Social Media: Now Connecting Doctors and Patients

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More and more industries are beginning to realize the powerful and helpful impact that social media has over our everyday lives. Whether personal or professional, social media is taking over. One field that has started grasping the benefits is the medical industry.

Doctors all over are using digital communication for patient care and this is only expected to increase under the Accountable Care Act. A survey conducted last summer of 501 doctors selected at random shows that over 20% engaged with patients via secured networks and a similar number had sites that permitted patients to download test results and even schedule appointments. Although the survey shows only 6% that actually connected with patients through social media, that still translates to roughly 60,000 doctors nationwide.

This new breed of physicians are tracking disease trends on Twitter, texting health messages to patients and identifying medical issues on Facebook , and why not? With so much at our digital fingertips there is no reason to keep up the typical tech-shunning stereotyping of doctors. Not only does it make things quicker and keeps them up-to-date, but it brings doctor patient relationships closer.

With about 2 million followers on their social media sites, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publicizes crucial health messages by means of Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and texting. The CDC scientists also keep track of social media sites for disease surveillance.

Many people feel that doctors should just stick with the pen and paper but if we can trust them with sharp objects and our lives, I don’t see why we can’t trust them with helpful social media tools that will allow them to even more sufficiently do their jobs.

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