Attention Doctors: Social Media Really Can Make Your Life Easier

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of blog posts about Dr. Jeff Livingston, an OB/GYN who got hooked on social media when his teenage daughter suggested he launch a My Space page to reach out to high school students who had questions about pregnancy and STDs.

Flckr: CSA

Flckr: CSA

MacArthur OB/GYN is an Irving, TX, medical practice that uses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, 4Square, Pinterest and HealthTap to engage with patients.

Most providers ask, “How can they possibly have time to include all that social media in their practice?” Read more

Hospitals Take Note: 92% of States Report Online Violations by Physicians

flickr: Tim Morgan

Do you know what your physicians are saying online? According to a study published in the March 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, 92% of state medical boards reported inappropriate online behavior by physicians.

The most common violations were inappropriate patient communication (69%), such as sexual misconduct, and the use of the Internet for inappropriate practice (63%), such as prescribing without a clinical relationship. Many of these online violations resulted in serious disciplinary actions, including license restriction, suspension or revocation.

Although professional organizations, such as the AMA have developed social media standards, the authors of the study (S. Ryan Greysen, MD, MHS, MA; Katherine C. Chretien, MD; Terry Kind, MD, MPH; Aaron Young, PhD; and Cary P. Gross, MD, MPH) noted that licensing authorities lack formal guidelines. They advocate for regulators and physicians to address online practices, and conclude, “our findings highlight the need to promote physician understanding and self monitoring of online professionalism and to create consensus-driven, broadly disseminated principles to guide physicians toward high-integrity interactions online. Read more

Why We Love Celebrities with Diseases

flickr: lifescrip

According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes. So why is it such big news that Paula Deen, Food Network’s Queen of Southern Cooking, may have it to? I was listening to a business news channel today when they reported the rumor–business news, not entertainment news.

A report in The Daily on January 13 credits the National Enquirer with breaking the story back in May. reported a spike in Paula Deen hashtags around 5 pm on Saturday, January 14, and the Twitterverse has remained active since.

CBS news followed up with a story on January 13 that explored the rumors that not only did Deen have the disease, but she also inked an endorsement deal with Novartis. Not so according to the article. (And as of this post’s writing, Novartis hasn’t tweeted a response to the rumor or addressed it on their website. In fact, they haven’t tweeted since the story broke on January 13.) Read more

Reputations Easily “Burned” if Clinics and Hospitals are Slow to Adopt Mobile Technologies

Over the holidays I ended up in urgent care when my helpful husband suffered a bad burn due to a scalding accident. Let’s just say cooking garlic mashed potatoes for 35 dinner guests requires using lots of heavy pots filled with boiling water, and the lids aren’t always as secure as you think they are.

We’ve invested in bandages and ointment and he’s healing well, but I couldn’t help think that an already unpleasant experience could have avoided being even more unpleasant if the clinic had taken advantage of mobile phone technologies and paid attention to their web presence. Read more

Are You a .Com or .Org? Will You Be a .Healthcare? .Health? .Heart? .Cancer?

Most of us in healthcare have had our domain names for our hospital and clinic websites for many years now and, other than making sure the renewal bill gets paid, there’s not much more to consider. On occasion, we may implement a special campaign or market a new service in a way that warrants its own domain name but, for most of us, the scurry for domain names ended years ago.

The name game is about to change in January 2012. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) voted last June to offer a new generic top-level domain program (gTLD).  A generic top-level domain is the part of the URL that is to the right of the dot–it’s the “org” or the “com.” Read more