I decided to look at social media use in the healthcare industry
Social media use for healthcare is similar to most other industries in that it provides a connection between people It provides for collaboration and community It allows people to be engaged about their health and to exchange information
National Research Corp., a health care research company based in Lincoln, Nebraska recently surveyed more than 22,000 Americans and found that nearly 16% use social media sites as a source of health care information. Of those, 94% said Facebook was their preferred source, followed by YouTube with 32% and Twitter with 18%. Analysts say that because people are spending more time on social media sites, they have begun to include questions and research about health care as a part of that experience. They say many like having an instant conversation online, rather than reading what someone has posted on a website.
This is a good example of community building for people that may be affected or know someone who is affected by one of these diseases. It provides support and a place for people to gather about their experiences.
Social Media can help raise awareness about health issues, deliver lively and riveting discussions and participation by patients and health consumers. It encourages people to take charge of their health and to become empowered and proactive and to help live a healthier life.
75 percent of consumers view companies with microblog accounts as more deserving of their trust than those without. Obviously trust is an important piece to a company’s success and it’s no different in the medical community
While consumers think highly of using social media as a source of healthcare information, it is not the premiere source however when considering all options. Fifty percent of the people said that healthcare provider websites are the preferred source of online healthcare information All of these sites were mostly geared towards providing information on a one-way basis. There isn’t a lot of discussion going on, but it is more of a place to reference for information or symptom checking.
There are many physician-only online social media communities, but there are challenges when the community opens up to everyone.
Crowdsourcing involves getting a crowd of people to help you with a task. You ask an undefined group of people to perform a task for you, and anyone who’s interested may perform the task. So some doctors do believe it is their duty to contribute and get involved where they can.
Not much guidance as to policies for social media Some physicians worry that when they receive a request for friendship on Facebook, it makes them feel as though they need to respond and interact with the patient.
A physician can have a Facebook page that is actively updated and maintained so that when patients have general health or wellness questions, they can ask the doctor instead of throwing it out to everyone they know on Facebook
Social Media and Healthcare Lesley Hewitt Final Project April 13, 2011
What is social media about in healthcare? <ul><li>Connection </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Community </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange of information </li></ul>
Who is using social media for healthcare information? <ul><li>Affluent, young adults – with an average age of 41 and household income of $75k plus </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 5 persons use social media to influence their healthcare decisions </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 4 respondents said social media was “very likely” or “likely” to influence their healthcare decisions </li></ul>
A few Facebook stats <ul><li>The American Cancer Society has more than 228,000 likes on its Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has about 82,000 likes on Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>The American Diabetes Association has more than 72,000 likes </li></ul>
Benefits of social media use in healthcare <ul><li>Raise awareness about health issues </li></ul><ul><li>Empower people to take charge of their health and be proactive </li></ul><ul><li>Provide real-time health information </li></ul>
Is social media viewed as being reliable? <ul><li>On a scale of 1 to 5, 82.3% of people surveyed who used social media trusted the information on a level of 3 or higher </li></ul><ul><li>78.8% gave a level of 3 or higher to the likelihood of social media influencing their health care decisions </li></ul>Source: National Research Corp.'s Ticker Survey, February
Can physicians use social media? <ul><li>The American Medical Association discourages physicians from socially interacting with patients on social media </li></ul><ul><li>The Association has had policy, even before social media was an issue, that physicians should not practice medicine online with patients when there has been no previous face-to-face relationship </li></ul>
What some doctors are saying: <ul><li>“ NO; NO; NO; NO. To ensure that patients and their families have an active role in their own health care they need to make an appointment; and keep it!!” </li></ul><ul><li>On Crowdsourcing: “This is when people without the credentials or experience provide a response to your question. The vast majority of these answers either have no factual basis, are completely off topic, or are merely self-serving attempts to steer the conversation.” </li></ul><ul><li>"I do think, as a physician and a communicator, it's an ethical duty ... for everyone to contribute something to this massive pool of information -- where everyone is looking -- that is accurate information." </li></ul>
Challenges for physicians using Facebook and other social media sites <ul><li>Little guidance for physicians </li></ul><ul><li>Time required to keep pages current and accurate </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Confidential patient information and HIPPA laws/security concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical concerns </li></ul>
Recommendations <ul><li>Physicians can share what they consider quality research and educational material through twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Appeal to the AMA for support of social media use </li></ul><ul><li>Modify HIPPA rules to include social media sites </li></ul>
Recommendations contd. <ul><li>The hospital or physician practice simply acts as a host that brings the community together </li></ul><ul><li>The community shares its expertise and experiences </li></ul>
References <ul><li>Ficarra, Barbara. (February 21, 2011). Power of Social Media: How the Medical Community is Embracing Social Media for Better Patient Care and Patient Engagement . http://healthin30.com/2011/02/power-of-social-media-how-the-medical-community-is-embracing-social-media-for-better-patient-care-and-patient-engagement/ </li></ul><ul><li>Tony, Kristen. (April 9, 2011). Crowdsourcing Helps the Medical Community. http://dailycrowdsource.com/2011/03/20/technology/crowdsourcing-helps-the-medical-community/ </li></ul><ul><li>Warren, Jimmy. (March 31, 2011) Healthcare Marketing: 1 in 5 Use Social Media to Make Healthcare Decisions. http://marketingyourhospital.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Influence Index.com. http://digitalinfluence.fleishmanhillard.com/findings/ </li></ul>