Do you remember in days of old the train conductor would come by and punch your ticket. The shape of the punch hole looked quite a bit like # .
# now represents the hashtag on twitter as well as other social media platforms.. Speaking from my anecdotal story of one in the cohort, I found them to be confusing at first, especially if there was a hashtag salad of multiple #s.
The Hashtag Project. Hashtag Project is organized and administered by the Foxepractice.com Consulting Firm. In addition to their epractice modules and advice on Web 2.0 they provide a full menu of services. If you don’t have time yourself to dive into social media (and few doctors do) they can set you up and your staff can do the daily operations. Put your efforts into your own area of expertise.
The proper use of a hashtag allows others to search the twitter stream for your subject, #hcsm is the most often used tag for medical issues, and there are also specific hashtags for medical meetings. ( a topic I covered in one of my recent blog posts).
Recent analysis of social media in medicine reveals some positive dividends and a return on investment, according to FiercePractice Management. One primary care physician attributes 30 new patients/month from social media engagement prior to an office visit, conservatively estimating a $125,000 annual return on his $60 investment.
According to the update from online physician learning collaborative QuantiaMD, 87 percent of physicians make personal use of social media, while 67 percent use it professionally.
The QuantiaMD report also indicates that most physicians using social media are heeding to best practices, with 75 percent of those who've received friend requests from patients saying they declined. While challenges persist in navigating the best ways for physicians to use sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the like, some doctors who've dipped a toe in the water report unexpected advantages.
Natasha Burgert MD, a pediatrician committed to one year of social media with surprising results as published at Pediatric Inc
On Monday evening, 6PM PST December 12, 2011 there will be a Google + Medical Hangout. If you would like to attend send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @glevin1