In a recent AmedNews.com article, Gabriel Bosslet says the “rise in social media has been meteoric” amongst physicians. According to Bosslet, the number of physicians active on social media sites increases so quickly that his study regarding the phenomenon was outdated by its official release.
A poll by the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds that 65 percent of online adults use social media. Fairly expected, right? The surprise comes in QuantiaMD’s survey of 4,032 physicians. The survey states that nearly 90 percent of physicians have operated at least one social media site.
The question is: How are physicians using social media?
Studies show that physicians stick to managing personal profiles on their social media accounts. This limits online physician-to-patient communication.
There’s very little patient engagement and interaction.
Mary Modahl, chief communications officer for QuantiaMD, says that connecting with patients through popular online sites “crosses over a professional/personal line that physicians would like to draw as a fairly bright line.” She says that, coupled with physicians being largely unaware of online-patient communities, accounts for the lack of physician-to-patient communication.
Fortunately, not all hope is lost. Modahl believes that the future holds possibilities for increased online communication between both sides once physicians are more aware of the demand for engagement by those frequenting online patient communities.
While physicians need some time to warm up to this idea, they have to get with the program fairly quickly. According to Nancy Fabozzi, Frost and Sullivan health care market researcher, patients want online communication with their physician at the rate of expedience and efficiency that social media allows.