Three Reasons Why Healthcare Professionals Should Embrace Social Media
Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to blog about an extensive list of topics. From concierge medicine, to improving communication about the ACA, I have learned a lot about current healthcare regulations and trends. I am grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had to blog and encourage all of you in the healthcare field to seriously consider adding to the conversation. Before beginning my blog, I understood the professional networking benefits of LinkedIn, but used Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms more for my own amusement than building a personal brand.
Overall, healthcare professionals were initially slow to join the social media party, but have recently made up for it in a big way. This week, FierceHealthcare reported that when Twitter launched in 2006, only 23 healthcare professionals set up accounts. Today, approximately apparently made up for it in a big way. This week FierceHealthcare reported that when Twitter launched in 2006, only 23 healthcare professionals set up accounts. Today, approximately 75,000 doctors, nurses, pharmacists and consultants post 152,000 tweets a day about healthcare policy, research, individual medicines and disease treatments. What is it about Twitter that’s so appealing to healthcare professionals? How much information can they actually share with a 140-character limit?
Within those short messages, medical professionals can share journal articles, as well as links to studies, blogs and share their own points of view. They can also have longer conversations using short tweets. Emergency room physicians, for example, can ask for thoughts about a particular case and instantly receive advice from doctors all over the world in real-time. Healthcare professionals seem to have embraced the openness of Twitter and feel that they can collaborate so much more easily with different professionals. Twitter also gives doctors the opportunity to share knowledge with nurses or pharmacists in open channels that just didn’t happen before inside hospital corridors.
While most of the more seasoned healthcare professionals are still at the start of the social media phenomenon, people who were born into the world of social media are now becoming medical students and graduating as nurses and doctors. Using these open platforms is a completely natural thing to do. For those healthcare professionals who have yet to venture into the world of Twitter, here are three reasons to get started:
1. The opportunity to learn from colleagues. The platform allows you to collaborate with professionals all over the world.
2. The opportunity to share your knowledge. Healthcare professionals find it richly rewarding to share their expertise with others.
3. The opportunity to improve public health. The platform allows medical professionals to share their knowledge of topics such as vaccinations and correct misinformation that often exists on the Internet.
And for those still reluctant to become active users, may I suggest taking small steps–start following some interesting healthcare blogs or popular Twitter users.