Honing Twitter’s Power to Improve Healthcare Communication

See on Scoop.ithealthcare technology

Healthcare in the U.S. is provided across a frighteningly broken and fragmented system of providers and institutions.

 

As a result, the quality of American healthcare is consistently ranked among the worst in the developed world, and costs incurred per patient are 2-5 times higher than in comparable countries. Our problem isn’t that we’re incapable of providing high-quality care – in pockets throughout the country, we provide the most effective care in the world. Our problem is that for every five-star healthcare system we support, there are a dozen systems struggling to stay up-to-date.

Our healthcare system is broken because it’s fragmented. Information fails to flow freely, and best practices are treated as competitive, proprietary elements.

 

In a healthcare culture that spends millions advertising “We’re #1,” it comes as no surprise that someone else has to be #2, #3, or even #50. This is entirely intentional. This situation is created by the restriction of information – and it can be salvaged, in turn, by improving information flow. This is where social media can pay big dividends.

 

The Value of Social Learning

If you ask physicians what they like best about the continuing education courses they take, they’ll tell you that they enjoy engaging with other doctors in the hallways; they love the interactivity of the sessions.

 

If you followed those same physicians back to their workplaces and asked how they answer the questions that are raised over the course of a normal workday, they’d tell you that they consult with a colleague. What they won’t say, probably because they lack the perspective, is that the majority of learning that occurs over a medical career is social learning.

 

My proposition is that social media applications, like Twitter, are the natural evolution of the social learning that takes place in hallways and lecture halls throughout the country. The added benefit is that social media can extend learning across time and space so questions can be posed, and answered, by broader audiences of healthcare professionals.

See on www.socialmediaexplorer.com

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