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

ArubaSm

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

Open Access: A Budget-Friendly Tactic to Build Hospital Social Media Content and Credibility

New health-related research can stir up a frenzy of interest on social media platforms (think of how recently antioxidants or probiotics entered the general public’s vocabulary). When a new finding is reported, social media platforms buzz and hospitals often field calls from reporters seeking physician experts to comment on the latest findings.

Although there are many attributes of social media, one drawback is the difficulty in assessing the credibility of health information due, in part, to the vast amount available on the web.

The public is hungry for credible sources of health information. Using Open Access resources is a cost-effective way to locate new health-related information and use it to engage communities and build your hospital’s reputation as a credible go-to social media source.  Read more

The Converging (Social Media) Conversations of Physicians and Patients

flickr: Kai Hendry

Most of my work focuses on engaging patients through social media. However, after spending last week at an EDUCAUSE conference (a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology), I had an aha-moment about the convergence of patient and physician use of social media.

Although we have our share of early adopter physicians, such as KevinMD.com, Seattle Mama Doc and The Singing Pen of Dr. Jen, most physicians don’t truly engage through social media. In fact, many articles written for physicians on the subject of social media remind me of those 30-second televised drug advertisements. The first 10 seconds is spent raving about the benefits and the last 20 seconds is filled with warnings. Read more

How One Children’s Hospital Used Social Media to Deal with the Unthinkable

flickr: Vectorportal.com.

Last Friday, February 17, highly-respected Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon, called a news conference to address the unthinkable.

A male nurse in the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit had been charged with downloading and distributing child pornography.

Doernbecher did all the right things. They issued a news release, held a news conference, posted Frequently Asked Questions regarding the case on their website, set up a telephone hotline for anyone who had questions and mailed 10,000 letters to families whose children had been treated at the hospital during the time the nurse was employed. Read more