Doctors need to use social media more, says report

Doctors are more likely to use social media channels for education and communicating with fellow healthcare professionals than they are for interacting with their patients and taking advantage of possible digital marketing opportunities offered by social media.

According to a new report from American consulting firm CSC, doctors are reluctant to use social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to interact with their patients, but they need to overcome this.

The report states that larger hospitals, academic medical centres and paediatric clinics are the healthcare institutions that are most likely to use social media. Jason Lee, lead author of the report, explains: “Large hospitals are more likely to use it because they have large budgets. They might also need to spend more on legal resources to check their Facebook and Twitter postings.”

Meanwhile, children’s hospitals are most likely to use social media for fundraising activities.

The report suggests that several business goals can be achieved with the help of social media, such as patient monitoring, care management and care coordination. It says that care management in particular will be helped by the increasing role that social media will have to play in it.

Lee says that some of the most frequently stated reasons that doctors give for avoiding linking up with their patients via social media channels include worries about liability, privacy and lack of reimbursement.

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