Social media’s prevalence in the medical field is unmistakable evidence that healthcare has joined the 21st century. Healthcare companies have benefited from a more contemporary approach to several tasks thanks to the incorporation of social media into these areas.
Journal of Medical Internet Research presented an analysis of many studies on healthcare professionals’ use of social media in 2021. That analysis uncovered numerous examples of how medical experts make use of social media in their practice. By way of explanation, they are utilizing said platforms in the following ways:
- Attract and hire employees. Social media is being used by the healthcare industry in its recruitment efforts to reach out to potential employees and evaluate residency applicants.
- Conduct research. Social media is being used by healthcare researchers to facilitate the development of research communities and the dissemination of research findings.
- Actively promote their services. Healthcare providers are actively using social media to advertise their services and attract new clients.
- Facilitate health. Healthcare organizations are increasingly turning to social media to deliver important public health messages and relevant health data. Social media is being used increasingly by those in the healthcare industry and those studying to become doctors.
- Study medicine. New medical students and seasoned doctors alike are turning to social media for continuing education.
- Use remote medical care to help people. Some hospitals and clinics have started using social media to offer telemedicine to their patients, increasing their accessibility and improving the quality of care they can offer to some people.
A healthcare professional’s guide to social media
Here are a few ways in which social media might improve healthcare:
1. Awareness Campaigns
One of the most important ways to inform the public about periodic health checks and other periodic health problems is through social media. When a catastrophic event occurs, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook promptly alert local hospitals. As a result, they are ready to help any victims even before the news has spread. By educating your audience on where to find reliable information, you’ll make it simpler for them to debunk false healthcare claims they may encounter on social media.
2. Monitoring of Public Health Systems
Public health data sources and disease surveillance should always rely on more established methods, but social media can supplement this data in interesting ways. There is a wealth of information to be gleaned from social media posts about how to live a healthy life, prevent illness, and treat existing conditions.
A correlation between seasonal influenza data acquired by more conventional means and Twitter data pertaining to common cold occurrences was discovered. Researchers, epidemiologists, and healthcare providers like, Marham – find a doctor can use these social media patterns to measure shifts in disease awareness and attitudes toward treatment and prevention. The response to public health initiatives and communications can also be gauged using data collected from social media.
3. Education for the Professions
Social media’s communication features are also being put to use to better train medical professionals.
Due to a large number of social media users in the 18–29 age range, clinical curricula have been modified to accommodate this demographic. 1,5 Numerous articles detail how clinical students might benefit from social media in terms of learning how to communicate professionally and ethically. There are a variety of ways that universities use social media to enhance the educational opportunities available to their students.
Additionally, the use of social media is becoming increasingly integrated into undergraduate pharmacy programs.
About a third of schools of pharmacy have admitted to making use of Twitter.
4. Expand the reach of existing resources
Professionals in the medical field frequently consult medical publications and attend medical conferences to stay abreast of the latest research and best practices. Bring learning to the students via social media.
This is just another instance of COVID-19. According to the ESICM, the LIVES conference will be hosted online in 2021.
This made it possible for anyone, regardless of location, to participate.
They broadcasted the webinars via live video on YouTube and Facebook, in addition to a specialized website. They were also tweeting in real-time during the demonstrations.
5. Perks for the Medical Staff
There are obvious advantages for patients when health care professionals use social media, but there are also advantages for the health care professionals themselves. The collaborative aspect of social media makes it possible for doctors and primary care providers to reach out to one another and share knowledge.
Because of this, doctors can talk about:
- Possible Medicines
- Policy and regulatory shifts
- Recent developments in biotech information
- Treatment of the patient surgically successfully
- Discomforts and queries from patients
6. Treatment of Patients
Although physicians and hospitals have been slow to embrace the use of social media for direct patient care, this strategy is gaining traction.
3,7 Patients at Georgia Health Sciences University, for instance, have access to a program called WebView, which allows them to communicate with their doctors about anything from queries to prescription refills.
According to recent research, more and more doctors are showing an interest in engaging with patients via digital channels.
Twitter and Facebook are just two examples of the social media sites being used by some doctors to better connect with their patients. Sixty percent of doctors surveyed said they would be open to using social media to communicate with patients in order to improve “better education, higher compliance, and better results” through health monitoring, behavior modification, and medication adherence.
7. Recruiting for Scientific Studies
Through their networks, healthcare providers and institutions can reach out to people interested in participating in research and surveys.
Brands aren’t the only ones who need to be aware of social media demographics; researchers and healthcare organizations must also be. When coupled with social media advertising, this can help brands reach their target demographics more effectively.
8. Compare and Improve Quality
Healthcare administrators can also benefit from social media by researching the services offered by their rivals and the level of pleasure their patients have with those services. Professionals can improve their own practices by studying those of others, particularly their use of social media. Some businesses will flourish thanks to social media; providers will learn if they need to take more decisive action to respond to patient requests and enhance customer service swiftly.
As a healthcare provider, you may reach more people and grow your business with the help of social media. A doctor in a rural area may need to consult with a specialist immediately if they treat a patient exhibiting uncommon symptoms. Doctors can use social media to not just share information, but also to build a global community of healthcare professionals to draw on for advice and support.