Social Media is Forever: How it Helps Physicians Educate and Connect With Patients

flckr: woodleywonderworks

flckr: woodleywonderworks

Dr. Jeff Livingston, OB/GYN, is hooked on social media.

As I explained in a previous blogpost, Livingston jumped onto My Space when his teenager daughter told him that would help him reach out to teenagers facing pregnancy and STDs, and he never looked back.

Why? Because, he says, “social media makes your life easier and the care you provide better.”

How? It has to do with the long life of online information. Here’s how Livingston explains it:

Americans want to engage online about their health

Studies show that “Americans in general want to engage online about their health, but they’re recognizing that what they’re finding may not be real, or validated or actionable.

“It’s real important that doctors get involved in getting good content online,” continues Livingston. “That might be writing a blog once a week, creating short YouTube video clips or it might be creating more dynamic content on your website and promoting your website as the first place to get information. Read more

Hooked on Social Media: How One OB/GYN Uses Social Media to Help His Patients

Jeff_LivingstonWhen Dr. Jeff Livingston, an OB/GYN practicing at MacArthur OB/GYN in Irving, TX, began his practice he immediately found a cause.

“I was trying to address the problem of teen pregnancy in our area,” he remembers. “There were a lot of pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. I was volunteering time at the local high school.”

“I came home one night, and my teenage daughter said, ‘Dad, you ought to get a My Space page.’” Livingston had no idea what that was, so he asked his daughter to help create the page for him. The next time he spoke to a group of high school students he put the page address on the screen. “The page went crazy,” he says. “Teenagers started asking all sorts of health questions about private things.” Read more

Some People Never Learn: The Physician Who Sued a Patient’s Son for Online Comments

Court

flickr: GollyGforce

A four year legal battle over a patient’s right to make negative comments about a doctor in social media ended last week when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the comment was protected speech. We covered the case in an earlier blogpost.

The battle started when Dr. David McKee sued Dennis Laurion for calling him “a real tool” on physician rating sites after McKee treated Laurion’s father poorly during a hospital stay. “Referring to someone as ‘a real tool’ falls into the category of pure opinion because the term ‘real tool’ cannot be reasonably interpreted as stating a fact and it cannot be proven true or false,” wrote the court.

Laurion, who was forced to deplete his savings and borrow from relatives to pay for his defense, was not surprisingly relieved. Read more

The Aruba Chronicles: Best Practices in Health Care Social Media

ArubaSmThis week I’m in Aruba presenting to physicians, certified nurse midwives and nurse practitioners at the Symposia Medicus 17th Annual Conference on Clinical Issues in OB/GYN.

Thanks to a great client, Lisa Miller, CNM, JD, and Jim Goodrich, executive director of Symposia Medicus, for helping to make this happen. And thanks to the 140 providers who will attend the conference who have motivated me to sharpen my thinking as I’ve developed presentations on the critical role social media can play for OB/GYN health care professionals.

I have long felt that expecting and new moms comprise one of the most natural of all healthcare communities, and this conference is a perfect time to help these providers understand the amazing opportunities available to them. Read more