed medical supplies and support personnel somehow got bolstered by calls from social media sites. There was a frenzy of healthcare related activities and  medical mission on social media. Seemingly random and unorganised, its undeniable social media made a great impact on post typhoon missions and rehabilitation.

Facing another super typhoon at our doorsteps, we enjoined our colleagues globally to help us harness social media as a tool for survival in a typhoon prone healthcare system of the Philippines.



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Ebola, Twitter, and misinformation: a dangerous combination?

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The recent Ebola outbreak in west Africa has affected countries deeply in need of foreign aid.1 People desperately need correct information on how to prevent and treat Ebola. Despite the poverty, the increasing spread of computers, tablets, and smartphones in the region creates an opportunity for the rapid dissemination of information through the internet and social media, but there is no guarantee that this information is correct. After reports that misinformation spread by text messages led to deaths,2 3 we checked the quality of Ebola related information on Twitter.

We used the Twitter search engine to collect all tweets in English with the terms “Ebola” and “prevention” or “cure” from Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria during 1 to 7 September 2014. We grouped them into medically correct information, medical misinformation, and other (including tweets of a spiritual nature). Most tweets and retweets contained misinformation, and misinformation had a much larger potential reach than correct information (table).

The most common misinformation was that Ebola might be cured by the plant ewedu or by blood transfusion (unqualified—not just from Ebola survivors). Drinking and washing in salty water were also mentioned. Among these tweets, 248 (44%) were retweeted at least once; 95 of these contained scientifically correct information (38.3%), whereas 146 contained medical misinformation (58.9%; P<0.001). Two of these tweets—“Take ewedu daily to prevent and cure Ebola LUTH doctor urges Nigerians” and “Herbal healers’ claim to cure Ebola false”—were retweeted 23 and 24 times, respectively.

While most erroneous tweets were left undisputed, in some cases they were corrected by a Nigerian government agency and this correction spread on Twitter three days later. Public health and government agencies in west Africa should use Twitter to spread correct information and amend misinformation on how to deal with this emergency.


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MD degree may not teach doctors how to tweet

MD degree may not teach doctors how to tweet | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it

National and international medical congresses have been encouraging attendees to “tweet” about the conferences on Twitter, but doctors are finding it’s not that easy to accurately share the meetings’ news on social media.


Medical conferences often provide special hashtags for attendees to use, to indicate that their tweets relate to the meeting, like #ACSCC14 (for this year’s American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress) or #RSNA14 (for last month’s meeting of the Radiological Society of North America).

 


But sharing their thoughts in 140-character bursts doesn’t always come naturally to medical professionals.


"Most research can be summarized into a small headline as long as a link is added to the (background material) to avoid confusion," said Dr. Damian Roland, a post-doctoral research fellow in pediatric medicine at the University of Leicester in the U.K. and lead author of a study assessing the accuracy of tweets posted by physicians at a medical conference. "However, it is very easy to misunderstand tone and brevity, so there are dangers here."


Roland and colleagues tested the accuracy of research findings shared on Twitter at the College of Emergency Medicine annual scientific conference in September 2013. First they asked speakers at the meeting to identify key messages for their presentations. Then, they asked the speakers to review tweets posted during their talks to see how accurately these points were communicated.


Fourteen speakers participated in the experiment, and thirteen had at least one tweet posted about their presentations. There were 37 tweets altogether, the researchers reported online in the Emergency Medical Journal.


The speakers found 16 of the tweets accurately reflected their findings, while an additional 16 posts were partially accurate. In three instances, the tweets misrepresented key points. In two cases, the speakers were uncertain about the accuracy.


It's possible that the inaccurate tweets indicate that the speakers didn't do a good job of explaining their research, he said. And it's also possible that the doctors listening to presentations didn't use the best language to tweet results.


In a perfect world, Twitter and other social media platforms have the potential to allow early release of important research findings and to offer a crowd-sourced alternative to traditional peer review, Roland said.


To be sure, the sample size was quite small. "With a much larger sample size, it is likely we will find more instances when a tweet is not considered representative," Roland said.


Some doctors may prefer Facebook to Twitter, said Dr. Shou Jiang Tang of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, who coauthored a separate study examining the social media habits of gastroenterologists in the U.S.


Tang and colleagues emailed 6600 gastroenterologists and 183 directors of gastroenterology training programs asking them to complete an online survey about their social media habits. Just 265 physicians completed the survey.


About half of them didn't use any form of social media, Tang’s team reported in the journal Digestive and Liver Disease.


Among those with active social media accounts, 49 percent were on Facebook, while just 18 percent were on Twitter.


"Many of them do not trust the results or news from brief tweets," Tang said. "All studies have strengths and shortcomings. It is hard to tell the whole picture by sending short sentences."


Asked about the impact of social media on medical education, 82 percent of survey participants said they didn't access websites for medical journals, research articles or major gastroenterology professional organizations.


Many physicians prefer to limit use of social media to their personal lives, Tang said.


For professional use, Facebook offers more room to accurately share research results than Twitter's 140-character posts, Tang said.


When he uses social media for medical education, he starts on Facebook but he doesn't stay there. He follows links to journal websites and downloads entire research articles.


"Social media is a great tool for medical education if you are an active user and selective and critical in following research results on this platform," Tang said.


Doctors – and anyone else – just getting started on Twitter might find these lists helpful: 20 Family Doctors to Follow on Twitter (bit.ly/1AgyUHD), from Medical Economics, and 10 Physicians to Follow on Twitter (bit.ly/1K0hqDH), from Health IT News.



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The Future of Diabetes Management: New Technologies and Social Networ…

Presentation at UCSF Diabetes Update CME course, Mar 2013, in San Francisco.

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Social networking patient expectations

As social networking is examined in the broader context of the health care field, and specifically the field of pharmacy, it is important to consider the persp…

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Doctors who interact with patients on social media risk blurring the boundaries of the professional relationship

Doctors who interact with patients on social media risk blurring the boundaries of the professional relationship, says UK-wide medical defence organisation MDDUS.

MDDUS has reported a 74 per cent increase in calls from doctors on the subject of social media this year compared to 2013. While a small part of this rise could be attributed to growth in membership, MDDUS now receives four times as many social media-related calls compared to 2011.

A study published last month in The Lancet Oncology revealed that one in seven doctors had accepted Facebook friend requests from patients.

MDDUS medical adviser Dr Naeem Nazem reminds doctors of their obligations to keep their relationship with patients professional. “Social media offers a platform for doctors to network effectively and develop their own knowledge and expertise,” says Dr Nazem.

“However, the rise of social media has created some serious ethical challenges for doctors and their relationship with patients. We have handled a number of cases where doctors have sought advice from us regarding social media issues, including patients posting critical or abusive comments.

“Doctors must keep their relationship with patients professional at all times. Accepting a Facebook friend request from a patient or commenting on a post risks blurring the boundaries between a professional and personal relationship. As a consequence, doctors may find that their ability to make objective judgements in clinical situation is affected.”

Social media can offer a detailed insight into a doctor’s life when they are off duty. “As a doctor, the reality is you are never off duty and their status in the public eye demands a high standard of conduct at all times,” says Dr Nazem. “By interacting with patients online, doctors are exposing themselves to be scrutinised from their own homes.

“When using Facebook or Twitter, doctors should ensure patient confidentiality and should avoid sharing any patient information, especially anything that could potentially be linked to an identifiable individual. Even with the proper privacy settings in place, anything posted online may end up being distributed further than intended.”

GMC has specific guidance on doctors’ use of social media, while Maintaining a professional boundary between you and your patient states: “you must consider the potential risks involved in using social media and the impact that inappropriate use could have on your patients’ trust in you and society’s trust in the medical profession. Social media can blur the boundaries between a doctor’s personal and professional lives and may change the nature of the relationship between a doctor and a patient.”

- See more at: http://www.todaytopics.com/doctors-who-interact-with-patients-on-social-media-risk-blurring-the-boundaries-of-the-professional-relationship/32776/#sthash.jzovd3ur.dpuf


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How Digital & Big Data Revolution Will Transform Primary Care Medicine

A recent presentation given by PYA Principals Kent Bottles, MD, and David McMillan provides food for thought when it comes to the digital transformation of pri…

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The Interview: Some Lessons for Healthcare PR

The Interview: Some Lessons for Healthcare PR | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it

It’s that time of year where I should be writing about my highlights for healthcare in 2014, but I’m not going to, for two reasons. Firstly, it’s already being done by many others who can write far more eloquently and with more authority on specific healthcare topics than I can, and secondly, because I’ve been fascinated by the whole saga surrounding Sony Pictures’ The Interview in recent weeks.

But bear with me, as this is not just me indulging my distraction – it does have relevance to healthcare.

For those who haven’t followed this story, here's the summary: Sony Pictures was on the verge of launching a new film on Christmas Day called The Interview, which is about a plot to assassinate the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (the real leader of the world’s most introverted country, for those not into politics). Then, Sony got hacked by North Korea* – bigtime – and threats were also made that attacks would be carried out against cinemas screening the film, so Sony cancelled the release. This created a social media storm as the world was appalled by this apparent bowing down to terrorists and a plethora of celebrities went online to voice their concern, everyone from Rob Lowe to Steve Carrell (although as I write this I’m wondering what sits in between those two). Even US President Barack Obama got involved, labelling Sony’s response a ‘mistake’. Oops.

Fast-forward a few weeks and the pressure has resulted in Sony doing a U-turn with the film being released in some cinemas on Christmas Day and a broader digital launch making it the fastest selling online release ever. Even before all this, online trailers for the film had received millions of views over the last few weeks and I suspect the film itself will ultimately get way more attention, in all its formats, than if all this had never happened. If I were a cynical type I might suggest this was all a fairly nifty staged piece of PR, but nothing suggests that is actually the case.

Sorry? Relevance to healthcare you say? Oh right – let’s get onto that.

This seems to me to be a perfect example of how impossible it is to suppress information and free speech in today’s world. The amplification effect from social media means it won’t work and you might even draw more attention in trying to do so.

In healthcare this is particularly important. For The Interview a successful suppression would mean some of us might not see a movie we might otherwise have enjoyed and North Korea might feel a bit better about itself. In healthcare, suppressed information means people can die. It’s a somewhat sobering thought for the festive period.

Unfortunately, we still see examples of this happening in healthcare, whether it is ‘lost’ clinical trials information, an undisclosed financial arrangement or some withheld statistics on the success rate of a particular healthcare provider. But it also happens on a more subtle scale, as healthcare PR strives to position information in the right way. Now there’s nothing wrong with ‘good’ PR (and in fact some of the work my organisation does could be labelled as PR) – everyone has an opinion and the right form of PR strives to accentuate a particular opinion based on factual information, in a world where the conclusions are rarely black or white. But PR has sometimes gained a bad name by crossing that line – going beyond accentuation and into misdirection.

For all of us who work in healthcare, whether it is client or service side, this is a line that should never be crossed. Communication is a vital component of healthcare and good communication saves lives, especially in the world where social media can help messages go viral.

So my point is this – The Interview serves as a good reminder that no-one in healthcare wants to be seen in the role of North Korea. Trying to suppress the truth in healthcare is not something anyone should ever endorse, and for those who try it will probably backfire anyway. My New Year’s resolution for healthcare in 2015 is to therefore be responsible in all communication.

Right, enough of my pontification. I’m going to watch the trailer for The Interview. Have a good New Year!

* Note: North Korea has officially denied being responsible for this, but let’s not let that ruin a good story, shall we?



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Caution called when engaging with patients on social media

Caution called when engaging  with patients on social media | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it

Young doctors are reminded to be cautious when engaging with patients on social media as this could compromise doctor–patient relationships.

Professional boundaries could be compromised when young doctors choose to engage with their patients online, says a comment piece published inLancet Oncology(2014;15 [13]:1423-24).

Despite privacy settings, social media or blogs can leave a digital footprint and anonymity is easily breached, with indiscreet photos and comments accessible to patients or their families, the researchers say.

They shared their results from an online survey that asked young European oncologists (mean age 34 years) about their social media engagement.

Around 12 per cent (23 respondents) of 196 women and 18 per cent (24 respondents) of 130 men accepted Facebook friend requests from their patients. More than half (174 respondents) of 326 responses said they had often or sometimes provided mobile phone numbers to patients.

Greymouth GP registrar Andre Bonny says young GPs are generally aware of the impact of having a publicly open social media profile.

Dr Bonny recollects, back when he was still in medical school, a session made an example of a doctor who didn’t get a job because photos taken of him when drunk were put on Facebook.

Interestingly, the young doctors mostly asked why the doctor did not have his profile on private rather than why the photos were taken and then posted on Facebook, he says.

Dr Bonny, also known as “@keeweedoc” to his 1500 followers on Twitter, says most people accept Facebook is a private space for family and friends, so patients are not offended if their friend request goes unaccepted.

He adds having a conversation on Twitter is somewhat similar to having a conversation in public spaces like pubs, so the same rules of engagement should be applied in both spaces.

Opotiki GP trainer Jo Scott-Jones says GPs need to establish their own boundaries when engaging with patients on social media. It is important to “humanise” doctors as it makes them more approachable, but there should be a limit as doctor–patient relationships need to be professional, he says.

For example, his practice established a Facebook page after GPs working there started to receive personal Facebook friend requests from patients.

That said, GPs should not be shy in sharing their more relaxed personality online – such as Dr Scott-Jones posting a montage of photos featuring his Movember moustache on Twitter – as it makes GPs more personable and friendly.

“You need to be aware what you’re putting up and why you put them up.” l



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Should doctors embrace social media?

Should doctors embrace social media? | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it

Yes, according to Dr. Farris Timimi , a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic who is medical director of Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media . In fact he goes as far as to say that physicians’ participation in social media is a moral imperative and part of being professional. He says that patients are spending time online seeking health information and support and that represents both an opportunity and a moral obligation for providers.

“Profound impacts can occur when we sit on the sidelines”

Dr Timimi recounts the impact of a flawed study by Wakefield that wrongly connected MMR vaccination to autism and led to a world-wide decline in vaccination rates. This decline was responsible for a major outbreak of measles in 2011. He then asks doctors to ponder the following: “There are 60,000 members in the American Association of Pediatricians; if each one put out one blog, one YouTube video, one Tweet, one Facebook post, who would have more ascendency on this issue – us or the celebrities who seem to rule the conversation?”

Dr Farris Timimi: Healthcare Social Media and Professionalism

An excellent example of how a physician, in this case a pediatrician, has used social media to connect with her patients and share opinions, new research, and controversies in parenting, is Dr Wendy Sue Swanson of Seattle Children’s Hospital. Check out her blog here.

Social media will help you get new patients
Dr Howard J Luks, an orthopedic surgeon in the New York area, gets about 7-10% of his new patients because of social media presence. He finds that these patients who see his videos and read his blog arrive far better informed and comfortable with him. He advocates using social media to present evidence-based information without any commercial hype. You can see how he has built his online presence by visiting his website here .

Online presence helps combat negative reviews
Physicians are often concerned about negative reviews posted online. Suing such sites or patients is counterproductive as it brings added negative publicity, says Dr Kevin Pho, an internal medicine physician in the US and co-author of the book, Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices. The effective way for physicians to counter this is to establish their online presence by creating social profiles – these can get high rankings by Google and push down the third party sites with negative reviews. Dr Pho also points out that another counter-intuitive solution is to simply ask all patients to rate physicians online – experience shows that overwhelming majority of patients rate their doctors positively and this can drown out outlier negative reviews!

“Tip toe in to get started!”
Dr Pho recommends starting the social media journey with small steps. That might mean just a LinkedIn profile with some details on a doctor’s practice or a Facebook page (consider starting a page rather than a profile, see the difference here ), moving on to Twitter, and finally writing a blog.

Dr Kevin Pho: Physicians and Social Media

Twelve word social media policy 
Often doctors stay away from social media because of the risks that it can entail. Dr Timimi has a twelve-word social media policy that you can read about more here : Don’t Lie, Don’t Pry, Don’t Cheat, Can’t Delete, Don’t Steal, Don’t Reveal. He recommends combining the policy with orientation, training and guidelines for turning social media from a potential liability to an asset.

What next?
Social media is a jungle but there are many good resources to help you learn – one of my favorites is theSocial Media Examiner . If you would like to take some free courses specifically targeted at health professionals, you can register for a guest account at Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Health Network .

You can also let us know what more would you like to learn about by commenting below and we’ll do our best to respond!

If you enjoyed reading this post, consider signing up to receive email notifications for future posts and liking our Facebook page for updates on the social media journey in our organization. Also, share the post on your social media channels or via email. Thanks!



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How doctors view and use social media: a national survey

How doctors view and use social media: a national survey | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it

Doctors are uncertain of their ethical and legal obligations when communicating with patients online. Professional guidelines for patient-doctor interaction online have been written with limited quantitative data about doctors' current usage and attitudes toward the medium. Further research into these trends will help to inform more focused policy and guidelines for doctors communicating with patients online.

OBJECTIVE:

The intent of the study was to provide the first national profile of Australian doctors' attitudes toward and use of online social media.

METHODS:

The study involved a quantitative, cross-sectional online survey of Australian doctors using a random sample from a large representative database.

RESULTS:

Of the 1500 doctors approached, 187 participated (12.47%). Most participants used social media privately, with only one-quarter not using any social media websites at all (48/187, 25.7%). One in five participants (30/155, 19.4%) had received a "friend request" from a patient. There was limited use of online communication in clinical practice: only 30.5% (57/187) had communicated with a patient through email and fewer than half (89/185, 48.1%) could offer their patients electronic forms of information if that were the patients' preference. Three in five participants (110/181, 60.8%) reported not being uncomfortable about interacting with patients who had accessed personal information about them online, prior to the consultation. Most of the participants (119/181, 65.8%) were hesitant to immerse themselves more fully in social media and online communication due to worries about public access and legal concerns.

CONCLUSIONS:

Doctors have different practices and views regarding whether or how to communicate appropriately with patients on the Internet, despite online and social media becoming an increasingly common feature of clinical practice. Additional training would assist doctors in protecting their personal information online, integrating online communication in patient care, and guidance on the best approach in ethically difficult online situations.



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RARE DISEASES AND SOCIAL MEDIA BRIDGES TO PATIENTS ACROSS THE WORLD

RARE DISEASES AND SOCIAL MEDIA BRIDGES TO PATIENTS ACROSS THE WORLD | Order top quality medication | Scoop.it

INTRODUCTION
1) Social media
The internet is one of the most important discoveries that changed many aspects of our daily
lives. Because of it, information is much more easily accessible, and communication is even
simpler. People across the globe can interact with each other, especially through social media.
Social media can be defined as “social interaction among people in which they create, share or
exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks”. Social media has
become present in nearly all aspects of our lives today. Social media is everywhere: almost all
websites are linked to social accounts.
The social media has made it easy for people to share their opinions about everything at global
scale. The web first empowered users with vast amounts of information. Social networks have
evolved to progressively integrate more features and turned into social platforms with the
ability to host applications. Now social media platforms offer something even more powerful:
personal and professional connectivity. This includes popular websites such as Facebook and
Twitter, but also more specialised communities (for example, ResearchGate, LinkedIn or
Sermo, which connect scientists across the globe).
Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones take a lot of time in our daily life. Smartphones
are always connected and ready to provide users with a large number of online services through
a variety of mobile apps. Smartphones are now the first device used for communication,
whether it’s email, text messages, images or videos.
Social media is a ubiquitous and one of the most powerful communications tools. Patients and
caregivers are increasingly online, seeking info and support. More than 80% of internet users in
the US have searched online for information about health. Also, more than 40% of patients
have read someone else’s commentary or experience about health issues on a website or blog.
A quarter of patients online have consulted rankings or reviews of doctors or healthcare
providers.
Healthcare professionals have started to recognise the importance of social media. In this
modern age, a new type of patient has become more prevalent: the e-patient. They often use
the internet to do research on their condition, cures or alternative therapies, and use electronic
tools to help them cope with their disease.
Social media can prove to help many areas of medicine. First of all, it can help improve
communication, educate patients and promote health. Secondly, it helps bring together
researchers and reference centres from all over the world, joining together their effort in
diagnosing and finding cures for illnesses in most difficult cases.


2) Rare Diseases
Many Rare Diseases (RDs) are life-threatening degenerative or chronically debilitating diseases
with a low prevalence and a high level of complexity. The life expectancy of RD patients is
significantly reduced. Some RDs are compatible with normal life, if diagnosed in time and
properly managed. RDs can affect physical capabilities, mental abilities and sensorial capacities;
65% of RDs generate several disabilities which often co-exist (polyhandicap). These disabilities
enhance the feeling of isolation and could be a source of discrimination and reduce social
integration.
For a disease to be considered rare, it must usually have a prevalence of less than 1 out of 2000
people (EU standard). However, only about 100 rare diseases are near this threshold, as most
affect as low as 1 every 100 000 people, such as haemophilias or Duchenne muscular
dystrophy. Thousands of RDs affect only a few patients in Europe (such as Alternating
hemiplegia, Ondine Syndrome or Pompe disease). However, 80% of all RD patients are
affected by approximately 350 RDs.
There are approximately 7000 known RDs and about 6% of the European Union population is
affected by it, or 15 million people. It is estimated that about 3.5 million people in the UK will
be affected at one point in their life by one. In the US, 1 out 10 citizens suffers from a RD,
which raises the number of patients to 30 million, and across the globe, to a total of 350
million. It is therefore, vital that cures for these diseases are found. There are approximately
200 orphan drugs approved every year (orphan=drugs for RDs), however this is very low in
comparison to the existing RDs, of which at the moment only 5% are curable.
The challenge that lies in understanding more about these illnesses is that there are so many
RDs, that they are very complex and varied. Furthermore, the number of patients affected by
one RD is very low and spread out over a large area. It is hard to conduct research and develop
drugs for them. Most clinical trials for more common sicknesses require up to thousands of
test subjects. However, there are barely up to 1000 people in the whole of UK who suffer from
Ewing Sarcoma, for example, or any other RD which has such a small prevalence of about only
1 in 100 000 people.
Another reason why diagnosing RDs is difficult is that common conditions hide the underlying
RD. An example would be autism, which is actually a major symptom in Rett Syndrome or
Sanfilippo disease. Many RDs are genetic diseases; however they can be caused also by
environmental factors, during pregnancy or later on in life, in combination with genetic
susceptibility


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