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Tips For Doctors Entering the Social Media World

Posted on June 13, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about physicians and social media. Since then, I read another article about why physician’s should get involved. Mike Sevilla, M.D., a family physicians and blogger, listed six reasons and told his journey with social media over the years at the Connecting Healthcare + Social Media Conference a few weeks ago. The reasons he gave were:

1. To tell your story

2. To find a community

3. To express opinions and commentary

4. To discover what you are passionate about

5. To conduct social media marketing

6. To manage your online reputation and streamline your practice

The article I linked to goes into more details, but as I thought about it, these seemed like some very helpful tips. Let me talk about number six for awhile. When I was searching for a OB/GYN, and later, a pediatrician, I read pages and pages of reviews for doctors. It amazed me how many negative reviews were on there. I mean, some of they could have been justified, sure, but I felt bad for some of the doctors that might not have even known those reviews were out there and had no way to defend themselves. My doctor was incredible, but a few disgruntled patients wrote terrible reviews online about him, which probably pushed people away from going to him. If a doctor is involved with social media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or even just reading comment boards, he or she may be able to defend their reputation, and then create a better image with their patients. I’ve found that when I’ve become friends with past teachers, employers, or co-workers, my opinion of them almost always changed. I saw that they were human — they had friends, family, likes, dislikes…everything.

I think a lot of these tips point to one thing — bettering your image and becoming involved. I think that’s great. There is definitely an art to social media, and not every doctor is going to be great at it. However, over at mHIMSS.com, web content producer for Healthcare IT News Michelle McNickle created a great list of 10 physicians to follow on Twitter. You can find more out about each of the site I just linked to, but for conveniences sake, here is the list:

1. Kevin Pho, MD — @kevinmd

2. Mike Sevilla, MD — @drmikesevilla

3. Val Jones, MD — @drval

4. Tim Sturgill, MD — @SymTym

5. Bertalan Meskó, MD — @berci

6. Shelley Binkley, MD — @healthewoman

7. Mark Browne, MD — @consultdoc

8. Joseph Kim, MD — @DrJosephKim

9. Jay Parkinson, MD — @jayparkinson

10. Mehmet Oz, MD — @DrOz

So, if you are a doctor, follow the above tips to start your journey into the social media world. And for anyone who wants to have daily tips, ideas, or thoughts from doctors, you might start by taking a look at the 10 doctors mentioned above.

Healthcare Social Media #hcsm

Posted on March 13, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve been reading tweet after tweet recently about healthcare social media. I guess that’s appropriate that they’re using social media to talk about healthcare social media. Reminds me of a tweet from SXSW recently that said they were tweeting from a talk by Twitter Founder talking about the start of Twitter. That’s pretty meta.

Let’s take a look at a few of these tweets:

I love Dr. Bobby Ghaheri. He’s not afraid to talk about the issues of social media in healthcare head on. He’s also not afraid to use them too…even with patients. I’m sure that MANY doctors will have major issues and inhibitions about engaging patients on social media (even outside of medical care). When you even mention the idea you can brace yourself for the insane patient who has unreasonable requests and how that could translate if you engaged them in social media. I should get Dr. Ghaheri to do an interview with me about social media.

This next tweet I think describes Dr. Ghaheri very well.

Note that the tweet says to have a good offense. That doesn’t mean you should be wreckless or thoughtless in your approach to healthcare social media. It means you take a reasoned and well thought out approach to find ways that social media can benefit you as a doctor.

I understand where this tweet is coming from. Although, I don’t necessarily agree. It’s kind of like trying to lead a doctor to EHR that just frankly doesn’t want to do it. The human will is one of the most powerful things in the world. I don’t want to lead and lure someone into doing something they don’t want to do.

Personally I approach it much different. I prefer to convert them to the idea of social media (or EHR if you prefer) and then there’s no leading or luring required. Instead it’s about supporting, directing and educating. That subtle change makes an enormous difference!

I’ll end this little roundup of healthcare social media thoughts with this insightful look at types of patients and the benefits of social media to the various types of patients from a blog post by Jay Parkinson.

My biggest problem with Jay’s thoughts on healthcare social media is that it assumes our current model of healthcare. I can’t help but wonder if social media will help to inform the patient population in ways that we are attracted to healthcare even when we’re not “sick.” I call this treating the healthy patient. Social media awareness could be the driver behind this new trend.

Quote About Current EHR Software

Posted on April 15, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

This quote was far too interesting to not repost it here for all to read.

Each and every piece of multi, multi-million dollar bloated piece of crap healthcare “electronic medical record” (sounds about as dated as electronic mail, doesn’t it?”), is simply a billing engine to communicate a medical diagnosis to insurance companies with the hopes of maximizing how much doctors are paid. Each diagnosis and procedure has these numerical codes. They are a ridiculously robust antiquated language, like the code written to power the Commodore 64. There are people who speak this language – the 100 or so medical billers who are holed up in the basement of every hospital.

I’ve often argued that many EMR companies are just bloated billing software. However, Dr. Jay Parkinson described that point with a little more force than I did.

The funny part is that Dr. Jay Parkinson works for an EMR company himself. I guess he believes that his company is not one of the “piece of multi, multi-million dollar bloated piece of crap healthcare “electronic medical record””

Just to be clear, I believe the above description is true about many EHR companies, but not all. Many EHR can provide amazing results for doctors. Otherwise, I wouldn’t waste my time writing about EHR software on this blog.