Social Media and Healthcare
766.0K views | +3 today
Social Media and Healthcare
Articles and Discussions on the intersection of Social Media and Healthcare.
Relevant to Healthcare Practitioners, Pharma', Insurance, Clinicians, Labs, Health IT Vendors, Health Marketeers, Health Policy Makers, Hospital Administrators.
Curated by nrip
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Plus91!

Docs Needn’t Split Identities on Social Media

Docs Needn’t Split Identities on Social Media | Social Media and Healthcare |

Can physicians be among the billion-plus social media users and still maintain their intact personal and professional boundaries?

Despite recommendations from professional organizations that say physicians should have separate personal and professional identities in order to respect their doctor-patient relationships, an editorial in the Aug. 14 issue of JAMA argues the line between professional and personal profiles can be blurred, as long as content they post is appropriate for public consumption.

“Separation of identities online is operationally impossible,” wrote the editorial’s authors, Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD, Thomas W. Koenig, MD, and Margaret S. Chisolm, MD, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. “With minimal information, searching the web can quickly connect professional and personal content.” Additionally, personal and professional identities are part of each other, so, they argued, separation makes little sense.

Rather than being a risk to their professional integrity, combining online presences is what physicians prefer. It is also “inconsistent with the concept of professional identity, and potentially harmful to physicians and patients.”

Physicians may see the blurring of online identities as facilitating transparency and open communication with patients. They may envision social media as a way to capture the “small-town physician” relationship with patients. In addition, a strict separation of the professional and personal may cause patients to be less trusting and not see their doctors as people.

“Resolving the online identity crisis requires recognizing that social media exist in primarily public or potentially public spaces, not exclusively professional or personal ones,” the authors wrote. Instead of determining whether a post is professional or personal, physicians should assess whether it’s appropriate.

Medical training should include social media and how it can be used to develop professional identity.

“Absent this approach, the professional transgressions motivating guidelines will persist and the potential benefits of social media will remain unrealized,” the authors concluded.

- See more at:

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Social networks lead to innovation and healthcare quality

This talk was originally given at the 2013 AHPBA Conference for surgical and non-surgical specialists throughout North, South and Central America who care for p
No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

The golden rule for Facebook posting in healthcare facilities

The golden rule for Facebook posting in healthcare facilities | Social Media and Healthcare |

I've been using Facebook more and more. It's become my social dashboard and connects me to my community. But as a healthcare professional, it's important to be aware of where Facebook is appropriate and where it is not appropriate.

As the author of this column, I'm also asked by lay people (people who aren't healthcare professionals) about how to think about Facebook when it comes to health and sharing.

In this article, I'm going to give you a few tips and one golden rule that should help you understand how to handle this sensitive issue. Let's start with the golden rule.

Facebook golden rule: Never share health information or pictures of someone else without their express permission.

That's it. Even if you feel bad for the suffering of a family member, or you want to share with other members of your family, that picture or private health information could get out to the wider Facebook community. So never, ever post unless you ask permission.

You have no right to "out" someone with regard to their health issues. That's a very difficult, personal decision, that each individual needs to make for his or herself.

Now, a few tips. First, if you're a medical professional working in a hospital, never, ever take pictures of patients and post them. Period. It doesn't matter whether or not you want to share, taking smartphone pictures of a patient is not just a violation of the patient's privacy, it could open an entire, huge can of HIPAA hurt on both you and your facility.

Don't post status messages about individual patients you're working with. Don't even use initials or cute nicknames. Think of Facebook as a completely separate entity that does not belong in the hospital environment.

Hospitals need to educate their employees about these practices as well. A year or so ago, I encountered a healthcare facility that simply banned all employees from having any social media presence online, whatsoever.

That's not practical. LinkedIn is a necessary professional networking resource, and even Facebook and Twitter are benign when used properly.

If I were to advise hospitals and other facilities of anything regarding a social media policy it would be this: educate. Educate on what's appropriate use and what's not appropriate use.

Posting information about your favorite knitting project is appropriate. Taking a smartphone picture of a patient knitting something amazing is not appropriate.

This stuff is not hard to explain, but it can be hugely important. When it comes to Facebook privacy issues, there are a bunch of driving forces: the patient's own privacy, the medical professional's reputation, and both the facility's reputation and exposure to regulatory punishment.

Once you walk through the doors of a facility, do not use the camera. Do not post about your patients. Do not post about your family or friends unless you have their permission.

It's not that hard to understand, is it?

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Social Media Smarts: 7 Tips for Nurses

Social Media Smarts: 7 Tips for Nurses | Social Media and Healthcare |
Take a moment to answer these questions:
  1. Do you post gossip or negative information about coworkers?
  2. Do you take pictures and/or post to social media sites while at work?
  3. Do you participate in activities outside of work that your employer may not want to be associated with?

If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of the above,  you may want to make some changes in the way you use social media. Don’t be too hard on yourself — we all make mistakes. But cleaning up your social media habits now is the best thing you can do to protect yourself (and your patients) in the future.

7 Social Media Rules for Nurses

1. Take personal responsibility for everything you post.

When you update your Facebook status, tweet, or share a photo on Instagram, you decide to make those words and images public (even if you think only your friends can see it.) Stay aware of that. And if you are affiliated with a healthcare organization (i.e. your job is listed in your profile), be certain to note somewhere that your words and images are your own and do not represent the attitudes of your employer.

2. Protect patient identify.

This may sound like a big “Duh!” but avoid using any patient ID information. That includes room numbers, unit info and any dates relevant to the patient (including admission, discharge and date of birth).

3. Understand that termination is a real consequence.

It’s not an urban myth. Nurses (and other healthcare professionals) are being fired for things they write on social media sites. Healthcare organizations aren’t policing social media usage among employees for fun. With the initiation of the 2009 HITECH Act (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act), penalties upward of 1.5 million dollars are possible for multiple HIPAA violations. They simply can’t afford not to take action.

4. Optimize privacy settings.

Get to know the ins and outs of your social media privacy settings. Facebook has a helpful guide (and other social media sites should have similar information) for those who want to make sure they know who is viewing their information

5. But remember, information on the Internet is easily shared.

Privacy settings aside, it’s difficult to control what happens once something is shared on the Internet. Something that seems harmless could have dire consequences if it falls into the wrong hands. This nurse was fired for something she posted on Facebook that a “friend” shared with a supervisor. When the nurse argued this was a violation of her privacy, the court disagreed.

6. Don’t take pictures of patients on personal devices.

A tempting thing to do when you have a personal connection with a patient. But pictures in your phone leave the hospital and go wherever you go. It’s a HIPAA violation and a generally bad idea.

7. Use caution when connecting with patients and their families.

To friend or not to friend? That is the question. It’s a gray area that the healthcare industry is still trying to sort out. Patient-nurse boundaries are difficult to define. But if you have an inkling that you’re crossing that boundary, then you probably are. Better safe than sorry.

So how do you measure up?

Are there ways you can improve your social media usage to protect yourself as a nurse? Or do you already follow these guidelines?

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Spotlight on health and social media across the world

Spotlight on health and social media across the world | Social Media and Healthcare |

Wanda Phelloner from Zambia was six years old when she got a high fever. "I had malaria," she told a health organization worker later. "I had to go to the clinic, I needed some medical attention. But unfortunately, the medicine was not there."

Phelloner did get better, but her case points to how in many African countries, well-researched and curable diseases like Malaria frequently go untreated. Even though there is medication to treat malaria, it's often not available to those who need it, because local pharmacies or healthcare facilities have run out.

That's where African non-governmental organizations came in. Using online tools, in 2009 the groups started a campaign to prevent people from suffering negative effects when especially important medications from running out - a phenomenon also known as a "stockout."

Crowdmapping against stockouts

Within only five days, the campaign had identified more than 250 stockouts in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia.

Volunteers ask about the supply of medicines on-site, and then send answers via text message to administrators of the platform. The sites are mapped out to indicate to Internet users what is available where. provides a real time visualization of where medications are in stock - and where they have run out

"Before that, the government had only said there were no stockouts," said Daudi Were at the fifth annual World Health Summit, held in Berlin October 20-22. Were works for the company Ushahidi in Nairobi, and helped develop the software that is based on.

"But now they are presented with evidence, so it started becoming a conversation of where in the process is the problem." Be it budget, procurement, delivery, supply - "the NGOs are now talking with the government from a more informed position," Were said, "so it changed the nature of the conversation."

Crowdmapping is based on the possibilities of organizing information shared by the public. It's especially important in the health field, Were said: "If there's an epidemic, the people in the middle may not have the full picture. But if you aggregate all that information at a national level, it allows the government to have a clearer picture of what's going on in that region."

Wisdom of many

After the earthquake on Haiti in 2010, a platform based on Ushahidi's model showed what kind of help was needed, and where. It gathered more than 40,000 individual messages from those in need, as well as from those helping.

And after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, the crowdmapping site provided information about radioactivity in the region. Even government agencies and embassies directed people to the website.

Joseph Tucker, a professor and infectious disease specialist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill, believes in the wisdom of the masses. In Guangzhou, southern China, he runs a platform oriented toward homosexual men, to educate them about sexually transmitted diseases like HIV.

Although homosexual men in China are at high risk for HIV and syphilis, they don't get tested routinely. "In order to reach these high-risk populations, we need ways that are acceptable to them, like social media," Tucker told DW.

Polio vaccination in Nigeria

"Social media can be a powerful force to get an idea about their preferences for where and how they would like to be tested, and social media can help us to optimize our public health strategies," Tucker said.

But the Internet can also be used to spread disinformation. Heidi Larson, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, explained how in 2003, an official boycott of the polio vaccine in five states of northern Nigeria led to a resurgence of the disease.

Like actual viruses, disinformation can also now be replicated at a logarithmic scale, or go viral. "The kind of rumor networks that used to stay local are now global," Larson said.

Tool to develop targeted strategies

After the United Nations suspended its support of the polio vaccination program in Pakistan last year following attacks against health workers, Larson's institute developed a program that analyzes content on vaccinations in blogs, forums and social networks worldwide. The goal is to find out more about why people have reservations against certain public health measures.

This helps with, for example, figuring out if religion should be taken into consideration as a major factor in planning for a particular region, or if information on alternative treatment methods should be promoted.

Social media is merely a tool - like medicine, Were said: "You can use it for good, or for bad. You have to deploy it properly."

Trevor Lakey's curator insight, January 26, 2014 7:34 PM

Highlights the potential of crowdmapping platforms and approaches, like Stopstockouts and Ushahidi, plus raises cautionary note about potential negative uses of social media in healthcare contexts

Scooped by Plus91!

Social Media and Indian Healthcare - A Potent Marketing Weapon

One of our recent reports Social Media in Indian Healthcare Scenario got featured got featured in Healthcare Biz India Magazine with quotes from my interview. h
No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

CME Goes Social: Ingenious Uses of a Hashtag and YouTube Video

CME Goes Social: Ingenious Uses of a Hashtag and YouTube Video | Social Media and Healthcare |

Social media is a hot topic in pharma right now – and not just its impact on patient advocacy and awareness. Increasingly, digital media has become a prime location for physician discussions and continuing medical education (CME). While some may see social media as simply a landscape for shallow, juvenile gossip, the following examples show the incredible impact of two social media platforms: a YouTube video and a Twitter hashtag.

In 2012, Life in the Fast Lane,  an organization dedicated to bringing medical learning to the digital stage, established FOAM (Free Open Access Meducation): an ideological revolution to encourage physician-to-physician dialogue. Because #FOAM is already taken, healthcare professionals can tweet #FOAMed to open scientific discussions.

Now, don’t let the hashtag fool you: This is more than a social media trend.  As the authors of Life in the Fast Lane profess, #FOAMed is a call to arms to expand medical conversations and education to healthcare professionals around the world. Twitter discussions include everything from helping in diagnosis to catching up on the latest research and ethical discussions about medical errors. These conversations can expand education to individuals who may not have access to the latest medical journals or conferences so that everyone has “free open access” to medical education. As the motto of the movement explains, “FOAM is the concept, #FOAMed the conversation.”

A similar revolution has taken place on YouTube. When respiratory specialist Tapas Mukherjee learned that more than half of the physicians at the hospital where he works did not know the newest guidelines for asthma, he decided to do something about it. Dr. Mukherjee created his “Breakfast at Glenfield” music video, which explains the new asthma guidelines to the tune of Deep Blue Something’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” With more than 58,000 views, this silly, melodramatic – and, at times, downright sassy – video has won the British Thoracic Society Prize for Innovation in Respiratory Education 2012 and the NHS Innovation Expo and Network Casebook II Prize 2013. Most importantly, this “musical medical education video,” as Dr. Mukherjee calls it, has spread knowledge of the new asthma guidelines, thereby increasing physician education and patient safety.

Patients aren’t the only ones who like to learn about medicine in social media. As “Breakfast at Glenfield” and #FOAMed have shown, physicians can use social media to engage in medical education in fun, innovative ways. While some curmudgeonly physicians may oppose these unorthodox methods, most would agree: it sure beats reading a textbook or sitting through a lecture.

Peter Wilkinson's curator insight, October 25, 2013 4:23 AM

If you are in London on 20 Nov it will be worthwhile booking to come to this event.


Serious Networking, Top Speakers and Fun, Fun, Fun


Join us at ‘The social Media Business Club’ on 20 November in Piccadilly 


Here is the link for more info ;

Scooped by Plus91!

Social Media for Physicians: Not a Complete Solution, but Certainly not Useless

Social Media for Physicians: Not a Complete Solution, but Certainly not Useless | Social Media and Healthcare |

Imagine, you’re scanning through your Facebook feed and you notice a photo of your primary care doctor dressed up for a night-out, posing in her new heels and skimpy dress in front of the city’s hottest club. You browse through your Twitter feed to see your gastroenterologist posting more articles about fecal transplants. Better yet, he sends you a tweet asking if your bowel movements have improved since your last visit. Unfortunately, he is new to Twitter and didn’t realize you have to use a “direct message” to keep that information private! Last, you can’t help but feel a sense of envy when your endocrinologist is constantly posting pictures of her fancy meals and exotic vacations on Instagram.

Maybe connecting with your doctor on social media isn’t such a glamorous idea. After all, it is presumably rare that people connect with their Starbucks baristas, plumbers, or lawyers, so why would anyone want to connect with their physician?

Some argue that social media could be a good environment for doctors to stay connected with their patients. However, ponder the reasons why anyone would want to speak with their physician. Generally it is because they have a new problem, they have an existing problem that is getting worse, or because they were instructed to follow-up on a particular issue. Only the third reason seems to be a legitimate task that could be carried out online. That said, social media might not be the best option.

A better method would be to use a secure platform, such as a web portal, in which the patient has a unique username and password. Some innovative companies are already employing this concept. If companies like NueMD can develop EHR software that securely stores electronic health information about individual patients or populations, a system like this should be a n0brainer.

It is probably safe to say that doctors could be a lot more ambitious in using technology, but that doesn’t necessarily need to be social media. Not to mention, the return on investment (ROI) on time spent using social media sites doesn’t seem to be that great either. In his recent article on, Dr. Drummond makes a great case about why social media use by physicians is a generally waste of time. He even goes as far as saying that social media consultants are the majority of those encouraging doctors to use Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Nonetheless, there has to be some use for social media in healthcare, right? Here are some practical uses of these platforms by physicians:

1. Education

Many physicians love to educate and take pleasure in informing populations of particular studies, innovations, and other exciting things happening in medicine. Kevin Pho, MD states that the best approach to using social media as a physician is, “…to connect with patients collectively, but not individually.” Ultimately, everyone could benefit by having at least one healthy influence within their social feeds.

2. Collaboration

The term “silos” has been used often in the news to describe the lack of communication within today’s healthcare system. It is obvious that both patients and physicians desire more collaboration between providers. A specific social network, Doximity, which has been developed by the founder of Epocrates, Jeff Tangney, acts as a large, interactive database of nearly all providers in the nation. After activating their Doximity account, doctors can update their contact information, professional interests, and publications, all of which will be shared within the network that is only accessible by other providers. Physicians can also use Twitter to continue conversations after conventions and presentations.

3. Networking

LinkedIn is a great place for doctors to provide an online version of their curriculum vitae (CV). Even if one isn’t actively sharing ideas on the LinkedIn feed, the option still exists to use the network as an online directory of potential business or research partners. Additionally, they could use Facebook groups to find colleagues with similar interests.

4. Logistics

Individual practitioners, groups of physicians, and health systems could all use social media to update the vast majority of their patients about important announcements. Offices could use Twitter to alert patients about any serious delays for the day or provide them with realistic expectations for scheduling their next appointment. Health systems, such as the UPMC of Pittsburgh, PA, are already using the technology for news and events.

5. Therapy

Being a physician isn’t easy. The frustrations go beyond noncompliant patients or difficult cases. Now, more than ever, physicians are dealing with stress from many sources, including insurers, employers, lawyers, and recently, politicians. Doctors can use social media to vent about these new obstacles in patient-care. They can find comfort in knowing that their colleagues are dealing with the same stresses. Last, issues with particular systems can become known to the public by articles or blogs written by frustrated doctors. After all, half the battle of solving a problem is discovering that there is one.

In summary, the current hype encouraging physicians to use social networks is certainly a little overdone. In most cases, doctors can do without it. However, there are appropriate uses of the technology and physicians would be wise to not completely abstain from using it.

No comment yet.
Scooped by nrip!

Social Media and health: the conversations are around experiences, both good and bad

Social Media and health: the conversations are around experiences, both good and bad | Social Media and Healthcare |

Social networking use among Internet users ages 50 and older has nearly   doubled –from   22%   to   42% over   the   past  year.  This demographic is a sweet spot for healthcare marketers but exactly what are they looking for online and where are they going.   News sites still remain the most trusted online healthcare resource (68 percent), while user-generated contributions on Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs are used less frequently (54 percent), according to results from a national consumer survey conducted by Makovsky + Company.

A report from NM Incite and along with the survey are providing a clearer picture of what consumers are doing online when they search for health information.  The Makovsky + Company reports even states “pharmaceutical company-sponsored pages rank as the least visited; with disease awareness pages and branded treatment pages each frequented by 6 percent of respondents”.  

The survey explored patients’ information-seeking behaviors on specific social media channels, identifying WebMD as the most popular for health searches, with almost half (48 percent) of Americans visiting the site.

Among other findings:

  • Only 3 percent of consumers visit Twitter feeds for healthcare information
  • Patient communities’ websites are visited by 7 percent of respondents
  • Facebook sites rank as the fourth most-frequented resource
  • 11 percent of Americans turn to the ubiquitous site for healthcare information
  • U.S. Federal government is seen as the most credible shepherd of information. More than a third of Americans (35 percent) visit government-sponsored sites first when accessing Facebook health resources26 percent of respondents cite
  • Facebook sites created by peers as the least trusted health resource. 6 percent cite Facebook sites by patient groups or communities as least trusted.

More at:
No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

The pros and cons of social media in global health

The pros and cons of social media in global health | Social Media and Healthcare |

I was invited to moderate a panel at the World Health Summit in Berlin this week. The focus of the session was social media’s role in global health.
Within the first three hours of the summit, two other sessions had acknowledged that global health governance needed a shake-up and should move away from top-down, supply-driven models. Could social media, with their emphasis on dialogue and inherent transparency, be the solution?
Heidi Larson from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, whose brainchild this particular workshop was, did two things in her design of the panel that proved tactical: she was keen that we explore limitations as much as opportunities and she drew on a wide cross-section of institutions with differing approaches and objectives relating to health and social media.  
Let me start with what were identified as the contributions of social media to health.
The most overwhelming is social media’s reach and their ability to multiply audience figures with a previously inconceivable efficiency. Facebook has more than 900 million monthly users, while Twitter has 140 million ‘active’ users, generating 340 million tweets a day.
The panel offered several examples of crowdsourcing, where programmes took advantage of the discussion, reach and speed of social media for surveillance of all sorts. From picking up signals of vaccine resistance (as Larson does in her work) to monitoring medical stocks and crisis hotspots (as Kenya-based non-profit tech company Ushahidi does).

There is also an opportunity, of course, to solicit ideas and innovations, and Joseph Tucker from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States, has built a programme around doing this for testing men who have sex with men for sexually transmitted infections. Perhaps most intriguingly, Tucker shared a documented example from a country fair in 1907 where the crowd’s median estimate of an ox’s weight was more accurate than those of individual experts.
In addition, there is also the holy grail of public health-behaviour change. The potency of social media to leverage influence is well documented. This is because, in the current generation of platforms, the social element is a more important driver of communication than the media one. Trust determines who you listen to and when, not the technology either of you use. As Gavin Tuffey from healthcare firm GlaxoSmithKline pointed out, a conversation that might take place over coffee with a friend seeking advice on cervical cancer can now include millions, almost simultaneously. In China, Tucker is leveraging social media and their more outspoken champions to transform home testing for HIV.
Interestingly, however, there were more risks to emerge from the discussion than opportunities, with six issues highlighted.
First, duty of care is crucial for socially responsible engagement. Do people understand the implications of their participation in social media campaigns? Daudi Were from Ushahidi gave the example from Kenya of tuberculosis patients exposing themselves to prosecution by local authorities by sharing their unwillingness to comply with their treatment protocol.

Institutions need to make provision for this.
Second, there is still a need for a strategy to deliver health outcomes. Although Ushahidi is dedicated to using social media for mapping, Were said its technology is only ten per cent of any public health solution. Being able to deliver on what you promise is core to communication management and the glamour of being involved in social media mustn’t get in the way of this.
Third, social media can mean big data. In the week when Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern seaboard of the US in 2012, there were 20 million tweets about it. That is a vast amount of data to process. This information needs to be analysed — and that needs to happen quickly because speed is crucial in healthcare. There is no short cut currently available for the human filtering that allows decisions to be made about mobilising resources in response.
Fourth, there are also opportunities for countervailing voices. Tuffey spoke repeatedly about the challenge of unmoderated conversations because, just as water-cooler discussions can sustain bad science or daft opinions, so too can prolific Twitter accounts. Larson pointed out there was as much positive messaging as negative messaging about polio vaccines in Nigeria and Pakistan. Social media are not inherently good or bad, once you understand the mechanics, anyone can engage ‘effectively’.
Fifth, there are serious concerns about human rights here. The polio vaccine community in particular have been subject to accusations of Big Brother-style surveillance. But anyone seeking to monitor or ‘manage’ conversations on social media should be clear about the boundaries of privacy and public interest. In the era of WikiLeaks and Edward Snowdon, you do not want to find your social media profile becoming raised for reasons you hadn’t anticipated or wouldn’t welcome.
Lastly, we should be wary of overstating representation. This was significantly the least explored issue by the panel. There is a fundamental underlying assumption that social media engage a universal audience with a variety of interests. On a basic level, there are still some issues that present barriers to participation, such as functional literacy (some estimates are that only ten per cent of people in certain Sub-Saharan Africa communities can send text messages) and access to the Internet (typically in Africa women are 45 per cent less likely to have such access than men). But there is also a more sophisticated nuance: even in the most industrialised countries, there are differences in social media use based on generations, political inclinations and personal tastes. We think of a standardised global audience at our peril.
Asked what one bit of advice they would offer institutions thinking of engaging more substantively with social media, all the panellists agreed it would be to think carefully about context, rather than scale.
A good example of what this might mean in practice came from Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter in an interview with Forbes. Explaining why Twitter makes a great complement to TV, he said that a discussion about a television show was previously limited to the people watching it in any one room but Twitter expands the room. This is a good illustration of what social media offers and what its limits are because, by implication, you’re often better off focusing on the people who are likely to watch a particular programme and then be inclined to talk about it, than targeting an abstract notion of the global community.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Social Media Risks at Your Medical Practice: 5 Key Issues

Social Media Risks at Your Medical Practice: 5 Key Issues | Social Media and Healthcare |

Today’s "share" culture puts medical practices in legal danger, said Barbara Zabawa and Melissa Giftus, attorneys with Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek in Madison, Wisc., during a presentation at the Medical Group Management Association Annual Conference.

They outlined five key issues to watch for:

1. Damage to reputation and compliance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for advertising. If you are seeking — or just getting — reviews from patients, be aware that they might not all be glowing. You can even get false reviews, Giftus pointed out.

If you actively solicit patient testimonials for use online there is more to watch out for. FTC guidelines require you to be able to substantiate advertising claims (as in, if a patient says they got better under your care, you better be able to pull a medical record to prove it). Advertisers also are prohibited from using only extraordinary results; you should show a spectrum. If you pay patients for their efforts or offer small gifts or rewards, be sure to include a disclaimer making the monetary exchange clear. Finally, don’t disparage competitors; it only makes them likely to report you to the FTC, Giftus pointed out.

2. HIPAA violations. With more devices and more sharing, your HIPAA policies need to keep up. Of course, protected patient health information (PHI) should be encrypted on laptops. Zabawa shared a story about one stolen laptop that cost a practice a $100,000 settlement.

But also train staff on HIPAA as it relates to posts on Facebook, Twitter, and even e-mail. While the actions of an employee might not be the fault of a practice, it is better to avoid any question, have policies, and educate — "take reasonable measures" in the words of Giftus. Consider this example: Two paramedics in training took pictures of a shark attack victim and sent them to friends via e-mail. While the patient’s face and name didn’t get passed around, there are only so many shark attacks in any given day, and the newspaper reports made it clear who got bit. Anything that makes the patient identifiable is PHI.

3. Loss of patient data. Giftus focused on two issues: protecting data on the cloud and explaining the rules on mobile devices. Many software vendors —from billing to EHR providers — now store data on the "cloud" rather than on a server in an office. Cloud-based services can easily be even more secure and complaint than a box sitting un-backed up and unprotected behind reception. Just make sure the contract with your vendor makes it clear what happens to the data if you change to another company or it goes out of business. "It has to be spelled out," Giftus urged.

Further, if physicians are accessing your EHR on iPads at home and not just on their secure work computers, make sure those devices, too, have HIPAA-compliant protections.

4. Employee ground rules. Plenty of businesses have policies regarding employee use of social media in relation to the workplace. That’s fine. But look carefully to make sure nothing in your rules violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The Act prohibits employers from restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of the Section 7 rights; those are rights like the ability to organize or take other actions related to compensation, work conditions, or other workplace complaints.

How can this come in to play? Consider the case Giftus presented: General Motors. Its policy stated:

• "Think carefully about friending co-workers on Facebook," and

• "Communication with co-workers that would be inappropriate at work are also inappropriate online," she summarized.

A court deemed these "over-broad." It’s just not clear if Section 7 rights are included in what is considered inappropriate or if suggesting employees not "friend" each other constitutes an effort to stop them from organizing around work issues.

5. Malpractice liability. Patients who ask friends for medical advice are more likely to consider your advice bad. Giftus also warned that patients are using mobile devices to record visits, creating additional discoverable evidence. State rules determine whether patients can make recordings without telling you, she clarified, but the record is discoverable either way.

The digital social world is here. The only question is whether your practice is prepared for it

- See more at:

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Keeping a Finger on the Pulse, a Voice in the Discussion

Keeping a Finger on the Pulse, a Voice in the Discussion | Social Media and Healthcare |

Engaging in social media is now common practice. Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pack a lot of power to connect professionals and to engage and educate patients. With the potential to reach millions comes some serious concerns, but with a little caution and foresight, clinicians can help build their practices and the exchange of information while protecting their reputations and sensitive patient information.

The Pew Research Center, a nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization focusing on the impact of the Internet on Americans across a range of demographics, recently found that 85 percent of adults are online, 72 percent are active on social networking sites, and the vast majority had used the Internet to find healthcare information in the past year.

Recent reports from Forbes and the Harvard Business Review have sung the praises of maintaining a social media presence while pointing out that no two sites are alike nor are the objectives of those logging on. Twitter, they say, is an especially good way for professionals to stay engaged in the stream of information, including breaking news and current events in their fields.

A Tool for Staying Current, Being Heard

Get onboard or get left in the dust, says Westby Fisher, M.D., a cardiac electrophysiologist at NorthShore University Health System in Evanston, IL. “If physicians don’t join social media, they will fall behind the curve of what’s happening in medicine today. You don’t have to participate actively. You could just lurk and learn from others.” He explained that many people refrain from ever posting a single post or tweet and log on only when it strikes them.

Dr. Fisher’s Twitter feed (handle: @doctorwes) is replete with links to news as well as conversations with colleagues, including Kevin Pho, M.D. (Twitter handle:@kevinmd), an internist based in Nashua, NH. Dr. Pho’s blog,, is touted as the most-read physician blog on the Internet and his recent book,Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices, is widely cited as a resource for physicians interested in taking the plunge into social media.

Having an online presence can not only maintain and protect a doctor’s reputation; it can also humanize their practice, making it more accessible for patients and the public, asserts Dr. Pho. “Patients want a window into our world,” he said. “They want to know what it’s like behind closed doors and they want to hear about the challenges we face. I think it’s important to share that information.”

Dr. Fisher launched his popular blog,, in 2005, and like Dr. Pho, he uses Twitter to promote blog content and filter for cutting-edge studies and other publications.

Even as social media and blogs can bridge the gap between healthcare professionals and patients, they can also serve as an interface between physicians, researchers, and journalists seeking information, which can lead to exponentially higher access for the lay public. Catastrophic situations, such as the Boston Marathon bombing, provide an example of social media at its finest. When chaos breaks, doctors may be far from their desks. Clinicians with smartphones can take advantage of portals like Twitter for updates on the emergency, and patients can use hashtags like #ImOK, created by C. Michael Gibson, M.D., FSCAI (handle:
@CMichaelGibson), during the Boston crisis, to let their families and friends know they are indeed okay.

Controversy and Concerns

Despite the rapid uptake of social media engagement among healthcare professionals, no small number remain cautious or opposed to joining in. Many cite concerns about maintaining professionalism or privacy, and they remain skeptical about the accuracy of information posted and content being taken out of context. Others have heard stories of tweets gone wrong, messages intended just for the tweeter’s followers that went farther into the Twittersphere as a result of retweets and replies.

“That’s a key take-home message,” says Herb Aronow, M.D., M.P.H.,  FSCAI, a 2013-15 SCAI-ELM Fellow and interim  medical director of the cardiac cath lab and director of the Comprehensive Vascular Program at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI (Twitter: @herbaronowMD). “Twitter is a social space. Anything you put out there has the potential to go viral, so think before you post. If you’re not comfortable having it read by the whole wide world—your children, your friends and your patients, for example – don’t post it.”

No Cardiologist Left Behind

Whether to engage in social media is a personal decision, but it would behoove clinicians to check it out before ruling it out, adds Dr. Aronow. To help, SCAI will soon post a series of how-to videos on using social media. The videos will include best practices for physicians as well as basic information on how to get started, how to grow a following, and tips for getting tweets noticed. SCAI is also planning to ramp up social media options at the SCAI 2014 Scientific Sessions in Las Vegas.

“At SCAI 2014, we plan to leverage new meeting app functionality to enhance the overall conference experience for attendees,” says Dr. Aronow, who is leading the working group on this activity. “The app is mobile-device ready and will allow integration of multiple social media capabilities, enabling users to participate in real-time audience response, review meeting content, communicate with other attendees, interact with speakers and other experts, and post user-generated content.”

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Creating patient-physician synergy with social media

Creating patient-physician synergy with social media A panel discussion about how as clinicians our practice and interaction with both our patients and patie...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Is Increasing the Role of Social Media in Patient Recruitment Worthwhile?

Is Increasing the Role of Social Media in Patient Recruitment Worthwhile? | Social Media and Healthcare |

With the majority of Americans having Internet access and becoming computer literate, it’s understandable that patient recruitment for all clinical trials is moving online. The use of web-based tools provides more cost-effective and efficient ways to access a wider pool of potential participants and to screen them before the first research visit. In fact, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 85 percent of U.S. adults use the Internet and 72 percent of those users say they have looked online for health information within the past year.

At its core, the success of a clinical trial is contingent on its ability to recruit patients. According to a pharmaceutical industry analysis conducted by research firm Cutting Edge Information, an estimated 80% of trials fail to meet enrollment timelines, with as many as 50% of research trial sites enrolling one or no patients. Targeting and retaining the participation of the right patients poses a serious challenge for researchers.

Luckily, social media can educate potential patients on the value of clinical research and encourage them to participate in studies. And in many cases, information sent through social media also reaches the family or advocates of potential patients, which can often have a better outcome than solely reaching out to the patient, especially those that are elderly or infirm due to their illness. However, the key to successfully leveraging your social media networks is identifying the studies’ core variables. Doing so decreases the chance of running into problems, such as frustration or wasted recruitment budgets, because like any tool, social media is only as useful as the appropriateness of its application.

Another important aspect of using social media to recruit patients is the quality of communication. To engage potential patients and their families or advocates, information about clinical trials must be translated in a way that is easy for the average, non-medical person to understand. This includes removing medical jargon (for example, instead of using the term hypertension, just use high blood pressure), breaking down complex concepts and putting a human face to the study.

One of the most successful uses of social media platforms to recruit study patients appears to be online forums. These communities allow potential patients and their loved ones to access information and connect with others in similar situations. It also keeps the conversation going with potential patients by creating a place where people who applied but didn't qualify for a trial aren't left feeling abandoned and may remain open for a different trial. In turn, this continues to build upon a targeted pool of potential participants that may be needed in the future.

Another benefit to online forums is that study sponsors streamline the often costly and time-consuming process of finding and screening potential trial participants. These forums can contain a series of prescreening questionnaires and informational videos, and also offers multiple methods for prospective study participants to interact with study coordinators.

Other social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter also show the same promise of benefits. Though they provide an ideal environment for increasing awareness of clinical trials, to what extent they are successful in recruiting patients is yet to be determined.

Though social media will likely never be the sole source of patient recruitment for clinical trials, especially in oncology and critical care indications, several social networking sites have the potential to bridge a large part of the gap between those offering and seeking a clinical trial. And with changes constantly underway to improve patient enrollment, there's no doubt that the use of social medial will continue to increase.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Using Social Media as a Communication Tool in the Healthcare Industry

Using Social Media as a Communication Tool in the Healthcare Industry | Social Media and Healthcare |

In recent years social media has become a vastly used communication channel for companies in all industries.  This includes the healthcare industry, although there are some guidelines that must be followed for medical practices, doctors, etc. who choose to use social media as a communication tool.

A major concern of utilizing social media in the healthcare industry involves HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and more specifically, it’s Privacy Rule.  This is the first comprehensive Federal protection for the privacy of personal health information. 

Companies required to abide by HIPAA must ensure they do so when utilizing social media as well.  For example, an emergency room doctor in Rhode Island discussed a patient’s case on Facebook. The text contained enough detail to allow the patient involved to be identified, resulting in a violation of HIPAA’s Privacy Act and the termination of the doctor involved.

There are ways that those working in the healthcare industry can use social media as a tool while avoiding legal and regulatory entanglements.  Here are some examples:

1.       Information Creator:  Blogging is a great social media tool to relay information in your area of expertise.  This requires pre-existing knowledge and research, but can be a great way to interact with and inform people.  Press releases and best practice guides are also examples of how information can be relayed in this process.  Any of these writing materials can then be spread throughout social media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter.

 2.       Information Curator:  A curator collects, organizes and helps to reach understanding on a body of knowledge or information.  This technique allows you to use medical news, journals and articles that are published in your field to inform people.  Share these findings with your social media “followers.”  Your viewers, patients, etc. will then see you as a source of where they get there information.  This means you must ensure that the information you are sharing is relevant and trusted.

3.       Conversation Contributor:  As well as maintaining your own social media profiles, become involved in conversations happening on other social media pages.  For example, if a medical association posts a healthcare blog on their Facebook page, you could add your expertise by commenting on their post.  If you have written your own article or blog about the topic, sharing that as a comment as well will show your credibility to the conversation.  This will help develop traffic to your own social media profiles or websites and will help establish professional connections.

Applying any of these techniques can assist you in developing a social media strategy that keeps guidelines in mind.  However, utilizing all three techniques is the best way to helpmaximize social media exposure in the healthcare industry.

EZIA's curator insight, October 27, 2013 8:32 PM

Healthcare professionals certainly need to be aware of compliance issues - however they should utilize social media to share their viewpoints on certain health issues and to educate the masses.

Scooped by Plus91!

5 reasons why health care can’t afford to be antisocial

5 reasons why health care can’t afford to be antisocial | Social Media and Healthcare |

For a long time, health, medical and pharma have shied away from social media. But brands must meet people where they are: online. Health, medical and pharma are no exception. The greatest risk in the gamble of social media for health care companies isn’t legal regulations. It’s a complete absence on social media. In order to be compliant, companies need to partner with social media experts who understand the nuances of social media to identify how to apply existing knowledge and practice to new marketing channels. Companies can no longer shun social media. Social media is both business and culture. It’s where everyone is.

Here’s why your company can’t afford to be antisocial:

Conversations are happening whether you like it or not

You have absolutely no control over conversations already taking place on social media if you are not actively engaged. People are already talking online about your brand and their experiences. While preparing a social media campaign for a medical device company, we found hundreds of conversations already taking place about their product.

What we have learned (and you can too) with social listening data:

  • Information for target personas.
  • The kind of language surrounding the product.
  • The current state of awareness for the product.
  • Who the influencers are in the patient’s decision-making process.

This is 21st century PR

No matter how good your PR team is, you can’t react quickly, if you’re using traditional media. “Social media enables brands to actively respond in real-time to questions or concerns with responses that can deliver impact and insight from the brand's perspective,” explains Richard Morrow, ParkerWhite’s digital director.

There is no risk management without social media

By participating in social media, your brand has a chance to educate consumers and clarify where online chatter may be inaccurate. Your company will be talked about, and if you’re not there to contribute to the conversation, you forfeit the chance to steer the conversation.

You say you’re high tech, but it’s all talk

Your marketing efforts and channel use reflect how in-touch your company is with the latest technology. Today’s consumers expect to see brands online. If you’re not there, it can send the wrong message about your company’s capabilities and your product offering. If you want consumers to see your product as the latest technology you have to get with the latest technology.

No one ever likes the silent treatment

With so many consumers online, it’s hard to argue that you have good customer service if you’re not there to answer them. When consumer questions and complaints go unanswered in the social sphere it reflects poorly on your company. Nobody likes someone who gives the silent treatment, and this extends to social business. People don’t respond well to being ignored, especially if they are already unhappy. You may face lost business and unhappy customers on a mission to disgrace you.

Companies who want to connect to consumers need to meet patients online. By ignoring social media, you’re ignoring consumers, compromising your company’s technological and cultural competence, and jeopardizing your brand’s reputation.

The question to ask yourself now is: Can you afford not to use social media as a health, medical or pharma company?

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Five Ways for Pharma to Read Between the Tweets

Five Ways for Pharma to Read Between the Tweets | Social Media and Healthcare |

While buzz on Twitter will never outweigh critical data in a peer-reviewed publication, social media is becoming an important part of our industry’s dialogue. The oncology market is no exception, as insight gleaned from recent Twitter traffic and trends reveals.

At the 2013 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), our ZS oncology team attempted to research social media’s impact in real time. ASCO is perhaps the most critical research update and networking event in oncology, with more than 30,000 clinicians, researchers and industry executives attending. At a gathering this big, what’s said away from the podium is also intriguing.

So we partnered with SetuServ to use advanced algorithms, clustering techniques and banding classifications to make sense of dispersed social media data, specifically Twitter updates posted from the conference.

Of special interest were tweets that conveyed an attendee’s perception of a particular study or treatment. Here are five takeaways:

1. Think positive: Upbeat perceptions are, by far, the dominant trend on Twitter. People like to talk about good news and exciting breakthroughs, and are less likely to tweet about a massive drug failure. By contrast, incremental improvements fail to impress or make the Twitterverse.

2. Heed the skeptics: It’s certainly instructive, however, to look at neutral or skeptical messages. Even with exciting clinical news, tweets conveying concerns about cost, drug tolerability, or trial design may foreshadow controversy to come.

One clear example was the reaction to new treatments for metastatic melanoma. Combination therapy was the hot topic here, with new data on BRAF-targeted regimens and immunotherapy combos generating lots of ASCO Tweets. Yet physicians active on Twitter also expressed fears about the high cost of these dual regimens, as well as reservations about long-term tolerability that might limit prime-time use.

3. Follow up offline: When you dig deeper into the 2013 ASCO talk on Twitter, you can see there was also a lot of excitement around new therapies that stimulate the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. So when I talk to pharma company execs, I ask them how they’re going to position their targeted drug portfolios for use with new immunotherapy agents, so that these drugs can be used together or sequentially to achieve the best patient outcomes.

4. Build an argument: In contrast to new breakthrough drugs in melanoma, we saw that incremental data presented in lung cancer about second- and third-generation therapies didn’t always resonate with conference-goers. You can see this just by comparing the volume of tweets generated on each of these disease topics. (See illustration below). One interpretation is that pharma companies are going to have to build an argument to motivate physicians to value these modest, but statistically meaningful, improvements in lung cancer therapies.

5. Target an audience: What’s most important to remember is that there are different audiences engaging in dialogue on Twitter and beyond. So companies need to ask what’s the best home (personal promotion, digital promotion, etc.) for sharing particular kinds of information. As we as an industry become more experienced interpreting social media data, we’ll be able to determine the ideal channels to communicate with customers.

We think analyzing Twitter feeds has a lot of value, and ZS is planning to introduce a more sophisticated model leveraging physician “buzz” at the upcoming American Society of Hematology meeting in December. Social media’s influence will only grow—so as an industry, our engagement level has to keep growing, too.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Trialing successful social media strategies in clinical research

Presentation by Inspire CEO Brian Loew to the Global Innovation in Clinical Research & Operations Summit, Princeton, NJ, Oct. 23, 2013.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

10 dazzling social media promotional ideas for your hospital

10 dazzling social media promotional ideas for your hospital | Social Media and Healthcare |

It’s a whole new world of technology, communications, promotions and mobile networking. Those hospitals that have discovered this fact and are diving in are way out in front. They’re getting recognition for their brand, pulling in more patients through referrals and networking, and connecting with their communities.

What strategies are hospitals using to benefit from their social media connections? What promotional ideas have they used to beat out the competition and get their name out there?

Here’s 10 ways you can use social media at your hospital:

1. Reporting a live transplant operation. Children’s Medical Center in Dallas used Twitter to communicate a kidney transplant between father and son. Both UT Southwestern Medical Center (where the kidney was removed from the father) and Children’s Medical Center in Dallas (where the kidney was transplanted into the son) tweeted about these events. According to reports from the hospitals, Children’s Twitter followers had increased 370 percent, 40 interviews were scheduled over the next nine days, and more than 900 stories were distributed with more than 60 million impressions. On top of that, 20 people contacted Children’s about becoming organ donors.

2. Mobile help finding the closest ER. At Massachusetts General Hospital, a hospital on the forefront of groundbreaking research, a talented group of researchers from the Emergency Department created a free app for the iPhone that lets users find the closest emergency room to their location anywhere in the United States. Social media helped promote this, according to Mike Morrison, who oversees social media for MGH’s public relations department. “Our strategy here was to create this YouTube video and then pitch to bloggers encouraging them to use our embed code for their stories … Although it’s tough to get publicity among a sea of apps, our video allowed us to provide more content for bloggers and increased our chances of getting attention. Even if we didn’t have the pitching success we did, we were able to tweet the video and the link to download, as well as post to our Facebook page. It was a great combination of traditional pitching, content creation, and social media.”

3. Helping people find a doctor and setting up appointments. Bon Secours Hospital in Richmond, Va., has racked up some impressive social media statistics. According to Nick Dawson, director of communications and community engagement, the hospital made $250,000 through social media referrals alone. Dawson says 85 percent of those referrals—50 patients—came through Twitter; the rest came through Facebook and YouTube. Dawson’s team uses Twitter to:

  • Respond to patients who are looking for a Bon Secours doctor.
  • Find people on Twitter who might need a doctor.
  • Say “we’re here to help.” When a person contacts the Bon Secours email to make an appointment, a social media team member calls that person back to set up an appointment. Dawson says this optimizes and facilitates tracking and quantifying social media referrals.
4. Watching a live testing experience. At the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, Dana Lewis, the hospital’s interactive marketing specialist, helped to create “Sleepless In Seattle: A Night In The Sleep Center.” This was an online live stream of a patient’s overnight sleep-disorder testing experience, moderated by doctors, who answered questions via Twitter. Lewis said that the primary goal was to educate people about sleeping issues and provide access for interactions with sleep medicine experts. Because of the program, 10,000 people interacted directly with physicians from Swedish and there were 5.5 million media impressions. It was later calculated that the testing experience had a 109 percent ROI for the hospital. More recently, Swedish Medical Center live-tweeted a knee surgery.

5. Raising charitable donations. Lowell General Hospital in Lowell, Mass., held a TeamWalk for Cancer Care in May 2011 to raise money for various cancers treated at the hospital. Walkers registered and posted their entries to Facebook and Twitter, while encouraging their friends and followers to donate online. In addition, walkers set up their cell phones to post to Twitter or Facebook for status updates while they were walking: “I’m at the three-mile mark of Lowell General Hospital’s TeamWalk. Only four more miles to go! Please be sure to donate now!”

6. Sharing health tips. The Children’s Hospital of Alabama corporate communications department developed a social media strategy using Facebook and Twitter, targeting both internal and external audiences. The hospital shares health tips and statistics on a daily basis, getting the community involved with its Health and Wellness campaign. A key messaging tool is past patient testimonials. “I think it is vital to a health care organization’s success to engage both their employees and the public in effective messaging,” says Rachel Olis, corporate communications coordinator for Children’s. “Corporate communications departments can be the link between reputation, credibility and effectiveness. In today’s changing health care world, it is vital that the correct message gets to the correct audience—a communications team is the piece of the puzzle that can get that done.”

7. New medical social networking community. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., has been one of the biggest proponents of social media use by hospitals. Mayo Clinic Social Media Manager Lee Aase says, “for more than 100 years, the most important factor responsible for patient preference for Mayo Clinic has been word of mouth; satisfied patients telling their friends and neighbors about their experiences. We’ve had strong data on that point, and that news media stories and physician recommendations are the second and third most significant reasons for Mayo Clinic preference,” Aase says. “So in our case, it wasn’t a ‘prove the value in advance’ situation. We emphasized that social media are just the way word of mouth happens in the 21st century.” On July 11, 2011, The Mayo Clinic launched the first free, open social networking community. With Mayo’s 500,000 patients and 50,000 employees and students around the world, the social community is aimed at “connect[ing] patients with each other and with others interested in learning more about Mayo Clinic or a particular health interest,” according to the Mayo website.

8. Videos on many topics. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, based in Baltimore, Maryland, has a YouTube Channel with a very large and diverse mix of videos primarily geared towards patients and consumers. A recent video shows one of its doctors explaining next steps for patients diagnosed with a brain tumor. Many of the videos address conditions patients may be dealing with such as liver cancer, warfarin and neuroendocrine tumors—with doctors explaining options for treatment. One of the many fascinating videos is a brief overview of the milestones in stem cell research over the past 100 years. To date, the hospital has 765 YouTube channel subscribers and 290,000 total upload views.

9. Spread the word during crisis communications. Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas, found a very unusual and somewhat terrifying way to use its social media connections for crisis communications during the Ft. Hood shootings in 2009. Scott & White is one of the hospitals which provide services to Fort Hood, and on that day 10 victims of the shooting attack were immediately sent to its Emergency Department. As the shootings were occurring, Scott & White began posting messages on its Facebook and Twitter accounts. This was followed by a continuous string of updates that included information on emergency room access, hospital operation status, re-tweets from the Red Cross, dialogue with local reporters and other resources for visitors. In addition to Twitter and Facebook, Scott & White used its Blog and YouTube to keep people informed.

10. Partner with sports figures for health. The Inova Healthcare System started an innovative Facebook page called FIT FOR 50, which includes a number of specific “challenges.” FIT FOR SUMMER, for example, is an interactive page with former NFL Washington Redskins player, Darrell Green. This web-based fitness program is designed to keep people fit during the hot days of summer. Friends of the page are encouraged to register to gain access to exclusive health and fitness videos from Darrell Green and Inova physicians. Also, people can set their own personal wellness goals and track their daily progress in their very own online playbook.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Rhode Island Medical Board Issues Physician Guidance for Use of Social Media

Rhode Island Medical Board Issues Physician Guidance for Use of Social Media | Social Media and Healthcare |

In a world of rapidly evolving information technology, the Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline (BMLD) has created and approved policy guidance for the appropriate use of social media in the practice of medicine. Rhode Island's guidelines are based on guidance of the Federation of State Medical Boards.

"Social media provides opportunities for physicians to easily communicate with patients, and to share information about health and wellness," said Director of Health Michael Fine, MD. "However, it is imperative that these resources be used appropriately. We want to help physicians avoid unintentional professional misconduct while using social media."

Some of the key points of the policy statement include:

• Physicians should recognize that they are personally and professionally responsible for any content they post on the internet and postings may have unintended consequences.

• A patient's right to confidentiality and privacy still exists online.

• Physicians should not exhibit unprofessional behavior when using social media. Physicians should never use discriminatory language or practices online.

In addition, healthcare providers should:

• Establish separate personal and professional accounts on social media sites. • Review their employer's specific social media policy.

• Make sure any staff who has permission to post on a social media account understands and agrees to any social media policy.

• Report any unprofessional behavior to the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline.

To view the BMLD's complete policy statement, visit

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Social impact of technology on health care

Susannah Fox gave a talk about the social impact of technology on health care at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine on Oct. 18, 2013.
Brandi Carney's curator insight, January 23, 2014 6:23 PM

This site shows the link between how many people use technology including internet, cellphones, social media etc. and health care.  People can use these devices to help manage their health and decrease their chance for illness or disease.

Scooped by Plus91!

6 Ways To Use Social Media in Healthcare

6 Ways To Use Social Media in Healthcare | Social Media and Healthcare |

Six ways to use social media in healthcare can help get the word out about healthcare professionals and the services they provide.

Social media has taken the world by storm and it’s much more than a way to share painfully adorable pictures of kittens — it’s also a way of finding and sharing valuable information. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 72 percent of Internet users say they looked for health information online in the past year. When a serious health issue arose, patients trusted the doctors most of all, with 70 percent of them going to their doctor or other healthcare professional for answers.

That trust in doctors, hospitals and nurses extends to the virtual world. A 2012 Pricewaterhouse Coopers consumer survey found that 60 percent of respondents in all age demographics would trust information posted online by their physicians, and 55 percent would trust information posted online on behalf of their hospitals. Sharing goes both ways: Almost a quarter of all respondents would be happy to share their own take on health issues, experiences, medications and medical treatment online.

The numbers make the story clear: Hospitals, physicians and other healthcare professionals can reach more patients by becoming engaged in social media.

How to use healthcare social media

How can those new to social media make the various opportunities work for them? These six ways to use social media in healthcare can help get the word out about healthcare professionals and the services they provide.

  1. Tweet it out. In a fast-paced world, messages of 140 characters or less are well-received. Keep your Twitter account active and relevant by passing on links to interesting journal articles, newsworthy tidbits and “did you know” snippets of health trivia. Remember to always respond to tweets and retweet any worthwhile information.
  2. Tell it on a blog. Blogs that reach a specific target audience and deliver pertinent information can give your personal and professional brand a big boost. Popular health blogs include those that offer new updates on health issues or common-sense solutions to health problems. Capture readers with a mixture of information and humor, the way many anonymous doctors and nurses do on their blogs, and you might see your readership skyrocket.
  3. Show your stuff. The Mayo Clinic currently has the most popular medical provider channel on YouTube, according to SocialMediaToday. How did they do it? By delivering videos on everything from what to expect from medical procedures to how to understand certain medical conditions. New videos are posted almost daily, which means the content is always fresh and new.
  4. Make time for Facebook. One of the most popular gathering sites on the Web, a Facebook account is a must for any savvy social media initiative. Facebook can allow you to tap into a ready-made community of individuals who want to learn more about health, medical conditions and new research. Best of all, in-depth conversations can be sparked in the comments section, giving providers and patients a chance to interact in a meaningful way.
  5. Talk it out with podcasts. Not everyone has the time to wade through medical journals or scholarly reports. Podcasts allow you to showcase your knowledge, answer general medical questions and focus on concerns that your target audience wants to learn more about. Podcasts are also a great way to break down complicated information so that anyone can understand it, a move that could make tired and worried minds very grateful.
  6. Pin it. It’s not just a site dedicated to crafts and cute babies. Pinterest is filled with all sorts of helpful things, and one of those is the health and fitness board, complete with inspirational pictures and links to everything from new exercise routines to healthy diets to serious discourse on other health-related issues. (But be warned, busy healthcare professionals: Pinterest can be a delightful time-sucker like no other.)

Best of all, these social media outlets can all work with each other to create a cohesive online presence. By making more information about yourself available with only a few clicks, patients can get a very comprehensive picture of who you are, what you do and the kind of assistance they can receive from you.

A few cautions

Chances are you’ve already been using the Internet for networking and researching in your capacity as a healthcare professional and don’t need to be reminded that what happens on the Internet, stays on the Internet — forever. Decide on a few key points before you post, tweet or like. Are you comfortable with posting personal information, such as religious or political beliefs? Are you okay with patients being able to contact you online? If you have any qualms about mixing your personal life with your professional one, create strict rules about maintaining both a personal and professional profile online.

Finally, don’t forget about privacy laws. Discussing any patient online — even a fictional patient whose case is a bit too close to fact — can land you in hot water with employers, patients, regulatory bodies and even the law. When posting online, steer clear of anything that might appear inappropriate or flirt with any professional boundaries. In short, never share something online that you might one day regret.

Irene Calcaneo's curator insight, October 24, 2013 1:27 AM

Just testing, my fisrt time with

Peter Wilkinson's curator insight, October 24, 2013 1:51 AM

If you are in London on 20 Nov it will be worthwhile booking to come to this event.


Serious Networking, Top Speakers and Fun, Fun, Fun


Join us at ‘The social Media Business Club’ on 20 November in Piccadilly 


Here is the link for more info ;

Scooped by Plus91!

Social media helps stop a cancer surgery!

Social media helps stop a cancer surgery! | Social Media and Healthcare |

A social media campaign has helped a Sydney mother of five get a life-saving operation sooner.

Cancer patient Nicole Perko was told she needed complex abdominal surgery called a peritonectomy within a month, but was still waiting three months later. A school student she'd never met started an online petition that gained more than 70,000 supporters. Within days, the state government recruited a hospital to deliver six operations.

Earlier this year, Professor David Morris, a world expert and pioneer of peritonectomy surgery, complained about cuts to his operating days. He said the social media campaign had achieved the right outcome for six of his patients, including Ms Perko. But Professor Morris and others have raised concerns over the precedent the decision might set.

"I don't think it is good thing that we determine health policy in this way. But I have tried very hard to alert people to the waiting times and the effect of those waiting times for quite long time," he said. "Clearly it is only through desperation that one makes public the problems."

Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the decision by Prince of Wales Hospital was not the result of a social media campaign "but rather many months of careful consideration of a complex issue" by health managers and clinicians. "Neither politicians nor the community determine a patient's clinical priority – that is always the role of clinicians,"  she said.

But the high-profile campaign clearly resonated with many people, including politicians. Karen Skinner, the national director of, said people could connect with Ms Perko's story and her need.

"Without the surgery, I will die.": Nicole Perko with husband

Public health professor Simon Chapman, at the University of Sydney, said some caution was needed when making decisions based on social media campaigns. "We've all got to be careful we don't confuse the volume of apparent community concern and passion for informed decision making," he said.

Emeritus Professor of medicine John Dwyer, at the University of NSW, said social media campaigns might distort the delivery of health care. "The decision making shouldn't be in the community's hands through social media pressure, that's not the way to run a health system," he said.

Journalism academic and social media researcher Julie Posetti, at the University of Wollongong, said social media campaigns had been empowering and could achieve health justice. "But there is always risk that social media campaigns, just like traditional media crusades, highlight individual cases at the expense of other cases which haven't benefited from the spotlight," she said. 

Sydney University professor of medicine Stephen Leeder, who is also a health administrator, said the social media campaign was legitimate. But he said the peritonectomy procedure was contentious because of its high cost and uncertainty over its long-term outcome for patients. "I don't think you can argue that health care should be beyond the reach of political influence," he said.

"It's the people's stuff, health, and they should be free to express a view. Ultimately it should be the responsibility of the politician to take all the requests put to them and make sense of that on behalf of the whole population."

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Another glimpse at the potential behind social media, patient engagement and HIE

Another glimpse at the potential behind social media, patient engagement and HIE | Social Media and Healthcare |

EHR software is not the only technology leap healthcare is making. More frequently than ever, social media is playing a role in healthcare. Doctors are Facebook messaging with patients, physicians have taken to Tweeting and – a research group aimed at providing free data to students and healthcare professionals looking for degrees in health administration – has even compiled a list of the top 50 most social media friendly hospitals in the U.S.

In conversation with Healthcare IT News, Bethanny Parker, the editor of and the author of the top 50 list, explained some of the benefits social media has to offer healthcare facilities.

• Spreads awareness
Social media is great for individuals who want to share pictures, life updates or random thoughts and photos of their lunches. But as Parker observed, there is no reason this mass-messaging and very public tool could not be used to share critical healthcare information. Social media’s viral nature helps news spread fast.

• Providing answers
The news source cited a statistic from a recent Journal of Medical Internet Research study. It said that approximately 60 percent of Internet users say they use the web to do basic research on health information. Rather than having patients rely solely on user-generated online wikis, doctors could become that resource – and be far more reliable.

• Eliminating ‘white coat syndrome’
Most people do not enjoy visiting the doctor – they find it to be a source of extreme stress. White coat syndrome can sometimes keep patients from taking the first step toward treatment, as Parker noted. But social media offers a far less threatening and more “neutral” ground on which to relay information. That being said, it should not take the place of regular physicals or serious diagnoses.

• New frontiers
Social media keeps evolving, as the news source pointed out. Who knows what new tools and options for disseminating healthcare information may show up in the coming years. Like EHR systems and new digitized workflows for billing and practice management software, the options for social media are only just beginning to be explored.

Doctor-to-doctor social networks
A large part of the conversation about social media and healthcare does not relate to Facebook or Twitter. It is instead concerned solely with doctor-to-doctor communications and how social networking components could improve health information exchange (HIE). As EHRIntelligence noted, physicians are sharing patient records with colleagues already through social networks designed to be compliant with the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). While this is not the large-scale interoperability that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) or the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have promoted as the future of HIE, it is a start.

EHRIntelligence noted that social network sharing may be too limited in scope compared to HIE, which has a more solid infrastructure and data standards. But they do present an easy-to-use and attractive way to conduct basic data exchange for now.

Social networks have the benefits of slicker interfaces, the news source noted, and most importantly they are equipped with familiar features that many doctors already use in their everyday lives outside the office. Not insignificant either is the fact that social media avoids the logistical hang-ups that HIEs can run into, where legal contracts, participation fees and tech upgrades can cause trouble.

While not a replacement, social networks are an excellent stand-in until federal policy gets ironed out and the first stages of nationwide interoperability get off the ground.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Plus91!

Fighting Disease With Tweets & Status Updates: Social Media Patterns Reveal How Diseases Spread

Fighting Disease With Tweets & Status Updates: Social Media Patterns Reveal How Diseases Spread | Social Media and Healthcare |

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter could help limit the spread of infectious diseases, a new study has found. According to researchers from the University of Waterloo and Yale University, such media platforms can optimize containment strategies by revealing social response patterns during outbreaks. Together with biological factors, these patterns may yield more accurate prediction models of higher complexity.

Published in the journal Science, the study investigated the relationship between social and biological contagions. From an epidemiological point of view, ideas and diseases are very similar, as they are both transmitted from one source across a vast, intricate network of new hosts. According to co-author Chris Bauch, a better understanding of the viral trajectory of social contagions like tweets and videos may eventually help health officials limit the spread of biological contagions like the flu.

"Social media and other data sources can be tapped for insights into how people will react when faced with a new disease control measure or the threat of infectious disease," Bauch told reporters. "We can create models from this data that allows researchers to observe how social contagion networks interact with better-known biological contagion networks."

To investigate public response patterns, the Bauch and his colleagues looked atpediatric vaccine coverage, reactions to quarantine during the SARS outbreak, and other health issues accompanied by a pronounced social media response. The data suggested that during widely publicized outbreaks and epidemics, these patterns may be just as important as strain DNA, transmission vectors, drug resistance, and other biological factors. When implemented into predictive epidemiological models, these social media patterns fine-tune outcomes. 

"Predictive modeling isn't perfect, but it can help gauge how people will respond to disease control measures," Bauch explained. "All sorts of variables can effect something as complex as the spread of disease. This is why it's important to bring a variety of perspectives into play, not just the biological considerations."

Grace Tang's curator insight, October 21, 2013 7:25 PM

Interesting article...

Would you like me to help you with your Social Media Activities?

Please fill this form and I will get in touch with you