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

Social Media Stories You May Have Missed This Week

flickr: Cyron

Today we launch a new Friday blog theme. It’s a short collection of news, information and tips from the world of hospital social media. This is certainly not exhaustive. I’ll pick 4 or 5 (or 6) articles that grab my attention each week and share brief summaries here. You can click through for all the details.

Twitter Releases Web Analytics Tool

This article from Mashable announces Twitter’s new web analytics tool designed to give website owners more data on Twitter integration. It’s in beta testing now and only available to a few companies, but Twitter should roll it out in the next few weeks. Read more

A JK Rowling-inspired Plea to Hospitals’ Female Physicians: Use Social Media

flickr: Shannon Phantom

If I asked you who JK Rowling was, most of you would know. Author of the Harry Potter series, she’s credited with rescuing literacy for a generation with more ties to technology than books. My family owes her a personal debt for the many fond memories of snuggling on the couch as my husband read each Harry Potter book aloud.

However, I have a beef to pick with Ms. Rowling…when she first published, she decided not to use her first name, Joanne, on the book because she thought the audience for adventure books would not read a book written by a woman.

No one will ever know if the Harry Potter series would have been any less successful with her female name on the cover, but I doubt it.  And because of her success and her continued interactivity with her fans on social media, she’s not only a commercial success, but also an inspiration to aspiring female writers everywhere.     Read more

Can Hospitals’ Social Media Help Docs Achieve the Information Sweet Spot?

When a physician’s blogpost is still getting comments and tweets 7 months after its posting, you know it has struck a chord with many in the medical field. That’s the case for Dr. Howard Luks’ “Graphic Depiction of a Common Doctor’s Dilemma.”

In it, Dr. Luks grapples with the question of how much information to share with patients about their diagnoses. Share too little, and the patient is confused; share too much and the patient is confused. How does a doc find that sweet spot of understanding? Read more

Social Media Lessons from Oprah: You Have a Calling

I’ll start by saying I’m not an Oprah fan. Don’t take that wrong. It’s not that I don’t like Oprah. It’s just that I’m not a fan. I’ve never watched her show, and honestly I’ve been genuinely concerned about the state of mind of anyone who publishes a magazine with a picture of herself on every cover every month.

Actually, over the years I have gleaned a few tidbits from the supermarket tabloids. Oprah battles weight gain. She has frequently been close to death or bankrupt. And, oh yes, Steadman is an alien (I think). But you who follow her already knew that. Read more